27 May 2009

The Luscious Palettes of Chic Provence

If you love color as much as I do, Provence is your Kismet. Do not tempt fate by fighting this. No, give yourself over to your destiny and immerse yourself in the gloriously sophisticated palettes of Chic Provence.

The subtle neutrals of pearl grey, stone, cream, fawn, white, and taupe provide the perfect foil for punctuating vibrant shades that never fail to make the heart sing.

These neutrals also mix beautifully with each other to stand quietly on their own, providing soulful and soothing retreats where you can exhale and forget the incessant din and chatter outside your doors.

Vibrant Turquoise Console is Stunning Against Pure White
and Would Amaze in an Entryway

Chocolate and Cream Against Pure White Create
Incredibly Inviting Place to Relax

Fuschia and Black with Grey and Creme Walls in the
Ultimate Chic Dining Room

Magenta with Honey Floors and Creme Walls ...
The Painted Poutres and Chandelier Evoke the South of France

Printemps with White Walls and Blue-Grey Soubassements
are Wonderfully Complementary in Spirit

Venetian Red Walls with Taupe and Creme Furniture
Create a Warm and Light-Hearted Haven

Luminous Dove Grey on Wood and Pearl Grey Chalk Walls
Create a Vignette with Great Character in an Attic Room

Rich Creme Walls with Blue-Grey Soubassements to Define the Space

Blue Architectural Details with Soft Ochre Walls...
A Classic Technique in Provence

Deep Creme Walls and Mouse-Grey Soubassements is
a Great Technique for Adding Interest to Plain Walls

Deep Coral on Top Graduating to Fuschia at White Floor..Worth the Effort

Nougatine Walls with Honey Furniture and Floors...
Warm and Inviting Dining

These color palettes will evoke the relaxed and elegant spirit of the South of France for your home. Forget the trends of the day and use these time honored color schemes that have held for centuries. Fresh and modern, traditional and elegant, these colors will sustain and delight you.

After all, it's your design destiny, non?

Incredible photographs of Provence interiors and furniture are 
from the exquisite Roche Bobois Provenciales collection. 
Color ideas are from Massim Publishing, 
Couleurs and 1000 Idees, Couleurs et Ambiances, 
two wonderful color resources I picked up at
Le Comptoir des Ochres in Roussillon in France.


Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design

17 May 2009

The Linens of Chic Provence

At ten thousand years old, linen has been used by Provencals for centuries as bedsheets, tablecloths, curtains, furniture. Linen imparts the ease and simple rustic elegance that signals the Chic Provence interior.

I love its rough, handwoven feel. And you can be a little rough with linen, it stands up to a lot. It invites touch and exhalation, whether upholstering an old Louis XV chair, elegantly draped over a worn sofa or used as...a sheet! 

courtesy Libeco

courtesy Libeco

courtesy Libeco

courtesy the amazing  interiors blog
courtesy Red Ticking 

Linen is crisp, clean and comfortable. Soft, yet strong and durable. The more it is used, the softer and stronger it becomes. It is non-allergenic, and sustainable to the core. It offers luxury and comfort, elegance and practicality. If it gets a little worn or torn, just make a pillow or some napkins from the remnants. 

You can look for handwoven pieces at flea markets all over France. Or skip the trip and find incredibly beautiful linens at Libeco. They have listings of local sources, like Red Ticking in Seattle that's like a trip to a flea market itself!

Once you bring linen into your life, you will wonder how you lived without it so long. And you will keep it forever.

That's the soul of the thrifty, chic Provence way of life.


Kit Golson Design  

interior design solutions

14 May 2009

The Stunning Chinoiseries of de Gournay

Made in France.
On handmade paper.
Using all natural materials.

deGournay wallpapers are sustainable and green today, just as they have been for 300 years.

Did somebody say that "green" can't be beautiful?

Reinterpreting the exotic style of Chinoiserie in modern and exciting colorways, deGournay has taken on the most accurate and stunning reproductions of the original Chinoiserie designs first introduced to an adoring Europe almost three hundred years ago. By 1720 the taste for Chinoiserie, which had grown up during Louis XIV, had become a craze.

Chinoiserie design endures today because the asymmetry and novel motifs create lighthearted relief in modern, austere and classically designed interiors.

At an extravagant price point, cost is a consideration when using this luxurious handmade wallpaper. So take a cue from the thrifty Provencals and use a little of this enduringly chic motif inside panels on your walls, on your cupboard doors, your screens.

You really don't have to choose between green and beautiful. You just have to have exquisitely good taste.


elegant sustainable pragmatic
interior design solutions

13 May 2009

Botanicals....Too Pretty to Leave in the Garden

Maybe it's because this year the garden is exponentially lusher than usual for this early in the spring....or maybe it's because I'm helping my daughter launch her organic/sustainable catering business....or because I'm designing a late summer outdoor dinner using growing things as a theme....but, I just can't get enough of these botanicals!

Use these glorious fabrics with abandon if you like (not all at once, of course!) for draperies, headboard, sofa, canopy. Or restrain them to a pair of lovely slipper chairs, or chaise longue for your bedroom, a few lovely pillows.


Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design

11 May 2009

Scrappy Little Alemany....A Market in the Spirit of Provence

The red headed stepchild to the far tonier Alameda Flea Market across the Bay (I've spotted celebrities there!), the scrappy little Alemany Flea Market endures Sunday after Sunday in the spirit of the markets of Provence. 

You can find great stuff here, the prices are much more "accessible" in this downturn,  and the French pastries are spot on for an early morning browsing treat (think petit pain au chocolate, brioche) along with strong coffee. 

Mothers Day at the Alameda Flea Market

Fabulous Octagonal Fretwork Table that 
Looks Like Carved Ivory (but isn't!) $40.

Leading Letters & Small Collectibles 50 cents each

Adorable Chinese Red Stool $20.

Chinese Screen $75

Chic Little Table $45

What I love is that it's No Big Deal. Just amble on up to the south side of San Francisco, get a parking spot, and head to the 150 or so stalls. No big parking hassle, no entry fees, everything easy. I always find something. 

And on Mothers Day, what better way to spend a few early morning hours than tending to the redheaded stepchild?


Alemany Flea Market:  Every Sunday, Rain, Fog, Wind or Shine at the intersection of Alemany Boulevard and 101 South in San Francisco, from 8 am until 3 pm. 

08 May 2009

Fast Slow Food in Green Cafes

If your hippest client suggests lunch twice in one week, you  happily go where she chooses. Good call!

On Tuesday after "bargain hunting" at Ed Hardy's bittersweet closeout antiques auction,  we headed over to  Nopalito. A new, chic Mexican that boasts sustainable and organic food, it does not resemble the usual tacqueria in any way.  Once we were able to squeeze into the packed lunch crowd there was no doubt that all the smiling faces were not from the mojitos.

Suguaro Branch Sculpture

Zinc Countertops

Pendant Lights and Glass Mosaic Backsplash

No, smiles were for the food (beyond fabulous) and especially for the design itself (very green: zinc countertops, glass mosaic wall, repurposed cans for lights, tables made from fallen oak trees, suguaro branches as sculpture, concrete floors, cloth napkins instead of paper.)

Blissfully guiltlessly we lunched. 


On Wednesday, while down in Palo Alto foraging for old fireplace mantels at Whole House Building Supply & Salvage, we headed over to Town and Country to  Calafia Cafe.

Intentionally sustainable and repurposed throughout its brilliantly conceived interior (kudos to Nicole Hollis for her seltzer bottles for pendant lights, barn wood ceiling, straw in plaster walls, recycled bottles for chandelier, huge reclaimed beams for support, Chilewich placemats, tree trunk coffee tables), the food served there by a former Google chef was delectable and delish.

Lights Made From Old Bottles

Did Someone Say "Adorable Tree Trunk Coffee Table"?

Eco Friendly Plaster Made Friendlier With Straw

If you find yourself near either place when hunger hits, go.  But before you order, take a moment to note the green and clean ambiance.  Celebrate the sustainable design. Exhale. 

Your body and your spirit will both thank you, and your mother earth will love you. How hip is that?


04 May 2009

The Client Looks Like a Young Cindy Crawford

She moved last year from her lovely Hamptons digs on the east coast to one of San Francisco's forgotten neighborhoods to take up her teaching post at a traditional boys' school on Nob Hill. 

The soul of thrift and chic, she chose a rental house in La Precita overlooking the boulevard with it's wide, beautifully planted park and its streets full of murals. Children's laughter and mariachi music filled the later summer air. All on the rather sunny side of San Francisco. 

Because the inside of her jewel of a home needed an uplift and some simple furnishings, we headed for the Alemany Flea Market.  There we found chic metal chairs and table, some art, a bookcase or two. We found inspiration for her color scheme for the five room, 2 patio home in this lovely 40's fabric designed by The Michael Josef Design Group.

That led us to a delectable palette of very liveable and uplifting colors for Liz's new home. Now the inside matches the spirit of the view from the front bay window.
A++, indeed!



Related Posts with Thumbnails