WELCOME to CAROLINA PANACHE! I believe our homes should be a haven, a place of beauty and peace that reflect who we are and what's important to us. I'm on a journey to add personality and panache to every corner of my house. For me, good design evolves, grows and changes with the needs of one's lifestyle. I want my home to be creative, to be stylish, to be entertaining, to be real. I hope you will join me on my journey. It's always more fun to travel together.
This blog is all about bringing style and elegance to the home. The art of dressing your home goes beyond hanging a few items on the wall and arranging furniture. Much like a fabulous set of earrings or a new stylish handbag may take your little black dress from fine to fabulous, home accesories and key furnishings can take your rooms from ho-hum to singing the Halleluiah Chorus! Join with me as we discover new ways to add panache to every room of the house.

A Sunroom in need of sun!

So today I've been thinking about the SUN.
It's March 1 and the sun has been shining here in my part of NC. However, the Weather Man is calling for gray skys and snow tomorrow! Burr! I'm so ready for Winter to be over. I'm looking forward to Spring and so I'm not gonna let a
little snow dampen my desire to fluff the house with a little
touch of sunshine and whimsy.
Floral prints, birds, butterflies and bright colors are everywhere! I was at my neighborhood TARGET store this weekend and found these adorable little toss pillows. Now my sunroom is in need of a little sun and I think the best place to start is with some bright sunny color to replace the browns, deep greens and muted orange that I have been living with since October.
Let's take a look...
This oblong pillow is feather filled and oh so soft. I love the bright clear brown,yellow, orange and yes, that's right - pink color scheme of this pillow and all on an ivory background. The butterfly really caught my eye too. Now this isn't a commercial for TARGET but I really loved the Spring accessories they have displayed right now! These colors are just what I need to add
panache to my sunless sunroom.
A collection of mini-pillows in accent fabrics tie together red, yellow, peach, pink, orange, white and green. I couldn't make these little guys for what they are on sale for so...

I might just have to add these to my ever growing collection of pillows!
I love this big floral medallion print. This would be perfect on my yellow, white and green striped sofa.

Fun patterns and colors are just what the Decorating Doctor ordered but before I go spending money on these little beauties, I'm gonna check some other outlets to see if I can find anything similar or maybe even some fabric remnants to make my own. I might try making slipcovers for my existing pillows. That would save a bundle I bet. Most of these pillows were between $9-25 dollars. I figured $100 would take care of what I would need for the sofa,
loveseat and my wicker side chair.

Stay tuned in this week to see what happens. My next post will be some before pics of my sun room dressed for fall. I must warn you it's a little sad. Once Christmas was over, things sort of looked ho-hum! New window treatments are much needed and I would love to update the look with plantation shutters but that's not in the budget right now so I've got my eye on some bamboo roll shades and I'm thinking that a nice topper would do the trick.
Who knows what I'll end up with but until then,
Live Life Beautifully

It's A New Season!

Well hello! Welcome back to Carolina Panache.
I've been on a two month sabbatical and tomorrow brings the dawn of a brand new season! No, I know spring doesn't officially start until March 20th but for me and my family a new season starts March 1st! I've missed being able to share and create with you. I thank all of you for your e-mails, comments and concern. I had almost decided to give up blogging until my BFF reminded me about
gifts...so such that I have, I will give Here the sun is rising on my new season. My son took this picture while out walking the nature trails surrounding our development. No matter what you are dealing with, it seems that the sun is always gonna rise tomorrow.

And that same sun tends to set as well. Sometimes we have to recognize when the sun is setting on a season that is over and be willing to accept that in the morning a new day will dawn and a new season will begin.

I hope you will join me tomorrow as I embark on a new leg of my journey.
Spring is just around the corner and it's time to get the house ready! Light, bright color and pattern is the name of the game for my house this year. We'll see if we can find some inspiration...
Until then,
Live Life Beautifully,

Happy 2010! The beginning of a fresh, new decade!

Happy New Year!
Wow! Am I glad that 2009 is over and 2010 has officially begun! Now that’s a change for me. I usually am not the person wishing away time or longing for the New Year however this year I was definitely ready for a change and with the New Year will come a change in scenery. Once the holiday décor is packed away, the house will need some added warmth as we snuggle down inside to wait out the cold winter months ahead. I typically start taking down my holiday décor on January 2nd. Tomorrow my game plan is to start with the formal living room and dining rooms. This is where I use the most traditional décor and lots of RED. Once that is packed away, the rooms will feel bare and a little lifeless. To add back that needed warmth, here are my top 4 tips I live by:
1. Add warmth by including darker, richer color. I like to add pillows and throws in colors like chocolate, evergreen or ruby. These colors complement my décor but deep shades of caramel, navy or plumb would be lovely at this time of year too!
2. Include cozy accents. I break out the handmade crocheted afghans that my Mother-in-law, Ann, has made me. Keeping them draped on the back of chairs or sofas make them handy when Old Man Winter brings a chill to the air. If your upholstery is springy or summery, try adding a slipcover in a darker shade to cozy up your space.

3. Cover your windows. I like to hang heavier window treatments during the winter months. The benefits are two-fold: 1) heavy weight fabrics help to insulate against winter’s cold temperatures and 2) adding color and pattern keeps the winter blahs at bay. Nothing is more depressing to me than bare trees and gray horizons!

4. Use greenery generously. After taking down my holiday wreaths, garlands and swags, I always feel that my home is naked. A few years ago, I started keeping evergreen wreaths and garlands (less the holiday glam and glitter) displayed through the end of February. Adding fresh touches of cedar, pinecones, natural holly and magnolia leaves gives a full, lush look that is perfect all winter long. Another fun trick is to add twigs of pepper berry in vases and pots throughout the house to punch up natural elements and add interesting color and texture.


I hope to share some before and after pictures with you later this next week as I prepare my own home for the winter months ahead. What are some of the ways that you cozy up your nest after the holidays? Please share your best tips for adding stylish winter warmth!
Until I see you again,
Live Life Beautifully!

Christmas Around Our House

Hello! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I can't believe that Christmas 2009 has come and gone! All the preparation, decoration, cooking and gift wrapping is now just a wonderful memory. Most of you know that I haven't posted a new blog entry since Thanksgiving Day. So much has happened in the past month that it's hard to know where to begin! To make a long, long story short, I had 7 house quests during Thanksgiving week, spent a week in Chicago, took on two new consulting projects and took a whirlwind trip to Florida to stay by the side of my best friend Bella-Mella during the initial loss of her dear Andrew, then scrambled back to Charlotte to wrap up preparations for a Christmas Eve gathering with family and good friends, gift wrapping, and finally Christmas Day celebrations! Whew!
Please somebody stop this ride so I can get off!
I know the Christmas season is drawing to a close but I wanted to take you around the house for a peek. I've visited so many of you who have taken my breath away with your creativity and beautiful decor that I'm already inspired for 2010! So come on in, be my guest and browse to your heart's content. Thank you for reading my blog and thank you for the kind comments and wonderful words of encouragement that I receive in so many of my emails! May God bless and favor each one of you in the upcoming year! Happy Holidays!
Welcome! This is my front door. I made the wreath last year and decided to use the same one again this year. My motto was "use what you have". I didn't buy any new decorations except some new twinkle lights. The ribbion is velvet edged in gold thread. The wreath form is artifical but the magnolia leaves and other greenery is fresh. The red poinsettia and magnolia are also velvet.
Here is the dining room all set for Christmas Dinner. The salad plates feature an ornament motiff. I purchased these plates at Burdines in Florida many years ago. Burdines eventually sold out to Macy's

I fell in love with the Red Glitter trees. I bought two sets last year. I used them down the center of my table and filled in at the base with pinecones, roses and evergreen.

Just another view... loved using the fluffy red rose napkin rings. I think I'll carry those over through Valentine's Day.

The Nativity scene is featured on a side table in the formal dining room.
Now, moving into our Sunroom.
We use citrus colors of orange, lime, and lemon as well as pear green in this room year round. At Christmas the colors get deeper and richer. Below is a simple centerpiece arrangement made for the coffee table. I collect reindeer so I've featured a couple of bronze statues along side.

Gold, bronze, orange and silver come together to form a festive holiday tabletop.

Another view...this one features a Autumn Burst mosaic hurricane. This was part of my interior accessories line last year.

I used the same color scheme and decor on our tree this year. The tree topper bow was tied for me by a wonderful floral designer in Matthews, NC. I saw the striped ribbon and knew it would be the perfect touch in the sun room.

Last year I redecorated our Master Bedroom in rich shades of blue, gold and taupe. To add Christmas cheer, I draped an evergreen garland between the posters and hung miniture stockings made from animal print material.

Each year I collect a new SANTA. This was last year's version. He is dressed in brown fur and a blue velvet coat. He looked right at home in the new color scheme.

A simple pine wreath hangs on the wall by the bedroom door. It's only ornamentation is the natural pinecones and a sheer blue and gold ribbon.
I had never displayed a full size tree in my bedroom until last year. I was reading in Paula Deen's Christmas magazine and read where Brandon (her decorator) featured a gorgeous tree in Paula's bedroom. I was instantly inspired to do the same. I kept the colors light and decorations subdued. I covered the tree with clear glass ornaments, gold balls and more miniture stockings made from animal print fabric. The final crowing touch was a fluffy ribbon of sheer blue ribbon and silver floral picks tucked in among each branch.
Back down stairs - the kitchen and breakfast room is where we've been spending an awful lot of time lately. I picked up these adorable snowman plates at Marshalls for $2 each.
A holly berry topiary in a red ceramic pot adds a little festive color to this corner of the kitchen counter.I always decorate with fresh fruit in the kitchen at Christmas. This triple layer stand makes the perfect centerpiece to display apples and oranges. I just tucked in snipppets of evergreen to add color and a little seasonal flavor.

I found the velvet runner on the island at Steinmart last year. It looks like a string of pretty wrapped presents. I wish I would have bought two!
Another view...

I keep peppermint and cinnamon candies around in clear jars during the holidays. They not only make great decorations in the pretty glass containers but they come in handy after dinner too!

The Christmas Tree in the formal living room is a collection of red and brown glass ornaments, red poinsettia and hydrangea blooms and red birds.

Oops, we're back in the dining room...
A simple garland, a grapevine wreath with a red velvet bow and two small evergreen wreaths complete the decor around the dining room mirror.
Now, we've made it to our family room. This was probably my favorite room this year.
Soft green, ivory, brown and gold make up the colors of Christmas in this room.
The entertainment hutch and bookcases provided the perfect place to feature my collection of white Nativity statues. Garland, ribbon and old, glass ornaments are laid at the base of each figure.
Decorating the mantel is usualy my first stop on the quest to add holiday cheer to each room. This year's version features both fresh and artifical greenery, clear twinkle lights, glass ball ornaments, gold and green magnolia sprays.

The Christmas Tree in the family room is a 9 1/2 foot, downward swept, Fraiser Fir.
It is covered with 1000 clear lights and four various ribbons - sheer green, green velvet edged in gold, ivory satin ribbon with a gold glitter overlay and green and ivory plaid. A collection of gold cheribum and holy family ornaments grace the branches.
Two 36" tall Angels herald the birth of JESUS!
That completes our holiday house tour. Thank you for stopping by. May you and your family always cherish the wonderful season of Christ's birth. Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!
Until I see you again,
Live Life Beautifully,

So Much to be Thankful for!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you were able to be with the people you love the most. I hosted the holiday at my house this year. My brothers and their wives and children came down and have been visiting. We've had a good time catching up. It's so important to be thankful for family and love on one another while you can!
I've been traveling lately so I haven't had the opportunity to share alot of what is going on in my corner of NC but it's beginning to look alot like Christmas around town and around my house. I will flying out to Chicago on Sunday for the week but once I return I will have lots and lots of pictures to share with you...
A Christmas Tea on December 5th
A Holiday Decor extravaganza on December 10th
A Holiday Home Tour on December 14th
On another note, please continue to pray for my dearest and best friend - Bella Mella - and her son Andrew who has been diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer. We are believing for a miracle because the Doctors have offered no other hope. BUT GOD!
To read more about this precious boy and this family's walk through the fire, visit BellaMella.
Until I see you again,
Live Life Beautifully!
~Alisa ;-)

Peppermint Twist and other delightful tablewares at a discount

It's that time of year when decking the halls and walls and tabletops are on us ladies' to do list!
Making spirits bright is as simple as doing that little something special that let's our family and friends know we love them and they matter. I especially like to set my table with pretty dishes and serving pieces all throughout the holiday season. That's why I was so excited about my Celebrating HOME Christmas collection this year. I want to highlight some of our new pieces and to make a special offer to all of my Readers.The festive design and generous size of our handpainted dinnerware will create instant holiday dazzle...with a twist; Peppermint Twist that is. Each piece is diswasher, oven and microwave safe! Pictured above are the Peppermint Twist mugs and dessert plates. Many of you know that I use mainly white dinner plates in my tablescapes. So adding this pretty red, white and green dessert plate as an accent is the perfect touch to add holiday whimsy to my tabletop. Mixing and matching with other red or green dishes is also an option or used alone these cute plates add holiday panache to cake and coffee! The matching mugs are perfect for hot chocolate, coffee, tea or spiced cider. I will even use them as gifts for teachers and neighbors. Simply package them with packets of hot chocolate or flavored teas and coffee for a great, affordable gift that will brighten someone's day.
The matching bowl is shaped with a convenient little handle and will be a favorite for offering up warm soups and stews during the cold months of winter.
As part of my Exclusive Customer Offers for readers of this blog only, you can order directly from me any of these delightful tablewares and have them shipped directly to your home address. As a reader of this blog you will receive a 20% discount plus FREE shipping if you order by November 24th.

