20 April 2010

Monday in Montecito

I must admit it is a real joy to be the client for a change! I am looking for a site for a very special family event..and yesterday, in the hands of my good friend, freelance event planner Dani Farler, I saw what is quite possibly the perfect spot for our celebration in Montecito, near Santa Barbara, California.

Come along on our perfect Monday morning quest and see for yourself!

First stop, San Ysidro Ranch, an incomparably gorgeous place on this planet. Dani knows how much I adore the south of France, and she said this place reminds her of our last trip there together. She thought I would love it. She was right!

could anything be more charming than this little
bench in its Provencal setting?

one of the several restaurants we viewed for
a sit down dinner

the wedding meadow, with rose-covered arches
at each end and a view up the mountains

another utterly charming bench in the garden

one of the living passageways found on the
500 acre resort

with Japanese Magnolia trees blooming
and heaters, we are ready for cool
spring evenings

a view down onto the restaurant I loved the most

all images above taken by me
at San Ysidro Ranch, Montecito, California
"heaven on earth"

If you think that this is a breathtakingly beautiful spot to have the family gather for a celebration, you are in very good company. Vivien Leigh and Sir Laurence Olivier exchanged vows here, and John and Jacqueline Kennedy honeymooned here. I am quite certain lots more of the rich and famous find their way here, named America's Best Hotel by Forbes Traveler in 2009.

If you think that I can afford to have the whole gang come and stay here, and party for a couple of days, you would be quite incorrect! :) I might have a small dinner for ten in the Old Adobe 1825, but the rest of our partying will probably be down at the local crab shack!

Next, leaving the Ranch, we headed down to the flower shop Dani likes: SR Hogue & Co. We were hoping preparations might be underway there for a glamorous local event (dinner party at Oprah's, just up the hill?) but found things a little lovely and quiet.

a very lucky Buddha enjoying the garden's bounty

beautiful green pot that Dani loved

flower girls Hogue designed..from their website

stunning lilies

Finally, the perfect place to wind up the morning: Jeannine's in "downtown" Montecito. There you can have cafes au lait so big you could take a bath in the bowl! and brunch is anything you can dream of: french toast, steel cut oatmeal, eggs crab benedict, brioche, croissants, tropical fruits. Do you get the picture? Get to Jeannine's, quickly!

just seeing Jeannine's makes me feel..relaxed!


what Dani wore (she's really into the nautical thing right now)!

what I wore; hey, we are only a mile from the beach!

nonchalant ease and elegance

all clothes found at
the one and only
Montecito Village
get in there, now!!


in 2010, it's:

Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design

14 April 2010

Would You Rather Float Down the Nile, or Do the Spring Cleaning?

It feels like I've been buried in that necessary ritual of spring cleaning: sorting, editing, tossing, donating, painting. I'm just a little..weary of it, on the brink of the lovely days that aren't quite here yet. Maybe I'm daydreaming a bit while I pile things to donate to charity and paint the closets. How would you like a refreshing change right about now?

What if you found yourself floating gently down the Nile River, in a houseboat as luxuriously appointed as any fine hotel, but with a continually changing view outside your window or from your floating veranda? A comfortable sitting room, a balcony deck, a shower that rained gently down on your weary shoulders, melting away the stresses of the day.

floating down the Nile on the bateau Nourelnil
past palm trees, camels, birds, people going about their daily lives

What if visiting Egypt inspired you to research the ancient Egyptian motifs that Napoleon brought into style when he returned triumphantly from his conquest of Egypt, ushering in the Empire style in early 19th Century France?

portrait of Napoleon on his throne

Empire Chest ca. 1806, France

Napoleon's Egyptian Sevres dinner service, 1806

Empire tripod table with griphons

Egyptian column designs, including the Palmiform, lower left

Egyptian sailing vessels

ancient Egyptian fauteuils

Egyptian design motifs and colors

What if you looked closely at the colors the ancient Egyptians used in decorating walls, floors, art objects and furniture in their sunny climate thousands of years ago, and were surprised to realize they are the same palette found in the Art Deco/Moderne era?

If you get really inspired by your trip down the Nile, you could go to this YouTube video and learn how to get the Cleopatra eyes look for yourself!

Which reminds me, it's time I got back to that spring cleaning and seriously edited the makeup drawer :)


in 2010, it's:

Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design

06 April 2010

Happy 101 Award from Marie Antoinette 2nd!

Much to my delight and gratitude this charming award arrived from Frances at Beautiful Interiors and 18th Century Style! Be sure to check out her gorgeous and interesting blog from down under. A very talented designer, Frances looks like the perfect Marie Antoinette, notify central casting!

Ten things that make me happy:

1. Ollie my little doggie is a funny happy little guy
2. doing photography and digital imaging with my husband Chris
3. girlfriends and sisters-in-spirit time
4. diving into the pool and swimming for an hour; it's like being in a Monet painting
5. working side by side with my daughter Lisa on creative design projects
6. flea markets anywhere in the world, especially France
7. knowing there are people like Diane Raleigh in the world who help clinics in Africa
8. lemons, croissants, quiche lorraine, coffee, entertaining
9. gorgeous colors never fail to bring a smile
10. laughing with my brother Rob and looking at his paintings

And, because their blogs make me happy, I have the privilege to pass the award to:

Chinoiserie Chic
French Kissed
The Style Saloniste
Dumbwit Tellher
Serendipity Rising
Denny Holland Studio
Bonjour Romance
Disegno Karina Gentinetta
Bonjour Madame


in 2010, it's:

Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design

03 April 2010

Happy Easter {ca. 1910}

I love these vintage Easter cards from the beginning of the twentieth century. They are so quaint and charming, and speak of a much simpler time when a small card in full color illustrating a little fantasy carried a lot of emotional weight and impact. This was long before movies, telephones, television, computers, instant messaging, Twitter. I can just imagine the thrill of opening a letter (with a handwritten address and a real stamp!) to find a little treasure inside from someone dear. Sweet.

all images courtesy New York Public Library

If you celebrate Easter, I hope it's happy!
If not, I hope these little images will bring a smile and knowledge
that Spring really is just around the corner!


in 2010, it's:

Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design


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