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.

Many of you may be familiar with Bella~Mella. Melanie has been my best friend for years. Her son Andrew needs a miracle. On Tuesday we found out that Andrew had a large mass on his brain. After MRI's, three lesions were discovered and they are of the agressive type. The Doctors will know more on Monday or Tuesday after some tests come back as to how to treat this case. Basically, we need God to perform divine healing on Andrew's body. The whole family needs your prayers. Pray for healing, pray for peace, pray for comfort, pray for Doctors to have divine wisdom and knowledge. PRAY FOR A MIRACLE!
Melanie's daughter is keeping her blog updated with information as they receive it. You can go here for details and to stay current with the situation. I am asking each of you to spread the word to all the faith believing blog buddies you know. I believe that the unified prayers of God's people can and will make a difference. We know that when we join together in unity, asking our Father in Heaven for mercy, He will not turn a deaf ear to our crys.
This family is precious. They need our prayers. Please pray.
God bless you all.

Be Still and Listen

Hello dear readers! I've missed my time away from blogging these past 2 1/2 weeks. I've had to take a leave of absence so to speak. Actually I've been still and listening. Have you ever been at a crossroads? Faced with choices and all of them seem hard and not right? I've been there this month. My Dad always said that unless you know the right thing to do, be still and listen. Listen to your heart. Listen to wise counsel but most of all and most importantly listen to the still small voice of God. That's where I've been friends. Listening. Waiting. Being still.
My best friend is going through a very dark place. Read about it here. My heart is there. My spirit crys out day and night for her and for Andrew and the whole family. In the midst of my storm, a hurricane is raging in my friend's life. My concerns are no longer a thought. IF you pray and believe in the miracle working power of an Almighty God, please pray for young Andrew. We are believing for a miracle of divine healing. We will shout the praise of our God from the rooftops! We know that nothing is too hard for Him.

30 Days, 30 Tips to Budget Friendly Home Decor- Day 10

Hello! Long time, no see! I've been on a 4-day holiday from blogging. Sorry about the interruption in the 30 Days, 30 Tips to Budget Friendly Home Decor. Every now and then life gets so hectic that you just can't fit anymore into your day. I was going to post about adding WHIMSY to your home without looking cheesy but I've decided to save that for Friday. Today, I want to share some tips about adding a designer look to your bedroom. These tips can work for any style; classic, contemporary, cottage, or country. I personally lean toward classic decor so the inspiration pictures that I will feature reflect that style. Day 10 - Tip 10:
The biggest impact you can make in a bedroom is restyling your bedding. You don't have to spend a fortune to get the look of luxury. A few simple tricks can take your bed from blah to beautiful! I personally like to shop dicount retailers for designer or high quality bed linens and mix and match. Very seldom do I buy a full ensemble. If I can find what I want, I have a seamstress sew one up for me. When restyling your bed keep in mind that the bed is usually the focal point of the room. Therefore, think layers, texture, pattern and color. What feel are youi going for? Remember you want to create a bed that calls to you to jump in and relax. Nothing is better than snuggling down in to your comfortable bed at the end of a long day! Here's a few things to keep in mind:
1. Build from the bottom up. That means start with the bedskirt. I know alot of modern decor features no skirts and the comforter or duvet tucked in for a clean, streamlined look but for me I like the look of layered luxury. If your bedskirt contrasts with the flooring, it will frame your bed and allow it to take center stage as your focal point in the room. If your bedskirt blends in with the flooring, you then create a soft cloud of relaxation. I have used box pleat skirts, ruffled skirts and softly gathered skirts that puddle on the floor around the bed. I am currently using a box-pleat version in a gold and pewter jacquard.
2. The next step is to put on the sheets. I have fallen in love with luxury bed sheets of 500 thread count or higher. I find most of these at places like Ross, TJMaxx, HomeGoods and Marshalls. Once you've slept on high thread count sheets nothing else comes close to comfort. I make my bed by tucking the flat sheet all around the edges and folding back the flat sheet. I ofter use contrasting colors or patterns. You don't have to keep everything is sets. Mix and match for interest. Keep your pillowcases matching but change your fitted and flat sheet around to create a custom look.
3. Next, top the bed. I prefer to use a quilt, blanket or matelasse coverlet. To keep the look restful and inviting, I opt for a muted solid. In my master, I am partial to greens, golds, and earthy browns. Fold your flat sheet over the blanket by 10 to 12 inches, then tuck the sides and ends under the mattress.
4. Add a folded duvet or comforter at the foot of the bed. Here's where you can add color and pattern. Since it will be folded, the color and pattern will not overwhelm the restful feel of the room. I like to use a down-filled comforter and change out the duvet cover with the seasons. I look for colors that will mix with my Euro Shams in gold and bedskirt in gold and pewter. These items I use year round but by changing my duvet, I can keep my room in season.
5. Top with pillows. I have a tall headboard to my bed, so I prop two Euro shams against the headboard. You could also do this against the wall. Then I layer two standard shams in front. I like to add contrasting color and pattern with the standard shams.
6. Lastly, I add my accent pillows. Here is the fun part. You can introduce more color, more pattern, more texture in small doses. I recommend two to three accent pillows. Any more than three and your bed will look crowded.
Love this look! This is a guest room featuring two twin beds. The soft color, crisp white sheets and subtle pattern on the headboard creates a look of refined tranquility.

These bedrooms ooze luxury.

Tomorrow I'll talk about improvising when you don't have what you want. Until then,
Live Life Beautifully,

30 Days, 30 Tips to Budget Friendly Home Decor - Day 9

Okay, here's an easy and inexpensive tip for Day 9 - Decorate with Dishes.
They are not used just for eating our meals anymore. Pretty displays can grace your walls with elegance and color. I have used plates in bedrooms, living rooms, powder rooms, and porches - you name it and I've probably put a plate there! Why? Because plates are cheap art. Clearance tables can be a treasure trove of odds and ends and most of the time they are marked down so low that you can buy several to make a pretty display. In fact, today I was in one of my favorite home decor stores and found oodles of plates marked down to $1 each. For $11 I get a gorgeous grouping of color and pattern. Because of their three dimensional quality, plates add texture to your walls, shelves and cabinets. A collection of similar colors or patterns gives you big impact and lots of possibilities. The best part? You can always use them for serving food when you decide to change your wall decor. Here a collection of blue and white dishes repeat the blue color in this yellow breakfast room.
A casual, country family room uses more blue and white plates to play off the blue checked chair.

Lining a plate rack or hutch with a collection of similar colored plates add big drama.

I love the way this French sitting room displays a collection of fruit and floral plates in the bookshelves. Against the red interior of the shelves the plates really pop!

Here's a great idea my Mother often uses - a display shelf and window treatment! No need for a topper or cornice just add panels and let the plate shelf do the rest.

Plates over the mantle add another layer of interest to this grouping.

Don't have a hutch or expensive plate rack? Build your own! A simple rack like this one costs less than $20 to build and the simple, clean lines allow the plates to speak for themselves.
Here is another "Great Wall of China". I love this! Talk about impact and drama!
Repeating the round shape of these pretty plates, a circular grouping carries the design element further.
Notice the trio of white plates hanging between the windows? The tone on tone quality of this display adds elegance to this refined dining room.
A dozen identical plates find a new use as a decorative element against the casing of this window.
Talk about drama! A collage of mix-n-match plates steal the show!
Here, a classic collection of blue and white pottery is traditionally displayed inside a wooden hutch. The dishes add high contrast to the reddish wood tones and red wall paint.
Framed wall art can be pricey and if you are on a tight budget or just starting out, try your hand at decorating with dishes and pottery. Yard sales, consignment shops, Goodwill and Salvation Army stores offer a variety of inexpensive dishes to choose from. You can also find beautiful patterns at department store closeouts and discount retailers like HomeGoods, Marshalls, TJMaxx and Ross. Kirkland's offers a big variety of themed decorative plates and let's not forget about treasured hand-me-downs from our Grandmother and Mother! Recently when my own mother downsized and moved to NC, I lucked up and was given her entire collection of Ironstone! Yeah me! I just finished displaying it in my dining room. I'll share pictures soon.
Tomorrow I'll post Tip 10. I believe every home should have a little whimsy so we'll talk about how to pull that off without looking cheesy. Until then,
Live Life Beautifully!

30 Days, 30 Tips for Budget Friendly Home Decor - Day 9

Today's budget friendly tip is for all of us FABRIC lovers! I absolutely adore textiles! From rugs to upholstery to custom drapes and bedding, I just can't get enough. Located in Gastonia, NC is a little shop called MaryJo's. Talk about a fabric lover's dream! You could spend hours looking through breathtaking patterns, colors and designs. The problem with textiles is that some of them can be really pricey. Why is it that the fabrics I always fall in love with are at the top end of the scale? When I was a kid Mama used to say I had champagne taste and a Kool-aid pocketbook. Well years of experience has taught me some tricks to get the look I want without breaking the bank. Have you ever fallen for a pricey fabric? Well in case you have and walked away because of sticker shock here's a few ideas to help you out next time. 1. Buy only a yard of your "to die for fabric" and use it on pillows. To stretch your yardage, find a lower priced coordinating fabric for the back and finish off your pillow will pretty trims.
2. Make a table runner or napkins. It's amazing what punch you can get from a designer fabric displayed front and center on your dining room table.
3. Make a throw. Buy some inexpensive lining and sew the fabrics together and finish with tassels or cording. Drape your new custom throw over the back of your sofa, chair or headboard.
4. Cover plain white drum lamp shades. Use spray adhesive to attach the fabric. To finish the look tie a tassel around the top finial of the lamp and allow it to drape over the front of the shade.
5. Another quick and easy way to display designer fabric is by creating cornices. These can be made out of lightweight plywood. Spray adhesive does that trick for attaching the fabric to the wood. Finish off by adding decorative molding. Use inexpensive window panels or sheers below the cornice to finish the treatment.
Beautiful fabrics really personalize your home. Being clever and using pricey fabrics sparingly allows you to acheive big designer impact for little $$$$.
These inspiration pictures are from Calico Corners. One of my favorite home decor stores.
If you are a professional designer you can sign up for designer discounts and receive special-to the-trade offers on closeouts and sales.
With fabric the possibilities are ENDLESS! Stop by for tomorrow's tip - Decorating with Dishes!
Until I see you again,
Keep on Decorating!
Live Life Beautifully,

30 Days, 30 Tips to Budget Friendly Home Decor - Day 8

If you are new to my blog let me first say "thanks" for stopping by. Secondly, I am in the middle of a month long segment - "30 Days, 30 Tips to Budget Friendly Home Decor". I was listening to the news this week and a financial analyst was saying that our economy is showing signs of improvement! Yeah! That's good news. He also went on to say that Americans HAVE money but we are holding on to it and are making wiser decisions about how we spend, what we repair, restore and reuse and where we invest. The really good news is that Americans are staying home more and investing in, well, "nesting". So today's tip is about using what you have in a new and creative way. Day 8 - Tip 8:
Reuse, Restore, Repurpose
Using what we have in new ways is always fun. Looking at an old object and thinking of creative ways to put it to use can be a challenge but with a little inspiration you can find new meaning in that junk you were going to give to Goodwill. Here I will share some inspiration with you that will make you think twice before heading to the dumpster.
1. The picture above shows a home office desk that has been made from an old, hollow-core door. All that was needed was a good sanding, a couple coats of primer and paint, and the addition of some table legs picked up at Lowe's and viola you have a great desk.
2. Okay, I LOVE this! A wooden wall cupboard that was rescued from an old farmhouse is restored to beauty and used in this modern kitchen as extra storage.

3. Egg cups! They're not just for Easter anymore. Use a collection of these mini cups as desk organizers. They are the perfect size for pushpins, paper clips, staples, stamps, etc. And they have so much more style than those plastic holders from the big box office stores.

4. Notice the white sideboard? It use to be an old table. A new granite top has been added as well as a fresh coat of white paint and two additional shelves for storage. What was sure to end up in the trash heap has now found new meaning.

5. The biggest problem with crafts and hobbies is usually where to store everything. Well here is a solution. An old bedroom armoire was salvaged from Goodwill and converted to a nifty home sewing center. When you are done, close the doors and the clutter is out of sight.

6. Don't bake in those muffin pans anymore? That's okay, use them as drawer organizers. The little cups are great for keeping your desk drawers neat and tidy.

7. Turn an old, wooden fruit crate in to a storage bin for extra pillows and blankets. When set upon a luggage stand it offers a convenient and stylish solution for storage.

8. In it's former life this utility cabinet housed cans of paint, household cleaners and hand tools. Newly purposed, painted and enhanced, it provides needed pantry space in a tiny kitchen. Adding cork tiles to the inside of a door panel provides a great place to tack up important reminders or shopping lists.
With just a little thought and consideration you can just about find a new purpose for most household items. I'd love to hear about anything you were planning to toss but kept and reused. Tomorrow we'll talk about the soft side of style. I hope you will stop by.
Until then,
Happy Decorating!

30 Days, 30 Tips to Budget Friendly Home Decor - Day 7

Okay, we've made it to Day 7 - a full week of budget friendly ideas to help us create a great space that looks like we hired a designer. The best part is that a lot of these tips didn't cost us a dime and the ones that did were budget friendly. Now, stay with me on this one because some folks might think I'm a little crazy. Today's tip can add color, pattern and big drama to any room even if used sparingly.
Day 7- Tip 7:
Wallpaper has made a comeback!
Yes, that's right wallpaper is hot, hot, hot and we are seeing beautiful and modern papers pop up in designer showhomes everywhere. Recently I toured some model homes in my area. Wallpaper was used is lots of rooms as accents or as decorative elements to add color and pattern. Try wallpaper:
1. As an accent wall behind your bed
2. Create a focal wall in a room void of architectural details
3. Add picture frame molding to your walls in the dining room and paper inside the frame for instant pattern and color
4. Paper above the mantel or try is on the ceiling
Today's designers are using wallpaper in small doses instead of papering a whole room. This is a great alternative and makes easy work of stripping the paper when you decide to redecorate. I love to use papers with a subtle pattern and tone-on-tone variations. I recently purchased 1 double roll of a nature-inspired design in soft muted shades of yellow, cream, gold and tan. The colors are closely related and from a distance the paper looks like a solid color. I will use this paper inside picture frame molding in a Master Bedroom. I plan to hang art inside the molding and the wallpaper will create a pretty background for my art. I'm posting some pictures from my Idea File. I love the picture above of the patchwork wall. The color and the punch of pattern makes a bold statement in an otherwise understated room. Notice how the rest of the furnishings are solid. The picture below demonstrates how you can coordinate patches of different papers to create this custom look.
Here is a clever idea - use pretty wallpaper to cover a room screen. This is an oversized damask in lime and white. The paper is a perfect match to the green wall color and adds just the right amount of pattern to keep things interesting.
If you must paper an entire room, make it your bathroom or powder room. Here this coral paper with the oversized fruit and floral pattern doesn't overwhelm because it is toned down with the white tile, tub and surround.
If papering the walls isn't for you, try your hand at a little custom headboard. This pretty paper becomes the focal point of the room and pops against a solid wall.
Another fun idea is to seek and find old dressers and chests at Goodwill or your local Salvation Army store. Paint their frames a solid color and cover the drawers in a coordinating wall paper. Finish it off with some artsy little drawer pulls and you have a one-of-a-kind treasure.
You would be amazed at what one double roll of paper can do to brighten your home. Depending on the wallpaper you choose, prices can be upwards to $75 per double roll or more for designer papers. However, if you google wallpaper outlets you can find a plethora of options to fit your budget. I paid a whopping $15 for my nature-inspired double-roll I mentioned earlier. Shop around and be creative. A little goes a long way.
Tomorrow I'll talk about repurposing common household items. Another great idea for adding big impact for little $$$$$. Until then,
Happy Decorating!

