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.

It's Not Easy Being Green - A Color Story

Color is a designer's cheapest and most powerful tool. With all of the nature-inspired decor products available today, going "green" is easier than ever! Today I wanted to share another color story with you. The color GREEN. Have you noticed that my last three posts have been green? Hmmm? I tend to have various favorite colors depending on the season I'm in. Right now, I'm all about green. I had my family room painted green before the holidays and an accent wall in my kitchen and breakfast rooms were painted this earthy hue at the end of last summer. I've decided to paint the rest of my kitchen green and I'm trying to decide if I will use the same color or a varying shade. My kitchen is a soft yellow right now and Mr. Panache and I have agreed to give our kitchen island a makeover. So while we're working on the island, I thought I would seize the opportunity to freshen up the wall color. I was so inspired by Pat at Back Porch Musings that I've set my mind to painting my island black, adding bead board and maybe a new granite top. Adding green walls will really complement the new look of the island. So off I went to do my research and find some green inspiration. Thank God for the internet! It makes research so easy. The pictures that follow are some of my favorite green spaces. Love the simple sophistication of this breakfast nook. The striking green window panels look so right against the bamboo window shade. The contrast with the blue and yellow rug is wonderful and fresh.
Here's my favorite combo right now - green and white. I can just see myself curled up with a good book and sipping on a green tea in this space.

At first, the rainbow of greens in this room were shocking but as I continued to study the various shades and the way they are put together I was rather captivated.

Maybe a green glass mosaic backsplash would be nice? I love the look in this bathroom.

The green and yellow combo of this dining room is a pure classic.

Here, we see an old wooden hutch that has been painted a soft, spring green inside to show off a collection of white dishes and stoneware. I think this shade of green is a little to bright for me. I like it in this small dose.

My Sunroom is just off from my breakfast room and family room. I currently have it decorated in green and orange. The wall color is very close to this picture and one accent wall is Canyon Sunset orange. It's my favorite room in our house. In the fall it's perfect with the glorious NC foliage and in the spring and summer, citrus is right at home. I simply change out some decorative pillows on the seating and I'm set.

Love everything about this bath - the green wall color makes the white tile, woodwork and bathroom fixtures just pop. Gotta love that chandelier. What eye-candy!
Green is notorious for being difficult! It can have undertones of yellow, blue, gray or brown which makes getting a pleasing palate rather hard. My recommendation is to pull together all of the decorative elements that you plan to use and view them in the designated room. The natural light of that room along with the elements that you aren't changing will help you get the best gauge on how well each item works with the other. I plan to start on my kitchen project right after Easter. Stay tuned for my posting of the design board and the reveal.
Tomorrow I'm going to show you how to make Jelly-Bean Pots. This is a fun little project that's easy on the budget, great for kids or grandkids and adds a little whimsy to your Easter tablescape. Until then,
Happy Decorating!

