Hearts in the Rustic Realm


The month of February invariably provides lots of exposure to heart symbols and all of their sentimental meaning. And that’s not such a bad thing; the positive associations we make with even the most simple heart doodle add a bit of warmth to our lives during this late winter season. 

So it is as good a time as any to pile on a little more heart imagery by taking a retrospective look at hearts as a decorative motif in antiques that we’ve bought and sold over the years.

Let’s start with a brief exploration of how the heart symbol emerged and endures.

The Heart Shape’s Origins 

For centuries, scholars of science and philosophy believed that the heart was the actual physical center of both emotion and reason. This belief emerged in part when early autopsies revealed that a majority of the body’s internal pathways of nerves and veins led to the heart, so it was an understandably logical conclusion drawn as early as the 2nd century BC.

Regarding the heart as the control center for human feelings such as love was still the predominant scientific and popular perspective in the Middle Ages. So when anatomical drawings of that time period started portraying the human heart as three chambers with a dent in the middle, the pointed heart icon was born and imbued with emotional symbolism.

Despite now knowing that feelings of love actually originate in the complex neural circuitry and chemical transmitters of the brain, not in the blood-pumping heart muscle at the core of our being, the ideographic heart shape that we see most abundantly on Valentine’s Day has stood the test of time across centuries and cultures as a symbol of the positive emotions of love, joy and compassion.

Hearts in Antiques: Rustic, Native American and Folk Art 

Given the ubiquity of the heart graphic in the universe of symbols and design that saturate our visual lives, it is not surprising that they are well represented in antique objects as well.

The antiques that we specialize in — rustic furnishings as well as Native American and folk art — were generally made by individual craftspeople who were highly skilled artisans, whether they practiced their craft as a profession or as a creative outlet.

When we’ve encountered heart designs within these genres, we’ve usually assumed that the maker was intentionally evoking positive associations with the emotions of love and affection, whether making a personal gift or an object to sell.

But surely sometimes craftspeople incorporated hearts just as a pleasing geometric or organic shape that could be formed from the raw materials they were fashioning into a useful or decorative object.

So let’s explore a range of heart motifs in antiques with 10 examples from our past inventory.

1. Folk Art Hooked Rug

This wool hooked rug made in the 1940s is all about geometry and color, featuring circles, diamonds and ovals along with hearts.

Given the red and pink color choice for the hearts, we surmise that the maker of this rug was using hearts in the traditional way to express love for the person to whom she gave it.

2. Tramp Art Frame

The red hearts decorating this tramp art frame relate to the playing card “hearts” suit, given that the other decorative cutouts are clubs, diamonds and spades. Although some historians trace playing card symbols to representing four major aspects of human nature, with hearts representing love, others credit the suits as representing the four seasons, four classes of society, and so on. 

Whether or not the frame maker intended the hearts to evoke love or simply just the fun of card games, the red hearts will still speak to most viewers as a symbol of something positive.

3. Model Paddle Brackets

These lovely paint-decorated model canoe paddles have unique heart-shaped wall display brackets. Both the paddles and the brackets are undoubtedly decorated with images that have meaning in the maker’s own life.

The heart shape of the brackets helps convey that the maker loved everything represented on the objects, among which were a dog and a special place in nature. 

4. Twig Stand

This stand is the most exuberant example of a heart motif among the antiques that we’ve owned. The heart is wider than both the top and the base of the stand, unabashedly calling attention to itself.

The willow twigs from which the heart was made are particularly conducive to bending into such a distinctive shape. Whether the craftsperson made this as a gift or to sell is anyone’s guess.

5. Mosaic Twig Table: Hearts and Star

This two tables featured as #5 and #6 in our list are among the finest examples of rustic mosaic twigwork that we’ve handled, and they both happen to feature heart designs.

A very skilled craftsperson made the table above. It required both mastery of design and execution to form twigs into hearts, a star and chevrons, as well as to create a coherent, symmetrical whole.

The hearts are particularly impressive because organic circular shapes are harder to make with these types of twigs than linear designs.

6. Mosaic Twig Table: Hearts and Diamonds

This mosaic twig table top has a graphically sophisticated square-within-a-circle design accented with diamonds, ovals and hearts.

The creator of this piece of extraordinary mosaic twigwork was proud enough to include his* (*presumably) initials both within the top twigwork and as a signature underneath the table top. This hints at the table being made for someone the woodworker knew, most likely a family member.

It is dated 1860 which is impressively early for rustic design.

7. Old Hickory Sideboard

Old Hickory introduced a distressed pine series in the 1930s that also incorporated decorative elements such as ropes and metal rings. Some of the pieces from that series (such as wall shelves) also had circular cutout designs, but this is the only piece we’ve had that features a prominent heart-shaped cutout. 

Given that this was a manufactured design, it is unlikely that the team of woodworkers who made it put a lot of emotional intent behind their work, but its owners in the decades since it was made might nevertheless have found it to be a personally “heart-warming” design.

8. Birch Bark Mocuck: Heart-shaped Leaves

Birch Bark Mocuck

The heart designs on this Native American etched birch bark mocuck are derived from nature, specifically representing the heart-shaped leaves of northern wood sorrel, a common plant of the forested home territories of Woodlands tribes.

The front and sides of the lidded container show the shamrock-like leaves in full, but the top reduces the image to a single heart-shaped leaflet, perhaps to connect the plant image from nature to a symbol of human emotion.

9. Birch Bark Mocuck: Fiddlehead Hearts

Fiddlehead hearts

The double-curve or fern fiddlehead design, such as is etched on the birch bark container pictured here, was an important and prominent element in early Northeastern Woodland tribes’ artwork.

By pairing two fiddleheads coming together at a pointed apex, the maker of this mocuck seemed to be intentionally evoking the traditional heart symbol, as well as the cultural significance of an abstracted representation of one of nature’s most graceful forms.

The two birch bark pieces we’ve shown as examples of heart-shaped plant motifs bear an interesting connection to a lesser-known theory of the origin of the heart symbol’s association with romantic love: the perfectly heart-shaped seed pod of the now-extinct giant fennel plant called Silphium which ancient Greeks and Romans used as a contraceptive. So hearts, plants and romantic love have a long history of association.

10. Beadwork Heart

Our final example is a Seneca beaded bag with a heart featured prominently at its center. The beaded designs on this bag also include stylized fiddleheads, flowers and other traditional iconography. It is an interesting juxtaposition of culturally significant Native American symbols with a fancy object made to appeal to Euro-American tastes and trends.

Perhaps the beaded heart called to the minds of both the fashionable lady who purchased this bag, and the Native woman who created it, thoughts of their loved ones.

Hearts Passing Hands

It is uplifting to think that the maker of an object who incorporated a heart into its decorative design decades or centuries ago may have been declaring positive emotions towards someone in particular, or was simply (intentionally or not) passing along good sentiments to whomever acquired the piece.

Perhaps our small virtual gallery exhibit will inspire you to seek out an antique with heart shapes to give to your own sweetheart, or just to live with as an object that subtly radiates a positive emotional presence in your own home.

Regional Rustic: Furniture from the Southern U.S.


southern rustic stand

Antique rustic furniture seldom comes with a handy, origin-identifying “Made in (name of place)” label.

Nor do antiques always turn up in the geographical regions where they were made.

Over the span of generations, families move around the country taking their furniture with them; estates get sold at auction and shipped out of state; or dealers travel across states to antiques shows with furniture they picked locally then sell to buyers from far-away locales who do not necessarily pass along information about where it came from to the next person who purchases it.

Since the provenance of antiques often gets lost in these ways over the years of being bought and sold or inherited and dispersed, dealers need to be able to recognize patterns in design, materials and construction techniques to determine the origin of a piece.

But being able to recognize and group pieces of rustic furniture according to similar characteristics is just the first step. Determining the geographical region where they were made requires having archetypes—similar pieces whose origins are documented—to relate them to.

Thankfully, such reference pieces do exist—in museums, photographs, books, family histories and verbal provenance that sometimes is successfully passed along from sellers to buyers.

This is exactly the process we’ve used to hone our skills at identifying rustic furniture produced in the southern United States during the late-19th to early-20th centuries.

Southern Rustic

The catchall term “Southern rustic” refers more specifically to furniture made by craftsmen in the Southern Appalachian region of the U.S., which includes West Virginia, southwestern Virginia, eastern Kentucky and Tennessee, western North Carolina, South Carolina, northern Georgia, and northeastern Alabama.

Antique rustic furniture from these areas has several distinguishing features. Below is a description of the four most distinctive Southern rustic furniture traditions, along with photos of pieces that illustrate them, made by both known and anonymous craftsmen. Most of the pieces incorporate more than one Southern design element, bolstering evidence of their origin.

1. Sinuous Twig Trim

Two of the hardwood species most commonly used in Southern rustic furniture were rhododendron and mountain laurel. Many designs featured these species’ thin, naturally arched and curving twigs and roots

southern rustic cupboard

The maker of the small Southern rustic cupboard above spelled out his initials “EDL” and the date “1912” with curved twigs placed on either side of the mirror. The two doors, as well as the two side panels, have figural and geometric designs made from sinuous twigs and roots, including hearts, stars and trees.

southern rustic coffee table

The small coffee table above illustrates another common Southern design technique: using naturally curved rhododendron branches as stretchers and braces. Although we do not know the name of the person who made this table, we do know that it was made in Lakemont, Georgia around 1925 (along with a number of other pieces) for the Lake Rabun Hotel.

Georgia rustic furniture
This photo shows several pieces of a 30-piece set of rustic furniture when it was still in place in a sitting room of the Lake Rabun Hotel in Georgia (from “Rustic Traditions” by Ralph Kylloe, 1993)

2. Partially Peeled Twigs

southern rustic footstool

The legs, stretchers and darker twig apron trim on this circa 1920 Southern mosaic twig footstool are rhododendron branches. Each one is partially peeled to create a pattern of light and dark contrasts.

The maker lightly peeled areas to remove only the top layer of bark, but did not gouge into the wood. Peeled striations highlight the legs’ vertical height, while other peeled areas are more lozenge-shaped. The fully peeled light maple twigs along the apron complement the lighter inner bark of the partially-peeled rhododendron twigs, creating a pleasing interplay of colors. This woodworker had a good eye for design.

southern rustic stand

The drink stand above was made in North Carolina around 1920. It is completely clad with tightly pieced halved twigs that are partially peeled to reveal the lighter inner bark.

southern rustic stand

Unlike the even spacing of peeled areas in the footstool above, the maker of this stand randomly peeled both small and wide patches of bark to create a decorative pattern.

southern rustic planter

The half-round twigs forming the case of this planter, as well as the rhododendron branch legs and sinuous stretchers, also have partially peeled surfaces. The peeled areas are wide, amorphous patches rather than evenly shaped dots or lozenges.

blowing rock rustic stand

A final example of partially-peeled wood elements is this small stand made in the 1920s by Charles Dobbins from Blowing Rock, North Carolina.

The stand is a good illustration of how Dobbins typically peeled both cylindrical sapling trunks and sinuous twigs to create light/dark surface contrasts.

blowing rock rustic stand
This stand is one of the rare pieces of antique rustic furniture that did come with the equivalent of a “Made in . . .”  label attached to its base.

3. Notched Twigs

While notching twigs resulted in the same contrasting light and dark patterns as partially peeling them, notches were gouged deeper into the wood. Notched twig furniture thus has a bumpy texture.

Ben Davis rustic table

This library table from the 1920s is one of the signature designs of Reverend Ben Davis (born in 1876)—he made several of the same style over the years. Davis was a Baptist minister who preached throughout western North Carolina and made rustic furniture to supplement his income. All of the natural twig elements in his tables are deeply and evenly notched. In this example, the inner wood is darker than the surface bark. The rhododendron root burl accents are also notched.

southern rustic table

This table is more simply designed and constructed than Ben Davis’s furniture, but nonetheless every single twig is similarly ornamented with notch carving.

southern rustic table
A close-up view shows the droplet-shaped notches created with a chisel or pocket knife.
southern rustic stand

Our final example of notch decoration is this exquisite Southern stand dating from 1920-30. Although we do not know the identity of the maker, we do know that he was born in 1854 based on a gift inscription on one piece dated 1935 saying “From Father in his 81st year.”

The design of his stands (we’ve owned several by this hand) are very symmetrical, and all are extremely well constructed. Each twig has multiple, even rows of notching. By placing the notched twigs vertically, horizontally and diagonally in mosaic patterns, the maker achieved an even more dynamic design than the light/dark notching alone creates.

4. Twig and Burl Latticework

 One of the most elaborate Southern rustic furniture techniques involved creating open lattice patterns with twigs and root burls.

southern rustic burl chairs

These exceptional rhododendron root arm chairs feature elaborate rhododendron root burl lattice-work on the back and aprons. They have a strong sculptural presence and are representative of a classic, vernacular form of rustic furniture from the Southern Appalachian region of West Virginia being made at the turn of the 20th century.  

southern rustic screen

Rhododendron or mountain laurel root burls are pieced between long and straight notched branches to create the frame of this Southern rustic room screen. The open areas between the root burls create a lattice effect.

southern rustic fireplace screen

The same materials and techniques were used to create this smaller circa 1900 frame. It would have originally had a fabric insert to serve as a decorative screen in front of a fireplace during the summer months.

southern rustic shelves

This set of standing shelves is a final, and exceptionally fine example of Southern root burl lattice work. It was made in North Carolina around 1910. Its maker painstakingly applied fine root segments all along the frame, and carefully pieced together root burls in panels between the frame elements. The whole piece manages to be simultaneously delicate and sturdy, a rustic masterpiece made by a very skilled woodworker.

Themes and Variations

Designing and making rustic furniture has always been a creative process, so even when a craftsman was immersed in a regional design tradition, each maker’s work was unique.

Some Southern rustic furniture makers were particularly good at cohesive and symmetrical design, while others had extraordinary cabinetmaking skills that resulted in well-constructed, refined furniture. And then there were those who put traditional design elements together in completely surprising ways.

Blowing Rock lamp
A clock/lamp combo made by the Blowing Rock, North Carolina artist Charles Dobbins.

Part of the fun of studying antique rustic furniture is learning to recognize regional themes among all of the fascinating variations.  

rhododendron root stand
A Southern rhododendron root table (from “Rustic Traditions” by Ralph Kylloe, 1993)

Antiquing Frames of Mind


antique frames

What motivates you to buy antiques?

Our Musings this month explore this question as a follow-up to our recent article on Antiques as Slow Decor. We’ll dig deeper into the frames of mind that compel people to diverge from the trend of quick consumerism to shop for antiques, even when it takes more effort than buying mass-produced merchandise with the click of a mouse.

Enthusiasts of antiques and vintage goods approach their pursuit from all kinds of angles, for all kinds of reasons. We’ve compiled a list of 11 of the motivations that we’ve seen underlying the fascinating human behavior known broadly as antiquing.

And just for fun, we’ve put each motivation on a continuum so that you can rate how central each one is to your own attraction to antiques and antiquing.

Antiques show shoppers. (

Motivations for Buying Antiques

   1.  Appreciation of Quality

A somewhat broad, but often accurate generalization, is that old things are almost always made better than new things—due both to the quality of the materials used, and to the craftsmanship applied to their creation. Even everyday objects were made to last “back then,” before a mindset of novelty, plenty and disposability infiltrated our manufacturing and buying habits.

               How motivating is lasting quality in your attraction to antiques and antiquing? 

                      Barely >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Highly

                          1             2             3             4             5

   2.  Aesthetic Appeal

The classic design or whimsy of an old object, plus its time-worn patina, combine to give antiques a presence that is hard to replicate with something new. Also, finding an antique which appeals to your personal taste that is also one-of-a-kind makes it all the more alluring.

      How motivating is aesthetic appeal in your attraction to antiquing?              

                      Barely >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Highly

                          1             2             3             4             5

   3.  Appreciation of Design Heritage

Design movements are typically rooted in a place, a time period and often an aesthetic philosophy. Even if you acquire just a single antique, understanding the historical context of its creation can deepen your appreciation of it.

Sometimes exploring the roots and context of a design movement extends beyond appreciating individual objects by inspiring people to recreate an entire, historically accurate setting in their home—such as by decorating an Adirondack Great Camp in the style popularized by Gilded Age rusticators.

       How motivating is appreciating design heritage in your attraction to antiques and antiquing?    

                      Barely >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Highly

                          1             2             3             4             5

   4.  Connoisseurship

This is where appreciating quality, aesthetics and design heritage come together in a deeper way through sustained study of a particular genre of antiques.

Becoming a connoisseur requires looking at, and often owning, lots of examples of a category of antiques to learn to discern what makes one example different from, and better than, another.

Connoisseurship also entails consulting resources, including both books and people, as part of the learning process. Ultimately, a connoisseur of antiques finds satisfaction in being able to competently recognize and rate how an antique measures up to others of its type, for instance by classifying it as Good, Better, Best, Superior, or Masterpiece—a continuum that antiques dealer Albert Sack developed for evaluating early American furniture.

      How motivating is connoisseurship in your attraction to antiques and antiquing? 

                      Barely >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Highly

                          1             2             3             4             5

   5.  Story and Provenance

All antiques have a provenance (a story of its origin and life-history) even if most of the time we don’t know all of its specifics. Uncovering who made something, and who owned it down through the years, can be a thrill for some antiques buyers and can also influence the antique’s value.

Even when an antique’s ownership history is not traceable, it is usually possible at least to figure out when something was made, and in what general region. But just knowing that an object has played a role in the lives of others throughout decades or even centuries allows us to imagine its storied past.

               How motivating is an object’s story in your attraction to antiques and antiquing? 

                     Barely >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Highly

                          1             2             3             4             5

   6.  Emotional Resonance

Time and again we have seen shoppers alight on an antique simply because it speaks to them in some way that is often difficult for them to articulate. We call that resonance.

Sometimes an object directly evokes good memories, perhaps of a grandmother’s home or a childhood summer cottage. But it can also touch one’s core identity by subconsciously striking a chord with who you are or hope to be. Like art, old objects can be inspiring, even if just enough to make you smile. 

                How motivating is emotional resonance in your attraction to antiques and antiquing? 

                      Barely >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Highly

                          1             2             3             4             5

   7.  Creative Expression

Selecting and arranging antiques and vintage goods can be a form of creative expression. They are the raw ingredients for truly novel room combinations that would be difficult to achieve solely with mass-produced furniture and décor.

The popular term “curating” is applicable here. It implies both to mindful selection of objects to live with, and to creatively arranging them. If you have curatorial inclinations, it is likely that antiques inspire you to indulge them.

     How motivating is creative expression in your attraction to antiques and antiquing? 

                     Barely >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Highly

                          1             2             3             4             5

  8.  Instagrammable Interiors

We decorate with antiques for personal reasons, both aesthetic and functional, but also to create spaces that other people will enjoy.

Social media allows us to reach beyond our immediate family and friends to share our aesthetics with people who will never set foot in our homes.

While it’s easy to be cynical about the self-marketing dimensions of beautiful Instagram posts, a more positive view is to appreciate how easy it is to share one’s pride of place and taste with others. If someone garners even a little inspiration from seeing how you use and display great old objects in your home, then you’ve made the world a slightly happier place.

                How motivating is inspiring others in your attraction to antiques and antiquing?               

                       Barely >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Highly

                          1             2             3             4             5

   9.  The Thrill of the Hunt

We’ve known many antiques collectors and dealers who refer to the process of shopping for antiques as “treasure hunting.”

The scarcity and uniqueness of most categories of desirable antiques provide endless opportunity to hunt for treasures. When dedicated and even arduous hunting yields a find, the reward is not just the object itself, but also an intoxicating feeling of euphoria.

For those who are competitive by nature, there is an added thrill of being the one among many hunters to find a really good, one-of-a kind or scarce object. If you regard antiquing as a sport, then your goal is of course to be a winner.

Finally, when finding just the right antique entails a multi-step or multi-months hunt, the story of how you acquired it becomes part of your and its history, giving it all the more meaning in your life.

           How motivating is the thrill of the hunt in your attraction to antiquing?                

                      Barely >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Highly

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   10.  The Thrill of a Bargain

The thrill of getting a bargain when shopping for antiques has two dimensions.

The first is tied to finding an object “under the money.” It might very well be an expensive object that costs thousands of dollars, yet is priced hundreds or even thousands of dollars below its current market value. (Caveat emptor: The marketplace has a way of defaulting to the truism that you get what you pay for, so be extra cautious when you think you’re getting an inordinately great deal on an antique.)

The other dimension of bargain hunting for antiques is the thrill of finding really good things that are inexpensive. These objects might be priced exactly at their true market value, yet are a good value in every sense of the term, usually because they cost less than a new object of similar quality. Solid, well-designed antique furniture for example, can often be obtained for a fraction of the cost of similar pieces that are handmade in limited production by contemporary cabinet makers.  

               How motivating is the thrill of a bargain in your attraction to antiquing? 

                      Barely >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Highly

                          1             2             3             4             5

   11.  Social Connection

Finding camaraderie among fellow antiques enthusiasts heightens many people’s enjoyment of antiquing. We’ve known collectors who are as motivated by getting together with members of their collecting clubs as they are by the material they collect.

Chatting with others who share your interests and understand the significance of your discoveries, often the same people with whom you have good-natured rivalries and jealousies about who acquires what, adds a social dimension to the hobby of antiquing.

Another aspect of making social connections around antiques is the seemingly old-fashioned practice of developing a close relationship with an antiques dealer whose recommendations, advice and merchandise you trust. Especially at higher levels of connoisseurship and budget, a dealer’s vetting and curating roles, as well as gaining access to first-pick offerings, can be essential to serious collectors.

               How motivating are social relationships in your attraction to antiques and antiquing? 

                        Barely >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Highly

                           1          2          3          4          5

Antiquing as Nonconformist Consumerism

Human behaviors, even one as seemingly basic as shopping, are complex in part because of the multitude of motivations that factor into our decision making.  Now that you’ve discovered a bit more about what motivates your own shopping for antiques, let all of that complexity take care of itself and just have fun doing it!

What all of these dimensions add up to for us is a profile of someone who appreciates beauty, is intellectually curious, and prefers to forge their own creative path as a consumer and home decorator.  

As a small business specializing in antiques, we rely on people like that—people like you—who embrace the process of shopping for antiques. Despite the convenience of online and mass-market shopping, thankfully there are still many people who are enthusiastic participants in the endlessly fascinating world of antiquing.  

Crowds rushing through an opening gate at the Brimfield Antiques Market. (

Antiques as Slow Décor


yellow traffic light

During every waking moment, all of us are bombarded with opportunities to buy things, and then experience quick satisfaction when those goods arrive on our doorstep one or two days later—or perhaps even by drone on the very same day.

Although commercial consumerism has been a component of people’s daily lives for hundreds of years,

old advertisement

now that we spend so much of our lives online it is ubiquitous, insidious and inescapable.

Linger for 30 minutes comparing backpacks in an online store, and receive a 10% discount postcard in the mail from that outdoor gear store two days later.

Abandon a package of LED light-bulbs in an online shopping cart, and get periodic email reminders to log back in to close the deal.

Shop multiple fashion sites for elegant special-event garb, and be subjected to pop-up ads for similar clothing for months after you’re hoping never to need such fancy apparel again.

(For an amusing and only slightly exaggerated take on the tentacles of online commerce and smart speaker eavesdropping, see the recent short New Yorker humor essay Disturbing Digital Coincidences.”)

smart speaker

This aggressive marketing of online behemoths results in “fast consumerism,” in which getting the goods we want or need is just a mouse click away. But to cultural critics, “fast” means more than the timeframe in which we’re able to choose, purchase and receive goods. It also implies excessive rather than conscious consumption, which cascades into a multitude of environmental, ethical and social ills.

In contrast, “slow” consumerism means taking charge and being more thoughtful about how and what we buy. But just as the word “fast” implies more than a timeframe when describing consumerism, “slow” also means something more than a dimension of time when it is applied to our buying habits.

The “slow movement” has been described as nothing short of a cultural revolution (Honoré, 2004). It promotes a philosophy of not only slowing down the pace of life, but also of opting for quality over quantity and sustainability over wastefulness in our choices as consumers.

How does the slow movement relate to buying and decorating with antiques? To explore that question, let’s start with a brief look at the roots and expansion of “slow” trends.

vintage traffic sign

“Slow” as a Lifestyle Choice

The slow movement began in the 1980s when a group of epicureans and social activists in Italy coined the term “slow food.” They were reacting to the opening of an American fast-food franchise in the heart of a historic district of Rome, and were concerned that their country’s local food producers and the tradition of savoring food in small cafés would be overtaken by the fast food industry. They opposed the cultural standardization of how and what we eat, and sought instead to uphold regional food traditions.

In the 30 years since slow food activism began, it has morphed into a variety of similar slow movements, including:

Slow fashion – supports environmentally sustainable clothing manufacturing and good working conditions and livable wages for overseas garment makers, as well as advocating buying vintage clothes, redesigning old clothes, shopping from smaller producers, making clothes and accessories at home, and buying higher-quality garments that last longer.

Slow cities – improves the quality of life in towns by slowing down the pace of life and encouraging conviviality, with special attention to preserving a town’s cultural uniqueness, resisting homogenization, and protecting the local environment.

Slow money – catalyzes the flow of capital to local food enterprises and organic farms by investing in local food producers.

Slow design – creates goods that are made to last and are produced with low environmental impacts.

To expand this list, we hereby introduce and explore the term “slow décor.”

Antiques as Slow Décor

Slow décor is not the same as slow decorating. You can decorate your home slowly, taking time to find and arrange just the right pieces, whether you use mass-produced goods or bespoke and antique objects. Rather, slow décor refers to the décor object itself embodying the slow philosophy.

The following list presents a case for regarding antiques as perfect exemplars of slow décor. Each word highlighted in bold references a tenet of “slow movements,” especially those of slow design (Strauss & Fuad-Luke, 2002), and applies them to antiques and antiquing.

1. Antiques fit the time dimension of the slow philosophy. It takes time to learn about antiques, particularly to understand the history and cultural contexts that gave birth to their design. It also takes time and experience to learn to judge good from bad, and authentic from fake. Finally, once you’ve learned about a genre of antiques and zoned in on what you’d like to acquire, it often takes time to find them. (Hint: Let an antiques dealer know what you’re looking for and the often ultra-slow process could become just sort-of-slow.)

2. Antiques fit the quality dimension of the slow philosophy. Good craftsmanship was the norm 100+ years ago, so antiques typically are solidly, even exquisitely, made.

3. Antiques fit the sustainability dimension of the slow philosophy. When you reuse things such as antiques that already exist, then there is no new environmental impact required to produce them.

4. Antiques fit the durability dimension of the slow philosophy. This refers to buying things that were built to last. High quality antiques typically survive well to be reused for generations to come.

5. Antiques fit the uniqueness dimension of the slow philosophy. Since antiques are typically one-of-a-kind, they are by definition unique. Curating a personal collection of antiques also celebrates the uniqueness of one person’s individual vision and aesthetics.

6. Antiques fit the less-is-more dimension of the slow philosophy. This promotes choosing quality over quantity. Antiques make it possible to be satisfied owning fewer good things instead of lots of lower-quality objects.

7. Antiques fit the mind-satisfying dimension of the slow philosophy. While our appetite for novelty can drive our desire to acquire the latest trends, we can also satisfy our need for novelty by discovering new genres of antiques. The more you delve into the world of antiques, the more amazing surprises you discover.

8. Antiques fit the cultural and emotional connections dimension of the slow philosophy. Objects that originated in an authentic past culture of design are a far cry from the homogenized, culturally unrooted or appropriated aesthetic offered up by mass-produced goods. Also, understanding the cultural heritage of antique objects inspires our emotional connections to them.

Taken together, these eight principles of the slow movement form a very positive case for buying and enjoying antiques—a.k.a. slow décor.

Tiffany lamp makers
Tiffany Glass Studios artisans at work.

But . . . Is Slow Décor Elitist?

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Biophilic Design and the Role of Rustic Antiques


If given the choice between spending our indoor life in spaces that have: minimal or maximal natural daylight; negligible or plentiful views outside to trees, sky, and spacious vistas; concrete block or wooden walls; sounds of breezes, birds and babbling brooks vs. the background drone of machines and traffic; or some house plants, an aquarium and pets vs. only inanimate metal and plastic objects, most of us would gravitate to the indoor environments that have copious infusions of nature.

biophilic design of an atrium
(photo: Kellert, 2016)

That, in a nutshell, is the fundamental tenet of biophilic design, a set of principles that guides architects, builders and urban planners to create built environments that allow people to feel the presence of nature within the buildings they inhabit.

Thorncrown chapel
Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas is a well-known exemplar of biophilic design. (photo:

While “green” architecture seeks to design buildings whose construction materials and ongoing energy consumption have minimal environmental impact, biophilic design is concerned primarily with how buildings can promote human psychological and physical health through recreating the patterns, processes and organic presence of nature indoors. (Green and biophilic designs are complementary, however, and are often implemented together.)

Biophilic design is grounded in a concept from evolutionary biology called the “biophilia hypothesis” which asserts that all humans alive today have a hard-wired emotional affiliation with other living organisms due to the millions of years during which our bodies and minds adapted to surviving among the plants, animals and landscapes of pre-civilization environments. (See our Journal article “Nature is a Happy Pill” for more details on the scientifically-documented, beneficial effects that nature has on our physiology and mental health.)

The best way to understand biophilic design is to study buildings that enact its principles. One of its most inspiring recent manifestations is the new Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. In response to the immense tragedy that the community experienced at the old school in 2012, a new elementary school was completed in 2016 which totally embodies the “healing and hopeful presence of nature.” (

the new Sandy Hook Elementary School

From its use of recurring shapes, patterns and colors that mimic organic forms, to the prioritization of natural building materials (e.g., wood cladding over steel safety doors), to its sunlight-washed interior spaces, to its landscaping that creates functioning natural habitats, the school affirms and celebrates life.

the new Sandy Hook Elementary School

Representations of Nature are the Next Best Thing: From Biophilic Design to Biophilic Decor

While a central goal of biophilic design is to create buildings that promote direct connections to nature (light, air, water, plants, animals, landscapes), its practitioners also advocate infusing representations of nature into architectural and interior design.

As antiques dealers, we’re particularly intrigued by those dimensions of the biophilic design framework that are not focused so much on the structure of a building and its landscape as on its interior décor. That subset of biophilic design principles promotes what we and our clients know to be true: it feels good to be surrounded by reminders of nature indoors.

moose antler chair
Moose antler chair (

A study of people’s behavior in a medical office waiting room illustrates the power of bringing representations of nature indoors (Ulrich, 2008). The first photo shows the original waiting room where researchers logged aggressive interactions and high levels of stress among visitors, patients and staff.  Clearly, the room is devoid of any inkling of nature.

waiting room

The researchers then redecorated the room with representations of nature—a mural of a savannah, house plants, earthy colors, floral patterns on fabrics, and furniture made of wood rather than metal (note the hickory chair in the right corner).

waiting room

They then observed and documented how people behaved and felt in the redecorated room, discovering that there was a significant reduction in conflict and stress for everyone working in and visiting the office.  Although it was still the same windowless room, the representations of nature created a more positive and calming effect on human emotions.

Rustic Antiques as Biophilic Décor

Here are five recommendations drawn from biophilic design frameworks (Kellert, 2018; that specify ways to infuse representations of nature inside the spaces we inhabit.

Each recommendation is accompanied by images from our past inventory to illustrate how rustic antiques provide indirect experiences of nature, and thus how they can contribute to biophilic design’s fundamental aim: creating human habitats that promote our health, performance and emotional well-being.

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Moose We Have Known


moose hooked rug

October is a good time to celebrate one of the largest mammals native to North America, the stately Moose (Alces alces). These mid-autumn weeks are rutting season, when moose do their best to ensure the production of offspring.

Our thoughts turned to moose on a recent trip to northern Maine. We saw a few of the majestic beasts atop trailers being hauled behind pick-up trucks, as Maine’s highly-regulated and restricted moose hunting season had just begun.

We were in the area to check out one of the newest additions to our National Parks system, the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument (KWWNM).

Mount Katahdin
One of the views we captured of Mt. Katahdin (find out more about the KWWNM at

After driving along the KWWNM Loop Road, stopping at scenic vistas and taking a few jaunts to explore short side trails, we finished the day with a hike along the historic Wassataquoik Stream—used in the 1840s by loggers to access stands of virgin white pines, and later for driving spruce logs downstream.

Wassataquoik Stream
Wassataquoik Landing by George H. Hallowell, circa 1901. Maine state Library collection.

Explorers, naturalists and sportsmen—including Henry David Thoreau in 1857 and Theodore Roosevelt in 1879—used Wassataquoik Stream in the latter half of the 19th century as an upstream route to access Mount Katahdin.

Wassataquoik Stream
The Wassataquoik looking upstream.
Wassataquoik Stream
The Wassataquoik, looking downstream while dreaming of paddling it.

When we were not musing on Wassataquoik Stream’s distinguished history or looking for boreal birds (we saw two Black-backed Woodpeckers!), we were thinking about moose. That is because we were frequently reminded during our hike that moose are prominent denizens of the northwoods—not because we spotted any, but because we had to watch where we stepped along a trail dotted with piles of fresh moose droppings.

moose droppings

There were also recent moose tracks everywhere.

moose track

Although we didn’t see a living moose that day, like anyone who has spent time hiking in northern Maine or canoeing in Canada, we have seen our share of moose in the wild.

moose family
A decades-old photo taken by a family friend of three moose on Maine’s East Branch of the Penobscot River which runs along the border of the KWWNM.

Occasionally we also hear first-hand stories of the worst kind of moose encounters: those involving cars. Last October, Kass’ sister was driving along a country road in northern Maine and hit a moose that bolted out in front of her car.

impending moose hit

Coincidentally, a teenager had been videotaping the bull moose in a field next to his house and was still filming as it darted across the road, so he recorded the moose/car crash—the photo above is a still shot from his videotape showing the moose just before its collision with the car.

Luckily, the driver was going slowly so nobody was hurt, although since the moose ran off into the woods we don’t know its ultimate fate.

Indoor Moose

Now to transition to our indoor encounters with moose, namely those we’ve experienced as antiques dealers. Moose have long been a favorite subject for fine artists and folk artists to depict in a wide range of mediums. Moose in many renditions have always been a popular rustic accessory.

So here is a look back at some of the hundreds of moose we have known—and owned—over the past 25+ years in the antiques business.

Moose Textiles

moose with bears hooked rug
Moose with bears hooked rug
mooe blanket
Camp blanket with moose border
moose hooked rug
Moose, cattails and ducks hooked rug
moose hooked rug
Moose at sunset hooked rug
moose hooked rug
Naive portrait of a moose hooked rug
moose hooked rug
Moose hunting hooked rug
moose hooked rug
Moose by a stream hooked rug
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A Collector’s Passion


While this month’s musings are inspired by one collector and her passion for tennis antiques, our reflections delineate three of the universal driving forces that impel collectors of every genre of antiques, including our specialty which is Adirondack/rustic antiques.

On August 30, 2018 The Jeanne Cherry Collection of Tennis Antiques will be sold at Morphy Auctions in Pennsylvania.

(View lots from a desktop or laptop computer at:

On mobile devices scroll to Lot 746 from this link:

Jeanne Cherry (1932-2017), the mother of Cherry Gallery’s co-owner Jeff Cherry, was the author of a landmark book on tennis antiques, a leading member of tennis collector societies in the U.S. and abroad, a mentor to other collectors, and an indefatigable huntress of tennis antiques.

Jeanne Cherry’s 1995 book on tennis antiques.

The depth and diversity of Jeanne’s collection reflect her interest in the entire breadth of tennis history and its related material culture.

Group of 27 tennis tintypes; Lot 877

She acquired antiques related to the game of tennis in every possible category—including books, ephemera, photography, equipment, clothing and accessories, toys and games, fine art, jewelry, decorative arts, and furniture.

The Renshaw cup won by the first American finalist at Wimbledon, Maurice McLoughlin, in 1913; Lot 820.
Jeanne Cherry Collection of Tennis Antiques
This oil on canvas of four women tennis players by Edouard Francois Zier (1856-1924) was one of Jeanne’s favorite paintings – it hung in a prominent area of her home where she passed by it many times a day; Lot 748
The Jeanne Cherry collection of tennis antiques.
An 1887 oil on canvas of a Victorian lady with a tennis racket; Lot 747
The Jeanne Cherry collection of tennis antiques
Tennis table service items including a dinner gong, toast racks, salt & pepper set, and knife rests; Lot 753

The following sections highlight three of the motivating factors that compelled Jeanne to amass and curate her collection of antiques and which, time and again, we have also seen propelling other people’s collecting passions.

1. Fascination with History

There is an intellectual component to being a good collector, and thereby to forming a good collection. Driven by her keen intellect and unquenchable curiosity about all things related to tennis history, Jeanne was as much a scholar of the sport as she was an enthusiast.

For instance, she loved periodically living in and often traveling to England, where the modern game of tennis had its earliest origins in the 16th century game of court tennis.

the Jeanne Cherry collection of tennis antiques
Estate collection of Cecil “Punch” Fairs, four-time Court Tennis Champion of the World, 1900-1910; Lot 820

Visiting museums, historic homes, palaces, and tennis courts in England and elsewhere helped her develop a grounded understanding of the broader social and cultural contexts that gave rise to tennis objects.

In addition to telling a cultural story, antiques tell a story of human innovation over time. Tennis racket shapes through the ages, for instance, are physical manifestations of how sporting practices evolved over decades and centuries.

The Jeanne Cherry collection of tennis antiques
Sample tennis racket head shapes; over 125 tennis rackets are grouped in Lots 776-818

Another area of tennis history that Jeanne found fascinating was how class and social norms played out, literally and figuratively, on the tennis court. She loved learning about and acquiring the “tennis costumes” that both men and women wore, and understanding how women in particular coped with clothing that in our modern judgment would have severely restricted any woman’s potential for athletic prowess.

the Jeanne Cherry collection of tennis antiques
Early tennis attire including dresses, camisole, belts, and a cap; Lot 842
the Jeanne Cherry collection of tennis antiques
Antique and vintage tennis shoes, Lot 902
the Jeanne Cherry collection of tennis antiques
Locking tennis skirt lifter used in the 1880’s to raise a dress hem to make it easier to play tennis; Lot 935

2. Social Aspects of Collecting

Humans are social beings, and as such we enjoy forming and joining tribes.

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A Brief Rant


Antiques show sign (from

When shoppers make the effort to visit an antiques show, they should be able to expect that every item in each dealer’s booth is an antique—an object with history and heritage that is authentic to a past period, not recently made.

It is difficult enough for antiques show patrons to view thousands of items in all of the booths and make decisions about what they like, what will work in their home, what will enhance their collection, what fits their budget, and so on. They should not also have the pressure of needing to worry about the age or authenticity of the merchandise for sale.

The titles of some shows prepare buyers to expect that not everything for sale will be antique—for instance at a show called an “Antiques and Design Fair,” a recent moniker for shows that mix old and new (usually high-end, artisan made) goods, or at a “Flea Market,” a shopping venue well-known for anything goes.

santa monica flea market
A stall at a flea market where anything goes.

But there should be no place for selling contemporary merchandise at an event billed as an Antiques Show. Period. That is our strong opinion.

This long-standing pet peeve of ours was reinvigorated recently when we saw this brand new furniture displayed prominently in a booth at an antiques show:

It is a recently manufactured hickory game table with four hickory hoop-arm chairs from Old Hickory Furniture Company, Shelbyville, Indiana.

The handwritten tag identified the set as “Old Hickory” (true), and it was dated as “20th century” (not true—it should have said 21st century). Even if the dealer thought the set was made as far back as the 1990s it was disingenuous to tag it simply as “20th century,” leaving it up to a shopper to determine when in the 100 year period from 1900-1999 the furniture was made.

We would classify this set simply as contemporary furniture, possibly lightly used, but definitely not vintage and not antique.

The set was priced $2,800 which might be slightly less than it would cost at a contemporary furniture store, but far more than its resale value as used furniture. Since shoppers attend antiques shows hoping to go home with a treasure that will likely retain its value, it is a sad outcome if they unwittingly purchase something whose resale value becomes a fraction of what they paid for it before the ink on their check is even dry.

So how do contemporary goods end up at antiques shows? Here are a few ways:

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Rustic Plant Supports


Rustic garden ornaments naturally complement any home garden, whether or not the home itself has a rustic style or setting.


While anticipating gardening season several springs ago, we posted a Journal article titled Rustic Garden Structures that featured mostly sizable, intricate outdoor rustic structures manufactured by furniture companies such as Old Hickory and Lincraft from the early 1900’s through the 1940’s.

Although that article did describe a pair of large, never-used 1920’s Old Hickory obelisks that we once owned, wooden rustic garden structures typically do not survive long enough to convey into the antiques trade.


So to add time-honored rustic designs to your garden, a good option is to make your own simple rustic garden structures using natural, sustainably-harvested twigs, trunks, and branches. It is best to choose rot-resistant varieties such as cedar and black locust so that your handiwork will last longer than one season in the outdoors.


The following do-it-yourself instructions and design inspirations gleaned from the web focus on three kinds of simple rustic plant supports:  trellises, tuteurs, and wattle surrounds. These types of structures have imbued gardens around the world with a traditional rustic aesthetic since at least medieval times, and perhaps as far back as when humans first began cultivating crops.

A Rustic Trellis


Flat trellises can support climbing plants, or be used simply as ornamental backdrops for garden beds or to add architectural interest to the side wall of a house or garden shed.

How to Make a Simple Trellis from Prunings
(adapted from

Tools and Materials:

12 straight branches, limbs or canes, each approximately 1″ in diameter:
– Three pieces, each 3 feet long (A)
– One piece, 6 feet long (B)
– Two pieces, each 5 feet long (C)
– Two pieces, each 25 inches long (D)
– Two pieces, each 221/2 inches long (E)
– Two pieces, each 391/2 inches long (F)

One box of one-and-three-quarter inch nails


Spool of floral wire


The finished structure is 7′ 4.5″  tall x 3′ wide.

1. Trim any side branches from the prunings.
2. Lay the crosspieces (A) horizontally on a flat surface, with two of them 18 inches apart, and the third 16 inches above the center one.
3. Lay the centerpiece (B) vertically across the crosspieces. The bottom end of the centerpiece should overlap the lowest crosspiece by 4 1/2 inches. Nail centerpiece to crosspieces at center joints.
4. Lay side pieces (C) vertically over crosspieces as shown, setting them about 3 1/2 inches in from the ends of the crosspieces. Nail to crosspieces at the joints.
5. Place D and E pieces diagonally between crosspieces, slightly overlapping the horizontal crosspieces as shown. Nail them to the horizontals at the joints.
6. Place top pieces (F) so they cross behind the centerpiece (B) and on top of the side pieces (C).
For additional stability, turn structure over and nail joints from the back side, then wrap wire several times around the main intersections.

