Bend it like….

December 2, 2021

Breuer. Clean simple modern design in home furnishings started way before the middle of the 20th century. Actually, the seating designs of Marcel Breuer appeared closer to the beginning of the last century. Yet, they held their ground throughout, and even in the early years inspired great modern masters like Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to interpret the simple bending of steel tubing into furniture designs of his own.  As fate would have it, the furniture designs of both of these icons have stood the test of time… still in production and as elegant as ever. You may recognize these pieces from their popularity in the 1970’s. Breuer’s Cesca chair seemed to be everywhere. Another 50 years later and we see their popularity on the rise once again. What’s there to say? Good is just good. And, while some things occasionally fade in popularity, modern classics like these never go out of style.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

top to bottom:

Marcel Breuer’s classic Wassily chair , Wassily chairs and Laccio tables , a gaggle of Cesca chairs with cane seats and backs, Cesca chairs in full upholstery, Knoll’s new introduction: Breuer’s MB Lounge Chair and a pile of Laccio coffee and end tables.

Next up: Mies van der Rohe’s  Bruno Chair, the MR Adjustable Chaise, MR Lounge Chair and MR Table, an MR  Lounge with and without arms and an MR Stool in tan leather.

all photos: https://www.knoll.com/

 

Now, more than ever…

November 25, 2021

is the time to give thanks. However you plan on spending this holiday, do so carefully. Happy Thanksgiving.

 

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Photo of the outdoor feast via https://www.remodelista.com/       all other photos: gp

 

 

Just Right

November 18, 2021

Even with all the working from home lately, there comes an occasion where you might have to run into the office or meet with a colleague over coffee to review a matter or two. It might be necessary to bring a file, a contract for review or a handful of tear sheets…enough, but not enough to warrant lugging around your brief case or backpack. To the rescue…this simple modern zippered envelope by Pendaflex.  Constructed of charcoal industrial felt with black faux leather detailing and a full zipper, this envelope is just what you need to keep things light while still being roomy enough, at 11″ x 14″ x 1 1/8″, to protect a few files, a note pad and your tablet. And, looking modern and professional to boot. It’s unbelievable to me that I found this at the grocery store for under ten bucks.

 

photo:gp

 

 

 

Better Get On It

November 13, 2021

With all of the talk about supply chain and shipping issues, now might just be the perfect time to get that Christmas shopping out of the way. Taking advantage of all of your online options will not only get the job done, there will be no standing in line waiting for the next cashier available to assist you. Early Black Friday pricing and free shipping only sweeten the deal. I gathered here a few of my simplequietmodern favorites for this season. So, pull out that credit card, mix yourself a festive cocktail, put your feet up and start shopping.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Preview of 6.5 Inch Cast Iron Skillet

 

 

 

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Top to bottom:

If a simple Brandy Stinger on the Rocks doesn’t put you in the Christmas shopping mood…what will?

simplequietmodern favorite is the Heath Ceramics Tall Modern Cup. In the 2021 Winter Seasonal collection it’s offered in Red Plum and Currant. When it’s not full of coffee, chai or hot chocolate, there isn’t a better container for a handful of seasonal blooms. photo: https://www.heathceramics.com/collections/heath-holiday

Perfect for anyone still bingeing the weekend away watching Netflix, a gorgeous velvet pillow from Knoll Textiles to get cozy with. This one is in Arezzo in colorway: Dolce. Photo: https://www.knoll.com/product/pillows-by-knolltextiles-shop?p=TP-K14421_1218

What’s not to love about a Baroque pearl?  Even better in this modern treatment…a simple gold filled ball chain threaded through a large hole by Ana Mari Ortega. And, if you’re feeling it, go with two to be worn together or threading both chains through both pearls. Photo: https://www.anamariortega.com/collections/fun-jewelry-necklaces

If you have the time, snagging a couple of skeins of Purl Soho’s Cashmere Tend and whipping up a luxurious scarf may be just the ticket for someone on your list. Or, gift the yarn itself and let them create their own. Added bonus, the Merino wool, Cashmere and nylon blend is washable and available in 18 colors. Photo:https://www.purlsoho.com/cashmere-tend.html

No one does a fragrance candle like Diptyque Paris. This limited edition Sapin captures  just what this holiday season needs…Pine and a hint of wood smoke. Perfect. photo: https://www.nordstrom.com/s/diptyque-sapin-candle-limited-edition

Also from Heath Ceramics Winter Seasonal Collection is this square tray in Chili. Add a few homemade Bourbon Balls to gild the lily. Photo: https://www.heathceramics.com/collections/heath-holiday Recipe for the Bourbon Balls, https://simplequietmodern.com/?s=bourbon+balls

People are definitely ready to celebrate the season…I’ve already seen lights glowing and tree lots stocked and open for business. I personally know the holidays have kicked in when I see these mixed evergreen wreaths available and my Trader Joes. You might pick up a few and surprise some friends, family or neighbors. The last year hasn’t been kind to any of us so that simple act of beauty might just make someone’s day.  Photo: gp

If someone on your list just loves a crispy fried egg… either on a burger, topping a salad or to start the day … this is the gift for them. From Lodge Cast Iron, a 6.5″ seasoned cast iron skillet. Photo: https://www.lodgecastiron.com/product/round-cast-iron-classic-skillet?sku=L3SK3 Eggs photo: gp

I couldn’t leave out the classic Bud Vase, again from Heath Ceramics Winter Seasonal Collection, in Cranberry.  A few twigs of Tallow berry and you’ve got a simple holiday statement that will take your through to the New Year. Photo: https://www.heathceramics.com/collections/heath-holiday  Tallow berry photo: gp

 

 

 

They say…

November 8, 2021

that the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago.* The second best time is today. So that’s exactly what’s happening here, to fill in some of the gaps left by last Summer’s surprise twister. A couple of Eastern White Pine will do nicely…fast growing and fragrant with the added bonus of lovely cones and pine straw. And, to whoever occupies this property in the years to come? You’re welcome.