The Cook's Corner - Grandma's Apple Pie

Happy Friday! Welcome to the "Cook's Corner". I hope everyone is set for a relaxing weekend. I know many in blogland are committed to "unplug" today but since I unplug most every Saturday and Sunday, I thought I would share this one last post before the week ended. I am starting to plan some of my Easter dishes and pulled out an oldie but goodie - Grandma's Apple Pie made with fresh, tart Granny Smith apples.
I love apples! And Granny Smith apples are my favorite. When I was a little girl, I remember picking apples off my Grand-dad's orchard trees. Grandma's apple pie was a real treat and still today Apple Pie and French Vanilla ice cream is my favorite dessert. I love to eat it piping hot, fresh from the oven, drizzled with caramel syrup and a big scoop of ice cream. This Easter an Apple Pie is on my list of recipes. Grandma's pie has a little secret that I will share with you today. She always claimed that this "added ingredient" was what made her pie so special and fresh tasting. The secret is grated lemon zest! Does anyone else out there use lemon zest in their Apple Pies? I'd love to hear about it if you do. Grandma always used 1/2 teaspoon of zest and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. It was the best! Let's look at the recipe.
Grandma's Apple Pie
1 pkg. refrigerated pie crusts
(Grandma used to make her own but as ready made crusts improved in texture and flavor, she switched to save time and effort.)
2 1/2 pounds of Granny Smith apples (about 5 large apples or 7 medium)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
milk and sugar for leaf garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll 1 piecrust to a 14-inch circle. Place piecrust in a 9-inch pie plate, allowing access to hang over the edge.
  2. Peel and core the apples, then cut them into 1/4 inch slices. In a large bowl, toss the apples slices with the lemon zest and lemon juice. In a smaller bowl, mix the sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Add to the apples, toss to coat well.
  3. Spoon the apple mixture and any juices into the piecrust, forming a mound in the center. Cut the butter into pieces, dot over the filling.
  4. Roll the remaining piecrust to a 14-inch circle. Fold it in half, lift over pie, place the fold in the center then unfold the crust. Pinch the top and the bottom edges together. Trim the extra crust overhang to 1/2 inch. Fold the dough under making it flush with the pie-plate edge. Crimp crust edge to seal. Cut slits or vents to allow steam to escape while baking.
  5. Roll out crust trimmings and cut into leaf shaped designs then score "veins". (I found a cookie cutter that works great for this.) Brush the back of the leaves with milk and place on top of pie. Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Next, cover the edge of your pie with a 2-inch strip of foil. This will prevent your crust's edge from becoming overly brown.
  6. Bake your pie for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the crust is lightly browned and the juices are bubbling - about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool the pie for 20 minutes if you want to eat it nice and warm or for 1 hour if you like it cooled. Either way it is DELICIOUS!


Next week we have a lot going on here at Carolina Panache. I have more recipes planned from the Cook's Corner, I'm gonna show you how to make Jelly-Bean Pots. This is a great way to involve your kids in some Easter Treats. I'm also putting together a very special Easter Basket. Thursday I will feature a thrifty Easter tablescape featuring finds from Everything's A Dollar store. I do hope you will visit. Until then,

Happy Cooking!


TABLESCAPE THURSDAY - "Dreaming of A White Easter"

Welcome to another TABLESCAPE THURSDAY!

One of this year's hottest spring trends is nature-inspired decor. Whether you are setting a table outside on your deck or preparing a beautiful centerpiece for a sit down dinner, pulling your inspiration from nature is a great place to start! Here's a peek at the candle garden that inspired me to create this week's table. Today the table is set for an Easter Brunch. I have suddenly fallen in love with all spring shades of green, white and cream so I've chosen a fresh, crisp palette of white and green for this brunch.

I started with a white damask tablecloth and my forever versatile IVORY dishes. By adding green goblets, green polkadot napkins and adorable green-glass bunny dishes I gave the white table a punch of springtime color.

For the centerpiece, I turned an ivory serving bowl upside down and placed a large Mercury Glass candle holder on top. I didn't have any Mercury Glass vases so I improvised by turning MG hurricanes into vases for a bouquet of White Peonies and variegated English Ivy.

I placed a grapevine wreath around the base of the up-side-down bowl and tucked in more English Ivy. My Grandmother's milk glass will make great serving pieces.

I found this "jumping bunny" at Pier 1 for just $2!

These little green bunnies are candy dishes. I picked these up at Target about 5 years ago while we still lived in Florida. I think I paid $2 for each one. They are perfect for hiding after dinner mints, chocolates or a hard-boiled egg.

Remember the white birds from last week? Well, they have come to perch on my Easter table. If you read my post on Tuesday then you will know that one of this year's hot decor items are bird motifs. The trend is Avian Chic. I picked these up on clearance at Target.

I love the combination of white, cream, and green with the silver mercury glass accents.

Cool, uncluttered and fresh.

Love this plate! It's a paper plate. I found these at Hobby Lobby a couple of weeks ago. I picked up a package of 20. I will be using these sometime during the Easter weekend. You can't beat a pretty and disposable dish. Yeah! No clean-up.

You can't have an Easter brunch without a basket full of hardboiled eggs. These are white plastic but you can dress them up with sprigs of herbs and flowering tree branches.

