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.

Hey, Lighten Up! 7-Steps to Spring-ready Interiors

Hello ladies! Thanks for stopping by. We are a little over a month away from Easter and I've started my countdown calendar. Is anyone planning to host an Easter brunch or dinner? Expecting visitors? If so, you are probably already making preparations. Well, I'm right in the middle of spring cleaning today and thought I would share a few of the tricks that I use each year to get my home ready for Spring. Even though it may still look like winter outside your window, when March rolls around it's time to begin your Spring interior transformation! I have 7 steps to help get your home in Spring-ready condition. Step 1. Lighten Up! Especially on your windows. Now is the time to take down heavy, dark window treatments and allow the glorious sunshine to filter through your home. Try leaving your windows bare where privacy isn't an issue or use only privacy blinds or shades. Try taking an ivy garland and draping it around your curtain rod. This will soften the look of the rod while allowing you to keep your window uncovered for maximum light. I keep moss green and gold velvet drapes on my family room windows during the fall and winter but I just changed them to a light leaf green silk taffeta. I love the way they soften the silhouette but allow plenty of light to stream through the window. I am also in the process of changing out decorative pillows using lighter accent colors such as Robin's Egg blue.
Here's another lovely example of light and airy window treatments.

Step 2. Remove dark, heavy rugs. Consider taking up your wool rugs and replacing them with natural fibers like sisal or cotton throw rugs. Better yet, leave your floors bare. During the warmer months I take up many of my area rugs excepts for the ones in my entry hall and family rooms. If you just can't part with your rug, even for a season, try bringing light furnishings or accents into the room for spring-ready flair.

Step 3. Invest in a nice set of slipcovers. Nothing can transform a room for spring like covering your seating in a light, neutral slipcover. I like the ones that are offered by Pottery Barn. The neutral color of the slipcover will then allow you to add punches of bright color in decorative pillows and throws.

There are so many companies that offer slipcovers. You can literally find a style and color to fit any piece of seating furniture you own!

Step 4. Spread out! Rearrange your furniture to allow more space between your groupings. It's great to cozy up for the fall and winter months but when warmer days begin, give your furniture some breathing room. More space between your furnishings is visually uplifting and creates a feeling of positive energy and air flow. Spring is about expanding and breathing in the fresh air!

Step 5. Bring the outdoors in! Think nature. One of this year's top trends in home decor is nature-inspired colors and accessories. Leaf green, sunshine yellow, sky blue, sandy beach - all of these shades help to connect you with the great outdoors even when you are shut up indoors. Next, bring in fresh cut flowers or greenery. Nothing breaths life into your home like plants. You don't have to invest a fortune on expensive bouquets. Go out into your yard and clip small stems and branches from ferns, bushes or flowering trees. Your mood will instantly improve!

Step 6. Add a fresh spring scent. I love to use reed diffusers with fragrant oils in my home. During the fall scents like cinnamon apple, pumpkin and blue spruce are my favorites. However, these scents are to heavy for my taste during the spring months so I opt for lilac, lilies, pears and tangerine. Your local mass retailer like Target or Walmart have tons of options from plug-in gels, candles, reed diffusers to sprays and potpourri. Even the fragrance of fresh flowers will breath new life into your home.

Step 7. Reflect light. I like to place glass or reflective surfaces close to a natural light source. Setting tall glass vases in front of my windows cause the sunlight to sparkle and reflect into the room. A collection of silver candle holders or mercury glass works great too. Another trick I use often is positioning a mirror opposite of my windows. Not only does this visually expand my space but when the windows are open, it reflects the lovely outdoors.

Bonus Tip #1: Don't forget about your porch or entry. Try clustering a group of large planters or urns around the door and fill them with fresh green plants. They will look good all spring right into the hot days of summer.

Bonus Tip #2: Deep clean the house in the spring. That is what's on my agenda this week. I like to wash the windows using a vinegar and lemon-water solution. I don't like the smell of Windex so I go for a natural alternative. Next, I wash down the woodwork. If painted, I use a warm water wash with mild dish detergent. If the wood is stained I reach for Murphy's Oil Soap and warm water. My hardwood floors get treated with a Minwax wood floor cleaner followed by a polish. I love the way they shine afterwards. And everything gets a thorough dusting or wipe-down. Then I set back, sip an ice cold lemonade and enjoy the freshness.
I hope you have a wonderful, sunny day. Tomorrow I hope to share a quick and easy spring centerpiece using items right out of your kitchen! Until then,
Happy Cleaning!


Gone said...

Good Morning...and thanks for the list of tips for brightening, lightening and cleaning for Spring!

I love your new blog photo and background...you have some of the nicest photos of yourself!! I love the color of your outfit!!


Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Great post and some wonderful decorating tips. I have been in the process of lightening up the house and it really lifts the spirits. You've given some wonderful ideas. Thanks Hugs, Marty

Wendy said...

Great post! Thank you for sharing all these wonderful tips for getting my house ready for spring. I really enjoy all the pictures you use. Your new background is so pretty and so is the new picture of you...very lovely!
Warm regards,

Cyndi said...

great ideas and pictures to inspire me to get ready for spring,thanks.
I love the easter pics on the side,I'm going to look closer at them.I noticed the natural eggs in the basket with moss..loved it.

Charlene said...

Everyone of your ideas are wonderful! I wish I had your energy to get all that spring cleaning done! I have to take this a step at a time! I think I will start with the fridge. It needs cleaning sooooooooooo badly! Thanks for the push! Also, I really want to cover my sofa with slip covers. Gonna go search out the site you recommended. If I don't find my dream slipcover I may email you for more suggestions! Thanks

Ashley ~ said...

I'm new to your blog and loving it*! Thanks for the great ideas for spring cleaning*

Chari at Happy To Design said...

Hello Alisa...

First of all, just want to say that I love your new photo...you are such a beautiful woman! That blue is stunning on you! So very pretty!!!

Well my friend, thank you so much for all of the tips on lightening & brightening up for Spring! Excellent tips and so inspiring! I need to get busy at my house! I do have to say though, since it's just my honey and me at home, I do my "Spring cleaning" all year long...hehe! I choose an area or object and deep clean about every other day! Gives me something to do...hehe! I sure enjoyed seeing all of your Easter centerpieces, decor, etc. on the sidebar! Thank you again for sharing your expertise!!!

Warmest wishes,

PAT said...

Hello Alisa...

Thanks so much for all the wonderful inspiration, provided in your list and photos.

I'm working to lighten up a guest room and have an idea for the master bedroom. Spring is a fabulous time to "lighten up"!

Melanie said...

I love to lighten up...in more ways than one. Working on that other way right now. Don't want to look "chubby" on camera.

Unknown said...

I love all your tips. I love to lighten up in the spring and do my spring cleaning too! Your pictures and examples were beautiful!

Melissa Miller said...

Wonderful ideas!

Thanks for sharing.
You have inspired me to do a Spring wreath on our front door for the first time ever.

I'll let you know what I come up with.
~Melissa :)

"Blossom" said...

You got that spring bug already.
You are way ahead of me. Yes, I am having my girls over for Easter
egg hunt and dinner. Great spring ideas you have pictured.

Scribbler said...

What a breath of Spring is the new look of your blog!

I too like to make seasonal changes. Sewing madly is on my agenda for the next couple of months.

Maybe the Fairies will come and clean the house!


Elaine said...

I am a new reader and found your blog to be absolutely delightful!

Anonymous said...

Hello. My wife and I bought our house about 6 months ago. It was a foreclosure and we were able to get a great deal on it. We also took advantage of the 8K tax credit so that definitely helped. We did an extensive remodeling job and now I want to refinance to cut the term to a 20 or 15 year loan. Does anyone know any good sites for mortgage information? Thanks!



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