Sofa by Organic Modernism

Modern Furniture from Small Shops & Innovative Makers

If you’ve been following this blog, you know that I primarily write about writing, publishing, and literature. But my secret passion is for design, and I’ll confess that I spend countless hours tracking down great designs from high to low. I especially love small furniture and design shops, where the makers put their personal stamp on every piece. This week, I’m focusing on small makers of beautiful modern furniture.

Organic Modernism (Brooklyn)
I came across this shop while reading a Remodelista piece on, ironically enough, custom cabinet fronts for Ikea kitchens. Images from the featured home (by Smitten Studio) showed a couple of beautiful wooden stools, which were attributed to Organic Modernism.

Smitten Studio home tour, via Remodelista

On Organic Modern’s website, I found all sorts of amazing pieces. Here’s the one I’m dreaming of, modern shelves in a mix of walnut and candyesqe brights. At 94.5″ wide, these gorgeous shelves won’t fit against any wall in my house, but if they would, I’d have to tie myself to a chair to avoid clicking the buy button.

Multi-colored shelves with Walnut from Organic Modernism

The shelves are $1,995, and you can buy them here.

I’m also in love with this modern sofa, made of a walnut frame with fabric upholstery and seat back. The extension rising up out of the back makes it look as though the sofa could up and fly away. This is a statement piece, unlike any sofa I’ve ever seen. In my home, we’re blessed with floor-to-celing windows that I’d be crazy to cover, so we keep our seating low profile in order not to obstruct the views. But if you have a central spot in your home crying out for both a practical sofa and a conversation-inducing statement piece, here’s your solution.

Modern walnut sofa from organic modernism

The sofa is $3,995, and you can buy it here.

Our final item is this beautiful credenza with a walnut frame. This is Organic Modernism’s take on a sophisticated mid century modern classic. At $2,995, it’s in the same price range as credenzas by the big chain stores.

Mid century modern walnut credenza by Organic Modernism

Buy the credenza here.

If you prefer vintage, there are a lot of great mid century modern finds at One Kings Lane, like these Burke chairs in white and yellow, and, below, this beautiful mid-century modern teak credenza.

Mid-Century Modern Burke Chairs, S/4 – $1,295.00

Set of four Mid-Century Modern fiberglass tulip chairs by Burke. Lovely contrasting white frame and yellow seat. Chairs swivel.

Mid-Century Modern Teak Credenza

from: One Kings Lane

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best writing app

5 Great Writing Apps

5 Great Writing Apps You’ll Really Use in 2015

I confess, I’m really into apps. Last year, I downloaded so many “productivity” apps, they took a serious toll on my productivity. In 2015, I’m streamlining my app use. I’ve deleted a couple dozen apps from my phone, keeping only the ones that I really use, and the ones that don’t distract me. Drum roll please.

Pomodoro ($1.99)
This is a really simple app that forces you to stick to a schedule. Even though it’s not made specifically for writing, Pomodoro is great for staying on track with a writing project. Basically, you set your phone for one pomodoro–a segment of time (mine is set for 25 minutes). Once you click “start,” you work until the app dings, and then you take a break (I set mine for 5 minutes) until it dings again. Then you work for 25 more minutes, then a five-minute break, etc. After four segments of work, you get a “long break.” Basically, it’s a time that encourages you to stay in your chair and write.

WordPress (Free)
Well, let’s start with “it’s free.” No commitment. If your blog runs on wordpress, you should try it. I spend a lot of time waiting for my kid at sports events and school pick up. With the WordPress app, if I have an idea for my blog (and these ideas almost always strike when I’m not at my desk), I can draft it right on my phone. You can also post from the phone, although I usually save whatever I’m writing as a draft and then edit and post it from my laptop.

Drafts ($9.99)
I do a lot of research when I’m writing a novel. I’m also constantly earmarking articles that I want to mention on my blog. Drafts is an easy way to save article links and texts directly from what you’re reading. I like it because I’m always bookmarking articles on my phone or iPad, never to see them again. With Drafts, I have a handy list that’s easily navigable, so none of those great ideas get lost. I purchased Drafts during a New Year’s deal for $4.99, and it was worth every penny. The regular price is $9.99, which is a lot for an app, which brings me to…

1Writer ($2.99)
If you liked the idea of Drafts but don’t like the price tag, try 1Writer. It’s pretty, has great features, and costs seven dollars less. The developers describe it as “distraction free writing with inline markdown preview.” Before I downloaded Drafts, I used 1Writer all the time. It doesn’t have as many fancy features as Drafts, but it has plenty. My favorite feature is the in-app browser, so you don’t have to leave the app to go to Safari if you’re doing research.

30 Day Novel (99 cents)

Screenshot 2015-01-15 11.57.12best NaNoWriMo app - 30 Day Novel

The 30 Day Novel app is a content-rich app designed to help you get a draft of your novel on the page quickly. It won’t write your novel for you. It won’t time you. There are plenty of great timer and scheduling apps on the market. This app, by contrast, focuses on clear daily assignments that are progressively arranged to help you build your novel from the ground up, one day at a time. In additional to the daily assignments, you’ll find articles on narrative craft and a series of 500-word writing prompts. Based on The Paperclip Method, a highly effective approach to novel writing that values discovery over formula.

And one fun app you don’t need at all:
Hanx Writer makes your iPad or iPhone keyboard sound like a typewriter. That’s all it does. Nothing else. But it’s really fun. It was developed by Tom Hanks. It’s not so useful, but it’s really addicting.

What are you favorite writing apps?
Please comment with the apps you find the most useful for writing, and I’ll post them here on Sans Serif.


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Je Suis Charlie – the Paris unity march

Huge crowds turned out for the Paris unity march to support freedom of expression and honor the cartoonists, policemen, and others who died during the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the grocery store in Paris.

“Paris is the capital of the world today. The whole country will rise up.” Francois Hollande

In attendance were Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and other world leaders. The dignitaries walked at the front of a crowd of hundreds of thousands.

Read the full coverage of the Paris unity march on the BBC and NPR.

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