Black Fences

March 31, 2014

If  “good fences make good neighbors” * what would Robert Frost have written about black fences?  Chic neighbors? There is no denying the sophisticated good looks of these black fences or how they elevate the green elements around them to a new level entirely. Picture them running down a property with their long horzontal lines… can you see the forced perspective? Even the simple picket has more appeal when given a modern facelift of a beefier profile and black finish. With an injection of a little drama like this you might even be able to skip using color at all in your garden this year. Just a thought.





photos via

* “Mending Wall” by Robert Frost


Smells Like Fun

March 28, 2014

Commodity Goods… they got it right. From their refreshing collection of fragrances for men and women they offer the perfect sampling options at the best possible price. What a great way to try a little Whiskey or Cloth ( or any of the twenty offerings ) without the lengthy commitment. I worked my way through their men’s “fitting kit” and ended up where I started…with Moss, my simplequietmodern favorite. Cane and Book came in close seconds, but it was the unique freshness of Moss that had me hooked… like the first warm, clear spring day with  moss greening in the yard and the last of the ice melting away. I’m waiting for that day to appear. Until it does?  I’ll be happy with a  spritz of this.




Moss bottle photo via:


Liquid Harvest

March 25, 2014

A uniquely North American experience…the tapping of maple trees…is now in full swing. If we remembered that a fresh harvest of maple syrup was the reward after a hard cold Winter, well, I for one would be a little less cranky as Winter seemed to drag on and on. To celebrate I plan on incorporating that amber sweetness into everything possible starting with this Maple Walnut Fudge. In true simplequietmodern fashion,it takes just a few ingredients that you probably have on hand and no power equipment is needed.






I added a cup of rough chopped toasted walnuts to this recipe…that was simple enough.




March 22, 2014

she continues to inspire.  Modern then…modern now.  Agnes Martin




images via tumblr


is good news. Which, in fact , should leave us with a surplus of blank newsprint. Combine a few sheets of that with a couple of “snow” days, a McGuyver rigged spindle and some scissors and you have got yourself a great way to ” get away”…get out of your own head for a bit. The result?  Newsprint yarn, a relaxed constitution and perhaps a solution to some problem that’s been needing attention. Is “spinning” like yoga? Could be. At the very least it provides some peace and quiet, gentle rhythm and some time to think.







March 15, 2014

funny. Really…I’m serious.




is all that is needed. Trees in neat rows, simple tight clipped forms, a straightforward place to rest…a small piece of soft turf like a rug anchoring the whole. A simplequietmodern look at a personal oasis contrasted against the naturalized wooded areas beyond this intimate enclosure. And after the winter we’ve had…OK, are still having… who wouldn’t want to come home to this? Mother Nature is clearly giving us the time to prepare for a space like this of our own as it doesn’t look like we will be moving outside to our own yards anytime soon.






first three photos via Gardenista

and the allee of locusts and lawn at the Miller House in Columbus, Indiana via


Look Ma, One Hand

March 9, 2014

As we reset our watches to daylight savings time today it might be a great opportunity to reset our thinking about time altogether. Let’s start with the Slow Jo watch. The folks at Slow may not have left us much choice but to slow down, take a bit of a breath, enjoy life and observe a little more.  By removing a hand they force us to bring our awareness to an approximation of what time of day we are occupying rather than the exact time…down to seconds… that we are now used to in our fast paced world. I’m all for anything that will help us find the time to pause , look around just a bit…perhaps focus on something new…something inspiring… rather than the time stamp on the last text. The simple, perfectly symmetrical case is available in a variety of metals and face finishes as well as bands in metal, leather, canvas and nylon. I’m hoping the brown vintage leather band on the stainless case with the cream dial will cause me to slow it down and enjoy every extra hour of daylight this coming Spring and Summer.




photos via


Taking Full Advantage

March 6, 2014

Marcel Breuer favored maximizing both the view and the available natural light. As illustrated in this living room he designed around the middle of the last century, even the fireplace wall has been punctuated to take full advantage of both. There is so much to be learned from the work of the mid-century modern masters…details like this, extensive use of floor to ceiling glass, the wood ceilings and even the soffits to house the casements. simplequietmodern details. When it’s clear that these ideas could easily be implemented now, it makes me wonder why so many McMansions still continue to pop up at every turn.


photo via

Just Right

March 3, 2014

You’ve looked everywhere and have had no luck finding the perfect lamp. A lamp is a lamp right? You’d think so, but not when you’re trying to find something that has the right sensibility for an interior you’ve put your heart and soul into. And something with the quality and luxe you have come to expect from every other piece you have already purchased. Now is not the time to settle. Enter Porta Romana. Large or small, short or tall…they have you covered. Molten forms of Czech glass in shades from brights to watery neutrals, there is something to put the crowning touch wherever it’s needed…a pair flanking an Ed Wormley sofa or a single to illuminate the surface of the Saarinen table you are using as your desk. All reflecting the modern style of the middle of the last century without any of the kitsch. If you decide to say you found them at a great garage sale in Beverly Hills, well, that secret is safe with me.PortaR_GLB60-ASH





all  photos via