29 March 2010

The Wisteria: Inspiration for an Easter Brunch

Even though it's still Lent, I had to go outside and design an Easter Brunch table beneath our incredible showing of wisteria early this morning. Who can blame me for these gentle excesses?

I started by covering two square tables with a long white cloth, then topping that with my grandmother's lace bedspread (which I noticed needs some attention: mending and cleaning!). On top of the lace, to take some of the sweetness out and to give a little edge, I tossed a lavender cowhide left over from a design project, suede side up. I thought it would be great with the color of the wisteria, and it is!

I then tried a couple of different centerpieces: an arrangement of Lenten Roses in my chinoiserie tea canisters was casual and elegant. Then I tried the Easter Egg Tree I made last year, and I like it too. I guess it's nice to have a couple of choices next Sunday.

Place settings are Malvina Golson's embroidered pink placemats (my husband's grandmother), Limoges luncheon plates, and bread & butter plates from my grandmother Amie in yellow paisley pattern I adore. I used the silver I bought at a vide grenier just outside the front door of my dear friend Camilla's house in Rians, France last year. The adorable straw domes are from Anthropologie, and I placed a French sacerdotal relic at the head table, for Easter.

Voila! A little bit ready for our big Easter celebration with lots of family and friends coming over..let's just hope it is nice enough to be outside. They're forecasting rain for the next several days. We might be sitting inside around the fireplace roasting marshmallows!


in 2010, it's:

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic
Chic Provence Interior Design

26 March 2010

For "une petite pause": Early Spring at Filoli

Not just another pretty springtime bouquet, this country estate-turned National Trust for Historic Preservation landmark is a must-see if you love formal gardens and beautiful old homes. A trip there will transport you to a quieter, more serene time when the cultivation of exquisite gardens and the keeping of mansions was a gracious way of living daily life. In other words, a peek at how the other half lived in 1925!

Situated on 654 acres with gardens to wander, a Gardener's Resource Shop to peruse, a cafe for lunch and amazing 18th & 19th century furnishings to admire in the House, an afternoon at Filoli is a designer's feast. What better place to meet a favorite client for a few hours? That's just what we did this week.

potted flowers in the ballroom

Chinoiserie in the Asian Room

flowering tree at Filoli

doorway at the Garden Shop

approaching the Orangerie

pathway leaving the Orangerie

the swimming pool flanked by potted lemon trees

pots of tulips at the rear of the House

one of the two Camperdown Elm trees
flanking the pool house

fuschia tulips underplanted with tiny forget-me-nots

inside the Orangerie

Chinese figure inside the House in the Asian Room

piano player in the ballroom

map of Filoli Gardens and House

So if you are lucky enough to find yourself in San Francisco this time of year, take a little time out to visit these gorgeous formal gardens and the exquisite mansion. Since I live about five miles away, let me know if you are in the area.

We'll have a wonderful walk through and might even take home a plant or two for our gardens. We'll definitely leave inspired.

Visit the website for information on visiting and the history. www.filoli.org

all photos by Kit Golson

download if you like!


in 2010, it's:

Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design

25 March 2010

A Fireplace Makeover: A Small Before & After

The client had inherited a flush marble tile faced fireplace with no mantel. Stopgap measures included experimenting with a unique screen (didn't go too far!) and settling for hanging a couple of oil paintings from France over the opening and hoping it didn't attract too much attention to itself.

fireplace, afterwards

With tiny budget, we were able to create an elegant fireplace surround and mantel, and place a wonderful Empire style gilt mirror over the mantel. We bought the mirror at a local thrift store for $12.00, then with a few cents' worth of gesso and $9.00 in gold leaf from Michael's, we created a gorgeous gold-leafed mirror for $21.00. A friend arrived and guessed the mirror had cost $1200 so we knew we had succeeded!

The mantel was found at the local building materials salvage yard for $75.00. It was sanded and prepped for priming and painting, then mounted on the fireplace surround for a perfect fit and a wonderful nod to Louis XV in design.