Peppermint Twist Dessert Plates
8" plates
Set of 2, Item #93266
Regular: $20/set
Blogger Sale: $16/set
Peppermint Twist Medium Bowl
Set of 2, Item # 93267
Regular: $24.00/set
Blogger Sale: $19.20/set

Peppermint Twist Mugs
Set of 2
Regular: $20/set
Blogger Sale: $16/set

Another fun and flexible tabletop accessory is this set of Whimsical Santas. Display them anywhere you want to add a little holiday color and cheer. These cute little guys are made of resin and are 3 1/2" x 4" each. Two sets would give you enough Santas to set one at each tablesetting for a table serving six. If you really want to get creative, take a fine point, black paint pen and write names or initials on each one and use them as placecards! The options are endless!
Whimsical Santas
Set of 3, Item #45052
Regular: $16/set
Blogger Sale: $12.80/set
To order simply email oopsadaisync@aol.com or leave a comment for me to contact you via your blog. Most orders ship within 2-3 business days. To see more of my Celebrating HOME season product line go to www.celebratinghome.com/sites/AlisasHomeAccents
For more simply joyful ways to decorate your hearts, hearths and homes this holiday season, visit often as I bring our family's Colors of CHRISTmas to you.
Until I see you again,
Live Life Beautifully!

"...later on we'll conspire as we dream by the fire..."

Okay ladies, we've only got 42 Days and counting!
Are you getting ready for the two biggest holidays of the year? I am! I've been cleaning, moving furniture, planning decorations and menus. I have a big CHRISTmas design show in two weeks and I've been getting ready designing wreaths, garlands, centerpieces and tabletop decor. SOOOOO busy has been my middle name!
Do you like to change up your decor each year or do you like the tried and true?
Some things like the kid's stocking being hung on the mantel are a given. A grand nativity displayed in the entry is another given. But beyond that I constantly look for new, fresh ways to decorate each room of a house.
In the pictures that follow you will see a collection of rooms from my "Inspired Me" file. Each one features a fireplace mantel - some are in living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms. I think it's fun to browse photos for new updates on this iconic home feature.
What do you do if you don't have a fireplace mantel?
Try the same treatment on a long shelf or the top of a hutch!
What inspired me in this photo was the use of fresh seasonal fruits nestled among the lush greens of the garland. I also liked the way the garland was draped below the mantel as well as on top of the mantel shelf.
In this photo the designer used a simple mix of evergreen, pinecones and red berries. It is not a complicated or fussy treatment but the wow factor is great because of the gorgeous wreath hung on top of the gilded mirror. The bright red bow adds a touch of festive color and complements the red roses of the centerpiece.

I don't use very much blue in my holiday decor. Mainly because I don't have very many rooms decorated in this color. However, when I saw this picture I stopped cold. The wintery scene in the oil painting is perfect with the understated mantel garland. The addition of the silver finials and blue ornaments bring the perfect balance to the grouping.

Here is a sweet and soft look. A simple evergreen garland hung below the shelf leaves plenty of room to display candles and family photos in pretty gold frames. What a dreamy little getaway. I could dream away hours during the holiday season in this cozy little room.

I love this look. It doesn't fit in my house anywhere but the sparse evergreen twigs and single stocking hung by the fire is understated elegance at its best.

You just can't go wrong with magnolia leaves woven into a generous garland.

Bright Red Ribbon and Amaryllis blooms make quite a pair against the soft green of this wall and surround.
Pineapples have long been the symbol of hospitality. Here, a sweet pair graces the ends of this mantel with just the right touch.

A rich and masculine library wouldn't be complete without a blazing fire. The bare tree branches painted gold and displayed on either side of the photo resembles antlers to me.

An all natural treatment is perfect for this cottage look. The varied textures keep the minimal color palette looking fresh and interesting.

This room is so warm and inviting. The warm red and gold color scheme is perfect for the holidays. I love the garland draped over the mirror.

Another warm and inviting room. The mantel decor is simple but beautiful. I love the use of white magnolias.
This elegant dining room is a show stopper! The grand fireplace is framed in a generous evergreen and magnolia leaf garland.
The white starfish add coastal whimsy to this modern room. Decorating with accessories or items that are native to your area makes Christmas Coast to Coast unique and inspiring.

Our last photo is from a rustic, log home in the mountains. Stockings galore is what caught my eye! The thick, colorful mantel garland is generous but not fussy. I love it!
Hope you've had fun browsing some of the mantels that have inspired me. I am hoping to have all of my decorating complete before Thanksgiving. Rhoda over at Southern Hospitality is hosting a Christmas Home Tour on December 10th. Mark your calendars and join the fun! In the meanwhile visit often to check out our Colors of Christmas. To view last year's colors go to Colors of Christmas.
Until I see you again,
Live Life Beautifully!


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