29 June 2009

Safe, and Now Lovely & Green Too: Before & After's of the CORA Project

Welcome to a special tour of a very special home...the CORA safe home I have been remodeling and refurbishing is almost ready to provide refuge for women fleeing abusive partners {see "What is the Color of Safety?"}. My friend, architect Roger Hagman invited me to work with him on this project.

I think you will love the transformation! First, the happy AFTER pictures. You can compare these with the BEFORE at the end of the post.


Three Original Paintings for Safe House Living Room
by Kit Golson and Camilla Calder

A Welcoming Mural in Soft Colors in the Hallway
Which is Now a Play Area for Children

The View From the Front Door

A Comfortable "Mother's Chair" Awaits
in One of the Bedrooms

A Completely Remodeled Kitchen with New Appliances,
Cabinets, Bamboo Flooring, Bottlestone Countertop and Backsplash

Additional Storage in the Large Bedroom

A Sunny, Cheerful & Restful Bedroom

A Former Eyesore Center Hall Turned Into
Children's Play Area

A View Towards the Front Door

A Redesigned Dining SpaceIncludes
Sub Zero Refrigerator and Study Area for Teens

A lot of the design plans... transluscent 3-Form cabinet doors on painted green kitchen cabinets, for example, had to be abandoned because of costs. Likewise the art was not donated; an intrepid artist friend visiting from France, Camilla Calder, stepped up to do two of the paintings with me.

I think we've created a lovely, feminine, upbeat and soothing place for these women to call home while they are transforming their own lives. Especially when you consider the BEFORE pictures, below, of the shelter before we began our work.



A Dreary Dining Area

The View From the Front Door

A Smaller Bedroom...Where's a Mother to Sit and Relax?

A Center Hallway Used for
Closet Storage with Curtain Doors

A Cramped and Dreary Large Bedroom

Storage in the Largest Bedroom

The home is being furnished with donations from kind people in the community, with the help of Agnes Moser, a designer and friend. {If you would like to donate towards nice new furnishings, please do!}

I am very proud of our local community. The amazing bamboo flooring, Neopolitan by Plyboo Strand was donated by Smith & Fong of San Francisco. All the tile and the amazing blue Bottlestone countertops were donated by Fireclay Tile in San Jose. The General Electric kitchen appliances were also donated. These donations were secured by the untiring efforts of great designers and friends, Annie Cronin, Lilley Yee and Peggy Deras.

I like to think this home will uplift the battered spirits of the women and children who will live there. What do you think?

elegant sustainable pragmatic
Chic Provence Design


  1. What a magical transformation from the original space- very well done, Kit. You should be proud. Congratulations!!!

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  3. Hi Denny, thanks for the kind words!

    The most gratifying part of the project was the space planning, creating useable areas for kids/study/parents, and creating a much larger, more efficient kitchen. I also added lots and lots of hooks for hanging stuff in bedrooms and by front door, so useful!

    Of course, the art was fun and any chance to pick up a paintbrush and I'm there!

  4. After being told by a spouse or partner that you a worthless, what a wonderful start to telling a mother and family that they are a valued person and worthy of the space. Wonderful transformation Kit and all the principals.

  5. Kit, what an amazing transformation from dreary and institutional to soothing and welcoming.

  6. Beautiful transformation of the Before to the After. I will forward this blog on to John Schmitt. Congratulations Kit!

  7. Beautiful and comforting! Congratulations on your lovely creation ♥

  8. absolutely lovely and feminine and warm and soothing at the same time. Reminds me of someone I know...hmmmm. You deserve major kudos, and I love the paintings too!

  9. Thank you Claire, Kathy, Lilley, Willow, Miche.....all very lovely comments indeed! This project had a life of its own, very motivating opportunity to make an "Aha" moment for someone..."I did the right thing to leave"...

  10. Great looks like my place!

  11. wow, that's the mother of all transformation. Amazing what paint can do

  12. Amazing transformation - light and airy, colorful and spacious... those coming for respite will have a wonderful place for renewal.

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  14. HI Corine, thanks for the visit and kind comments!

  15. Hi Diane, thanks so much! Kit

  16. The colors and finishes are beautiful and I love the paintings. This is a very special space and transformation. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  17. Hi Miss Mustard Seed, thanks so much for stopping by and visiting! Your comments are most appreciated.

    all the best


  18. Hi,

    That bamboo is lovely.

    What manufacturer and style bamboo is that? Where did you purchase it from?

  19. HI Douglas

    The bamboo flooring is called Neopolitan, and is available from Smith & Fong, typically through your local flooring company. It is a wonderful, commercial grade bamboo flooring that will stand up to lots of wear and tear. Smith & Fong of San Francisco have been in the bamboo flooring business since the 1980's at least and are industry leaders in sustainable bamboo.

    Thanks for asking!



I would love to hear what you think! merci!


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