post off: what kind of office chair do you use?

It’s a sad fact that most of my adult life will be spent in an office chair. I’m lucky that ones I have been provided have mostly been very ergonomically friendly, such as the Herman Miller classic Aeron. But as more and more articles arise about the dangers of a life spent sitting, I’m looking for alternatives. I don’t know if I’m ready to switch to a standing desk — and one of these peddle spinning contraptions is much too much. Perhaps the best alternative is a ball chair. I’ve given into the wonders of a bouncy ball before, specifically when our daughter Isadora was first born. We kept a large yoga ball in bedroom, and in the wee hours in the morning when she was awake and I was zombie-like, I would sit and hold her my arms and bounce, bounce, bounce. It did wonders for her mood, not to mention my thighs. Unfortunately most ball chairs are look like they belong in some kind of hideous man-cave straight out of the eighties. That’s why this fuzzy beauty from Pottery Barn Teen caught my eye. How fun is that? Underneath the shag is an inflatable exercise ball. Ergonomic and chic? I’m worried that I’ll be laughed out of the Time Life Building where I work (remember, it’s where Mad Men is set — very traditional.) For $129 I might just have to give it a try.

What do you think? Do you work in an office all day? What kind of chair do you sit on?

design swoon: introducing hush, a quiet and cozy nook

In our hyper busy lives there is a growing need for little moments of relaxation we can steal away in unexpected places. Since we all can’t work for Arianna Huffington and enjoy AOL’s sleep pods, we have to curl up and nod off where we can. London-based designer Freyja Sewell understands this desire, so she created Hush, a private space for a public world. It’s a portable room made of wool felt, and padded on the inside with pillows. It’s a privacy cave for those on the go, created to shield its occupant from sounds and light. Soon to be on display at Midcentury Modern fold this September as part of the London Design Festival. Selfishly, we’d like to request a few get installed at Newark International Airport, before hurricane season hit the east coast.

For here’s a peek at the creation of Hush.

Learn more about the London Design Festival at its site, londondesignfestival.com.

steal this idea: rainbow stairs from naturalist’s notebook

The other week we stumbled into the most amazing bookstore in Sheep’s Harbor, Maine — the Naturalist’s Notebook. In addition to having rooms and rooms filled with the most amazing science and nature books for all ages, it had this stop-in-your tracks rainbow staircase. The staircase is a unique space in any house. In ours, it’s off to the side, and is the launching pad between the social and the personal. I often think about doing something fun and experimental but have chickened out so far. Katie took the plunge and did this gorgeous blue ombre look a while back, and I’ve always loved the Novogratz‘s playful approach to those inclines (A slide? Why not.). This color-spectrum approach is more than I could bite off, but I do it admire it. So would Roy G. Biv.

finishing off our refinished deck with new furniture

There is one advantage to waiting until the summer season is half over to think about deck furniture: Sales! After seeing how nice our repainted deck looked once that project was finished, we decided it was time to step up our outdoor seating arrangements. Our previous table and chairs consisted of a slightly wobbly one that Chad made (though he gets an A for effort) and some blue plastic chairs from Ikea. Since we were already rocking a “vintage” look on our front porch with this glider, we thought we should steer in a similar direction in the back. (And honestly, I’m a little bored with the ubiquitous chunky teak/wood furniture all the catalogs have been selling this year.) At the oddly names site, OnWayFurniture.com we found this nearly perfect round white metal table with matching blue and white chairs on sale for $350. When it arrived, we were a little worried to see how low the table was, but once you sit back in a chair, preferably with an open bottle of craft beer in your hand, it feels just right.

high or low: state pillows of our favorite vacationland

We’ve long been a fan of Catstudio‘s embroidered state pillows. They seize the distorted, dreamy memories that float in our heads of vacations gone-by. Handmade with delicate stitching, each one incorporates not only only the character of the state, but also the artisan who made it. It can take up to one week to embroider one pillow! Take for example this Maine pillow, that not only features the prerequisite blueberries and Moose, but also the L.L.Bean flagship store and Stephen King! At $158 a pop, these beauties are in family heirloom territory in both quality and price.

But for $15, what is not to love about this vintage retro state map pillow at Fabricadabra. There’s something decidedly Wes Anderson about it, with all its earnest fisherman, campers and hunters.