30 Days, 30 Tips to Budget Friendly Home Decor - Day 6

We've made it to day 6 of my 30 day segment. From the comments and e-mails I've received this week, I am happy to hear that these tips are useful. I do appreciate your comments and I am honored that you read and enjoy my posts. Most everybody I know wants their home to be comfortable and stylish. Each person may have a different definition of style but most people know what they like and tend to fill their homes with objects that add to their style. I make decorating my home a process. It evolves over time. I'm always on the lookout for something that I will truly cherish. Over the years I've learned a few tricks that has helped me fill my home with beauty while maintaining a budget. So today I will share these tips. Day 6 - Tip 6:
Timing is Everything
Incredible values can be found at places like TJMaxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, Hobby Lobby and Steinmart and Kirklands. All of these stores sell a wonderful collections of home furnishings and accessories. I have found gorgeous items at these places for just pennies on the dollar of what you would pay in home decor stores or department stores. Here's some tips to live by:
1. Find out when TJMaxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods recieve new shipments. These stores usually have a rule of thumb to clear their backrooms and stock within 24 hours of a truck. Shop on the days when they stock. Your odds of finding the best selection are in your favor.
2. Always start with the clearance shelves. Why? Because stores like these take new markdows EVERY week. In order to stock new merchandise, they have to clear out older items to make room.
3. Stores like Steinmart and Kirklands have regular inventory turn. Find out when they have seasonal markdowns and shop clearance.
4. Hobby Lobby has regular sales of 50% off! If what you are looking for isn't on sale this week, I bet it will be next week. Yesterday I wanted to purchase some fall ribbon for bows. I am making new wreaths for the doors and wanted some new ribbon. The Autumn ribbon was full price but the Christmas ribbon (yes, they already have out all of their Christmas merchandise) was 1/2 off! I found a copper and brown ribbon that would work perfectly for fall. It was only $4.99 for 30 feet vs. the $10 for 30 feet of Autumn ribbon.
5. Make a friend. At each of the home decor stores where you like to shop, become friendly with one of the sales associates. Let her know what you are looking for or the types of things you like. Give her your phone number and ask her to call you if she sees something you might like go on clearance. This past week I found a beautiful dressing table for my bedroom that was 80% off! I also learned of a 90% off sale at Hobby Lobby on a collection of bronze finials that caught my eye! There's absolutely no need to pay full price for anything. If you plan your space and keep an eye out for bargains, you can have a designer-look and BIG impact for a little money!
As I mentioned above I've started working on some of my Autumn decor. I am designing a new wreath for my front door and a new centerpiece for the dining room table. Here in Charlotte we have a store called Black Lion. They sell the most beautiful home decor accessories, furniture and florals. They have geared up for fall and I took a few pictures for inspiration. Enjoy!

Tomorrow I will share Tip 7. Be sure to check it out and follow along each day as we post ideas for Budget Friendly Home Decorating! Until then,
Happy Decorating!

30 Days, 30 Tips to Budget Friendly Home Decor - Day 5

Oops! I'm a day late on my Tip 5 post! Sorry :-(
This tips is worth the wait however! If you can only spend money on one thing to add panache to your space, this is where I recommend you invest. WINDOWS!
Day 5 - Tip 5:
Window Treatments
Kim Myles of the popular HGTV show, Myles of Style is quoted as saying:
"Window are like your room's eyes. They look fine natural, but a bit of mascara always makes them pop."
I love that analogy. I totally agree with Kim. From personal experience I've seen what a simple change out of window treatments can do for the entire room. The fabric and pattern you use can set the tone for your space and determine the rooms style. Because we use windows as focal points, it's a great move to embellish them in a manner that will add a wow factor to the room. Bold color, graphic patterns, fabrics with a sheen can create that "umphf" we all long for.
Here's some tips:
1. If your windows are small, extend your curtain rods as far past the sides of your window as possible.
2. Hang your panels to the side of the window.
3. Leave all but the edges of window exposed, thus creating a look of a larger window.
4. If your room has low ceilings, hang your curtain rods as high as possible.
5. This will give your room a grand appearance.
6. Layering your windows with a variety of textures adds warmth and depth. Bamboo shades behind Damask or Toile panels is a classic look that can be applied to formal rooms or casual rooms.
7. Window treatments DO NOT have to cost a lot of money. Search closeouts at stores like Marshalls, HomeGoods, Ross, and TJMaxx. Target also has a great selection of panels, sheers and shades. Shop their clearance shelves. If you find something you like but there isn't enough panels to treat your windows, ask the Customer Service desk to call another store near by. Most of the time they will have what you need and will hold it for you until you can pick it up.
Later today I will post Tip 6 to get us back on track. Until then.
Happy Decorating!


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