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.

Autumn Entries - Inviting Doors that say "Welcome Fall"

More Fall Nesting Rituals Happy Wednesday! It's a gorgeous 73 degrees today, sunny and a light breeze!
This time of year is my FAVORITE!
Autumn holds so many possibilites for get togethers, parties, harvest festivals and special times.
My Fall Nesting rituals include adding fall color to every room of my house, the entry and back deck. I like to drive through the neighborhoods close to my development and check out what the neighbors are doing to add Autumn panache to their entry. It seems that everybody is busy adding a little color to their yard, porch or entryway. So today I thought I would spend a little time sharing some tips for creating inviting entries that say "Welcome Fall".
Tip #1:
If you live in a formal or traditional home and like to keep your outdoor decor classic, opt to use lots of natural materials and products. Pumpkins, mums and gourds of all sizes and colors can give your entry perfect seasonal color. In the inspiration pic above (from bhg.com), the stylist has used fall hardy mums in yellow and white to complement the orange pumpkins. I love the use of various shapes and sizes and the piece that stands out to me is the white and green gourd placed at the front of the steps. These are the ideal decorations to make that pretty red door pop! The natural grapevine wreath adds another layer of interest and texture. I can just imagine being invited to visit this home - perhaps my good friend is inside preparing a delicous harvest meal - butternut bisque, braised beef roast with roasted sweet potatoes and parsnips and finished off with a caramel apple torte! Yummy! Too bad I have no idea who lives in this house! Ha, ha! :-)
Tip #2:
If you are more relaxed with your decor, you can incorporate items such as urns and place big pumpkins on top using the urns as pedestals. Perhaps your spring and summer plantings have all but fizzled out - dig them up and replace your container plants with mums or pansies. I prefer mums in shades of orange, rusty red and yellow. My entry door is black and I display a season flag that has a black background featuring sunflowers, pumpkins, gourds and mums. The brightly colored mums are quite showy in front of my door. I have an Autumn Glory Maple tree in my front yard and while most people dislike the leaves dropping on the lawn, I enjoy the scene - brightly colored leaves dotting the green grass. When it's time to rake up those leaves, I choose to save them and use them to add color to my outdoor vignettes. I love the old straw broom leaning against the brick wall. Perhaps that's a sign of things to come around the 31st of October??

Tip #3:
Having steps that lead up to your entry is great for staging pumpkins and flower pots but what do you do when you are limited on space? In the picture above (from mso.com) an old bench sitting by the door is a great stand-in for steps. It gives the opportunity to add layers of gourds and pumpkins in all sorts and sizes. A large pumpkin has been carved out to provide a great place to tuck a pot of rust mums. Do you see the three spray painted gold pumpkins? That caught my eye - a nice shiny touch to the other rustic colors and textures. For more whimsical decor use fun scarecrows, light-up Jack-o-lanterns with goofy faces and fake crows, hay bales and corn stalks. I like to hang scarecrows from my hanging basket stakes and place metal yard stakes around the planter beds with fun harvest scenes.
No matter what your style or preference don't forget to add a little Autumn panache to your entry. Welcome family, welcome friends and welcome the possibilites that a new season brings.
Tomorrow I am going to share two of my favorite fall cookie recipes -
Outlandish Oatmeal Supremes and Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies. These two recipes have been family favorites for years and I am sure your family will enjoy them too! They make perfect treats to share with friends and neighbors. Until then,
Live Life Beautifully!

Easy Autumn Decor

Today it finally feels like Autumn here in my corner of North Carolina - a nice 68 degrees! After much of September's tempatures feeling like summer, I was ready for cooler weather! The forecast next week is classic fall - highs in the low 70's and lows in the mid-50's!
I've spent most of the last two weeks getting the house transitioned from the light and bright colors of summer to rich, earthy shades. Fall nesting is actually pretty easy in my house. When we first moved in, I made sure that the colors I painted each room would work with my fall decor and Christmas decor - soft yellows, muted greens, warm golds, citrus orange and deep reds. When I'm ready to change decor for the new season it's simply a matter of switching out a few accessories - florals, throws, decorative pillows and some art with deeper, saturated color.
I keep Rubbermaid tubs in the attic labled by season. I rarely buy new things each year but find new ways of using things I've collected over the past two decades of married life.
Here are some tips for adding season panache to your own nest:
1) Introduce hints of new color to your existing palette. If your rooms are mostly neutral, add splashes of autum red or orange for contrast. Muted shades of green are fresh alternatives to bold or warm color. Accents rugs, table accessories and throws add high impact for little money.
2) Add woodsy elements and texture. Bringing a little of the outside in adds instant fall style to your space. Wheather you take a trip to your local farmer's market or a walk through your backyard, look for moss, grasses and small branches that can be used to fill decorated urns, pots baskets or vases.

3) Decorate with wreaths. They are classic and versatile. For around $15-25 you can make your own gorgeous fall wreath. I love to hang wreaths over mirrors. Another trick is to lay them flat and frame candles or pumpkins. Wreaths add instant color and a festive ambiance to your home.

4) Add seasonal flair to year-round accessories. Here a couple of mismatched candlesticks are given an instant fall update with fresh flowers and berries. The punch of color sets the tone for warm and cozy interiors. These can be tucked on a shelf, end-table or mantle and enjoyed for days. To get more mileage try using silk flowers.
Lastly, as the weather cools down and you find yourself indoors more, don't forget to make space for conversation. Cozy up your family and living rooms by pulling your furniture closer together. Add or relocate seating around your fireplace. If you don't have a fireplace, pull a couple of comfortable chairs around an accent table and add scented candles for ambiance. Stack a collection of books close by for those long evenings when snuggling down with a good read and hot chocolate or your favorite coffee is just what you need to pass the time. :-)
Next week, I plan to offer a couple of family recipes that are sure to be hits with your little ones this fall so be sure to join me at the Cook's Corner. Until then,
Live Life Beautifully!

It's A New Season!

To Everything There is a Season,
A Time for Every Purpose Under the Heaven:
A Time to Keep Silence,
And a Time to Speak....
(Ecclesiastes 3:1,7b)
Hello and Welcome back to Carolina Panache! This past summer has been a season of change, transition and question. I've bounced back and forth between "Should I continue to blog"? and "I don't think I have the time!" to "What do I have to offer anyone?" But just as sure as the sun rises and sets and the moon continues to glow, each new season brings renewal and gives way to all things new but familiar. These past two months I've been pretty silent with my blog and have only posted a couple of times in these past weeks. I truly appreciate the e-mails from so many of you and your encouraging comments. So before the sun sets on this Sunday, the first day of a new week, I have renewed my commitment to share ways, ideas, thoughts and words with you to add panache to your nests and hopefully, create a haven where your family comes to land at the end of a long day and tiring week. May you enjoy each post and may you be inspired to live life beautifully!
Whatever you call it, this IS my favorite time of the year. We are two days away from the official start of Autumn. I have already started adding fall color and scents to our nest.
Last week we painted our formal living room "Homestead Resort Tea Room Yellow" - wow! That's a mouthful! It is one of the colors from the National Preservation of Historic Homes Society. It is a beautiful, soft shade of yellow and it makes my formal living room come alive with fresh color - the perfect background for the warm, saturated shades of fall. I love to add seasonal vignettes around everyroom. Mantles, end tables, bookcases and shelves - no place is safe from mini pumpkins, acorns, fall leaves or tiny gourds!
In the picture above, mini pumpkins are used for placeholders on a Woodland themed tablescape. To get this look for your table simply cut a section of solid ribbon, hot glue one end around a large straight pin or fancy toothpick, using a permanent black or brown marker write the name of each guest and then insert the pin in to the pumpkin! What could be easier?
Natural, colorful materials like wild berries, pinecones, squash, and tree branches are used to build an inviting centerpiece. A medium sized pumpkin is cut and carved-out to hold a 4" pillar candle. To get this same look in your home, buy one pumkin - about the size you would use for a fresh pumpkin pie - cut a 4" diameter hole and scoop out the flesh - about 1 1/2" deep. Insert your candle then attach clusters of berries or small pinecones around the top edge of the cut. I use colored toothpicks to attach the berries. Next, cluster larger pinecones, gourds, mini-pumpkins, small branches and moss around either side of the larger pumpkin with the candle. If your table is long, extend the clustering as needed to create the proper scale. Keep in mind that the carved pumpkin will not last very long so you may want to save this step for a special dinner or party.
I love amber glassware! The color is rich and warm and for me it's the perfect glassware for an Autumn table. Here amber glass is paired with red plates and white soup/salad bowls. The combination of these three colors allow the cornucopia filled with mums and artichokes to take center stage. Recently, I found woven cornucopia baskets at the Dollar Tree. They offered various sizes and the best part - they were all $1!
Here is another pretty fall tablescape. Pretty shades of warm butterscotch, orange, and amber paired with pottery and rustic accents lends the air of a homey harvest dinner to celebrate all the bounty the earth has produced during the season. Natural and fresh cuttings from late summer foliage makes a nice transition and accent color to the other warm shades.
As we get closer to Thanksgiving this is a great craft to share with the kids. Miniature clay pots are painted black and the rims are painted various colors to resemble hat bands. A black fine point marker was used to write the names of your guests. The add the white polkadots simply use a white paint pen with an ultra fine point. Just dab the white paint on the black and allow to dry for 2-3 hours.
"30 Days, 30 Tips to Budget Friendly Home Decor"
Day 12 - Tip 12
Fall is the time to cozy up your interior spaces. When shopping for home decor items, look for pieces that can be used for multiple purposes such as display baskets that can hold fresh fruit in the summer and then move to the powder room to display seasonal fingertip towels. Nothing is more pampering during a dinner party than offering guests a fresh hand towel for their personal use. Another great solution is reversible bedspreads or comforters. You get two looks for the price of one! Nothing can freshen up your space like a change of color or pattern.
Thanks again for stopping by. I hope you have picked up an idea or two you can put to good use! For those of you aware my bestfriend's fight for her son's health, we are asking that you continue to pray. Andrew needs a miracle! While surgery has helped tremendously, there is still a long road ahead if God does not intervene. Andrew is 12 and he has Stage 4 brain cancer. It was only diagnosed 4 weeks ago! On top of this, my friend's husband's company has gone bankrupt and he has lost his job and his insurance. We are asking God for a double miracle and I believe it will happen. Please remember to lift up the Dorsey family this week in prayer. A wonderful friend has set up a fund at their church to help this family with medical and living expenses during this time. If you would like to help, please contact me at oopsadaisync@aol.com. I will be happy to give the details. I know that God will greatly reward you for anything that you can do.
Until I see you again,
Live Life Beautifully!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Hello! Welcome back! It's been a while since I've had a regular post.
Many of you know that I've had a lot going on this summer. To recap, in July I moved my retired parents to NC to be close to me, in August Mom had some severe high blood pressure issues and then a week later we thought that Dad had a stroke. Thank God, we took him to the ER and after a CT scan and X-rays, the Doctor ruled out a stroke and diagnosed Dad with Bell's Palsy. That was good, I guess. Much better than hearing that he had a stroke. After some medicine and some time, most of the symptoms are gone and we are expecting that within another two weeks all will be normal. Following that, I heard from my best friend, Bella~Mella, that her 12 year old son was diagnosed with brain cancer. You can read about this situation on Bellamella-Melanie.
Through all of this, God is in control and Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever! No matter what trials we go through on this Earth, we know "all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose..." Romans 8:28
So, I say it's the most wonderful time of the year because
"this is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it"!
FALL or AUTUMN has always been my favorite time of the year. There is just something about harvest time that gets me excited and expectant- the deeply saturated colors; the cool, crisp morning air; the metamorphosis we watch with our own eyes as summer gives way to a new season. For us nesters, we hear the call to change our scenery - to add vibrate color to our interiors and to bring a little of the Earth's bounty indoors.
(The picture above was an Everyday Tablescape used on my dining room table throughout September and October. It was updated in November to display a Ceramic Turkey centerpiece.)
Next week is the official Fall Nesting Week. Time to put away the summer, cozy up the house, perhaps change the scents of candles or aromatherapy to spicy, woodsy fragrance and settle down to the routine of school and the rituals of football, fundraisers and falling leaves.
(My breakfast table was the ideal place to display a ceramic cookie jar shaped like a pumpkin. By adding a trio of floral sprays and gourds, I was able to create a seasonal centerpiece in under 3 minutes.)

So, I revisted my pictures from last year's fall nesting. I've been looking for new inspiration and I am determined to re-work what I have. I may add a couple new items but for the most part I've decided that by rearranging existing furnishings and accessories,
I can reuse my current collection of fall decor.
(A fun, foam pumpkin rests on a grouping of grapevine, foliage and feathers. The little white picket fence was added to mimick Charlie Brown's Great Pumpkin Patch tradition.)

(This hutch was a focal point that clustered fun Halloween decor in a monochromatic manner.)
(A fresh, fall door wreath set the tone for the transition from Summer to Autumn. The bright green ivy leaves add end of summer panache.)
( This Trophy Urn provided the perfect place to display a collection of Fall foliage and berry sprigs. The color variations of brown and black were my inspiration for the mixed and matched table linens.)
If you get into the Fall Nesting thing, I'd love to hear about some of your traditions or rituals that gets your nest ready for Autumn!
Some of you were following my "30 Days, 30 Tips to Budget Friendly Home Decor". I was able to post 10 tips before life got crazy and I was overwhelmed. I plan to post a new tip at the end of each regular post until I've finished my last 20 tips.
Day 11 - Tip 11:
Ribbon Works!
For an instant update andpop of color, purchase a big spool of ribbon. Use this ribbon to embellish lampshades, curtain panels or sheets, shower curtains, decorative pillows or throws. No need to sew, just use a hot glue gun. You can unify mix'n match pieces by adding common trim and pulling accents colors from other fabrics or prints used in your room. Ribbon is so cheap and places like Hobby Lobby and Michaels offer gorgeous ribbon sold by the spool. Most of the time you can find 50% off sales and you can pick up 30 feet of ribbon for $5!
Thanks again to everyone praying for Andrew! We are so appreciative! May God richly bless you for your faith and your compassion!
Live Life Beautifully!


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