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Seating | Manolo for the Home - Part 4
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Nursery Chic

Can we just admit that most glider rockers are unbearably hokey? Nursery furniture has come so far in terms of design – right now I’m loving the Nurseryworks American Collection and the shop fawn&forest – that it seems a shame to insert a glider rocker that looks like something grandma bought way back in the day. And not your hip grandma, either! The good news is that things are changing, and glider rockers are starting to catch up to cribs and dressers and mobiles.

Here are two faves: the Empire Rocker from Nurseryworks and the Monte Luca Glider. What I like best about them is that they’ll look amazing somewhere in your house when the baby isn’t a baby anymore, which I think should be the goal of almost all nursery furniture.

What Is That, Velvet?

Isn’t word association bizarre? I just found a gorgeous chair in the weirdest way possible, and so I want to take you on a short and strange journey through my thought processes. First, you have me remembering me when I shared a basement apartment with a good friend who was kind of nuts – in a fun way, I should add. For a while, he had a thing for saying “What is that, velvet?” in the reediest faux-Jewishy New York accent. I don’t know that anyone in my social circle knew where it came from. Next you have me deciding, on a random Thursday, to Google it, at which time I found out it’s a quote from Coming to America. At roughly the same time, in my search for the quote’s origins, I also found this:

It’s a reproduction of the classic french chair, flocked in blue, pink, purple, red, orange, or green and then upholstered in matching silk. No, it’s not velvet, but it is velvety and possibly less prone to scratches and dings as a result. English Eccentrics makes them to order, so they’re by no means cheap, but they are a lot of fun to look at and I certainly enjoyed finding my way to them!

NtB Loves: Al Bombo Barstools… But Does She Love the Knockoff?

The Al Bombo Barstool is one of the most recognizable designs to bear the Magis brand, and one of the most fun. Designed by Stefano Giovannoni, the real Al bombo is an all-aluminum seat swivel bar stool that weighs a mere 26.5 pounds but costs a whopping $1,400. The not-so-real Al Bombo is made of molded ABS thermoplastic coated with a full-gloss scratch-resistant enamel, weighs 13 pounds, comes in 15 bright, brilliant colors, and costs about $60.

pink bombo

Like the original (I believe) these go from table to bar/counter height and have a 360 degree swivel.

yellow bombo

They’re gas lift tested to operate at least 100,000 times. And a rubber ring lines the perimeter of the underside of the base to protect your floors from scratching.

blue bombo

The question, of course, is whether knock off furniture belongs in the realm of, say, knockoff designer bags and shoes. I’m going to guess that the human rights abuses associated with knockoff designer bags could conceivably be a problem in the land of knockoff furniture, since both likely come from parts of the world where the idea of a minimum wage is laughable. Thoughts?

Sit Back and Relax… Or Slam Out Some Stress

Who hasn’t punched a pillow or kicked a couch in a moment of heated anger? As stress-relief goes, it’s convenient, sure, and doesn’t carry the same stigma as, say, breaking plates by pitching them at the nearest wall. But is it truly satisfying? Maybe not as satisfying as this aggressively cool piece of furniture commissioned by Italian furniture manufacturer Campeggi for the 2010 Milan Design Week.

German designer Tobias Fraenzel, maker of the ping pong door and coloring book wallpaper, has created a one-of-a-kind sofa with a back cushion that can be lifted up to form a punching bag or kick bag. Now wailing on that would be much more fulfilling than punching a pillow, no? The verdict? Safe, good for exercise, and overall pretty sleek.

A Quick Update for Springtime

With the coming of springtime – and around here, it has SPRUNG, big time – I love to take a look at what Inhabit has on offer. Here are some of my springtime bedroom favorites that are colorful and fun and, even better, you can update an entire room for the season with just a few pillows or panel art!

Or you could spring – yes, I know, I’m terrible – for a whole new bedroom, but me, I’ll just start with the pillows since the new stock is crazy cute.

COPL-Coral in Plum

REMO-Reef in Moss

DE - Dew

FL - Flown

As always, click for more info!

Is It the Art or Something Else?

I’m not a huge fan of nature art, but I’m loving these photo prints from Moon Angel Art. Of course it might just be that I have a bit of a stiffy for the couches in the display rooms rather than the prints themselves, even though they are very pretty. One does, after all, need somewhere to sit to admire the art for any length of time!

Just goes to show you how important the room is in showcasing your art, whether that means photo prints, handpainted ceramic owls from Mexico, Murano glass sculptures, or African masks interspersed with family portraits. And if it just so happens that the art you want to admire is in your kids’ rooms, there are a surprising number of companies that have you covered. See?

colorful rocking chairpink couch for kidsottoman
pink chairblue chairflower ottoman

Shame they’re all sized for wee ones (though they’re nonetheless clickable)!

This Ain’t Your Momma’s Beanbag (or Maybe It Is, Who Knows)

As I said in a once upon a time post, I think of beanbag chairs as being the purview of toddlers and teens. That said, I understand that there are some contemporaries of mine who’d like nothing more than to sink into the engulfing embrace of a beanbag chair at the end of a long, stressful day. But please, if you’re going to do it, at least do it right. Insofar as I can dig on a beanbag chair, I’m digging on the beanbag chairs sewn by a certain Lil Chrissy.

She uses vintage fabric from the 1970s to craft her creations – unless, that is you’d prefer that she sew you up a beanbag chair (or floor cushion or wind break) using fabric that you already have in your possession. As she puts it, perhaps you have the fabric, but not the skills to use it.

Actually I sort of like the second example, possibly because it seems structured? Like it could hold its own against other pieces of furniture around my house. More like a beanbag ottman than a beanbag chair. Less lumpy and frumpy, and not at all as squishy, surely, but certainly more stylish.

Terminology Time: Knole Sofas

Like many people, I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the specifics of furniture. I see something, I like it, I can’t afford it, so I write about it here. The end. But a little education can go a long way when one is at the designing stage of outfitting one’s home (which is when one needs knowledge and imagination more than money). With that in mind, I thought it might be fun to go against the grain and spend at least some time thinking about the specifics of furniture. And writing about, since that’s what I do!


First on the list: The classic Knole sofa (or Knole settee). When I say classic, I mean Jurassic because you don’t see many new Knole sofas in furniture shops. First made in the 17th Century, with the original having been produced sometime between 1610 and 1620 for the Knole House in Kent, it was not intended to be a comfortable seat for one and all, but rather as a formal throne upon which royalty would have sat while receiving visitors.


The main defining features of the Knole sofa are the adjustable side arms that rise as high as the back, deep seating, and the carved finials in the rear corners. Those are what make the Knole sofa’s side arms adjustable, actually, for the side arms are tied to the back of the sofa with decorative braided fabric, as shown below. It’s quite distinctive, but also quite old fashioned, so I’m not surprised that the Knole sofa is slowly going the way of the dinosaurs.


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