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.

Sunday Favorites

Welcome to another post of SUNDAY FAVORITES. I actually posted this two weeks ago but I posted late in the day and the next day I posted early. So in case you didn't get a chance to read through the ins and outs of hosting an outdoor Garden Party, I hope you will gain something new and useful today. Don't forget to visit Chari at Happy To Design and all the other participants this week.
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!



Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Such beautiful garden table inspirations. Gorgeous outdoor areas. Thanks for all the ideas. Hugs, Marty

Chandy said...

Great re-post for an outdoor gathering. I loved reading it as much as looking at the pictures.

Thanks and have a Happy Sunday!

Anonymous said...

I just love your garden, your porches, you patio....I love it all. You did a great job.

We are finially getting nice weather up north so I will be getting my porches ready.

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Alisa, thanks so much for the beautiful inspiration!

I think I'll have a little time to work on the back porch this week, before heading back to the lake.

Stacey said...

What a gorgeous post. I want my porch to look like that. :)

Marci said...

Great pictures! I love your inspirational blog!

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

Great tips and beautiful images! You've made me want to have an outdoor party, in spite of the fact that it's been raining here all weekend. laurie

Chari at Happy To Design said...

Hi Alisa...

My friend, I'm just thrilled that you decided to join in with all the fun of "Sunday Favorites" again this week!!! Ohhh...and you couldn't have picked a better post to share once again with all of us!

Girl, right now I could use all the help I can get with getting inspired to get out and start our outdoor cleanup!!! I think we finally have winter behind us but we're still having cold temps and lots of rain! All of these outdoor patio and porch photos are just gorgeous...so inspirational!!! I really would like to do some extra decorating on our porch this year...and maybe spend a little more time out there!!! Thanks for giving us such a sweet little nudge to get out and start creating those spaces!!!

Warmest wishes,

"Blossom" said...

I just can't pick out just one sitting; they are all so lovely.
I would be happy to just set up one of these ideas. Thank you for sharing.

A Hint of Home said...

Very pretty tables and cute ideas to inspire us.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon your site and just love it. You are
a gifted, talented woman. I like what I see and read.
Thanks for sharing your talents and I hope to use
some of your thoughts and decorating ideas.


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