Total cost: Mirror: $21.00, Mantel $75 plus paint and labor to attach to wall (about $125 here in the Bay Area) Total: $221. and change.

What do you think?

fireplace, before


in 2010, it's:

Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design

17 March 2010

Springtime Inspiration: Breakfast in the Garden on St. Patrick's Day

" When Irish Eyes are Smiling...

What better way to herald early spring than with the cheer of the Irish as St. Patrick's Day is upon us? I can just hear the lilting voices and see the bounce in the step. Irish soda bread with lots of butter and hot strong coffee with cream..ah! In a garden setting with snow bells bloomin' and a carpet of moss beneath your feet.

Enjoy! Top 'o the Mornin' to ya!

embroidered table linens handmade by Malvina Golson
my husband's amazing grandmother
many years ago in France
Anthropologie cockatiel teapot and
miniature daisies in vintage Chinoiserie tea canister

....You Can Hear the Angels Sing! "


in 2010, it's:

Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design

16 March 2010

Chic Provence Visits Karina Gentinetta

Ambling down Magazine Street one sultry morning not too long ago in New Orleans, I was fortunate enough to discover the lovely designo Karina Gentinetta's brand new space and to find her there putting the finishing touches on everything before the grand opening.

Walking into her place transported me to another place and time: a comfortable and soothing retreat. Waxed mahogany floors, exposed brick fireplace and tall shuttered windows provided a cool and elegant backdrop to linen covered pieces, coral from the sea, the white and grey painted furnishings, the glint of crystal, mercury glass, worn gilt, and the unmistakable patina of vintage pieces.

all images by Kit Golson
using iPhone

Visit designo Karina Gentinetta online--she is on both etsy and 1stdibs--- if you can't make it to New Orleans just now! And, oh, a big huge thanks to Stephanie of Bonjour Madame for sending me to find Karina's shop! If you read Bonjour Madame, you know that Karina just finished helping Stephanie redo her home in the style of vintage European charming chic.


in 2010, it's:

Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design

13 March 2010

Lulu DK Inspires the Breezy Guest Room

o the treasures we'll find,
like these vintage mercury glass bottles!

Don't misunderstand me..I love living on the Best Coast, and I love my family and friends here. But sometimes I miss, really miss, my friends and family on those other coasts: Pacific northwest, east and south, and across the oceans. Especially all the girlfriends, cousins, sisters-in-law & their sisters, aunts, Mom; and the long uninterrupted weekends we could spend together, just being and doing whatever we feel like: a little pampering, a little shopping, a little relaxing and a little indulging.. & mostly talking!

In that spirit I am thinking Guest Rooms and turned to Lulu DK for inspiration. These fresh and accessible designs are what I found. They look very inviting, relaxing, unfussy and fresh to me. What do you think of these? Would they lure you out west for a visit? Especially after the weather you've endured this winter..you deserve un petit vacance! Here's what we'll do!

so comfy and unfussy you can let
the pup sleep with you

extra towels, pillows and chilled water
at your bedside

Relax, take a little snooze. Supper in the garden at 8! Then we can stay up all night long getting caught up and watching old movies!


supper at 8
Juliska at Emily Joubert

Tomorrow I've scheduled us in for Jurlique facials and heated stone massages at Watercourse Way in the afternoon!

sheer heavenly pampering waits at
Watercourse Way in Palo Alto


fun shops in Sonoma & San Francisco,
flea market finds & Filoli's Orangerie

On Sunday we'll wander over to the flea market, then hit some of our favorite consignments shops..and oh, we might sigh over the Orangerie at Filoli's gardens on our way over to the beach for dinner at sunset.

So glad you're here..the perfect weekend with the perfect houseguest..YOU!

Oh, by the way, the fabulous and talented Lulu has a blog now! check it out at Trail of Inspiration!


in 2010, it's:

Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design


Related Posts with Thumbnails