29 December 2009

The Gorgeous Reclaimed Floors of Chic Provence

If you are building a new home, or remodeling one, you have the perfect opportunity to create authentic Provencal ambience from the ground up (lucky you!). No, you do not have to settle for wood floors that merely look old and distressed, or tiles that try to capture the patina of hundreds of years of life.

You will be doing your part to go green, too, by using reclaimed flooring instead of wasting energy creating new. And the charm and elegance of these venerable old floors is undisputed.

antique French oak floorboards imprinted with
character from hundreds of years of use
reclaimed planks 6" 11" wide and 98" long

antique parquet de Versailles unfinished,
reclaimed from chateaux and farm houses
in Europe

antique French terra cotta floor tiles reclaimed
from Provence, each reflecting the color of
the region where made

18th & 19th C. reclaimed tomettes, or hexagonal tiles, named in honor of l'Hexe
(France herself looks like a hexagon on a map)

cut limestone floors

antique handmade terra cotta tiles are
charming and utterly practical

these very rustic antique handmade tiles are the perfect foil for
the elegant furniture and draperies

reclaimed flooring and
other architectural material at:



in the new year, it's:

Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design

The Elegant Old Doors of Chic Provence

If you can't quite make that trip to Provence just now, one look at these doors and you'll feel like you are strolling through a village perche in the Luberon. And that's a wonderful feeling to have!

The good news is that you can find authentic reclaimed Provencal doors and hardware here in America to grace your very own maison de reve. Check out the gorgeous selection of reclaimed architectural elements available at Authentic Provence.

Don't wait too long to find your doorway; these are obviously limited to what's available!

Cast Bronze Venus Dorknocker

Dauphine Doorknocker

Cast Bronze Figural

Cast Bronze Ring

la Medusa cast iron door knocker

Bienvenue chez nous!

Main entrance door, circa 1820,
painted oak with wrought iron grille

simple Directoire wood door, circa 1795
(hello.....this door dates from the time when my great- great- great- etc etc grandfather,
Capt. Lemuel Moody was captured by French pirates
in the Caribbean!)

I love this circa 1750 France cabinet door
painted oak with faceted mirrors!

Entrance door, circa 1820,
painted oak with wrought iron grille

Palace in Arles solid oak doors, circa 1740

main entrance door, circa 1852
painted oak with original hardware

Directoire double door, France, circa 1795
oak massir wood with original hardware

all items can be seen at



in the new year, it's:

Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design

28 December 2009

The Milk Paints and French Washes of Chic Provence

If you are looking for a rustic, chalky appearance to soften new furniture or transform flea-market finds; or a rich velvety finish for walls, or a wash for your walls that will "bloom" into a rustic provencale-like texture, you cannot trust your paint finishes to just any old paint company.

Here at Chic Provence, we are very happy with the traditional European paint finishes (and colors) we find at the Sydney Harbor Paint Company/Porter's Original Paints. For special clients with considered requirements, we get these gorgeous, low- to no-VOC paints at Gray's Paint on Woodside Road in Redwood City, California.

I love this duchesse satin wall finish that glows with a silvery light

this milk paint finish is perfect for a flea market transformation

duchesse satin finish beautifully accents the architectural features of this fireplace

this wood wash is perfect for finishing raw timber surfaces

alternating stripes of milk paint and duchesse satin in the
same color creates chic and subtle interest in entryway

lime wash in luscious color for this stairway

this wood wash for a limed look on raw timber floors

milk paint freshens this wood panelled stairway
into a modern statement

milk paint in layers softens and ages this new piece

distemper paint creates rich and velvety wall finish

photos courtesy Sydney Harbour Paint Company


in the new year:

Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design

23 December 2009

Joyeaux Noel!

To all of my readers, fellow bloggers, friends and family!

Wishing for you and yours a happy, healthy, peaceful
and safe Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

My heartfelt thanks to everyone of you who reads Chic Provence!
Your ongoing support is a treasure for me!


P.S. yes as I promised to show you, that's the skirt I found at the flea market and used
for a Christmas tree skirt....on this little tree it's a bit much...
but next year, watch out!


in the New Year:

Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design

20 December 2009

Pavlova? or the 13 Desserts of Noel?

I've been looking for a special a dessert for our Christmas Eve celebration that is beautiful (of course!), delicious, simple, and that warms the spirit....and I found it! It's perfect!


This delightful dessert is a designer's dream! Egg whites whipped into a silken alabaster pouf, the meringue a crisp and delicate base, filled with whipped cream, (so far it's pristinely white) then topped with a gorgeous array of fruits: the tart green of kiwis, the ruby red of strawberries, the deep coral of raspberries, the indigo of blueberries, the tangerine of, well, tangerines!

Made in honor of the ballerina Anna Pavlova on her 1923 tour of New Zealand, it is the epitome of elegant ease. I think even the Provencales would forgive me not putting out the traditional 13 desserts* this Christmas Eve when they see this confection!

Pavlova it is!

the top view of luscious Pavlova, the perfect ending
to Christmas Eve dinner

what could be more inviting for dessert?

Thanks to House of Annie for the Pavlova recipe and photos! Or for the American version (easier to follow!) check out Ina Garten's recipe.


* Les Treize Desserts de Noel:

At Christmastime in Provence, in the south of France, there’s a tradition of having a Christmas meal consisting largely of vegetables, followed by 13 desserts. 13 signifies the number of people at the last supper – Christ and his 12 apostles. The table should be decorated with 3 candlesticks, representing the Trinity. The meal and dessert are eaten before the family goes to midnight mass on Christmas.

1. Black Nougats – Symbolizing evil – Hard candy made with honey and almonds.

2. White Nougats – Symbolizing good – Soft candy made with sugar, eggs, pistachios, honey, and almonds.

These four are supposed to symbolize beggars, represented by four religious orders (Franciscans, Dominicans, Carmelite Nuns, Augustinians):

3. Dried Figs
4. Almonds
5. Hazelnuts or other nuts
6. Dried Grapes

The symbol of Mary and Jesus’ safe journey from the East:

7. Dates

Some of the other desserts eaten, depending on the region, are:

Quince Paste
Calissons d’Aix (almond-paste pastry with sugar icing)
Oil Cake called Fougasse or Pompe à l’huile (made with Orange Flower Water and Olive Oil)

Finally with these desserts, one drinks cooked wine, representing Jesus himself.

One must have a taste of each dessert to have good luck for the whole year.

the thought of 13 desserts is altogether
too much to contemplate this simpler Christmas!



Contact Me!

Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design


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