26 December 2010

The Rains Ended...

After the excesses and storms of Christmas Day, it was refreshing to wake up to a little sunshine after our rain soaked holiday. I walked out into the garden early this morning just after sunrise and reflected on the simple joys of this season!

I love this Deco vintage French carte de Noel

our naval oranges are sparkling
with raindrops in the dawn light

I couldn't resist bringing the silver Christmas bowl
outside in the early morning light!

we love our Pendleton blanket, a wedding
gift from my cousin Phillip
that is so perfect at Christmastime

simple and lovely angel and crown

we wrapped all our gifts in this pretty
paper with green ribbons

the Provence birdcage filled with
glass Christmas balls

the charm of the unmade guest bed, vacated
excitedly on Christmas morning by
our daughter Lisa!


Christmas morning we opened presents then dressed up and headed over to the Claremont Hotel in Oakland for a lovely, three-hour Christmas brunch with family. My husband's family has been going there for fifty years!

the dehydrator gift... does Steven love it? why is
Lisa laughing so hard?

the tree ornaments witnessed our festive morning!

the "treize desserts" are now down to about "trois desserts"
(nobody really likes the dried oranges and the figs... not when
there is chocolate nearby!)

the stunning Claremont Hotel and Spa is the setting for
our Christmas Day brunch

the gingerbread house in the hotel lobby took 294 lbs of sugar to make!

our adorable nephew Blair and Aunt Lucile "a table"


hoping you and yours had a very...

22 December 2010

Un petit Cadeau from Hermes... No Really, You CAN Afford This!

Is anyone else just a "little" busy this week? Would you like to waste a little time right now, my friend?

I haven't posted in ages, and now here I am taking screenshots from the Hermes site and pushing you there. I spent precious Christmas prep time whiling away at these cool, fun, incredibly inventive and creative games on the Hermes site, and now you can too!

Like to play the slots? You can here. Like to put together jigsaw puzzles? Do it at Hermes, online. Want to do some seriously fun coloring in a sophisticated colorbook? Look no further. How about a real time-elapsed peek at a shopping day in the fabled shop in Paris?

Affordable (bien sur, it's free!) Hermes! You need a break, now! Oh, and please send me your pages from your coloring book when you're done, I'd love to magnet them on the refrigerator door!

it's playtime!

clicking on "Surprises" takes you to this screen; it's a little bit
like the iPhone, no instructions, just explore and have fun!
go ahead, you've got the time :)


play the slot machine!


the tres sophisticated coloring book ... color online
to your heart's content then print out your masterpiece!

a spread from the coloring book before I began to color!

on my way to true masterpiece... your kids will also LOVE this!

in mere moments I was on my way!


le Jigsaw puzzle, not so easy!


go here now, see the Parisians shopping ... really shopping!

this starts out as b & w line drawing and the design
is created before your very astonished eyes! c'est magique!

the little winged guy of Hermes

spying one of these boxes under the tree always
quickens the pulse a wee bit, non?

11 December 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Lavender :)

Hope your December is full of all good things so far: the spicy scents of holiday makings, the warm glow of the fire, fingerless cashmere gloves so you can use your iPhone, a cup of hot chocolate after a brisk turn at the shops.

As a designer, Christmas packs a lot into a few short weeks. First, clients need you now more than ever! Christmas is all about creating a festive, inviting and joyful atmosphere. And gratefully this year I am quite busy. Secondly, you have to give your own home some attention... and sometimes, like the shoemaker whose children go shoeless, you just pull things together, forget to polish the silver, can't find the right vase and don't have time to go shopping... so when you have a deadline, you use what you have and call it a day.

As my dear friend Tish Jett kindly said to my blushing ears:

"Kit's aesthetic is eclectic, while capturing that unique je ne sais quoi of Provence. She understands the potent cocktail of its romance, nonchalant elegance, warmth and comfort which is so rarely replicated by Americans who look for the "nothing out of place" sterility that does not in any way reflect l'art de vivre in France."
I am so happy that Tish, who is American and lives in Paris, sees me that way. She has captured in her words my very philosophy about la vie Provençale. Her words were un petit cadeau for me this Christmas time. Mille mercis, Tish!

Here, then, is our home at Christmastime, 2010:

the lavender inspiration
for the dining room

I layered the table with old French linen, and over that, an embroidered
organdy overlay... then used lavender silk to ground the place settings,
added a little bling with lavender paillards, and kept the feeling
light, simple and elegant

the lavender cowhide layered over old French linenis perfect for the
dessert sideboard! (this photo makes me realize just how badly I need the
perfect sconces on either side of our large, large 19th C. painting... right?)

roughly cut lavender silk rectangles ground the place settings;
layered on topare vintage lace placemats and silverware;
the lovely plate is Anthropologie and the vase is a vintage
Provençal bee catcher jar

sideboard is ready for the 13 desserts de Noel, a
Christmas eve Provencal tradition!


bay leaves layered in tulle with white lights
are the inspiration for the living room;
this made a great swag for the mantel
(it looks best against a white background)

the details of the bay leave are lost in this photo with hotspots
where the lights are but in person it is truly beautiful!

some Christmases you have a really beautiful
tree; others not so much... this year I admit
I have the most un-photogenic tree ever, I think!
but we love it anyway :)

the wreath on the front door given to me by
a lovely friend 12 years ago; it reminds me of
her every Christmas and remains the same
although the door changes color frequently, bien sûr!


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10 December 2010

Christmas Decorating With "les Femmes"!

If you do not know A Femme d'Un Certain Age yet, you are in for a treat! Tish Jett's witty observations about being a woman of brilliance and style "who moved to France for a job and stayed for love" living in Paris will keep you coming back over and over again! A little cadeaux for yourself! She is also full of great advice for achieving that nonchalant elegance that defines Parisian style.

Three days ago Tish asked me to post about Christmas decorating. I agreed, and joined the company of other designer/bloggers MaryAnne of Beadboard Upcountry, Patricia Tapp of Little Augury, Francine Gardner of Art de Vivre and of course, Jeanne-Aelia of Through the French Eye of Design... fun!

Thanks Tish for including me in the celebration!

lavender cowhide over old French linen on the desserts sidebar... see the


Don't miss out! Enter the
fora chance to win an incredible
silk filament filled duvet!
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