30 January 2009

When Designers Get Hungry...

...the lucky ones find themselves on the corner of Guerrero and 18th Streets in San Francisco. That's where I spent a lovely hour this morning with Steven McCormick, one of my event design team members.

If you have not visited Tartine Bakery & Cafe, put down whatever it is that you are doing and get over there. Do not tarry!

I didn't think all the rave reviews were all that much. Since I have sampled the best patisseries in la France, how could Tartine possibly stack up? We sat out in the sunshine with bowls of cafe au lait, gougeres, croissants with ham & cheese and a morning bun.

When the Lamborgini pulled up to the curb and the driver furtively ran inside, leaving the car in a tow away zone, I understood.

Worth it. Worth what it takes to get there and get some. C'est magnifique!

29 January 2009

Asian Simplicity: Before & After of a Saratoga Townhome

Ann and her husband Joe asked me to help them update their home and infuse it with a style that reflected their love of travel to exotic lands. They wanted to create an Asian aesthetic in their home and to introduce simplicity into their living spaces. We used Ann's wonderful collection of original antique Japanese woodblock prints framed in bamboo as inspiration for the redecoration and remodel of their three bedroom townhome in Saratoga, California. We also wanted to do this entire remodeling and redecorating on a sensible budget.

First, the AFTER pictures. Enjoy! (The BEFORE pictures are at the end of the post!)


We chose a palette of soothing blue-green accented with white trim, and added in touches of red to energize the space. Taking a cue from the wonderful woodblock prints, we used luscious Donghia jacquard of an old village rooftop scene and stylized lotus blossom motifs fabrics to adorn the furniture. The windows are now shaded with simple shoji-like shades, and the lighting is made from glass fixtures that look like silk lanterns on a warm spring evening among the cherry blossoms.

The entryway proved the perfect spot for us to install an art gallery hanging system for Ann's impressive collection of framed vintage California black and white landscape photographs, and we accented railings in red lacquer, creating an exciting and welcoming entrance to their newly designed home.

In the living room, we removed a full patio door and replaced it with a window to create wall space for the L-shaped sofa. We hung lighting over the angle of the sofa, and with the light from the window, created a comfortable spot for reading and relaxing.

We also removed a huge old mirror over the fireplace, painted the dark wood frame the same color as the wall, and created a interesting and attractive focal point in keeping with the new look for the room. A modern waved formed concrete base coffee table fits well in our scheme.

Please take a look at the BEFORE pictures below to see the changes we made.


Ann and Joe love their new home.



in 2010, it's:

Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design

28 January 2009


We love to find wonderful things to repurpose with a new life. This is one we found at our favorite consignment shop, Afterwards in Menlo Park. 

It's long (96") and low (28") and just reeks of modern and elegant. The drawer pulls are lucite! It is in a perfect color to complement the coral mohair sofa. 

It was a dresser for a bedroom. Not for long.

I'll take it to Joe, and have him convert the middle row of drawers into a door front, behind which we will install sliding shelves for the dvd, amplifier and cable box components. We'll have the door on a double hinge so that it folds back.  The flat screen hi def will hang on the wall above it. Very cool, very chic. 

We now have a sleek citron media cabinet to join our luscious coral mohair sofa in our designer's living room. 

Which brings us to the windows. I am thinking citron there too.  I just can't seem to get enough of that springy, sharp but soft color. What do you think?

Mohair: Sink Slowly Into This

Mohair is at the pinnacle in the world of textiles. It's been around for thousands of years, coming from the enlightened angora goats of Tibet. And yet, today's hippest and chicest want mohair for their furniture. Why?
  • Mohair fibre is lustrous, strong, resilient, and durable
  • It is shorn from the angora goat without harming the animal
  • It takes dyes beautifully
  • Mohair is flame resistant
  • It is soft, and does not crease
  • Mohair is modernly sustainable and green.
What does mohair ask in return? It will cost you a lot of green.

But it will last you forever, and if the dog throws up on it, smile beatifically. You know that liquid beads on its surface.

The Eight-Fold Path sometimes leads to the mohair sofa. Take it.

26 January 2009

That's One Gorgeous Sofa

What does an interior designer do when the economy takes a downturn? She looks inward...toward her own living room. She goes and finds the most luxe fabric she can afford (at the nearest warehouse sale), and she has her favorite upholsterer redo her old sofa. This triggers a complete redesign and redecoration of the living room.

Oh well. She will have to cope. Additional fabrics to find at the best deal possible. New paint colors to try out on the walls. Great mid-century pieces to find and reuse for today's media center. New floor covering to conjure up. And then there are the windows. Just bite the bullet and find the most sensual, sustainable natural fabrics in the world: mohair, trevira, wool. Then sit down and design.

Ahhh! Heaven! A treasured client (myself), one whom I understand completely. Of course, Chris (my husband) will have to be consulted and pleased. But we have a way of pleasing each other lately. I don't expect any problems there.

Stay with me. I'll need your feedback as we tackle this delicious project.


in 2010, it's:

Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design

Elegant, Sustainable? Yes: My Table for Dining By Design

Well we do use what we have these days, don't we? It's a fiscal challenge to keep up with the very latest design trends. In post-Obama inauguration, I say do what you love with what you have. And do it with all your heart.

This amazing chandelier was made from found things. It graced an exquisite setting to the adoration of the critics. It did not cost much money, but it took time, energy and intense creativity to bring it to light.

Table for DIFFA's San Francisco Dining by Design:
Tresors de la Mer

Tresors de la Mer Chandelier Made
Entirely From Found Objects
{It's For Sale!}

Design concept? You are out to sea in your little boat and your anchor catches on something. It's this rusty old basket pulled out of the ocean and after the mermaid slithers out, you find it is filled with treasures like old mercury glass, silver, coral, shells and crystals. You have found Tresors de la Mer much to your delight!

It's was handful, this chandelier and tabletop. But it didn't cost the moon, and it treaded softly on the earth; every single component is a reused item, including the IKEA table underneath it all.

Table Settings Featuring Cloches Made From IKEA Bowls,
Vintage Limoges China, and Vintage Coral-Specked Wallpaper



Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design


My grandmother Amie taught me little French songs and poems when I was a child growing up along the torpid Gulf Coast. 

She also insisted I have art lessons, and at the same time, I watched her as she furnished and decorated her Queen Anne mansion on the water with its mahogany paneling and its endlessly high ceilings.  Oh, and did I mention the seven fireplaces? 

Voila!  Before you could say "croissant" I was hooked on France,  art and design.  A designer was born. 

Amie is long gone, and missed. I took a while to find my place in the world of art and design. I'm staying!


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