You might have read in a previous post, but I have a "stash" of Easter decor that's gone MIA. Unfortunately, I will most likely find it around Halloween! :-(

Hope you've had fun looking around. Don't forget to visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for more tablescape inspiration. Each week dozens of creative and inspired ladies and men post incredible tables for your viewing pleasure so be sure to stop by each one.


Friday I'll be sharing a "Cook's Corner" post featuring some of my families favorite Easter traditions. Stop by for mouthwatering recipes and a simple idea for arrangeing fresh cut flowers for your Easter table. Until then,

Happy Decorating!


Spring Fluffing - A visit with Ann

It's Hump Day! Can you believe the week is almost half way over? Where does the time go? Well, we're still fluffing for spring here at Carolina Panache. With just 2 1/2 weeks until Easter I've got to hurry up! Are you ready? I'm still looking for that "stash" of spring and Easter decor that's gone MIA! Oh, well I guess I'll just move on and challenge myself to do some things a little differently. Yesterday I had a good visit with my dear friend Ann. Ann and I are two peas in a pod! We love to decorate and we have similar tastes in color and style. Ann was gracious enough to invite us to take a tour so sit back and enjoy a little seasonal inspiration. This little lady bunny is so adorable in her lilac and lace romper. She looks just right resting against a potted hydrangea.
Here is a shot of Ann's house from the front. We both live in homes built by the same builder. Ann's home is the Dorchester model. It's a great floorplan especially if you are given to entertaining which Ann is a master!

The kitchen or cucina to my Italian friends is the heart of most homes. Ann's kitchen is enormous and I love the large center island - what a great place to set up an Easter brunch buffet!

One feature that Ann's home offers is a morning or breakfast room. This is one of my favorite spaces. The cool blue-green wall paint is so fresh and the perfect color to welcome a sunny Spring morning.

I love the hand painted details on the hutch and chairs.

A vase of lilac and wisteria grace the island and a cross reminds us of the reason for the season.

Ann collects bunnies and this adorable trio of friends has found a spot on an end table to hang out until Easter.

Sunshiny yellow and purple always seem just right together at this time of year. A lavender ceramic basket holds a collection of Pansies, Tulips and Daffodils.

A console table gets plenty of spring fluffing with the addition of potted hydrangea, Easter candy and a plush bunny.

This is my favorite! I love this jumbo-sized chick! I remember as a child always wanting a baby chick for Easter. That never happened for me though. I guess Mom knew what a mess a little chick could grow up to make. LOL! Ann doesn't have to worry about this little guy. He is very well behaved. The egg-shaped plate in the foreground is classic.

A collection of bunnies, chick and tulips make this niche above the mantle a great focal point for seasonal decor.

A soft buttery yellow washes over the walls in the family room. The perfect shade to put you in a sunny disposition! Warmth and comfort is what this room is all about.

Ann's formal dining room is gorgeous. With each season the tablescape is changed to reflect the upcoming holiday. Ann has taken two crystal cakestands and have stacked them on top of each other to form a platform for displaying bunnies, florals and chocolate covered eggs. Plush standing bunnies flank either side of the centerpiece.

This fluffy friend is covered in little white flowers with a silky pink ribbon around her neck.

In the background you can see more bunnies hiding in the hutch! I didn't count them but I would guess Ann has more than two dozen bunnies on display. Each one is unique and adorable. Maybe I could get some of them to hop over to my house. LOL!

The formal living room or front parlor is so soft and subdued. I love the fresh green and tan color scheme. It's like a breath of fresh spring air. The white tulips are the perfect seasonal touch.

Ann features a painted chest in her entry hall. This is a great place to stage a seasonal tablescape. A pair of standing bunnies welcomes each guest and springtime! Jars of pastel Easter candies and eggs hint of the goodies found in children's baskets.

A ceramic "Chocolate Bunny" makes me long for a rich and decadent Easter treat! My kids are 16 and 10 but I still find myself filling their baskets with the traditional chocolate bunny.

The soft pastels of the table top arrangement against the yellow walls declare that spring is finally here!

I'm glad you hopped over for a spell. I do hope you have enjoyed the tour. A big thank you to Miss Ann for allowing us to visit. Ann, everything is so pretty and fresh! Great spring fluffing!
Tomorrow is TABLESCAPE THURSDAY and I will feature a new take on Easter decorating. I hope you will stop by. Until then,
Happy Decorating!

STYLE FILE - Top 6 Spring Decorating Trends

Do you love to attend Home Shows? You know the kind they hold at the convention center and highlight the latest and greatest products, designs and trends in the home improvement market? Well, we've just finished our Spring Home and Garden Show here in my part of North Carolina and I wanted to share this year's Top 6 Spring Decorating trends.Top Trend #1 - Scrollwork or Filigree. This trend is inspired by a global appreciation of ironwork scrolls and delicate embroidery. Filigree is popping up on walls, bedding, and textiles. The finely wrought designs, full of swirls and flourishes are as fresh as a sweet pea tendril. This highly sought after trend includes pierced and intricately carved designs.
Another example of scrollwork, this San Lorenzo wall medallion is handcrafted from a popular pattern forged from iron.

Top Trend #2 - Avian Chic. All things bird-related are popular this year. From owls to parrots, we have fallen in love with this natural motif. Fun and whimsical or exquisite and exotic, avian accents are the perfect dose of spring for any room in your house.

This lovely chair is covered in a large scale parrot print fabric. The understated gray tones of the pattern give a subdued nod to this trend.

Top Trend #3 - Enormous Nature-inspired Prints. All of the focus on "going green" and earth friendly living, we are embracing nature in a big way. Big bold flowers, stylized stems and branches, the scale of these prints are jumbo sized. Prints this large almost seem sculptural. We are seeing this trend appear in bedding, wall art and upholstery fabric.

Gotta love this chair! The fresh colors and bold pattern are a fresh welcome from the cold winter blues and grays.

This set of prints embrace two of this season's trends. Enormous nature-inspired prints and the color orange. Which bring us to our next trend.

Top Trend #4 - The Color Orange. This is the new springtime neutral - the color of spice, ripe fruit or citrus. This bold punchy color is the right remedy for Spring Fever or the Winter Blahs. Paired with white, khaki, or tan this color livens up you space with free-flowing energy!

I love this sofa! It's a great example of bold pattern meets the color orange. This would be perfect in my sunroom!

Top Trend #5 - Homespun Appeal. Everywhere I go I am surrounded by technology - iPhones, iPods, Bluetooth techno, wireless notebooks and the list goes on. Maybe that's why so many people are embracing this year's homespun decor. We are seeing the texture of knitted or stitched handiwork cropping up on furniture, bedding, ceramics and wall decorations. This trend mirrors what we are seeing on the fashion runways as crochet and knitted details and appliques gain popularity.

Top Trend #6 - Carved or Burled Wood. The gleam and glow of waxed wood finishes and the natural shapes of vines, florals and tree trunks defines wood's new use as decorative accents. We see wood grain making a big hit, appearing everywhere from textiles to tabletop accessories.

A wonderful example of re-purposed wood, this burled tree trunk finds new life as a side table.
So, how about you? Are you using any of these trends in your home? I walked around my house trying to check off as many as I could. I've got the scrollwork covered pretty well and the bird motif. My sunroom has an orange accent wall and decorative pillows. I've had that decorated for about 2 1/2 years so I guess I was before my time. (Ha,ha). I really like the large nature-inspired prints but other than a large-scale floral quilt I am using in my Master Bedroom, I don't have too much of that in the house. For Homespun Appeal, I am using several crocheted placemats, tabletoppers and doilies with my spring vignettes. These were handmade by my Mother-in-law, Ann. Not too much in the way of carved wood other than furniture pieces. I'd love to hear about any ways you are using these trends in your home already.
Some of you have asked about participating in the Easter Basket Extravaganza. The date is April 7th. This is when we will post our Easter Baskets and host our blog party. If you are interested please leave me a comment or send me an e-mail to oopsadaisync@aol.com. Tomorrow I will be posting a special guest feature. We'll visit the home of my friend Ann. Ann's home is all ready for Spring and she's invited us to take a tour. I'm sure you will like what you see. On Thursday I will post a new tablescape called "I'm Dreaming of a White Easter". I hope you will hop on over to take a peek.
Until then,
Happy Decorating!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin