Some sun,

June 28, 2014

a little water, a great view. What else could you want from a holiday weekend get-a-way? Key…check. Duffle…check. Provisions…check. Jaxon…check. All set to roll. Where are you spending the 4th?







cabin photos via:




Gray Gardens

June 25, 2014

It’s a simplequietmodern fact that I am not a fan of annual flowering plants or the annual trek to garden centers large and small to search them out. Even when designed and installed by ” professionals “, most annual flowering plant combinations are the visual equivalent of nails on a blackboard. The selection tedious, the colors jarring and most combinations ill-conceived. I’m serious. Do you really expect me to subscribe to the idea that the orchidy blue-pink shade actually works with the mercurochrome orangey-red of the same Impatiens?  Then add to the mix some red Geraniums and a shot of any of the many gaudy varieties of  Marigold …then perhaps a little sprinkle of something in a lavender blue, like Ageratum. Congratulations. You have successfully convinced me that most people turn to Coney Island for their color inspiration. My suggestion…reel it in. Make a clean modern statement with a simply shaped pot filled with a single plant variety. If given a few minutes of thought and planning , you may not see a single bloom among them. A variety of perennial grasses can provide easy care texture and movement as well as continued interest come Fall and Winter…colorful groundcovers like Lysimachia can add a spot of texture and bright color.  If blooms are a must, a judicious selection planted en masse will make a strong yet simple statement if you choose one…just one. As for containers, any of the following would be the perfect place to start.









top to bottom:

The simple modern shape of this Ibarra planter from Crate & Barrel is available in two sizes and one great concrete-like finish.

The slick dark blades of Mondo grass would fill any of these containers with easy care drama. Photo via: Better Homes and Gardens

Bright Lysimachia gets even brighter in good sunny conditions. A pot filled simply with this one specimen with provide a modern splash a Chartreuse.

Again from Crate & Barrel, this Saabira low planter provides a simple modernist shape in coal-black Fiberstone. Picture it filled with the large velvet gray of the non-blooming Lambs Ear below.

Stachys Byzantina ” Helena Von Stein” ” Big Ears”…a large non-flowering lambs ear that never fails with its silvery softness and easy care.

Mexican Feather Grass ” Pony Tails” will keep your containers animated with even the slightest Summer breeze. Photo via:


 Leymus arenarius, Blue Dune Grass, planted in vintage modern concrete bowls comes up faithfully year after year.


Just a little something

June 22, 2014

You can’t put your finger on it, but your environs this summer need just a little something. Does your weekend cottage need a little lift?  It could be a place to perch, a place to put your feet up… a place to set your drink. Or, maybe you’re thinking you’d just like a little something new without making a major commitment. Here are just a few sun bleached possibilities.


lexie-pouf_ CandB





Top to bottom:

Ample accommodations with the 24″ square crocheted Lexie pouf from Crate & Barrel. Great neutral color and texture…you couldn’t crochet one yourself for the price.

A modern take on faux bois from Terrain. A simple concrete-like fibreclay garden stool with great wood grain texture.

Nothing says summer like a little weathered teak and this trestle bench, also from Terrain, is sure to earn its keep this season…and the next. 


has its moments when only a boatload of peanut M&M’s …a quart of quacamole…or simply a big ‘ol mess of smashed potatoes will do. And, ready to hold the solutions to all life has to dish up, the Heath Large Serving Bowl, from the Chez Panisse Line. simplequietmodern…especially in opaque white…even when empty. If you’re needing a gift for a wedding, birthday or any other special occasion this summer, you might consider this.




Quite the Pickle

June 16, 2014

Let’s see. Some cauliflower and some cabbage, onions and yellow peppers. A little spice and a quick pickle and you’ve got Chow Chow. A relish of southern origin, I somehow remember it from my childhood in the Midwest, but with no Southern roots in sight. I tried to capture what my taste memory was holding on to but every recipe I saw looked like a miss even from the list of ingredients. Settling on this recipe, which started as my crock pickle brine with the addition of some sugar and turmeric, I think I hit a homer. And, it’s good for you… with the cruciferous vegetables providing vitamins, fiber and disease fighting phytochemicals, the natural fermentation promoting increased cardiovascular, digestive and immune health and the turmeric with its anti-inflamatory properties. Enjoy it on a sandwich, alongside some grilled meat or all by itself instead of a salad or coleslaw.





gs ChowChow



A little inspiration,

June 13, 2014

a little yarn and a little time. The Inspiration?… this modern 1926 textile design by Anni Albers. The yarn?… Berroco’s Modern Cotton. The time?…unbelievably, about 10 days…cast on to bind off. And the result?  Exactly as planned…a modern baby blanket that was intentionally “un-pink”.






Hard to believe

June 9, 2014

that this marks the 300th post here on simplequietmodern. I always knew I had a lot to share but what I didn’t know was who I’d reach , how far that reach would be or if there was anyone listening at all. Apparently this audience is global, with every continent covered and most countries checking in. Then there are those of you most special to me…who have been reading and following from the begining…in Australia, Europe, Asia, Canada and of course the States…you know who you are. Thank you for indulging me, your kind words, the laughs. You are all a great gift to me. As I queue up for the next 300 a glance back tells me that of all the photos I have taken and posted the one below was the hands down favorite. I guess I’m not surprised, it just doesn’t get any more simplequietmodern than that.





Isn’t it romantic?

June 4, 2014

OK guys…here’s a plan for ya. You’ve popped the question right? And, now you’re in the middle of a year long drama of planning your wedding celebration. I know. It’s seeming like a let down and you haven’t even selected the venue. One word for you…elope. You heard me right. Presenting the idea to your bride will go down a lot easier if it comes along with a gift for her to wear to city hall…like the best bridal shoe ever. And, a simplequietmodern bouquet that you’ve gathered and made yourself will put it over the top.



What could be more modern than this Betsey Johnson number in Black?



 A quick tied gathering of  lily of the valley will provide a lifelong memory.

Then off to an elegant  lunch and a glass of champagne as you start your new life together…and come up with a plan to break the  good news.



June 1, 2014

it’s seeming like we might have a Summer…maybe a little different than usual, but Summer just the same. So, what’s inspiring me now?









From the top:

Simple well-edited landscaping and a quiet well integrated water feature. via

The openwork and texture of my test knit of paper yarn. photo: gp

A great place to fall out and relax on a hot summer day. Does it get any better than affordable teak? Simple seat and back cushions in natural or charcoal duck and you are good to go. via:

It’ll still take me a while to shake the chill from the last two seasons, so, a little Summer cashmere from James Perse is on my “gotta have some” list.

Tending to my Blue Dune grass…pretending I’m at the shore even in the middle of the week. photo:gp

And, if I’m lucky, taking off with Jaxon to the shore for a bit of sunny R & R. via:

Should it stay or should it go? Butterbur “volunteers” showing up in the aftermath of Winter’s brutal attack. I’ve promised some to friends, but I may leave a few to buffer the bare spots after the dead have been yanked and buried. photo: gp

The breezy organic shapes of Ruth Asawa’s crocheted wire sculptures. via: