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.

Flaunt Your Red

Happy Friday! TGIF! Well, today I am joining a new blog party called "Flaunt Your Red". This is an easy one for me because RED is my favorite color! Nancy over at Southern Lady is our lovely hostess for this wonderful party so be sure to pop over there to check out all the RED. I thought I would share a little of the red around my house.The walls of my entry are RED. We just painted them RED after the New Year. I love it! It adds a real punch of color that says "WOW - Welcome!"

These delectable treats were made by yours truly. Triple Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites with RED Cherry topping. Yummy!

My downstairs powder room used to be purple. I like it RED much better!

I found this little cherub on the junk heap and decided it would be the perfect thing for a RED rose floral arrangement.

RED hand towels make the perfect combination with Cheetah print in my powder room.

A RED background on my Spice Trade table runner from Pottery Barn brightens up my kitchen table for a TABLESCAPE THURSDAY party.

RED Delicious apples are the best snack, so crisp and juicy.

Of course, what could be better than meeting two good friends for breakfast and both show up in my favorite color - RED!

New window treatments in the living room are accented with RED silk panels and scarf.

RED tulips greet our guests in the foyer.
They say if you've got it, then flaunt it. I hope you've enjoyed the tour.
Have a Happy Weekend!

Tablescape Thursday - "A Breath of Fresh Air" Thank You Lunch

Hello! Welcome to Tablescape Thursday. Today I am sharing "A Breath of Fresh Air" - a Thank You luncheon table to honor some wonderful volunteers. Since Spring is just a hop away, I wanted to keep this week's color pallet soft and sunny so I have used golden yellow, fresh leaf green and creamy white. Birds and peonies carry through on the spring theme. The table is set for a salad and loaded baked potato luncheon so while I wanted it to be special and springy, I didn't want the table to be too formal. Relaxed and elegant were the key words. Let's take a tour. I chose not to use a tablecloth but opted to use golden yellow placemats in hem stitched linen. A crocheted square table topper is too small for the table so it was bunched up in the center to add texture, contrast and a touch of vintage elegance.
A linen THANK YOU note card from "Always Anna" served as my inspiration. The card is a lovely yellow and brown floral print embellished with a brown and white ribbon. To play off the brown accents on the card, a chocolate brown satin napkin is folded and tucked between the dinner plate and salad plate.

Fresh green ivy leaves are scattered across the table top to evoke the feeling of a fresh Spring day. The green and yellow complement the warm honeyed tones of the wood table.

A tall, elegant ceramic urn in creamy white stands in as the focal point of the centerpiece.

Creamy yellow and white peonies flank either side of the urn and add freshness to the table.

Little birds, 6 in all, perch among the leaves and lace reminding us that Spring is just around the corner. Vanilla votive candles shimmer in crystal votive cups.

To carry the yellow, brown and creamy white theme throughout the room, a platter in the same colors is displayed on a buffet table near-by.

A vase of creamy white flowers complement the color scheme and carry the theme around the dinning room. A soft yellow pillar candle in a grand hurricane plays up the soft buttery color in the placemats.

I like to use lamp light during the day, especially during special occasions. It warms up the room and adds a good dose of ambiance. Votive candles are another favorite of mine for day-time dining. Nothing says "Welcome" more than the glow of soft, inviting light.

I hope you have enjoyed your "Breath of Fresh Air". Why not host your own appreciation luncheon for someone or some group of hard working people whose efforts make this world a better place. People need a little encouragement and hope in their lives and we should all take time to appreciate those around us. So go for it and happy entertaining! Remember, it doesn't have to be expensive or difficult to be good. It just has to be from the heart! Be sure to visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for more tablescape inspiration. Friday we are going to take a look at a Shabby Chic towel tower that is finding a new purpose in my breakfast room. I hope you will stop by to check it out. Until then,
Happy Entertaining!

The Cook's Corner - Mexican Flava

Welcome to The Cook's Corner! Finding something that everyone in my family likes to eat is a pretty hard task especially when my 9-year old seems to prefer Happy Meals over home-cooked meals. Luckily, we do have a few recipes that please the whole crowd. Today I will share another SIMPLE SUPPER idea that you can prepare in less than 45 min. and is sure to be a tasty Tex-Mex dish the whole family will love. I love recipes that have 10 or less ingredients and this one has 7. Let's take a look.
1 pound skinless boneless chicken breast
2 tablespoons of butter
1 8-ounce container of salsa or picante sauce
(I prefer Garden Fresh Gourmet - Jack's Special Salsa - Medium)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 package of 8 tortillas (I use whole wheat but you can use flour tortillas)
6-ounces sour cream

First, dice chicken then saute' the bite-sized chicken pieces in butter until done.
Add salsa or picante sauce to fully cooked chicken and mix thoroughly, set aside.

