27 May 2010

"It's Always Sunrise Somewhere"

If Father Time looks kindly on those who love clocks, hourglasses, watches, calendars & metronomes, then Brian Dittmar is in full grace. Captivated as a child by his grandfather's pocket watches, Brian's early love of clocks actually informed his later decision to pursue a career in interior design and architecture. The grandfather clocks he saw in museums on the east coast had architectural details on top: pediments, columns..small classical structures that fascinated him, and he later realized those led him to an early love of architecture.

A small room on the third floor under the eaves of a stately San Francisco mansion is now the hideaway for Brian's imaginary l'Horloger to spend quiet moments contemplating the passage of time and tinkering with the instruments of timekeeping. A fastidious attention to detail is a hallmark of this enchanting room designed for the San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2010.

Let's pause for a moment for a short visit with Brian:

display of vintage objects that mark the passing of time:
hourglasses, orbital sphere, clock

a setting (the photo shows part of a symmetrical arrangement)
includes a mid-century clock on the wall, reference
to ancient Greece in the Klismos chairs, and an iPod docking
station with digital time read outs

relaxed and smiling, Brian is seated in the chair
he designed as a direct reference to a casework (grandfather)
clock in front of the mirror etched with wise words about Time itself

three of Brian's grandfather's pocket watches
displayed in front of a vintage globe

an incredible view of San Francisco Bay, Marin County,
the Presidio and the Golden Gate Bridge
from the window next to the desk

Diane Dorrans Saeks did a wonderful blog post about the process of becoming a showcase designer and Brian's design decisions on The Style Saloniste...be sure to check it out for many more fascinating insights!


for help creating a beautiful new look

for your home or event, in the San Francisco Bay Area

or virtually anywhere else,

call or email me



Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design

24 May 2010

Why I Love Kandinsky

"I applied streaks and blobs of colors onto the canvas with a
palette knife and I made them sing with all the intensity I could...."
~Wassily Kandinsky

That pretty much sums it up.


Get out there and apply some streaks and blobs!
Have a wonderful, colorful, creative and unihibited week!
Happy Monday!


Question: Would the brilliance of a

Kandinsky go a long way in breathing some life back into these

listlessly lissome and lifelessly anemic all white rooms?

What I'm saying is, couldn't these rooms use a little color?

Or are they already perfect?

What do you think?



in 2010, it's:

Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design

21 May 2010

If We Hurry We Can Just Make It :) Auction in Provence This Weekend

When I lived in France, I was always on the lookout for fabulous things. One treasured house in the Gard region of Provence is holding one of their auctions this Sunday..shall we hop on over? Book us on the Air France into Marseilles tout de suite, and hope le volcano stays quiet for little while longer. We don't want to miss this Provence auction.

Look at some of the fantastic objets we can bring home! Are you in?

yellow tole chinoiserie pagoda double birdcages, XXeme

pair of corner cabinets in red with gold detail, XVIIIeme...stunning with those sculpted edges!

quirky and enchanting signed bronze by Christian MAAS, XXeme...LOVE this!

six mahogany chairs, Restauration XIXeme..these could do nicely!

important trumeau mirror in green lacquered wood, epoque Louis XVI..
every chic home should have one!

stone and polychrome sculpture of St. Peter, XIVeme...for a hint
of the religious antiquities in the home

bust of Mme Recamiere in marble, XIXeme..isn't she utterly elegant?

pair of Chinese porcelain urns in the favorite blue and white
pagoda village design...calling Beth Connolly (aka Chinoiserie Chic)!

confiturier in silver, antique..would be just the elegant little
sculptural touch in a simple, clean-lined interior

console in creme lacquer and faux marble, XVIIIeme..gorgeous
in your hallway, perhaps, Madame?

gorgeous collection of opaline glassware that would
look fabulous in a modern, white interior scheme

the faun of Pompeii bronze statue...just so we remember just
who we are and what we love!

stunning table from late XVIIeme...move over Vicente Wolf!!


our destination!

how we'll get there

what we'll eat there!

Eh bien, if we miss this auction, there will be another, and I will happily arrange a trip and tour, including helping you shop at the auction and flea markets and ship your things home, and a wonderful tour of the Provence region tailor made for you by me and my sister-in-law. What are you waiting for? We will have a fantastic time...allons!


in 2010, it's:

Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design

20 May 2010

Cuisine du Soleil: Provence Artichokes!

Just in time for the weekend, a recipe to try using those gorgeous spring artichokes we are seeing in all the markets right now! Be careful, though...artichokes make everything you taste after eating them a little sweet...including wine! So choose carefully the wine you will serve with them! You'll get lots of advice on CHOWHOUND!

Provence Style Artichokes with Bacon

4 large, bell-shaped artichokes

1/2 lemon

8 oz smoked bacon pieces

freshly ground black pepper (optional)

freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

1/2 cup dry white Provencal wine

4 fresh bay leaves

a handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Serves 4

Tear off and discard the two outer base layers of leaves from the artichokes. Trim or peel the stems. Slice about 2 inches off the pointed tops of the leaves. Cut each globe in half lengthwise.

Use a spoon or a melon baller to dig out the fluffy choke. discard this and the tiny leaves around it. Rub the lemon over all the cut surfaces. Prepare all the artichokes in the same way.

Heat a large, heavy-based saucepan or flameproof casserole dish until very hot. Sizzle the bacon until the fat runs: about 3 minutes.

Add some pepper and nutmeg (if using), the wine, and bay leaves. Put the artichokes in the pan, cut side down. Cover tightly and cook over high heat for 5 minutes. Rearrange the artichokes so that the top layer is now at the bottom. Cover and cook over a medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes more. Test the top layer: the artichoke flesh must be easy to pierce with a fork. Continue cooking if necessary. Top up with extra wine if it looks sparse.

Serve the artichokes hot or warm, sprinkled with luscious reduced sauce and some chopped parsley.

Note: Quarter the artichokes, if necessary, to fit them in the pan

From France Today, originally published in Flavors of Provence by Clare Ferguson. Ryland Peters & Small, $21.95,


in 2010, it's:

Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design

19 May 2010

Will the {Real} Provence Home Please Stand Up?

Which one is it?

A. is it this traditional Robert Dallas design using old,
found materials in a modern way?


B. is it this very fresh and modern maison de vacances done in
every shade of green from minty to citrusy?


C. or is it this hip and chic maison, with pony skin chair and Buddha head and
Mondrian panels outside by the piscine, designed by Paris designer Gerard Faivre?


If you guessed A., B., or C.---you're right! See for yourself on this wonderful video produced by TV5 in France, about home decor on the Cote Sud! Don't speak French? No worries...the language of design is understood by all!

Which one do you like the best? A, B, or C?


all images grabbed from TV5 video (thus their low quality, for which I apologize!)


in 2010, it's:

Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design


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