31 January 2012

Mission Style Circa 1790 in California

My daughter Lisa  made a goal to visit all of the twenty-one 18th C. missions that were built "a day's journey by horseback" (or about 30 miles apart) up and down the coast of California. On a recent gorgeous Sunday we had the chance to visit Mission San Miguel Arcangel in the central coast. As a designer who loves color, crumbling & derivative architecture, decorative painting on walls, history and celebration, I found it a stunning place to spend an hour or so. 

a portrait of the patron saint Michael the Archangel
hangs on the frescoed walls of the long, narrow
church; the walls are the original decorative
paintings by Esteban Munras from the 1820's

the front entry of the church is simple and austere with
a large carved and painted wooden door and quatrefoil windows

one of the buttresses on the side of the long, narrow church have
helped support it through earthquakes and the harmonic
vibrations from the nearby Union Pacific Railway railroad

one of the gateposts from the original enclosure
of the mission grounds stands proudly today
in the California sunshine

another massive carved and painted door
with a heavy oak lintel opens onto
the mission arcade

another original gate onto the enclosure that
housed and protected early missionaries

the stunning altar and surround are heavily
decorated by Estaban Munras in 1820 in
the Neo Classical excesses he had seen in the
magnificent churches in Mexico at the time; it remains 

today exactly as he finished it

this energizing burst appears on the left side
of the church alongside the classically
referenced blue painted columns

the entry to one of the carpentry areas is a
brilliantly orange painted arch with stylized flowers;
the dado wall with the border of red flowers
continues the length of the colonnade

closeup of the decorative painting
dating from 1820

a display of the implements and tools used
in the contraction of the 1797
Mission San Miguel Arcangel


Franciscan missionaries in the late 18th Century California

by 1820, a total of twenty-one missions had
been established along the California
coast by the Franciscans; while they
are all existing today, Mission
San Miguel featured here has
the most preserved interior
and decorative elements of
all the missions

a photo taken in 1920 shows the details characteristic of the California
Misison style: colonnade of Roman arches, white unadorned exterior,
clay tile roofs, deep overhang... these architectural elements
are widely used in buildings in California today

above old photos of
Mission San Miguel are


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23 January 2012

Winner! Chic Provence Design Tour Giveaway of Rough Linens!

Wow! I'm so thrilled (but not surprised because Tricia Rose's linens are so spectacular) at the response to the Rough Linen giveaway! Many many thanks to everyone who visited, commented, followed and helped me spread the word about our Chic Provence Design Tour Printemps 2012!

And now, after a lot of work getting the drawing ready... checking out all those wonderful links, follows, tweets and blog posts... we have a very lucky winner! I've also listed all you wonderful bloggers who placed my button or posted about the Provence Tour on your blog. I am extremely grateful to all of you.

And now... the lucky winner! David McGrievey won the drawing! Be sure to check out his wonderful blog,  An Illustrated Life and enjoy not only his pithy writing but his wonderful illustrations peppered throughout... pure delight. 

David I hope you will send us an illustration of your wonderful new linens after you get them from Tricia Rose at Rough Linen! We'll be waiting.

one of David's illustrations.. you are very familiar with
his work I am sure!


we are filling up quickly..
act now to join us on our fabulous
Chic Provence Tour in
the spring! the deadline
for reservations is
March 1, 2012


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20 January 2012

A Fabulous Chic Provence Design Tour Giveaway from { Rough Linen }!

{ Enter Now to Win Fabulous Rough Linentm Table Linens! }

{ contest ends tonight at 9 pm PST }

Hello dear readers, I hope your holidays are full of peace and joy! Today I bring you a chance to win these stunning linens from Rough Linen... just in time for those post-holiday celebrations!

I'm very excited to tell you about this incredible Chic Provence Design Tour 2012 special giveaway!

The talented and very lovely Tricia Rose of Rough Linen has offered her gorgeous Orkney Linen tablecloth and eight napkins, proportioned to the size you need for your own table for a Chic Provence readers' drawing! Her linens evoke the spirit of the south of France and are handmade from the oldest fiber known...incredibly durable, chic and smart, you will use these linens for generations. To receive fabric samples from Tricia, go here.

Indeed Tricia was inspired in her linens business when  she lived in a Napoleonic fort turned fabulous home on one of the islands off the coast of Toulon in the Var. Can you believe anyone could be so lucky? Here are some views of her home; when you see these you will understand her love of all things natural. She lives by the sea still today where I have visited and had tea sitting out over the water. 

above are Tricia's stunning view from her home in the Var, the 
gorgeous herringbone floor inside her home, and a plan of the
home, once a Napoleanic fort

This incredible giveaway is to promote our extremely popular Chic Provence Design Tour Printemps 2012, in Provence. 


To win this chic, elegant tablecloth and 8 napkins (or its equivalent 
value of $250 in Tricia's other linens):

All you have to do to earn ONE chance in the drawing:
  • Follow Chic Provence
  • Like Chic Provence on Facebook
  • Follow Chic Provence on Twitter
  • Share this post on FB, Twitter and Blogger (icons below post)
  • Leave a comment here so I can place your name in the drawing!
To earn TWO chances in the drawing, do the above plus:
  • Place our Tour Button on your blog right away and link it to http://bit.ly/chicprovencetourprintemps2012
Finally, to earn THREE chances in the drawing, do the above plus:

Of course, I'll post a link on my blog to everyone who posts about a Chic Provence Design Tour just below my tour button on my right side. 

The drawing will be January 20, 2012. Tricia Rose will work with the lucky winner directly to give you exactly the gorgeous linens that your heart desires!

I am so grateful to everyone for helping me spread the word about our very popular Chic Provence Design Tour 2012! We've already sold many spaces so be sure to register before January 15 to get the $300 discount for early registration! Join us in l'Isle sur la Sorgue for an unforgettable journey in the heart of Provence, with a designer blogger as your guide and a very luxurious villa as your home!

This is your year to take time for YOU! Join us!

{ Bonne Chance! }


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Thank you so much for visiting Chic Provence... Kit

17 January 2012

Happy New Year from Chic Provence!

Before January gets to be too far gone, I'd love to wish my brilliant readers 
a happy, peaceful, healthy, safe and very creative 2012!  

I'd also like to thank you deeply for
your loyalty and support of  Chic Provence..
it truly means the world to me and makes me feel
connected to you all.

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I've extended the Early Registration discount!
Register now for our Provence Tour and
get $300 off the total, all inclusive price!


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