Oops! I didn't rotate my picture. Sorry. Just tilt your head a bit. LOL! :-)
Next, In a saucepan over medium heat, combine sour cream, cream of chicken soup and milk.
Whisk as it heats, till creamy. Remove from heat and set aside.

Then take your chicken mixture and spoon 1/8 of the mixture in tortilla, roll and place seam side down in baking dish. Repeat until all 8 tortillas are filled and placed in dish.

Pour sour cream sauce over the filled tortillas and sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese.
You can also substitute Monterrey Colby Jack cheese for the cheddar.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. The last 5-10 minutes broil the top till brown and crispy around the edges.
Serve with Mexican Rice and crispy White Tortilla Chips and salsa. Enjoy!
Tomorrow is Tablescape Thursday. I will be sharing a special "Thank You" luncheon table I've set for a special group of volunteers. Until then,
Happy Cooking!

"Junk to Gems" - A thoughtful gift from a true love!

Hello everyone! I wanted to post this for Met Monday but I am a little late. I talked my Parents into staying one more day so Monday was all about visiting, shopping and spending time together but I am finally posting the promised "Junk to Gems" featuring a thoughtful gift from my hubby. We try to give gifts to each other that are meaningful or practical and carry sentimental value. This past Valentine's Day, Mr. Right came through with shining colors! In the photo below you see a black 4-drawer chest. This chest was actually inherited from my Great Grandmother, Sarah on my Mom's side of the family. It began its life as a small bedside chest where she would keep lingerie. It is made of cedar but over the many years it has lost a lot of it's aroma. When it first came to me, I used it for odds and ends but the color never really suited me so eventually it was placed in a closet. A couple of years ago we moved to NC and it was placed in storage, unforgotten and sadly unloved. Well, Mr. Right decided to breath new life in to this little chest and present it to me as my Valentine's gift. Needless to say I was so excited to have it "re-invented". It has now found a new home front and center in the entry. Let's take a look. The black glossy paint that my hubby used to paint the chest suited me perfectly. It looks fabulous against my newly painted red entry hall. Of course my much loved animal-print, Cheetah French Memo board, was the perfect accent. A gold, antique pedestal clock, gold letter "A" and a couple of heavy leather-bound volumes completed the tabletop display.

This is the original color of the chest. It was badly scarred, scratched and stained.

A little Handi-Strip was applied to dissolve the finish and prep the surface for sanding.

A coat of primer was added to the chest and fronts of the drawers.

Once the primer was completely dry, Mr. Right applied two coats of glossy black paint.

Once the paint was set, he came back and lined each drawer with a pretty light green and white print paper.

He considered painting the original hardware but opted to leave the old antiqued pewter drawer-pulls. I was happy about that because the original pulls reminds me that this was my Great Grandmother's chest.

A small vase of white peonies add a fresh touch of the approaching spring season and an urn filled with white cherry blossoms add great contrast against the red walls and black chest.

I added two red, gold and black tassels made of silky threads to the top drawer pulls. That, too, reminded me of my GGM and played off the fact that this little chest was once used to keep dainty garments made of luxurious materials.

I hope you have enjoyed this "Junk to Gems" post. It was very special to me for several reasons. I love having things around me that were once part of the lives of my ancestors. I also love it when we can re-purpose something old and tired and once again create a cherished keepsake that can one day be past on to the next generation.
This week is going to be a fun-filled week as I hunt down accessories to add a breath of spring-fresh air to my NC home. We are officially 1 month away from Spring and it is time to lighten up and make way for the warmer days ahead. By this weekend we should see temperatures in the upper 60's here in my corner of NC. Tomorrow is Outdoor Wednesday, I still have a Mexican flavored Simple Supper to share and Thursday is our Tablescape party. I have found an old wooden plate rack that is going to get a make over for use in my breakfast room and a Shabby Chic "ready to assemble" towel tower purchased on clearance is going to find a different purpose. I hope you will "tune-in" this week. Until then,
Happy Decorating!

Oops! I Almost Forgot!

Hey Everyone! I hope you have had a wonderful weekend! I've been busy, busy, busy! My Parents have been visiting since late last week and time just slipped away. I didn't get my Cook's Corner or my hubby's "Junk to Gems" feature posted on Friday and Saturday as promised but I hope to have the "Junk to Gems" post up tomorrow morning. What an incredible job he has done. I am so happy with my thoughtful gift. Before I go, I thought I would share a picture of my first Daffodil of the season. This week I am sure I will have some Hyacinth bloom too! Spring is just a hop, skip and a jump away ladies! I can't wait! It's like something is just simmering beneath the surface, almost ready to burst forth! What an exciting time! Be sure to circle back around tomorrow to check out what's new on Carolina Panache. Until then,
Happy Decorating!


