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 Home Accessories - Your Signature Style (Step 2)

Home accessories are the finds that express your personality and bring your home to life. They proclaim your SIGNATURE STYLE! These include vases, accent furniture, candle holders, glass pieces such as containers or planters, decorative plates, floor baskets, clocks, easels and figurines or statutes. These items are mostly used on table tops, shelves and ledges throughout the home. Accessories work together with your framed art to add a touch of personal style and your own decorating sensibility. When you choose accents that repeat the subject or theme in your framed art, you add a 3rd dimension to your room. Life and movement are added and you create interest. In this photo you see how the wall art highlights single flower stems using a modern aesthetic. To accessorize this room a contemporary selection of accents was chosen. The potted orchid in a simple glass vase, the single black candle holder, black wooden storage cubes and clock is really all that was needed to add visual interest to the flat surfaces of the room. It is fun to add a single element that seems slightly out of place. The clock is very traditional in its style and detail but works wonderfully with the other black furniture and accent pieces.

In this photo the color story is Black, White and Red so the accents take their que from the wall art. ALWAYS take your que from your wall art. Otherwise your rooms can look cluttered with no cohesive thread to hold them together. Two identical urns were used to play off the urn in the photo that is only partially shown. I love to use multiples of items when accessorizing a room. For a very traditional look, use pairs. For modern, contemporary or casual interiors odd numbers work best. While we are on this photo let me point out that three thin book volumes were used to elevate the clear glass hurricane. This was done to raise the rim of the hurricane to balance better with the height of the urns. I love to use books for this purpose.

Here we see a casual display of country elegance. Notice how the mirror is leaning on the wall rather than hanging. That sets the tone for the cluster of casual accents used to enhance the mantle. The colors and feel are repeated on the table in the statue of the rooster, stacked serving plates and flasks. I really like the way the table runner plays off the fruited topiaries placed on the mantelpiece.

This vignette is slightly romantic in aesthetic. The lamp with crystal tear drops, the heart shaped photo frame, the garden angel all lend a gentle romance to the table top which pairs perfectly with the lovely landscape in the wall art above.

This is one of my favorite pieces. I use this in my guest bedroom. I love magnolias so when I moved to my current house I was excited to have a magnolia tree in my front yard. Using the magnolias from the wall art, a floral arrangement was designed to bring the room to life. The subdued color story of white, cream, brown and antique gold is timeless and restful. While the finishes on the hurricane which was used to hold the arrangement and the candle holders are not the same, the swirling details at the base and similar shape work well together. Don't worry about matching your accents rather work to achieve a coordinated look for your rooms.

In this example, we see yet another romantic and traditional vignette. The soft pink walls are the perfect background for the antique gold accessories. I simply love the scale of the candle holders on the floor. A great balance for the accent chair (you can only see a small portion of it to the left of the photo). The wall art used in this setting is the antique gold mirror and shelf. Many people don't use shelves or ledges above table tops but I have found this to be a great way to add dimension to a grouping and to showcase a collection. Notice how the antique gold finials (collection of 3) are split up - two on the table top and one on the ledge above. This naturally created movement for the eye.

I love the casual, beachy feel of this grouping. I like the way the birdhouse plays off the rustic finish of the white accent table.

The fallen blooms at the base of the container in the picture above inspired the floral spray resting on the table below. A large book was used to elevate the middle of the arrangement.

This final photo shows a simple accessorized hearth. Two large ivy topiaries are used to dress up the fireplace. The scale is perfect for the size of the firebox and the repeat of pairs adds a traditional flavor while the rustic planters keeps the scene casual enough for a family room.
A good mix of home accents and accessories uses several tricks and tips to balance its organization. Here's a quick list I share with my customers:
  1. Arrange items in threes or fives. Objects work best when used in odd numbers.
  2. Create a loose triangle by grouping a small, medium and large item together.
  3. When working in a room with a monochromatic color story, use lots of texture in your accessories. Select an accent with a shiny, matte and textural finish.
  4. Another way to add texture and interest is to group items of different material but similar shape or purpose. Try using metal, woven fiber and ceramic together.
  5. Change your accents seasonally. This simple act can refresh your home quickly and at little expense. I like to re-mix my interiors every three months. Now that Christmas is over, I will pack away the holiday decor. This is the perfect time to re-mix my rooms.
  6. When in doubt, group items together that are similar in color, shape or purpose. This is the fastest way to fill empty surfaces and add dimension to your home.

Our next post will deal with Florals and Plant life. We will show how to use real house plants to enliven your rooms and breath life into your decor as well as how faux florals can add seasonal style and color.


Carolina Mama said...

Great to hear from you. Love your new blog look. And your decorating style. I look forward to reading more in 2009.

Melissa Miller said...

Hi Alisa! :)

Thank you very much for visiting my new blog and your kindness. I really appreciate getting to know other bloggers. Please know you're always welcome.

"Tablescape Tuesday" is hosted each week by "Susan" at "Between Naps on the Porch". She has a wonderful Southern style blog full of great ideas and stories.
Pay her a visit and join TT. She would love to hear from you and I KNOW you will meet many bloggers that would definitly enjoy yours as well!

I love your blog! You are on my favorites list for sure. You have talent and I can't wait to see your home photos. I'll be back to visit you often.

Hope you had the merriest of Christmases!

~Take Care, Melissa

Barb @ The Everyday Home said...

Hi - thanks for stopping by my blog and inviting me to yours. Did you know Melissa and I found out we live right down the road from each other and we are gonna meet after the Holidays? I am so excited! Anyway - LOVE your blog. Great info and I loved all the inspiration pics, too. I look forward to coming back when I have more time to spend here. Thanks, Barb

Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer said...

Thanks for sharing some GREAT ideas!

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

I'm so glad Melissa told me to swing by. I love your blog and will venture back often. Welcome to Blogland... hugs ~lynne~

Melanie said...

Alisa, this looks great! I'm so excited for you!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin