Monday, July 25, 2016

Thank You to My Fabulous Readers for Seven Fantastic Years of The Style Saloniste: July 2009-July 2016

THE STYLE SALONISTE is celebrating seven wonderful years—of design and style, adventures, divine new books too numerous to mention, interiors, designers, ideas, exploration, exclusive stories, architects, travels near and far, and a surreal ball or two, inspiring talents, and talented people too fabulous to mention. All with the encouragement and support and enthusiasm of the world’s greatest subscribers and members and readers.

Thank you. I love hearing from you—and I love our great community of ideas, inspiration, imagery and news that has joined and embellished the journey. 

Thank you to my fantastic readers and friends and far-away fans and stylish enthusiasts in 149 countries around the world.

I send you a million thanks for your loyalty, wit, enthusiasm and encouragement, and passion for style and design and travel. I appreciate every one of you.

Bouquets and beauty for my wonderful readers.

I’m sending you flowers—styled by the great Lewis Miller and photographed by my great friend, Don Freeman. From their new book, ‘Styling Nature’ (Rizzoli).

I am honored to have the best and most talented subscribers and followers. THE STYLE SALONISTE also has thousands of Facebook friends and Pinterest pinners and Instagramers, along with Tweeters, emailers, message-writers and readers all over the world. 

I write each blog post each week to inspire my friends to travel and draw and sketch and read and enjoy art and opera and ballet and great people.

It’s my goal to surprise, perhaps shock a little in a good way, and to delight, inspire, inform, entertain, and thrill. 

I love to take you to the opera, for an advance look at the new ballet season, or for an exclusive delve into armfuls of new books, to swoon over SFMOMA’s exciting architecture and art collections, to cruise a new exhibit, to discover a gallery, to sleep in a new hotel in Florence, or take a trip through the forests near Pisa with a pair of handsome truffle hunters and their little white dog.

After seven years, THE STYLE SALONISTE has a worldwide audience of curious, passionate, stylish, talented, philanthropic, creative and excited readers. Cheers and cheers. I send my gratitude.

I cross oceans to write books, and venture (throw myself) into the unknown, to learn and experience, and to meet vivid, sparky, lively and brilliant people.

I jump on planes and sleep at 35,000 feet above the Atlantic to excite my brain and senses. I find, in an obscure book, a story about ‘Baroque sixteenth-century chapels in the Andes’ and I’m booking flights. I read in an English gardening magazine about a fantastic garden in Derbyshire or Wiltshire, and I’m on a plane.

I hear about seventeenth-century mansions in a remote corner of Goa, India, and I’m on my way, driver booked. I learn of a little-visited UNESCO site, or a remote palace in Rajasthan, and I’m sending emails to Ramesh, my driver in Jaipur.

My grandparents gave me my family’s beautiful old gold-embossed set of ‘Lands and Peoples’ encyclopiedias when I was about five. Images of the Himalayas and the Andes and Indian palaces, ruins in Greece and Peru, and folkloric costumes and temples and palaces from remote regions are still vivid in my imagination.

My travel posts — palaces in Goa, truffle hunting in Florence, the mansions of Chettinad, climbing Macchu Pichu, exploring Baroque chapels in the Andes, flying in a ‘gondola’ across the rainforest canopy in Ecuador, and gazing at the Ponte Vecchio from my hotel window — have been among my most popular stories and images.

I love reader comments and feedback.

I’m always touched when you tell me, “You have inspired me to be brave and travel alone,” and “I’m booking to go to Goa right away” and “Heading to Cuzco in September, thanks to you.”

I have more great travel stories in the next weeks. You will love…new places, new small hotels, and more Baroque. I love it.

Stay tuned…and please, this evening, join me in a little toast to seven years of THE STYLE SALONISTE, and many more.

Keep reading!

Brian Dittmar — Special Thanks to THE STYLE SALONISTE Art Director, for Seven Years of Elegant and Refined Design

THE STYLE SALONISTE is a team of two.

Brian Dittmar, the blog art director extraordinaire from its inception, is an interior designer with devoted clients around the US.

Brian, each week makes my text and selected images look polished, cohesive and brilliant.

It has been such a great pleasure to work with Brian—who also designed the blog masthead, which I love. Lisa Boquiren introduced us.

At the same time, it has been a great thrill to see Brian’s interior design career flourish, evolve, and become even more textured, layered and refined.

Bravo, Brian, and a million thanks for beautifully polished design—both for THE STYLE SALONISTE and your exciting client roster.

See Brian’s contacts/website below.

Brian Dittmar at home with his beloved pug, Freddie.

Thoughts on Travel and Inspiration


“One afternoon in the early 70s, in Paris, I went to see the architect and designer Eileen Gray, who at the age of ninety-three thought nothing of a fourteen-hour working day. She lived on the rue Bonaparte, and in her salon hung a map of Patagonia, which she had painted in gouache.

“I’ve always wanted to go there,” I said. 

“So have I,” she added. “Go there for me.” I went.

Now I am thinking of settling down. Eileen Gray’s map is hanging in my London apartment. But the future is tentative.”

—From ‘Anatomy of Restlessness’, by Bruce Chatwin (Viking 1996)

Special Thanks

Thank you, also, to all of the photographers and artists who have given me permission to present their original work on THE STYLE SALONISTE. I am truly grateful. 

Thank you to the many wonderful designers and architects whose work I’ve presented, and to the jewelers, the great creators, writers, artists, painters, travelers, fashion designers, poets, thinkers, and the daring and articulate people I admire.


All flower images are by the great New York photographer, Don Freeman. They were published in the glorious book, ‘Styling Nature’ by Manhattan floral designer, Lewis Miller. The book was published by Rizzoli. The images are beautiful and inspiring. Exquisite.

Photography above is published with permission from Rizzoli.


Brian Dittmar
Brian Dittmar Design
355 Buena Vista Avenue East
San Francisco CA 94117


Splenderosa said...

SO happy to be the first commenter. Big huge congrats, Diane, for perserving for 7 years. The next time you're in Houston (as I'm almost never in California!) let's have a cocktail together, and bring Brian. Your's is one of the most beautiful, informative, intelligent and interesting blogs in the blog universe.
Well done, my lady !!!!

The Swan said...

A lacquered Scholars Table, a Jade handled calligraphy brush with ink boiled from Oakgall as the Ancients did, a carved rock crystal water bowl depicting blooming Lotus Buds...this is how I imagine your place of writing must be in a room with a view ...perched above the fray, studying the Elements of Immortal dispensing Enlightenment. May your Light shine forth undimmed for years -for ALL - especially in these turbulent times.

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

dear Marsha-

If I was in Texas at the moment…I wish…I would dash over and have a celebratory drink with you!
You have been such a wonderful reader for so many years--and it is a great great pleasure to hear from you.
Yes…you were the first to comment. How marvelous.
Please stay tuned. More new travel posts are in the works…and I'm looking forward to many more years of THE STYLE SALONISTE…with you as a cherished reader.


Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

the SWAN-

Thank you, thank you, thank you--for your poetic and inspired comment. I love it.
Yes…definitely rock crystal…I collect special pieces…and room with a view…yes…bay windows…
Wow…your thoughts are vivid and you paint an inspired scene. It has been an honor and a pleasure to have fantastic and witty and engaged readers…who are also wildly clever and eloquent commenters.

I wish you every happiness--and long may you stay in touch. Looking forward to many years of ideas and inspiration.
oh the places we will go…DIANE

Hels said...

What a pleasure! Some of the floral displays remind me of 17th century Dutch still life paintings. There is nothing to distract from the centrepiece, other than the table/table cloth and a perfect vase.

Add a butterfly and it would feel like Ambrosius Bosschaert or Maria Oosterwijck :)

columnist said...

Congratulations! As you noted in earlier comments, we are about the same vintage in the blogosphere. I thought from a cursory reading of your headline, that you were about to depart from it. Thankfully not. I'm on a sabbatical, but you keep me inspired. The India trip is still in planning, though we're near to finalisation. Thank you for the recommendation of Banyan!

sheilaa131 said...

Your blog is devine and I thank you for inspiring and bring to my attention the beauty of the world.
Look forward to many more years of your blog.

La Contessa said...

Remember I wrote you to have you be my BIRTHDAY GIFT to my girlfriend as she was planning a trip to INDIA!YOU answered....... WE met and had a lovely walk around the FALL ANTIQUE SHOW!
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S...........keep on WRITING.
These flower arrangements are BEYOND GORGEOUS!

Griffin Jenkins said...

Congratulations on your lucky seven. Sending you my sincere thanks for your (frequently needed) reminders that there are actually are such things as grace and good taste in the world. And here's wishing for many more years of one of my favorite escapes form the mediocrity of real life.

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

DEAR HELS…in Australia, indeed!

How wonderful to hear from you. You are so observant…and correct that Dutch floral portraiture was very much an inspiration for the flowers. I love Lewis Miller's floral designs…quite understated and not trendy.
Be sure to stay in touch. I am so happy to hear from you. DIANE

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...


You are I go way back….you were one of my very earliest readers and I've always loved hearing from you.
I'm happy also to have such an erudite reader…in Bangkok, no less…one of my favorite cities and one of the most inspiring and joyful cities. Be sure to stay in touch--and let me know how your India trip shapes up…let me know if I can help/ advise in any way--very best as always--DIANE

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...


Thank you.
Yes…BEAUTY…of all kinds…is my passion…and I love to inspired my readers.
I also love to inspire my readers to travel with a purpose…with things to see and places to discover…and beauty to find everywhere in the world. The world is wide…and there is much to find…unknown beauty. best--DIANE

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...


How fantastic to hear from you. Lucky seven, indeed…and very amazing.
You have been a reader from the beginning…and you have been a fantastic presence and voice.
I wish you everything wonderful.
My travels continue. Now my rule is 'don't go back'…so now I can't go back to Burma or to Laos or Cambodia and must find new regions and countries to discover. I loved Burma…and part of the joy of travel is 'seeing with Buddha eyes'…meaning, see for the first time, seeing and experiencing with fresh eyes. I must continue to do that…startlingly fantastic.
my best as always DIANE

Square With Flair said...

Hi Diane,

Congratulations on your seven year anniversary. Your posts are always so enjoyable, original, professional, civilized, aesthetically beautiful, and educational. Most of all, with the difficulties and turmoil in the world, they are very uplifting. Through your eyes, many of us see the positive and beautiful that is there for the taking.

Thank you for all that you share with us.

I wish you continued inspiration and satisfaction in the wonderful things you share with your readers.

Square With Flair

Windlost said...

Congratulations Diane! I read every post although I rarely seem to comment any more! Sorry about that - I always enjoy catching up on beautiful interiors, fascinating people, and arts and culture with you. I am spending more time on Instagram these days but yours is one of the few blogs I still read regularly. I learn so much.

With love, Terri in Calgary

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...


We go way back for many years--and I'm so delighted to hear from you.
I'm so happy you are still reading…and still in touch.
I hope all is wonderful up in Calgary--and that the summer has been glorious for you.


Diane Dorrans Saeks said...


I'm delighted to hear from you. You are one of my first readers…and indeed we've been in touch for many years.
How fantastic to know that my blog is inspiring and uplifting. Yes, it must be. It is always positive and beautiful and…I want my readers to travel and see The world and look for beauty every day.
Be sure to stay in touch--and here's to many more years of your company and…friendship.


lindaraxa said...

Dear Diane,

I never thought when I started my blog in the Spring of 2009 that it would lead me to so many interesting and inspiring people such as yourself. Although I published a food blog, I made a conscious decision to follow others that wrote on subjects that broadened my horizon. I've always had a passion for learning new things. Edward Albee, the Commencement speaker at my school, long after I had graduated, said in his speech that a good education was the one who taught you how to continue educating yourself after you left school. I never forgot those words.

I have learned so much from you, especially in areas that had previously held little interest for me. You have also been my eyes and ears in places I can no longer travel to due to a very bad immune system and a beacon to everything new and inspiring that is going on in the world today. Thank you, dear friend. Keep on blogging. Those of us who live in small towns all over the world need your company, inspiration and friendship.