Here is some additional inspiration for designing your own rustic trellises:

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Nature is a Happy Pill


Let’s face it – stress and unhealthy habits are ubiquitous in modern society. Equally ubiquitous (in affluent cultures) are self-help books, diet plans, personal trainers, and by-the-hour therapists to help people achieve and maintain their best selves. But what if one of the most potent fixes for our woes is as basic as spending more time outdoors, in nature?

That is the idea that Florence Williams explores in The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative (2017, NY: W.W. Norton). As a journalist (and contributing editor to Outside magazine), Williams delves into the topic by taking a participatory journalism approach in which her experiences are part of the story. She becomes an insider in the scientific research she seeks to summarize about nature’s effects on the human mind, body, and spirit, both by becoming a research subject herself and by probing the thinking of leading scientists in the field.

She explains the impetus for writing the book succinctly: “Scientists are quantifying nature’s effects not only on mood and well-being, but also on our ability to think, to remember things, to plan, to create, to daydream and to focus—as well as on our social skills.” This work has such important implications for all of us that Williams makes an impressive effort to summarize the many avenues of this research being done around the world.

Forest bathing in Japan (

Williams reports on her experiences traveling to research sites in seven countries where scientists and practitioners are doing cutting-edge work on nature’s effects on people’s well-being. She participates in “forest bathing” in Japan and Korea; attends a hiking retreat with neuroscientists in Utah; wears a portable EEG device on her head to explore the physiological effects of noise pollution in the U.S.; participates in a nature virtual reality lab experiment in Canada; walks along “health nature trails” in Finland; participates in outdoor adventure therapy and meditative walking in urban parks in Scotland; observes horticultural therapy in a garden in Sweden; becomes a research subject for a Canadian scientist studying the mental health effects of sustained (30 minutes a day for 30 days) outdoor walking; goes on a camping trip with psychology graduate students in Utah and on a rafting trip in Idaho with female veterans suffering from PTSD to explore the effects of longer-term immersion in nature within social groups; visits a summer camp in North Carolina for kids with ADD and learning disabilities; and explores green spaces in densely populated Singapore. She is ambitious and energetic, and those qualities permeate the book.

Hammock in an urban therapeutic garden in Sweden (

Although the scientists Williams visits are focusing on different aspects of nature’s effects on humans, and are using a wide range of clever measurement tools to do so, an underlying theoretical tenet of all the research is evolution. Since we, Homo sapiens, evolved in nature, we still have deep, automatic, physiological reactions to environmental stimuli. The idea is to recognize, understand, and then use those reactions for beneficial outcomes in our modern lives.

Some Fascinating Research Findings

Japanese and Korean scientists have documented positive changes in physiological responses such as pulse rate, variable heart rate, and salivary cortisol after people have taken sensory walks in forested National Parks. In one study in Korea, spending two days in nature lowered the cortisol levels of 11-12 year old “technology addicts,” and those effects lasted two weeks after the kids had nature immersion experiences.

Another avenue of this “forest bathing” (i.e., walking in the woods) research found that “nice tree smells”—specifically the aromatic substances that cedar and pine trees emit—boost natural killer (NK) white blood cells that strengthen our immune systems. Even a month after people walked in piney woods a few hours a day for three days, their NK cells were 15% higher than those of people who walked the same amount of time on urban streets.


In addition to affecting us through our sense of smell, nature also triggers profound effects through our visual system. One of the reasons that spending time in peaceful natural settings can improve our ability to think effectively and creatively is that we don’t have to use up as much precious cognitive fuel (specifically oxygenated glucose) filtering out distractions. Our inherent “soft fascination” with natural scenes gives our brains a rest so we have the potential to become better at higher order thinking.

Even brief views of nature, such as seeing green trees out a window, can have positive effects on our bodies and minds. One hypothesis is that visually processing nature scenes triggers natural opiates in the brain and “happy molecules” flow. Indeed, studies have shown that nature views outside hospital windows reduce patient stress and lead to better clinical outcomes. In schools, office buildings, and housing projects touches of nature visible from windows have been shown to support increased worker productivity, less job stress, higher academic grades and test scores, and less aggressive behaviors. Scientists propose that this is due in part to congruence in how nature scenes (“natural fractal patterns”) are fluently processed by our neurons, setting off a cascade of positive physiological effects.

In short, Frederick Law Olmstead (the father of landscape architecture and designer of urban parks such as New York’s Central Park) seems to have had it right back in 1865 when he wrote that viewing nature “employs the mind without fatigue and yet exercises it; tranquilizes it and yet enlivens it; and thus, through the influence of the mind over the body, gives the effect of refreshing rest and reinvigoration to the whole system.”


Our sense of hearing also has deep evolutionary roots, so ambient nature sounds trigger very different automatic responses in our bodies than industrial noise. Our sympathetic nervous system (the coordinator of our “fight or flight” responses) reacts dramatically to threatening sounds by elevating heart rates, blood pressure, and respiration. Those are stress responses, and when we’re constantly subjected to annoying noises, everything from airplanes and jack hammers to cell phone ringers and lawn mowers, those frequent stress responses can accumulate to the level of chronic stress within our bodies.

Given that there are fewer than a dozen sites in the continental U.S. where you can’t hear human-made noise for a span of at least 15 minutes (according to research conducted by an acoustic ecologist), this lack of respite from industrial noise can become a major health issue. For instance, every 10-decibel increase in nighttime noise is linked to a 14 % rise in hypertension. In primary schools located near major airports, every 5-decibel increase in aircraft background noise is linked to a drop in reading scores equivalent to a two-month delay in progress.


There are individual differences in people’s noise sensitivity, and Williams found that she is among the most sensitive. She wore EEG headgear to measure her brain wavelengths in different settings to see which places put her brainwaves in the desirable, meditative-like state of “calm alert.” In places where human-made sound is constantly in the background, our brains have to work hard to ignore the irrelevant soundscapes, stealing physiological resources and constantly creating undesirable small side effects. So it is hard for someone with noise sensitivity (like Williams) to unwind in an urban park. After numerous forays outside, Williams finally attained Zen-like brain wavelength tranquility one early morning while kayaking alone on a lake in Maine. The take-home message is that when you’re feeling stressed, go to a quiet place to reset your mind and body to a calmer mode.


In addition to documenting nature’s profound influence on our physiology, Williams also reports on how it can affect our emotional well-being. A researcher in Finland recommends that to elevate mood and stave off depression, people should spend a minimum of five hours per month in nature, and that 10 hours per month yields even more positive results on emotional stability.

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