strangely appealing: the ghost of a chair

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There are very few things that give me goosebumps. Scary campfire stories set in New England are a sure thing, as is a good Stephen King book, but I think this is the first piece of furniture to have that effect. From Valentina Gonzalez Wohlers, the designer who made us fall in love with a regal-looking cactus throne, the Ghost of a Chair haunts whatever alcove it graces. Each one is handmade on request using transparent polyester and a mysterious manufacturing process that renders each piece completely unique. They can be made in any color, just in case you need one to perfectly match your spooky attic nook. — Katie D.

From our partners

would you sleep with a guy whose kitchen looked like this?

(Even if it was Gerard Butler?)

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We were so excited to see Gerard Butler’s Manhattan bachelor pad in Architectural Digest — that is, until we saw it. What a mess of browns! The wood, marble, and brick on the floor, the cabinets, the backsplash — how many shades of one color can a person squeeze into one room? Okay, I guess we can give a few points for recycling the floor into cabinets. And it’s probably not Gerard’s fault that they styled the photo with a carefully placed pair of Cons in front of the fridge and pretentious blue Fedora next to the exploding fruit bowl. To us, it looks like the man who lives there would wear waaaaay too much cologne. And he definitely doesn’t know how to cook. If a guy brought us home to this, we’d look for the exit, fast.

What about you. Would you sleep with a man whose kitchen looked like this?

See more photos at architecturaldigest.com

From our partners

want it now: margic garden growing plant markers

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When I spotted them at a local gift shop, I immediately fell in love with these cute wooden gardening stakes with a twist. Seated at the base of each Magic Garden plant growing marker (either a gnome, toadstool, or ruby-bellied toad) are herb seeds that sprout up when watered, adding a bit of tasty edible foliage to existing flower beds or pots. I have some pansies in containers that could use a little touch of toadstool whimsy, and I cant help but think that these would make a lovely (and affordable) hostess gift for springtime. Find them at imaginechildhood.com, $5 each. — Megan B.

From our partners

reality tv test kitchen: my masterchef audition

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Have you ever thought about auditioning for a reality TV show? Shelterrific contributor Megan Barone decided to go for it, and lived to tell the tale — and share the recipe.

I spent last Sunday at the local Sur La Table with about 500 eager Pacific Northwestern foodies. We were all there to audition for infamous Chef Gordon Ramsay‘s new reality show, MasterChef. The new show is billed as a Top Chef for home cooks, rather than restaurant chefs, so I thought I’d give it a go.

First step: the 12-page application. This almost thwarted my aspirations right off the bat. “How would people describe your negative traits?” Um, that was a fun jaunt into self-discovery!

Second step: I was told to bring a single serving of a dish that “expresses who you are as a cook” and that can be served at room temperature, plus a photo of that dish. Now, this was more inspiring. After a few days of meticulously testing in my kitchen and forcing my friends and family to taste test, I was happy with my creation: a wintry Dungeness crab salad with shaved brussels sprouts, caramelized leeks, fennel, and blood orange, seasoned with a hint of fennel frond and tarragon. I thought it was delicious — the sweetness of the crab meat augmented by the licorice-y fennel, earthy leeks, and bright citrus. I hoped the judges would think so, too.

Is auditioning for MasterChef anything like American Idol? How delicious is Megan’s crab salad recipe? Tune in — we mean, click the link! — to read more. (more…)

From our partners

more target art: donna k’s lightboxes

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Two weeks ago, Erica asked for suggestions on how to display the target her boyfriend brought home from the shooting range. When Donna K posted a link to a lightbox she’d made from a similar target, we wanted to see more. The lightboxes you see here are completely her creations.

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Donna says:

The lightboxes are made out of plywood that I cut and hammered together to make a box with one open side. (I stained the box to make it look nicer/match the decor of where it’ll end up.) I wired a socket to some wire which I ran through a hole I drilled in the top of the box, and then ran the wire to a plug. I used brass thumbtacks to put the target on the box because I like to change them out, but gluing it down would probably have better results! I was thinking of ways to make it easier and came up with using an already-existing box that you take the front off of, and then use those lamp kits they sell at the hardware store for the guts.

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Donna, we love these lightboxes! And if you’re not up to constructing your own wooden box, try IKEA — we’ve seen wooden storage containers and drawers similar to these used as lightboxes at craft shows. To see more of Donna K’s artistic endeavors, visit Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then or read more about her at I Want to Wear It. — Mary T.

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