help! i'm looking for a new office chair

When my boyfriend moved in several months ago, he didn’t bring much more than his clothes. The one piece of furniture that came with him was his desk chair. It’s comfortable, functional and ergonomic, and yet I can’t get past the typical office chair style. I know it’s superficial, but I’d prefer a less comfortable chair that looks good in the room. I don’t think he’ll go for that idea, so I’m seplaceing for a chair that meets both demands. In the past, Apartment Therapy has recommended the Cherner Side Chair, with the caveat that it’s pricey, as well as the much more affordable Patrik from IKEA. (We notice the Patrik is also the choice of Nicole at Making It Lovely.) So what about you — do you have more suggestions for a desk chair that is both stylish and functional? — Erica P.

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From our partners

pecha kucha night: creative people talking about creative things

The Pecha Kucha website explains it better than we can:

Pecha Kucha Night, devised by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham (Klein Dytham architecture), was conceived in 2003 as a place for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public.

But as we all know, give a mike to a designer (especially an architect) and you’ll be trapped for hours. The key to Pecha Kucha Night is its patented system for avoiding this fate. Each presenter is allowed 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds each – giving 6 minutes 40 seconds of fame before the next presenter is up. This keeps presentations concise, the interest level up, and gives more people the chance to show.

Pecha Kucha (which is Japanese for the sound of conversation) has tapped into a demand for a forum in which creative work can be easily and informally shown, without having to rent a gallery or chat up a magazine editor.

Indeed, you can view photos, learn about architecture, hear an artist discuss her work, and meet a lot of interesting people at Pecha Kucha Nights worldwide. And if your city isn’t one of the many listed on the site, contact the organizers about starting your own. It reminds us a bit of the combination of fun, learning and networking you can find at events like The Lab — and we are all for more opportunities to do all three.

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cool new storage systems at target

It looks like Target is starting to give Ikea a run for its money. They just introduced a new storage system called Itso, created with the design firm, IDEO. You don’t need to have a room full of kids’ toys to appreciate the beauty of this new system. It’s chic enough to look at home in an office, craft room or even in your living room. You start with a base cube or a double cube, and start stacking. Choose from white, maple or espresso bases, and fill in with brightly colored fabric storage bins. Looks a bit like the cute storage Megan K created in her basement a while back. Prices range from $40 for the bases to $10 for the fabric bins. Click here to view at

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design blogging advice from velocity’s lab #2

The Seattle art, design and decor community now has a great place to network. The second Lab at Velocity Art and Design was even better attended than the first, and the crowd had a ton of questions about blogging for those of us on the panel. Since I was up there trying to answer and not taking notes, there’s no way I can quote anyone directly, but I can summarize some of the blogging points as best as I can:

1) Have a brand. If you want to blog, have some idea ahead of time of what you will and won’t cover and how you’ll do it — for instance, you may choose to inject a lot of personal anecdotes or to avoid sarcasm. The trick is to know yourself and follow your instincts.
2) Be passionate. Your audience can tell whether or not you love what you’re writing about (just check our masthead — we love our homes and writing about things that make them better). Write about what you love.
3) Post regularly. Not every blog posts every single day, but if you want readers, you have to give them something to come back to. It’s so obvious, but true — nothing kills a blog faster than simply not updating in a timely fashion.
4) Join the conversation. You’ll find the best blogs, start to build your own community, and get people familiar with you by simply reading the sites your favorite blogs are linking to. Once you’re there, leave comments and participate in the discussion in a meaningful way. (We love when people answer our post-offs.) But the trick is to engage with others, not simply to post “visit my blog” comments.
5) Share ideas. Even if you don’t have a blog, if you have a good idea, don’t be afraid to contact your favorite blog with an idea for a guest post. Ditto for having a great product you think we might want to write about. We may not always take you up on it, but if we like what we see, we just might.

Update: Check out the excellent and very comprehensive post at Not Martha — great advice.

Not in Seattle? Don’t worry — stay tuned for a future post on getting a group like the Lab started in your community. And click the link for more photos! –Mary T. (more…)

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