Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A World of Discoveries, a Year of Friends

Thank you for Coming Along for the Journey!

Happiness and Joy To Everyone 
(and a gift of three of my favorite poems, 
for inspiration and uplift in the coming year)

I received a note recently from a longtime reader in Paris who said, “I love all the features on THE STYLE SALONISTE written by you and your team. They are always so inspiring.”

Lovely. But the phrase, ‘you and your team’ was such a surprise.

I don’t have a team of writers. THE STYLE SALONISTE ‘team’ consists of Brian Dittmar, the wonderful and talented art director, and me! I write every word. A team of two.

I plan and write every feature, and I research and select all images. I’m the fact-checker, proof-reader, copyeditor and headline writer and editor. Triumphs, a few, are my pleasure. Errors, all of them — mine alone.

Brian Dittmar, who, like me, is based in San Francisco, is responsible for the elegant and polished art direction.

The accomplished Brian designed the logo — which I requested should look ‘very Alexey Brodovitch, very Harper’s Bazaar sixties, very classic and modern and chic and unchanging’. Brian created the design. I love it.

We are, indeed, a team of two

Brian is a fine graphic designer and art director — and he is also (mostly) an interior designer with lots of adoring clients. See my feature on Brian’s room at this year’s San Francisco Decorator Showcase.

Brian Dittmar's room "Poetry in Time: A Horologist's Laboratory" at the 2010 San Francisco Decorator Showcase.

I give warmest thanks and credit to Brian for his beautiful layouts and for the consistent clean-lined look and style for THE STYLE SALONISTE.

Brian, you are brilliant and it is such a great pleasure and honor to work with you every week. Fun, too. Thank you.

But it takes more than our team of two to create a lively and vivid and jumping and vibrant blog.

THE STYLE SALONISTE members and readers and visitors and discoverers from around the world are essential for this colorful picture. I love your feedback, your responses, your insight, your constancy and worldly humor. Divine friends, I appreciate every word.

I adore it when you write ‘thank you for taking me along for the ride’, or ‘thank you for introducing me to this designer’ or ‘you’ve inspired me to travel alone’ or ‘I felt as if I was with you on this trip’. It’s my great pleasure. Thank you so much.

We now have readers in more than fifty plus countries—at last count on the traffic tracker—and in every corner of the world. Every day and every hour returning visitors arrive from Paris, Moscow, Santiago, Auckland, Houston, Dallas (I love my Texas readers), and all over California (so very happy), and the East Coast (just great) and Southern States (love you), plus Melbourne, Miami, Hong Kong, Brussels, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver (so happy I am ‘big’ in Canada), and Phuket, Delhi, Jaipur, Sydney, Stockholm, Athens, Istanbul, Rio de Janeiro, and Warsaw, St Petersburg, Dublin, Cracow, Belgrade, and Tokyo and Amsterdam and beyond, how fabulous. I am so honored and thrilled. Returning visitors (love) and first time visitors, thank you!

I’ve also made lots of great friends through THE STYLE SALONISTE, and women and men around the world I hope to meet one day.

I hear from longtime friends like best-selling author, Carol Troy, who is now a popular photographer. She loved the photography of Guy Hervais.

Favorite bloggers (who inspire me endlessly) drop in, much appreciated.

The salon I dreamed of — a constant dialogue with readers — is vibrant and witty and heartfelt. Readers’ comments are the oxygen that pumps and propels each week.

I recently received the following message from Annette English, a new friend in Australia: Annette was inspired by my features on Jaipur and India, where I travel several times a year:

‘Hi Diane,

You are a gem!!

Your advice was so helpful for my India trip that after several weeks of going back and forth, I was able to book my trip yesterday based on your feedback!! Thank you so much! It's always tremendously helpful to share with someone who has traveled territory that is unfamiliar. When I have a drink at the Umaid Bhawan Palace... I will think of you! I can see that you have a fondness for India and I'm truly excited about my trip.

‘Looking forward to your next posts Diane and once again, thank you. Have a wonderful and merry holiday season.

Wishing you a New Year filled with more love, joy and happiness than you dreamed possible!!

-Annette English

Annette is heading for Jodphur and Udaipur, inspired by my Rajasthan tips and feedback.

And there was the following message via email from a new friend who lives in Munich (via Athens and Berlin):


I have been following your blog since you began it and am always so pleasantly surprised by how much I see and learn each time, and by how well written all your posts are.

It is clear that you are not just dashing them off between other more important obligations. It is a relief and pleasure whenever I see you in my Inbox. It is like getting a letter from a really good friend who values my intelligence and my opinion.

Thank you,
Margot von Muhlendahl

The pleasure is mine, Margot.

Now, as our team of two heads into 2011 (it seems that the recent lunar eclipse, so very beautiful and mysterious and lovely, did not signal the end of the world) — I have lots of surprises up my sleeve. I’ll take you to unexpected places, introduce you to new designers (I know you love that), and inspire you with ideas and fun.

I’d like to leave you with three of my favorite poems — for inspiration as we head into this glowing year, full of promise. Please print them out and keep them on your desk for inspiration at odd hours.

Traditional Gaelic poem:


I arise today
though the strength of heaven, light of sun
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.

by Hafiz

The craziness,
All the empty plots,
All the ghosts and fears,

All the grudges and sorrows have

I must have inhaled
A strange

That finally



A poem by Antonio Machado


Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
That I had a beehive
Here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
Were making white combs
And sweet honey
From my old failures.

Primary photography here is by my dear friend Guy Hervais (, a brilliant photographer who lives in Provence. Guy travels the world—for clients as diverse at Taj Hotels and Vogue international editions and many French publications. I love the richness and sensuality of his images and the emotion he pumps into every pixel. Thank you, Guy.

The two photos of Brian Dittmar's room at the San Francisco Decorator Showcase are by the Bay Area's brilliant David Duncan Livingston (

See you next week! 

Happy Holidays and Joy Forever, 



The Iconic said...

So wonderful!x

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Happy Holidays, Diane! I hope you and your family get some time to relax -let the blog SIT for awhile! xo

vicki archer said...

Have a very happy Christmas Diane and a joyous New Year....xv

Brillante Interiors said...

What a beautiful post, filled with positive thoughts, energy, passion as always. It is indeed a pleasure to be immersed in your words and to stare at all those perfect images of beauty.
I wish you all the best for the festivities and for a "brillante" new year.
Buon Anno, cara Diane!

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

Iconix! I so wish I lived in your building. I see on your newest blog post that you baked chocolate cookies with caramel filling and they looks spectacular. Bravo to you for being such a great baker. Do stay in touch (and if you have a few spare send over (though I don't think you like in SF.
Stefan--do come and visit again soon. I was in Paris when you were here last time...but let's get you here to the West Coast. Grant was full of praise for you.
Vicki: your wonderful blog is full of spirit and family and chic chic images. Thank you for daily posts-and visions of Provence.
Albarosa-It has been such a pleasure to stay in touch this year. I am so glad you won the Paris Patisseries book--and look forward to hearing from you over 2011.
Happy days to you all--and I hope you love the poems...more to come.

Grant K. Gibson said...

We are all SO HAPPY that you BLOG!

Bellini toasts to 2011!

*Chic Provence* said...

Diane have a wonderful holiday; you've taken us on an incredible journey these last two years! Bravo to you and to Brian too...



quintessence said...

What a lovely tribute to your blog partner and readers. I am a reader who will make an effort to comment more often - but please know I applaud and appreciate your tasteful and insightful posts!

Greet Lefèvre said...

This beautiful post is really you!! You always make time for your readers and you love to talk to your readers. You are so very respectful to everyone of us!
I am (we all) so glad to have you in bloggerland! We love your posts!
Happy Holidays!

A Super Dilettante said...