Tablescape Thursday - A Walk Along the Beach

Okay, so I decided to marry a Florida native about 20 years ago. Up until that time I had never even been to Florida! And I had only seen the ocean one other time and that was in Virginia! Needless to say, not only did I fall in love with Mr. Right but Palm Trees, Seashells, Sandy White Beaches and West Coast Florida Sunsets fell right in line. I started thinking last week that next month is Mr. Right's birthday and wouldn't it be great to have a seafood buffet for his birthday dinner. Grill up a little Salmon in Lemon-Dill sauce, pan sear some Scallops and bake Crab-stuffed Mushrooms with Hollandaise Sauce....hmm. This started me thinking about table decor - naturally. So this week's TABLESCAPE is a forerunner of next month's birthday buffet but Ssh! Don't tell because I want it to be a surprise. This table is all about Seashells and the color of a Florida Sunset.

Burnt Orange linen placemats set the right amount of color punch to play up the white dishes. I love these Shell shaped salad plates. They were a real-deal at HomeGoods and work perfectly with my Ivory dishes from Better Homes and Gardens.

Silver accents and Mercury Glass give just the right amount of glitz.

A real Florida, West Coast sunset. Isn't that just beautiful? Thanks Linda Charlene for the use of your incredible photo! XOXO! Now you see where I got the inspiration to use the orange placemats.

Walking along the beach after a storm is the best time to find little treasures washed up from the depths of the ocean.

The color pallet is very simple - white, orange and silver - but it all glows in the soft flicker of candlelight.

I found these little bronze Starfish napkin rings at BBandB while I was still living in Florida. I pulled an ivory cotton napkin through the ring, then stood it up resembling an Octopus. Okay, work with me here - use your imagination. If you tilt your head and squint your eyes it COULD look like an Octopus.

Last week a Reader e-mailed me asking how many sets of dishes do I own. The answer is one. I do have extra salad plates and bowls or plates only from other patterns but as far as complete place settings go, I have one set, enough for 10 place settings. Most of my tablescapes use common pieces. The differences are all in the linens and the accessories. Invest in a neutral color and style, then you can mix and match to your heart's content.

The romantic glow of candlelight adds ambiance reminiscent of an evening clam bake on the beach.

Now, this little guy won't be center stage during the birthday dinner but I'm sure I'll find a nice place for him to rest.

Here is a close-up of the shell-shaped salad plate. Notice the raised details at the bottom of the plate - it is a cluster of little seashells.

This shell-shaped silver serving platter will most likely hold Peel and Eat Shrimp during the seafood buffet. I have three of these in various sizes. All of them were purchased at Target on a markdown sale. They will make the perfect buffet set-up and keep our seaside theme in tact. Well, I hope you have enjoyed the "Walk Along the Beach" table. For more great tablescapes be sure to visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. Friday we will feature The Cook's Corner and Saturday a very special "Junk to Gems" post showing the handiwork of Mr. Right and his thoughtful Valentine's gift. Until then,
Happy Decorating!

Outdoor Wednesday - A stroll through the Tulips

Welcome to Outdoor Wednesday! Spring is just around the corner and I'm anxious for it's arrival. Yesterday while I was running errands I noticed some Redbuds already starting to bloom. I have had a few Daffodils pop open in brilliant yellow this past week so I know my tulips are right behind them! Speaking of tulips, I thought I would share some beautiful Tulip Gardens from Holland with you. The best tulips come from Holland and every year millions, yes I said millions, of bulbs burst forth with vivid color every spring. This is a picture of a corner in Keukenhof Park in Holland. Each year the gardeners plant their bulbs in order to produce waves and waves of bright, splashy color. Other flowers are also added around the tulips to create color stories and movement within the garden.
These bulbs were planted in straight lines, alternating red and white species. When spring arrives, these almost resemble stripes on the flag. I keep saying that I am going to plant my tulips in this manner. What a showy garden!

These Red and Yellow bulbs have been planted in a semi-random configuration. For the most part you can see the lines but they are more wavy and loose. I am not sure of the exact type of tulip pictured here, but they are breathtaking and so sunny.
These Pink tulips are lovely. All pointing towards the camera as if they are posing with their little faces open. Last week during my post I had asked for you to cast your vote for the color scheme of my flower beds and I am happy to report that "Pink and Red" won out. That will be a big change from last year's lavender and lilac. Once all threat of frost is past we will start getting plants in the ground. Hopefully I will be able to share some pictures with you in about a month. Hope you have enjoyed the stroll through the garden, to see more outdoor inspiration, be sure to visit Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for a complete list of OW participants. Tomorrow is Tablescape Thursday and we will be taking a "Walk along the Beach", then Friday we will feature The Cook's Corner and add down home flavor Mexican Style, Saturday we will wrap up the week with a very special "Junk to Gems" feature. Until then,
Happy Gardening!


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