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.

Tablescape Thursday - "Just Beachy"

Okay, so I've been on this shell and beach theme lately. It must be that Spring Break trip to Florida a couple of weeks ago. Today has been very busy - hardly a minute to take a break. So I am cheating a little bit and posting one of my favorite tables from a few months ago. I hope you will enjoy it (again! :-)
Ahoy, mates! Welcome to Tablescape Thursday hosted by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch! Today I am taking a short break from spring decorating to set an ocean inspired table. Friday is Mr. Panache's birthday and we are having a seafood feast! So in keeping with my menu I've gone a little coastal with this week's table.

Of course we couldn't have an ocean inspired table without lovely shades of blue. I am using four varying shades of Mr. Panache's favorite color. I have used two placemats layered one on top of the other. They are aqua and royal blue. The napkin is a medium blue-teal and the decorative glass candle plates are translucent turquoise.

I filled a hurricane with glass beads of clear, teal and aqua to help tie in the color scheme.

Invited some little sea creatures over to decorate my table. A cluster of Starfish and shells picked up on Clearwater Beach during the years I lived there were the perfect accents to my Ocean Breeze table.

A lovely bronze Starfish securely holds my napkins in place.

I found these blue and white clam shell coasters at Target. They add a touch of whimsy.

A silver plated shell-shaped serving dish holds more aqua glass beads and a Starfish.

I just got these two large metal lanterns from my Celebrating Home interior accents line. I love them. They are so sturdy and versatile.

I love the way Vanilla Creme candles glow and flicker. The little candle plates were a find at Everything's A Dollar store.

I picked up three styles. I like this one. It looks like a flower or if you use your imagination, a Starfish.

You may remember my Shell salad plates from my Florida Sunset post a few weeks ago. This picture also gives you a better look at the layered placemats.

This candle plate is shaped like a daisy. My Eternity silverware add shine and sparkle in the candlelight. I hope you've enjoyed the Ocean Breeze. Until I see you again,
Happy Decorating!

Outdoor Wednesday - Gone Shellin'

Happy Hump Day! It's Outdoor Wednesday and this fun party is hosted by Susan at a Southern Day Dreamer. Be sure to pop over to see a full list of Outdoor Wednesday posts.
I thought I would share a few pics from our Spring Break trip to Florida.
Our first Saturday there, my sister-in-law, Linda took us "shellin". We drove over to Honeymoon Island State Park just before sunset and searched for sea treasures that had washed up on the beach during high tide. My oldest son takes in a gorgeous West Coast sunset.
Linda is a professional photographer and took this opportunity to capture some magic on camera. Linda lives only a few miles from the beach so most Sunday afternoons she spends some quality "down" time searching for shells and shooting scenes of the coastline and beach.

Here Mr. Panache and his little sister are getting up close and personal with a Hermit Crab. We found several shells that were still "occupied". Of course, we tossed those back into the sea. Our little excursion was fairly successful. We came back with a couple bags of various sized shells to be cleaned and bleached.
Spring and summer are perfect times to display shells in your decor. I use shells is a variety of ways and places. Just that little reminder of lazy, relaxed days of vacation seems to lighten my mood. The pictures that follow show some neat ideas for incorporating shells and sea treasures in your everyday decorating. Enjoy!

Display a few shells and Starfish along with personal photographs and an elegant silver vase. The shiny, reflective surface of the vase is perfectly paired with the these chalky white treasures.
Placing pretty cool-colored bowls filled with shells around your bathroom is the ideal method for bringing the beach home with you. The soft aqua of the bowl is the perfect spring and summer hue.

The warm weather months of spring and summer are meant to be relaxed and laid-back not formal and stuffy. Mixing beachy decor along with your classic or traditional art and accessories adds a touch of whimsy and downplays the formality just a bit.

Sometimes less is definitely more! And this bedside table certainly displays that mantra. Three large shells is all that is needed to add a touch of the beach to this bedroom.

A simple but elegant display - take a large clear vessel and fill the bottom with 3 cups of sand. Insert one large "statement" shell and viola - the perfect summertime accessory.

A large shell shaped bowl finds it's place by holding a pretty display of scented soaps and Starfish.

We haven't talked alot about coral but what a perfect paring with these sea shells. Coral is so "now" and it adds wonderful seaside appeal to any room.

Here, a groups of shells clustered together adds the right amount of texture to this monochromatic display.

A framed piece of art and a single Starfish displayed with a shell-shaped bowl of kumquates brings a touch of the sea to this tabletop display.
Don't forget to visit Susan and all the other OUTDOOR WEDNESDAY participants for more inspiration! Until I see you again,
Happy Decorating!

Sunday Favorites - A re-run "On the Beach"

Welcome to my very first "SUNDAY FAVORITES". This brilliant idea was conceived by Chari over at Happy to Design. Be sure to pay her a visit to read all about Sunday Favorites and to view the full list of participants for this week. You'll be happy you did!
Chari over at Happy to Design had this wonderful idea to feature our favorite posts on Sundays. Many of us have a lot going on during the weekends and don't have time to compose a fresh and new post. Also new readers and bloggers are coming to blogland everyday and the chances that everyone has seen your past post is pretty slim.
This gives new readers a chance to view some of your favorites while letting your faithful followers a chance for a "re-run". S0, I am featuring a post from earlier this year. It's a tablescape that I adore because it reminds me of home, family and my best friend.....


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. Until I see you again,

Happy Decorating!


Host a Garden Party - Ready, SET, Go!

I love SPRING - here in North Carolina it's not too hot nor too cold! Just like Goldilocks said - it's just right - for hosting an outdoor event, that is. Yesterday, I surveyed my back yard and deck. Yuck! Winter has taken it's toll! Time to get out the pressure washer, the weedeater and plant some color in those empty containers! Well that's gonna take a while with all the other things piling up on my "To Do" list. Searching for some inspiration and letting my fingers do the walking - or surfing - I found a few pics to get my creative energy flowing. In order to host that Mother's Day luncheon in a few weeks, I thought I would share some ideas for hosting your own garden party - Ready? Set. GO! First thing - READY the Garden.
About 5 to 7 days before you plan to host your event is the perfect time to catch up on your yard work. Cut your grass at least two days before your party. In case any of your guests have seasonal allergies, this will give the pollen and dust time to settle. Mr. Panache always uses a bagging device on the mower. This way we don't track around grass clippings. In case your planters look like mine and haven't had time to bloom and fill out, try this little trick. Clip some greenery or stems from shrubs or flowering trees. Fill them in around your plants. The key to a lush look is fullness and color. No one will ever know and by the time the clippings start to wilt, the party is over.
Next, SET the Boundaries.
This means you need to decide the layout of your outdoor space. If you are hosting something duirng the middle of the day, try to arrange your table under some shade. Also have some seating tucked under an umbrella, porch, canopy or shade trees. This will be appreciated by any guests who are not sun lovers. I like to have multiple areas for food, drinks, desserts, etc. This way traffic flows just a little better and lines are always shorter.

Thirdly, SET the Mood.
There's just something magical about entering a lush, outdoor paradise. AND you don't have to have the backyard of the Rich and Famous! You can set a romantic mood by hanging sheets, shower curtains or unused sheer panels from fishing line tied in tree branches or on clothes lines. Tie them to the beams of a pergola or from bamboo stakes. You can also hang pretty quilts or throws over the railing of your deck. Draping colorful or sheer fabric around your space adds softness to your outdoor room. For a festive mood, use colorful paper lanterns or tie oodles of helium balloons on to weights and use them to define your party space. I use this idea for my kid's parties.

Lastly, SET the Table.
My BFF, Melanie, reminded me last week that "we eat with our eyes first". How true! And doesn't everything taste better when it looks good too! So make sure your table is as pretty as your food is tasty. For a more sophisticated affair, drape a pretty tablecloth over your table. Another great idea is to drape the backs of your chairs with pretty pillowcases. Yes, that's right - pillowcases. This will unify your chairbacks and add elegance to your garden party. I have an old, round dining table that I use and mismatched chairs. They are all pretty rough looking but magic happens when they get all dressed up in layers of pretty fabric. I love to mix and layer patterns - stripes, florals, polkadots and plaids - for fun and whimsical style.
For more casual entertaining, keep your table decorations simple and natural. I've been known to use garden boots to hold pretty, colorful annuals. Once the party is over, the annuals get planted in the garden. Another thing I like to do is mix daisies with fresh herbs - fresh Basil, Pineapple Mint, Chocolate Mint, Chives, Rosemary - not only do you get a pretty centerpiece but you have the delicious fragrant aroma filling the air.

Now, GO and enjoy yourself!
Turn on your favorite tunes, pour yourself an icy lemonade or tea and sit back, enjoy your friends and your beautiful outdoor space!
Yesterday I took a trip to my local LOWES Home Improvement store. Guess what I found? A kitchen island all decked out in beadboard and black paint! It had been distressed for an aged look but offered me tons of inspiration for my Kitchen Island makeover. Check back tomorrow evening for a peek at my inspiration. Until then,
Happy Decorating!

Tablescape Thursday -Easy Breezy Lemon Squeezy

Sometimes you just want a pretty table without a lot of fuss.
That's why this week's table is "Easy Breezy Lemon Squeezy". Tomorrow's dinner with the family doesn't have to be spectacular or in celebration of a special event to be worthy of a nice tablescape. Sometimes it's nice to just celebrate home! So I pulled some everyday placemats and napkins out and paired them with my favorite IVORY dishes. My centerpiece came together from items in my kitchen and frontyard. I took two clear glass vases and filled them with fresh lemons. I had purchased alot of fresh lemons at the market earlier and thought they would look nice in an arragement until I'm ready to juice them for fresh lemonade. I had Mr. Panache clip some magnolia leaves from my tree and tucked the stems down inside the vases filled with lemons. Easy!
I opted for a set of everyday placemats from Target. They are khaki, green, yellow and white striped. The lower right corner is embroidered with a cute and fun little dragonfly. I love the fresh natural colors. Breezy!

You can see the lemony yellow strip in the placemat and how the color is accentuated with the fresh lemons in the clear vase. I love the contrast between the fresh green magnolia leaves - so shiny - and the citrusy hue. Lemon!

Okay, here I made a big departure from etiquette. Instead of placing my flatware appropriately, I laid the forks and knife on top of the salad plate. I know that's probably a big faux pas but sometimes it's fun to shake it up and break out of the ordinary. (Okay, the real reason is that I had Mr. Panache remove the center leaf from my breakfast table and it's just a little tight now. LOL!) Squeezy!

I've been looking for a set of dragonfly napkin rings. Can't find any so far. If you see a set, please share. I'd love to know about it. I've always loved dragonflies. I hate household flies but dragonflies seem more like butterflies to me. Who could hate a butterfly?

Love, love, love these little metal filagree chargers. They have been painted to look like they're aged wrought iron. I picked these up right after Easter for $5 each. These will be used often over the warm months of spring and summer.

I've had my napkin holders for serveral years. I found them in a Better Homes & Garden catalog and purchased eight. They are heavy metal and each bird in the set is positioned differently. They have also been painted to look aged.

Remember Wilmer and Maxine? Well here they are on tablescape duty again and believe it or not, they've added to their happy little nest. Yes, that's right! They hatched little ones while on Spring Break! I've now got the Salt and Pepper shakers to match!

I wonder what adventures these youngsters will have next year on Spring Break? Well, whatever they find to do I bet it will be laid back, stress free and Easy Breezy Lemon Squeezy!
For more fun, whimsical, comfortable and classic tables be sure to visit SUSAN at Between Naps on the Porch for a complete list of TABLESCAPE THURSDAY bloggers.

Until I see you again,
Happy Tablescaping!


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