Five Easy Pieces II

September 30, 2013

Again, a simplequietmodern interior starting with five easy pieces…the armless sofa, 2 armchairs, 1 pair of raffia cubes for a coffee table and the folding screen. A base of pale neutrals anchored with rich peacock-blue, this room could be equally stunning if the blue were switched out for another rich color (aubergine, copper) or pulled back completely with a smoky charcoal. The selection of the French armchairs, the classic shape of the  white lamp set on a simple geometric base and the white armless sofa are reminiscent of the elegant interiors the late David Hicks created for the jet-set in the 1960’s. Even in an intimately scaled setting like this , it’s possible to achieve great style and  seating for eight with the right selections and a little judicious editing. If you’re lovin’ the “cocktail stools” pictured you might try a pair of these raffia cubes from oomph!






“You like pie?”

September 27, 2013

“I like pie”. *   Who’s going to argue with the President on this point? Pie is good…simple as that. And, what better way to usher in Fall than with an apple pie… in this case, Sour Cream Apple Pie.








I adapted the recipe found here: using a mix of Granny Smith and Gala Apples. This pie was even better on the second day at room temperature.

* Barrack Obama

I got an A…

September 24, 2013

but my yarn selection got a failing grade. After finishing the body of this test knit I realized that the black linen yarn I was using had a life of its own. Growing and stretching under its own weight, all of the fabric that I had worked into this Mens Sankai by Kirsten Johnstone had become, more accurately, a linen pup tent or car cover. Seriously. That’s how important it is to match the right yarn to the project…or perhaps the needles to the yarn. After much deliberation it’s clear that no heroic measures are called for here…no resuscitation…just the pulling of the plug. Please join me in a moment of silence.




Maybe an Indian Summer

September 21, 2013

An Indian Summer would be nice, now that we’re moving into Fall and this past Summer was…well…odd. Looking back at the gray rainy days and looking forward with hopes for some bright, crisp, dry days ahead. A drive in the country, maybe some baking, switching out the summer T-shirts for a cozy sweater and raking leaves instead of weeding all mark the official end of summer and the beginning of the harvest as the earth takes a big stretch, a yawn and prepares for another long rest. A great time to take a little look back and a glance forward.










top to bottom:

The view from inside most of this last summer.

Not new in white, but sometimes they make the right modern statement, especially in this large flattened shape.

A fall color tour or an impromptu picnic would not be complete without this Woolrich Allegheny Throw. How great is that orange stitching?

A nest of simplequietmodern bowls to help whip up or serve some Autumn inspired eats.

The last of summers peaches in a simple comforting crostada…I guess apples are next.

A little Merino wool, silk and linen in charcoal worked up into a quick ribbed cap gives the seasons knit projects a kick-start.

A little local color…it’s actually been changing here since the middle of August,

Roasted red grapes, red onion and farro…the start of what is now my new favorite Autumn salad.

The seasons colors and textures captured in a gorgeous hank of handspun yarn by my friend C

A bit of Sedum cut for simple long lasting indoor display.



It’s been written…

September 18, 2013

that ” Happiness is pretty simple: someone to love, something to do, something to look forward to”*.  With that in mind, and with the first two covered, I’ve recently adjusted my third.  It doesn’t get any more simplequietmodern than this.


*Rita Mae Brown, Hiss of Death


Pitch Perfect

September 15, 2013

What’s simplequietmodern and has perfect pitch? It’s gotta be Hans Wegner’s c44 .  Designed in 1951, this icon of mid-century modern Danish design is still in production today. The solid wood construction and woven paper seat have an almost Shaker appeal and simplicity, yet it’s the pitch of the back and seat that invite you to sit a while. Available in over two dozen finish and seat combinations it might be hard to decide which will work best in your space. And, to confuse the issue even more, there is an available seat and back cushion with seemingly endless textile options.  My mind is made up. I’ll have a pair in white oil on oak with the natural cord seat…hold the upholstery.





L’s Plum Torte

September 12, 2013

For years I have waited for the late summer harvest of Italian plums ( or prune plums if you know them that way) and the annual treat that has become tradition…Plum Torte. I’m not sure where the original recipe came from ( I suspect the New York Times) but my friend  L  has been baking them up, wrapping them up and freezing them up for more years than I care to count. I remember on many  night  flights back home to Los Angeles I would be guarding one of these…frozen solid, double wrapped for my carry on duffel. Upon arrival it was conveniently thawed. I would brew up a pot of Cafe Verona, cut myself a slice ( or two ) and watch the California sunrise. I’m not sure I have even made this more than once or twice because I am always blessed from L’s September stash. But today, as I haven’t run into any choice  plums at the market I am trying it with figs as my substitute. They may lack the sweet tartness that is characteristic of the plums but with a squeeze of lemon juice I think they will fill in nicely.rpfigFbasketoffigsFtortebwlFcrpfigtort3FfgtortwoodF

For the original New York Times recipe:

OK… I will admit that while this fig version is good, keep an eye out for the plums and hold out if you can. Sometimes there is really nothing better than the original.italplums5F



The silence was deafening.

September 11, 2013

The Flight 93 crash site one year later. It was clear, cool and sunny with a wind that snapped the flag flying overhead. There was a chain link fence pinned with notes and offerings of condolence while a handful of people, regular civilians and some family members of the crash victims, stood staring in silence at the crater in the distance…still numbed by it all.  A 17 ton boulder now sits at the site of that crater marking the spot where Flight 93 came down. As I look back at that visit I clearly remember that even with the cars parked along the roadside, the people gathered at the fence and the wind whipping across the field that is was so very, very quiet. Other-worldy quiet. Appropriately quiet.

Take a moment today and remember those who were lost that day in Pennsylvania, NYC and DC.


From original photo by Gene J Puskar AP

To Carry You Through

September 9, 2013

A little something to carry you through the week and a little larger something to help you make a quick get-a-way come the weekend. Monday through Friday you’ve got the Everlane Mens Tote…cotton canvas and leather…with just the right amount of space for your tablet or laptop and a handful of daily essentials. Come Thursday night you’ll be packing up the  Everlane Weekender with an extra pair of jeans, a sweater and a few extras to get you through a weekend escape. It’s not too early in the season to be thinking about gettin’ out of Dodge is it?


Too Thin ?

September 6, 2013

In the case of this skinny take on the classic Parsons table it couldn’t get any thinner.  The original, designed by Jean-Michel Frank in the 1930’s has taken on an almost weightless quality in the hands of Dutch designer Bertjan Pot. The genius of the honeycombed steel sandwich sheathed in veneer brings the near impossible to life in his Slim Table. Available in over thirty wood and colored lacquer finishes with sizes ranging from 50″ square to rectangles up to 110″ there is sure to be one to fill your desire as either a breakfast table, formal dining table or executive desk. There is nothing like anchoring a beautiful interior with a classic silhouette possessing such a stellar pedigree. And, don’t fret about the chair selection…something this simplequietmodern will elevate any chair, stool or bench to another level entirely.