Thank you so much for your enchanting story and comment you left on my blog. It made me smile re: the former husband of Diana Quick story!! I love this post you have on here. It's the end of year and festive message to all your readers. I'd like to thank you for being you. You brighten up our days with your lovely posts. Wishing you merry Christmas and all the very best for New Year. With best wishes, ASD xxx

The Peak of Chic said...

Diane- You never fail to inspire me. Thank you for sharing your travels and insight with us. What would we do without you??!! Have a very Merry Christmas and a joyful 2011. Hope to see you soon.


Boxwood Terrace said...

Happy Holidays, Diane and best wishes for the New Year.

mary said...

Thank you for reordering my priorities this morning and reminding me of the blessings of the day. The three poems (together with the poets) that you chose tie the various strings of my life together. Thank you for your wonderful posts--I learn volumes and always come away with new visions. Sending blessing to you for Christmas and the bounties of the New Year. Mary

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

DEAR FRIENDS...around the world...

Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and generosity and kindness.

I will find more inspiring poems for you! I've had such a great response to these brief and unexpected poems--and lots of comment on FACEBOOK, I might add, to my gift of poems.
'For inspiration at odd moments'...and we will have them in 2011. I think it is going to be a fantastic year, full of promise and music and happy people, creative people, beauty, ideas and jolts to our set notions of the world. We are here in the world--nowhere better to live--and in the end, things are good.
I wish you every happiness and joy--and do stay in touch. i love hearing from you. DIANE


Love love the three poems!! So glad you are able to share all that is you with the world on the internet. My life is so fortunate to have intersected yours. Do you remember encouraging me to do a blog?
Much love for the holidays! Marcy

Modern Country Lady said...

What a beautiful post at the busiest time of the year- a delight to read! Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and many more wonderful blog adventures.

Charlotta Ward said...

I agree with all the comments above and want to say thank you for a beautiful post.

Also want to wish you a happy holiday season and a marvelous 2011!

Thank you for all the inspiration in 2010.

x Charlotta

Karena said...

Diane this is so wonderful, You have inspired me more than you can know!!

I too recently had a blog friend ask if I has an assistant! I truly wish I did, yet then again our sites are our babies, our desires, dreams, passions!

Happiest of Holidays & All the Best in the New Year!

Art by Karena

Elizabeth Avedon said...

Thank you for a creative and inspiring year. All Best Wishes for the New Year 2011!

Cristin // Simplified Bee said...

Your blog posts are consistantly thoughtful and educational. Keep'm coming!

Love your favorite poems in this post.

Brian's work is stunning too!

Hope to see you soon in SF.


helen tilston said...

Diane, a very Happy New Year to you.
I absolutely love the 3 poems, thank you, thank you and thank you. I shall now retire and dream of a beehive inside my heart. Their drone will lull be to a peaceful sleep
Thank you for sharing your life with us

Helen Tilston

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

Oh, Dear Friends-

We are such a great and international group today--with Marcy in California, Charlotta in Australia, Karena in Kansas, Modern Country Lady in Wiltshire, UK, and Elizabeth on the East Coast, Cristin in San Francisco, and Helen painting in Florida!
Love it. Welcome to all. Friends chatting across the miles, across the fence.
I've loved the response to my three poems. I've saved them in a file for years and was inspired to send them out on the airwaves.
I love the imagery of the beehive in the heart...making honey 'out of my past failures'. It puts 'failures' and worries and 'troubles' and 'difficulties' in a new light. 'And all of our dragons are princes in disguise' said Rilke.
So I have a favorite motto to give you for 2011--
'Five minutes to get over it'.
A 'problem' comes up--five minutes to get over it.
A stress arrives--five minutes to get over it.
An annoyance distracts--five minutes to get over IT.
Worries cause headaches--five minutes to get over it.
You might even cut it down to 'four minutes to get over it'...I know I have.
Cheers to you all...sleep well, and dream well. DIANE

P.Gaye Tapp at Little Augury said...

Beautiful as always. pgt

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

WIshing you a lovely holiday.
Thank you for your many inspiring posts.
And this beautiful poetry!