Tag Archives: Design Within Reach

Get the Look: 60 Modern Grey Sofas

Monage: 54 Living rooms with Gray Sofas is by far the most popular post on this blog, with twice the number of page views as the second most popular, Montage: 57 Plywood Rooms. Although I’ve recently updated the links for its companion post—Get the Look: 22 Modern Grey Sofas—it’s been over two years since I originally created it, so I figured another one was in order.

We have a grey sofa in the family room, and although it may not be as fashion forward as I’d like, it’s got clean lines, durable fabric, and big comfy cushions. It’s so long all four of us can watch television on it. We actually kind of built the room around it, insisting to our designer that the door to the study be extra narrow. (He wasn’t happy but obliged.)

Since everyone still seems to want to buy a grey sofa, here are 60 modern grey sofas you can shop for at 27 different stores, from minimalist modern styles to more classic tufted chesterfield sofas, with a few gray sleeper sofas thrown in. Price points vary, with ten styles under $1000 and many falling in the mid-range.


1 Carmichael Loft Sofa by Gus*Modern, $1,999 at 2Modern.

2 Jacksonville Convertible Sofa II by Gold Sparrow, $360.99 at AllModern.

3 Sterling Sofa by BD Fine, $1,985 at Burke Decor

4 Boyd Sofa by Pinch, $5,110 at The Future Perfect. 

5 Avec Tweed Sofa, $1,399 at CB2.  

6 El Rey Sofa by Haute House, $4,399 at Horchow


7 Livingston Sofa, $1,299 at West Elm

8 Morgan Sofa by Bensen, $3,811 at Lekker. 

9 Folding Sleeper Loveseat, $479 at Urban Outfitters.

10 Bryson Sofa by Klausner, $928.37 at PureHome

11 Bram Grey Leather Sofa, $3,799 at Room & Board

12 Bradley Loveseat by International Design, $919.99 at Wayfair.

13 Capri Convertible Sofa by Lifestyle Solutions, $599.99 at Bluefly. 


14 Alicia Charcoal Velvet Sofa, $2,792 at Mitchell Gold+Bob Williams. 

15 City Gym Sofa  in Faribault Wool Blankets, $6,100 at Matter.  

16 Vera Sofa, $2,898 at Lillian August.

17 Madison Sofa by Moe’s Home Collection, $1,099.99 at AllModern

18 Larkin Sofa, $2059 at Ballard Designs. 

19 Lampert Sofa, $3,895 at Jonathan Adler


20 Rue Apartment Sofa, $999 at CB2. 

21 Finn Sofa, $899 at West Elm

22 Spruce Street Sofa, $2,450 at Serena & Lily.  

23 Swept Sofa by BluDot, $1,899 at YLiving

24 Spencer Sofa, $2,234 at Ballard Designs. 

25 Ploum Sofa by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec at Ligne Roset.


26 Patrick European Velvet Button-Tufted Sofa, $1,839.99 at Overstock.

27 Sophia Sofa by Moss Studio, $3,198 at PureHome

28 Anderson Sofa, $769 at Urban Outfitters.

29 Hunter Lounge, $1,912 at Mitchell Gold+Bob Williams.

30 Kensington Sofa, $3,795 at Jonathan Adler

31 Arden Sofa, $2,800 at Jonathan Adler.


32 Chester Tufted Sofa, $1,199 at West Elm

33 South Beach Sofa, $1,877.99 at Overstock.

34 Foliage Sofa by Patricia Urquiola for Kartell, $3,850 at YLiving

35 Archive Sofa by Gus*Modern, $2,413.95 at Burke Decor

36 Velvet Settee Loveseat I by Skyline Furniture, $556.99 at Wayfair.

37 Belem Sofa by Didier Gomez at Ligne Roset.

38 Parlour Sofa, $1,699 at CB2


39 Grey Leather Tufted Chesterfield Renaissance Sofa, $3,359.99 at Wayfair.

40 Silvertone Sofa, $2,499 at Horchow

41 Limbo Sofa by Pianca $3,596 at YLiving

42 Halsten Sofa, $3,850 at Serena & Lily.   

43 Mikayla Granite Grey Stone Wash Linen Sofa,$1,288.79 at Overstock.

44 Carol Grey Velvet Sofa by BD Fine, $1,770 at Burke Decor


45 Ciudad Sofa, $1,199 at CB2.  

46 Nolee Folding Sofa Bed, $699.99 at World Market

47 Twilight Sleeper Sofa by Flemming Busk for Softline, $2,100 at DWR.

48 Pennie Sofa by Bethan Gray, $899 at Crate & Barrel.

49 Wireframe Sofa by Sam Hecht for Herman Miller, $5,149 at YLiving.

50 Miramar Slipcovered Sofa, $3,750 at Serena & Lily


51 Chateau d’Ax Positano Leather Sofa, $4,200 at Bloomingdale’s. 

52 Bonnie Studio Sofa by BluDot, $1,399 at 2Modern

53 Brooklyn Grey Suede Nailhead Sofa, $2,099 at Pottery Barn

54 Pacific Heights Sofa by Zuo, $2,490 at Bluefly. 

55 Oslo Sofa by Muuto, $4,195 at YLiving.  

56 Playground Daybed by Eilersen, $2,499 at YLiving

57 Hanover Sofa, $3,550 at Serena & Lily


58 Nyle Sofa, $899.95 at Pier 1

59 Windsor Sofa by Irving Place, $3,995 at ABC Carpet & Home.

60 Harbord Sofa by Gus*Modern $1,999 at YLiving

•           •            •

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Get the Look: 42 Modern Desks For Your Home Office

I’ve been so focused on Florida (though not nearly enough, as I’ve yet to order rugs, shades, or decide on the pink problem in the bathroom), that I’ve neglected organizing and upgrading in Boston. Coming back in the fall from the Cape, I’m always bothered by the amount of stuff we have. Too. Much. Stuff. It’s particularly striking because not only is the place on the Cape a lot bigger, being a house instead of an apartment, it’s white and virtually empty.

Here, in addition to crown moldings and bookshelves lined with coffee table books (one of the best perks of being a blogger), there’s , well, everything. The piles of dishes still not put away from the bar mitzvah in February (because, after all, we’re having another one this coming February), our bicycles in the living room until it gets too cold to ride and we store them, etc.

I’ve been promising my younger son that I would work on his bedroom. Meaning, I would clear out all the outgrown clothing and extra bedding I’ve been keeping in there. Done! He has the upholstered armchair that I used to nurse them on when they were babies. It’s taking up a ton of space that would be better used for a desk. He’s starting to get a fair amount of homework, plus, like me, he’s very organized, so I think he’d love to have drawers where he can store supplies.

Our other son has a little desk from IKEA, which when it’s cleared, he actually likes to use (not for homework, though). When he was away at a boarding school program this summer he lived in student housing, with a room furnished in typical dorm style (by a company like Peelmount) that outfits dorm rooms with sturdy wood beds, desks, and dressers. It’s kind of incredible that those designs haven’t changed, in like, ever. Blocky oak stands the test of time, I suppose. In any case, I’m not looking for anything as practical as all that. A small, affordable, modern desk is all we need.

Here are 42 modern desks, almost all of them well-priced (and one very extravagant example).







S H O P P I N G 

1 Soft Modern Writing Desk by Sauder, $210 at All Modern.

2 MICKE desk, $49.99 at IKEA

3 at All Modern.