*Chinese proverb

photos: gp

Finally

October 15, 2021

I know. Sometimes getting some things done for yourself gets pushed to the back burner while you put out someone else’s fire. That has been the case here with this vintage midcentury table by Brit designer T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings. While I have collected a nice group of pieces from those manufactured by Witticomb by this designer, they all came in pretty much pristine condition (for their age). This table, not so much. While I knew the issue was primarily the drying and flaking of the original varnish, it wasn’t something I wanted to tackle. So, as a treat to myself, I finally took it in for a little facelift. The end result was just what I had hoped for after a light sand, minimal color correction and new finish. If I’m lucky enough to find a mate for this table, trust me, I won’t be waiting nearly as long to put it’s best face forward.

photos: gp

What’s For Lunch?

October 11, 2021

If the cool rainy Fall days are having you craving a bowl of soup, well, you are not alone. I whipped this up on the fly with what I had in the pantry. Perfect, because I was not interested in running out for a single ingredient.  A good handful of small Yukon Gold potatoes, an onion, a few cloves of garlic, some chicken stock and a bag of baby arugula and you are good to go.

Start by chopping the onion and sautéing it in in a glug of olive oil until translucent. Add a couple, 3 cloves of garlic peeled…smashed with the side of a knife and cook for a minute. Cube the scrubbed potatoes with the skins on into quarters and add to the pot with an additional glug of olive oil and toss around for 3-4 minutes until some of the starch has leached out and a nice potato fond has developed on the bottom of the pan. Season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Add approximately 6 cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover and lower the heat to medium low and cook until the potatoes are cooked. Stir in a bag of pre-washed baby arugula, cover and remove from heat. When the arugula is wilted, blitz it up with an immersion blender to a rough puree. Top it off with a scattering of roasted pepitas. Done. Under 1/2 hour start to finish. If you are lucky enough to own a Heath Ceramic Chez Panisse Soup Bowl for serving…well, even better.

 

Pull Up A Seat

October 8, 2021

I have never been a fan of barstools. At least tall barstools. I’ve always felt more comfortable in a chair. However, more often than not , I slip off to my office to check an email or  pay a bill while I’m in the middle of preparing dinner only to come back to the stove to disaster. This could have been easily averted had I chosen to not only use a mobile device, but, if I had a counter height stool on which to perch….one eye on the pot. I’ve got no excuse to finding a counter height stool that meets my design sensibility as there are now countless modern options available…be they new introductions or adjustments to their original midcentury incarnations. Below are five of my simplequietmodern favorites.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

from the top:

A midcentury classic. The Saarinen Executive chair realized in a counter height, available in Knoll Textile or leather cover. photo: https://www.knoll.com/product/saarinen-executive-stool-counter-height

The perfect modern take on a three legged stool, this tall stool in ebonized black walnut by Sawkille Furniture  photo: https://www.sawkille.com/seating-/drink-stool

This is a jewel indeed. Ethan Allen’s Jewel Counter Stool available in both textile and leather with the base in oil rubbed bronze or brass. photo: https://www.ethanallen.com/en_US/shop-furniture-dining-room-bar-counter-stools/jewel-metal-base-counter-stool/132513.html

Another midcentury classic, the Bertoia counter height stool, this time in a full leather cover. photo: https://www.knoll.com/product/bertoia-leather-covered-barstool

An early 50’s modern take on the classic 3 legged stool, this time from midcentury Danish master Arne Jacobsen, produced by Fritz Hansen. Photo: https://hivemodern.com/pages/product13015/high-dot-stool-arne-jacobsen-fritz-hansen

 

 

And, just like that…

October 4, 2021

it’s feeling like Fall. Bright foliage changes to lift our mood set against unpredictable gray skies. Lot’s of inspiration to be had around every corner as we prepare again to move indoors.  I recently wove a box of manzanita wood into this sizable assembly that would be as striking in the garden as over this vintage Florence Knoll credenza from 1948. Or, it could be used in place of a large painting or photograph, hung on a wall covered in Grasscloth for additional drama and texture. I’m loving it so much I may just need to spend  some time gathering branching for another.

 

morentz_galleryFlorence Knoll for Knoll International, sideboard, walnut, seagrass, cane, steel and leather, United States, 1948.

Multi Grass Wallpaper

 

from the top: first 2 photos: gp,  Credenza photo: via https://plastolux.tumblr.com/  Grasscloth photo: https://www.yorkwallcoverings.com/collections/grasscloth-wallpaper/products/ywd-b65-multi-grass-wallpape

 

 

 

 

Brilliant

September 26, 2021

How much fun would it be to come home and finding this planted in your yard? While it was just what was needed last Fall to distract us from the pandemic, the election and whatever else was assaulting us daily, I’m thinking it has not outlived it’s usefulness. In the midst of the madness there was something oddly comforting about it. Was it the simplicity…the quiet beauty? Or, was it the mystery? Whatever it was, it caught our attention and gave us pause. To the responsible parties…Thank You. And, coincidently, I happen to have the perfect spot should it need a permanent home. Just sayin.

Utah monolith

The Utah Monolith   Photo: Utah Department of Public Safety/AP  via Art News