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

 

It’s three o’clock…

September 22, 2021

and you need a little somethin somethin to hold you over till dinner. This is it. Apricot, Date and Cashew Snack Balls. You know how we love a simplequietmodern recipe…few ingredients and even fewer steps with the best possible result. Simply gather your ingredients, pulse them up in the processor, roll them into balls. Really…that’s it. Since finding this recipe by Gena Hamshaw on Food 52 I’ve made a batch every week. I’ve also modified the ingredients like adding a few toasted hazelnuts to the mix or subbing in some raisins for a few of the apricots. Each change is as good as the original. Now go get your healthy snack on.

 

 

From the top, photo:  gp

second photo: Alpha Smoot via Food 52

For recipe:  https://food52.com/recipes/30743-apricot-date-and-cashew-snack-balls

Wait! Go Back

September 19, 2021

I was recently returning to the city from a quick day trip to Northern Michigan scoping out a new project, Traveling down US-23 along Lake Huron I spotted, out of the corner of my eye, what I thought was a dining table designed by T.H. Robbsjohn-Gibbings. But, what would a beautiful table like that be doing along the side of the road? A quick U-Turn had me heading back to find out. Pulling onto the shoulder I quickly realized that is wasn’t the classic modern piece that I thought, but maybe something better… a vintage rustic picnic table AND a pair of benches, all with the signature X base. Bonus detail…drop leaf extensions on the table as well. It was as if I had found the original table’s long lost country cousins. Sold. 

Top photo: Unknown  lower photo: gp

 

More Black

September 16, 2021

And, more inspiration to pull you though to the weekend. Reducing a dwelling to it’s basic shape, black is shown here in a variety of sizes, styles and locations. Hard to pick a favorite isn’t it?

top photo  http://www.rocioromero.com/planLV.html

other photos via https://remash.tumblr.com/

Take a deep breath,

September 13, 2021

pull the trigger and make a statement. If we love a black fence, what’s not to love about a black house? Complete the study with some egg rock, a simple mass planting and boom! You’re done. Large or small, city residence or an upstate cottage, it’s a simplequietmodern  look that’s hard to beat.

 

 

 

 

 

top to bottom:

My candidate for new paint. Nearly there now in it’s current coat of deep charcoal. Hopefully this Fall.  photo: gp

Behr SC-102 Slate photo: Behr.com

Black…the perfect backdrop for mass plantings of a perennial grass like the Blue Gamma ” Blonde Ambition” Photo: High Country Gardens

Or, Blue Dune Grass Photo:gp

No other foundation plantings needed…just a deep border of egg rock. photo:gp

Now that that’s done, have a seat, kick back and relax. Loll Designs reissue of the classic Westport Adirondack chair. Photo: Loll designs

 

 

Twenty Years

September 11, 2021

The ultimate in simplequietmodern. I loved these two towers. The simplicity, the pairing, the scale. Even as a kid I knew that their presence would shape my design sensibility…and they did. Today in their footprint are the memorial fountains…a different simplequietmodern. Who could ever have known? I remember that morning in 2001 as if it were yesterday…sunny, clear, crisp. Now, I will never forget all of those lives lost…in NY, PA and DC. Take a moment today to remember them… and this place.

 

 

top photo: Andrea Alassio, bottom photo: gp