4 Phillip Desk by Arteriors Home, $2,520 at All Modern.

5 Finch Desk by Gus Modern, $1,044.75 at Burke Decor.

6 Half Pipe Writing Desk by Offi, $899 at All Modern. 

7 Ayers Writing Desk by Reual James, $1,338 at All Modern.

8 Jacques Desk, $3,495 at Jonathan Adler

9 Homework Desk by Niels Bendtsen, $1,595 at DWR.

10 Reef Writing Desk by Tema, $720 at All Modern

11 Paul McCobb Style Birch Desk, $2700 at Chairish. 

12 Pilson Paprika Desk, $199 at Crate & Barrel.

13 Eames Desk Unit (EDU) by Herman Miller, $1,419 at Room & Board.

14 Rustic Storage Oak Desk, $499 at West Elm.

15 Radford Adjustable Desk in White design by Safavieh, $495 at Burke Decor.

16 Offi Wave Writing Desk, $999 at All Modern.

17 Royal Blue Vintage Campaign Desk, $795 at Chairish.

18 Executive Desk with Cabinet by Jesper Office, $2,374 at Bluefly.

19 Shutter Hall Desk, $1,350 at Furniturea.

20 Marco Desk, $799 at Crate & Barrel.

21 Delphine Desk, $1,950 at Jonathan Adler

22 Hanh Left Desk by Euro Style, $552 at Burke Decor.  

23 Eames Desk Unit (EDU) by Herman Miller, $1,419 at DWR.

24 Contrast Drawer Desk by Assembly Home, $369 at Urban Outfitters.

25 Slim Desk in Orange, $449 at Room & Board.

26 Nelson Swag Leg Desk by George Nelson for Herman Miller, $2,149 at DWR.

27 Mid-Century Desk in Thai Blue, $399 at West Elm.

28 Cant Writing Desk by Blu Dot, $599 at All Modern.

29 Poltrona Frau Fred Desk, $ stat Switch Modern.

30 Format Desk by BDI USA, $1,299 at All Modern.

31 Green Josephine Desk by Cost Plus, $199 at World Market.

32 Reclaimed Pine Cross Base Desk, $499 at West Elm.

33 Manon Desk by Italian Modern, $539.99 at All Modern.

34 Reale Desk by Moe’s Home Collection, $781.76 at Bellacor

35 Junction Desk by Gus Modern, $1,255 at Burke Decor.

36 Emmerson Reclaimed Wood Storage Desk, $1,299 at West Elm.

 37 Scrub Desk by Autobahn for De La Espada, $5,185 at Matter.

38 Fairfax Desk, $495 at Serena & Lily.

39 Companions Writing Desk by StudioIlse, $3,145 at The Future Perfect.

40 Lark Desk, $695 at Serena & Lily.

41 Pontus Desk by Pinch, $11,257 at The Future Perfect.

42 Remix Desk by Gesa Hansen , $3,065 at Matter.

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Get the Look: 28 Modern Platform Beds

I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve done a furniture roundup, and since I’ve been thinking about mattresses, namely going up to a king on Cape Cod, where we have a platform bed, I settled on pulling together modern platform beds. We have a gorgeous white oak contemporary platform bed that we purchased before the house was done. We used the wood sample as inspiration for the white oak floors. We’re always bumping into its sharp corners though.

Everybody seems to be obsessed with upholstered headboards these days (I have one of those too, a white slipcovered upholstered bed from Pottery Barn), but I prefer the clean lines of a platform bed. As stylish furniture goes, a platform bed is clean, simple, and functional. Plus there are a number of styles, from low-to-the-ground upholstered beds, like the Nook Platform Bed by Blu Dot, which comes in a bunch of fun colors, to inexpensive platform beds with storage drawers that are good for kids’ rooms, to platform beds with integrated nightstands like the Skyline Modern Platform Bed and the Contour Walnut Platform Bed with Wood Slat Headboard.

