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.

Let's Talk Ambiance - Lighting & Atmosphere (Step 4)

In this post we will talk about the fourth element in accessorizing your home - AMBIANCE. This refers to the atmosphere or feeling you create in each room. Nothing plays as important of a role in this as LIGHTING. Lighting romances your rooms. It can create a relaxing, welcoming, atmosphere. We have all heard that "moods" can be set with the right lighting and that is a lesson that professional home stagers have learned well. Recently I toured a home that was staged to sell. Lamps glowed in every dark corner, candle light flickered in pretty wall sconces and strategically placed overhead lighting showcased art and focal points. Designer Laurie Smith stated, "Lighting is possibly the most powerful tool in design. What is the point of investing in furniture, fabrics, accessories, and artwork if you are living in the dark?"
There are three main sources of lighting - natural light or daylight, incandescent light and fluorescent light. While candle light adds ambiance to your rooms it is not considered a main source of lighting but we will include it in this discussion.
It would take forever to cover all aspects of this topic - lighting -
but for the purpose of this post, I want to focus on lamps, wall sconces, and candle light.
First, let's talk about lamps. Is there any more versatile or individual choice for lighting? If there were no other way of lighting a home, I would not mind as long as I had loads of table and floor lamps. When used properly lamps not only serve a functional purpose but lend a decorative influence too. In the photo above & below (Ballard Designs) the lamp actually completes the table grouping and adds interest to the design. Above the black shade plays up the black velvet window panels and the reflective surface of the lamp base complements the silver planter opposite.
Lamps can also work to balance large furniture pieces and highlight art as is the case in the photo above. A collection of small things on the chest would distract from the framed art and would serve no functional purpose in the hall.
I have been known to do a little "dumpster diving" in my time and one of the things I love to find is unique, vintage lamps. I have several that have come home with me to find themselves made over with a can of spray paint and a new shade. As the the New Year progresses I will share some of these projects with you. It is simply amazing how adding a new shade can transform trash in to a valued treasure.

Next up, WALL SCONCES and CANDLELIGHT. Wall sconces are the perfect choice when you want soft, low light or need to illuminate a small area. You can chose from electrical or gas powered sconces or candle sconces. If your home is not already wired for wall sconces, it can be a little expensive to hire an electrician to wire them for you. Gas is even more involved. I prefer to use candle sconces where electrical wiring is not readily available. You can achieve a very similar affect with a lot more ease. Another benefit of candle sconces is color and fragrance. Not only will candles add soft light, their fragrance can add seasonal flair and color to your room. This is their greatest attraction. Simply achieve this by changing out your candles with each new month or season. I burn candles year round and go through a large inventory. My favorites are Sandlewood, Fig, and Baked Apple Pie.

Above -Sandlewood Pillar Candles set the mood in the Living Room.
The glow of candles can create soft, soothing, and warm ambiance in any room. It has been said that candlelight adds a sense of mystery and romance to the home while turning "eating" into "dinning". I use candles in every room of my house except the children's rooms. There is such a wide variety of candles, candle holders and decorative accents available that you can find an appropriate style for every room.
Above - An all white candlescape adds impact to a garden party.
Who says that candles are reserved for indoors? Try clustering candles is several sizes and shapes for your next patio gathering. Choose a color story such as Red, White and Blue or go monochromatic like the photo above. Candles make a simple and easy centerpiece while adding a touch of panache to your table setting.
This post completes our
Four Elements of Accessorizing Your Home
In review:
Step One - Wall Art
Includes framed art, mirrors, plaques, sconces,
shelves, wall planters and ledges.
Step Two - Accessories & Accents
Includes decorative plates, figurines or statues, clocks, pottery,
glass containers, easels, baskets and accent furniture.
Step Three - Plants and Floral Arrangements
Includes wreaths, swags, topiaries, pre-potted plants, florals,
green foliage and garlands.
Step Four - Ambiance
Includes lighting of all types, container candles, pillar candles, votives,
tea lights, lamps and sconces.
Tomorrow is Tablescape Tuesday hosted by Susan at BetweenNapsonthePorch.
I will be joining the fun by posting my very first tablescape featuring a
New's Years Eve theme. Does anybody know what time it is??
See you tomorrow!


Melissa Miller said...

Hello Alisa, :)

Love all your ideas and I couldn't agree with you more. I have always been very much into creating a mood with lighting. When we built our home one of the most important things to me was the lighting. My husband thought I was going a bit overboard at the time by upgrading every fixture but he likes them all now. LOL!
Your candle flavors sound refreshing.
Are they Pier 1's?
Have a wonderful evening.
~Melissa :)

Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer said...

My husband did well this Christmas...candles, accessories (blue/white)..... but I love to look for more.

My latest thing (with accessories)is texture... I need a variety of textures in every room!

I have been enjoying your posts...very informative and fun!

Melissa Miller said...

Hi Alisa,
Oh that is so great!
You will really enjoy TT.
Can't wait to see yours.
~Warmly, Melissa

Kristens Creations said...

Hi Alisa,

Melissa said I should visit your blog and I'm sure glad I did! You have some wonderful decorating ideas and tips. I see you are doing Tablescape Tuesday, looking foward to it!

I would love for you to visit me, I did alot of Christmas decorating for different clients. I also worked at an iterior shop for almost 15 years as the silk floral designer. Looks like we have some things in common! Happy New Year!Kristen

Unknown said...

Your home is lovely...great attention to details!
Happy New Year!


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