Here are 28 modern platform beds in a variety of materials and silhouettes. (The prices are for queen size, unless indicated, but many come in other sizes too.)




modern-patform-beds-4 (1)

S H O P P I N G 

1 Boerum Natural Light Wood Platform Bed, $998

2 Newbury Platform Bed by South Shore, $140.42

3 Case Study Alpine Platform Bed by Modernica, $3,495

4 Nook Platform Bed by Blu Dot, $1,499.99

5 Abstract Fretwork Light Wood Platform Bed, $749.99

6 Andes Concrete Platform Bed with  Nightstands, $849  

7 Chevron Platform Bed, $999

8 Red Powder-Coated Steel Platform Bed, $399

9 Companions Bed by Studioilse, $4,695

10 Case Study V Leg Platform Bed by Modernica, $1,029

11 Madison Tufted Leather Platform Bed, $6,839

12 FJELLSE Platform Bed, $49.99 (full size)

13 MALM Birch Platform Bed with Storage Drawers, $399

14 Nook Platform Bed by Blu Dot, $1,499.99

15 Platform bed with Storage Drawers, $319.99

16 Osborn Four-Poster Platform Bed, $1,499

17 Supra Platform Bed With Cane Headboard, $1,099

18 Reve Upholstered Platform Bed, $2,434.40

19 Fifties Platform Bed, $999

20 Templeton Upholstered Bed by Jonathan Adler, $3,595

21 Avery Bed, $895 (full size)

22 DUKEN Platform Bed, $199

23 Zack Platform Bed, $1,607

24 Harbour Cane Bed, $1,395

25 Astrid Platform Bed, $2,620

26 Waste Bed in Scrapwood by Piet Hein Eek, $13,226

27 Mod Upholstered Platform Bed, $599

28 Copenhagen Reclaimed Wood Platform Bed, $1,899

Shop crisp bed linens in all the best colors at Serena & Lily >

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Designer Spotlight: Shelley Simpson of Mud Australia

Earlier this summer, Shelley Simpson, designer and founder of tabletop line Mud Australia, visited Boston for the first time. Natalie van Dijk Carpenter, owner of South End boutique Lekker Home, hosted her for an evening. I was out of town, but was able to catch up with her a few days later by phone.

Mud Australia Founder Shelley Simpson At Lekker Home

Shelley Simpson and Natalie van Dijk Carpenter at Lekker Home in Boston.

Mud Australia porcelain is handmade in the company’s Sydney factory by in-house ceramicists, from Limoges porcelain, sourced directly from France. Unlike much tableware, to which the color is applied after the fact, Mud Australia tints the porcelain beforehand, which provides a distinctive depth of color. (It also means if a piece chips, the exposed portion isn’t white.)  The interior of each piece has a vitrified stone-like surface that becomes smooth with handling, but the interior is hand-brushed with a clear glaze. The look and feel is organic and the colors neutral, punctuated with a few brights.

When did you first start making pottery? 

When I was 28, I moved from Melbourne to Sydney, where I rented a house with a woman named Joy, who had a kick wheel in her back shed. She was always harassing me to have a go with it. One weekend when she was away, I got some clay and played around. She was very cross with me because she said my things were prettier than hers!

So you didn’t start out as a ceramicist? 

I’m creative, but I’m not trained in art. I draw now, but nothing like my 13-year-old son, who has a natural gift for it. But I have an eye for color and form.  My schooling has been  throwing things away.

How did you decide to pursue it as a business? 

I had applied to manage a theater, but they looked me over, in part because I was a woman. Joy and I started Mud Australia together in 1994, though she left the business after a few years and I’ve continued on.

And now? 

Mud Australia has 70 shapes and 18 colors. We’ve been focusing on new shapes lately more than colors. The latest is a series of mixing bowls and baking pans. We’re doing pendant lights in three sizes, and have a mortar & pestle in production. That really shows the durability of porcelain, so you can feel confident you’re not buying something fragile.

Are there pieces that are distinctive to certain regions?

The shapes work for anything. You can eat Yorkshire pudding, sushi or Middle Eastern food from the same bowl comfortably. That said, we have a distributor in Korea with three shapes specific to their market, including a kimchi pickle dish.  We also make exclusive pieces, like vases, for restaurants.


Mud vignette


 Photos by Ant Geernaert

What designers do you admire? 

 Gwen Hanson Pygget, an Australian potter  who created art pieces rather than functional ones. They’re absolutely beautiful. We’re in New York City now, and just went to the Judd; his color is exquisite.

What influences you when it comes to creating pieces for Mud Australia?

I love to bake, which is how we came to add the new baking pieces. I make Pavlovas and exotic birthday cakes for my kids and other family members. I once made a snake covered in marshmallows. Almost sculptural stuff. I go all out when it comes to baking a cake. For my daughter’s 16th, I made a cake with eight layers in rainbow colors, covered with white icing. The restaurant we brought it to was very impressed. My husband makes the dinners at home. Food is very important to our family.

What’s your home like? 

We live in a top-floor apartment in a four-story building in Sydney that’s an Arts & Crafts style, with an old French lift. There’s loads of trees with a vista to the harbor and a large deck; we do lots of eating al fresco. We’ve never lived in a house or on the ground. We want a garden. We are going to put the house on the market soon and find something new.

And of course you have plenty of Mud Australia dishes?

Yes, everything. And pieces that didn’t work out too.

What do you like most about your line?

Everybody’s  Mud Australia dinner set is unique to them, which I think sets us apart from other companies that present full collections. When you go to the store, you can get creative, which is fun. You can buy one piece at a time. Your collection can be a complete rainbow, or blackm white, and gray, or all pastels. Recently, one guy did slate and pink, which I wouldn’t have thought of, but when I was packing it up I thought, “This is amazing.”

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Get the Look: 20 Modern Outdoor Planters

We have two bluestone patios right outside our house on the Cape; one in the front, and a smaller one in the back. The back one faces a little rose garden, meant to echo the larger rose garden “up the hill,” as we say, at my in laws house. Theirs was planted in honor of my husband’s grandmother, Florine. Unlike the front garden, in which I only allow white and blue/purple flowers (yes, the guy who plants the flowers and helps weed thinks I’m crazy), the back garden has yellow roses, coral roses, and violet roses. (I had the pink ones replanted at my in laws because the color was annoying me.)

I had always planned to do low long planters on the perimeter of the bluestone patio in the back, which is outside the guest rooms. Instead, that patio is sad and deserted (except for the roses, of course). My brother-in-law is getting married in Provincetown this summer (to a woman, just in case you’re wondering, given the locale), and much of the bride’s family will be staying at the house. This has motivated me to once again start thinking about enhancing the patios with planters.

While the funky, colorful ones are fun, they’re not really right. We’ll need minimalist planters with clean lines, planted with architectural forms, I think. No floppy pink pansies in terracotta troughs allowed. I’m thinking succulents and spiky grasses. I already grow some herbs in a vegetable garden (with our lone vegetable—or fruit rather—cherry tomatoes).

As for the front patio, given the lounge chairs and the view, we’re all set. Maybe the entry porch could use a pair of medium-sized planters as a welcome. Maybe brightly colored, planters could work there. Of course I’ll have to order all of this online; local garden shops only carry the usual traditional style planters. Yawn.

Here are 20 modern outdoor planters, most of which will work indoors too.




1. Greenbo Fiorina Planter Case

2. Arteriors Home Huntley Round Cachepot Planter

3. Barnacle Cube Pot

4. Case Study Cylinder Planter with Stand

5. Boskke Cube Planter

6. Capital Garden Products Geo Cube Planter

7. Raised Teak Trough Planter

8. Bloem Modica Planter

9. Pad Outdoor POD Aluminum Planter Ver 1.0

10. Planterworx Home Element Planter

11. Modernica Case Study 3 Bowl Plant Stand

12. Greenbo XL Designer Rail Planter

13. Wooly Pocket Planter

14. Hip Haven Retro Bullet Planter

15. Round Brushed Stainless Steel Burgdorf Planter

16. Cyan Design Box Woody Planter

17. Sunscape Cedar Square Planter

18. Steel Life Matchstick Planter Stand

19. Planterworx Home Element Rectangular Planter

20. Wallter Wall Planter

•            •            •

Modern accessories for indoors & out >

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