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.

Falling for Orange - A Color Story

Is anyone falling for orange this month?
I am! Orange is the "HOT" color for this fall and winter. Everything from Tangerine and Clove to Mandarin and Sweet Potato are turning up on upholstery, wallpaper, wall paint, drapery panels - you name it and it's probably available in some warm orange-y hue.
So - keeping in the spirit of the harvest season, today's post features, well, ORANGE.
In Charlotte, there is a store called Black Lion. It is one of my favorite places to shop for accent furniture and home accessories. This is a picture I took on a trip to their design house. I love the mix of fabrics on the decorative pillows. The warm golds and orange was the inspiration for my family room color scheme. I added moss green and touches of black to my room.
For an easy update and budget friendly version of orange in your home, try displaying mini-pumpkins on trays and platters. Add snippets of twigs and fall leaves to add texture and depth. This tray is a long, plain white platter but it serves as the perfect centerpiece for the dining room table by adding a little seasonal color and shape.

I love this side chair. I found it on Overstock.com. It is the perfect little accent chair in the bedroom or even the office. The shape is perfect for blending with contemporary or traditional decor. It is covered in a lovely shade of "Sweet Potato"velvet fabric.

I also found this loveseat on Overstock.com
I am not crazy about the accent pillows but with a little effort and little money, I can design decorative pillows to complement the "Burnt Clove" chenille fabric of this ultra flexible seating piece.
This Slipper Chair sports a fun and fresh fabric! The rusty, clay background causes the golden orbs to pop! The styling is very streamlined and modern but would be the perfect piece to mix-n-match with more traditional interiors.
Next month's issue of Traditional Home magazine has a great feature on decorating with orange. Color Expert Victoria Stuart Burke says that orange has the power to boost creative energy & motivation. So try paiting your study or home office a shade such as Sweet Mandarin from Home Depot's Behr paint line. Burke states even though the color is vibrant, it's soothing as velvet in a flat finish.
Using the warm, zesty hues of orange in a library or entry hall are any room that get little light can be all the boost needed to turn a ho-hum room into singing the hallelujiah chorus!
While these colors have a powerful presence, they remain sophisticated according to Burke.
So the next time you are in the mood to repaint or add an accent wall seriously consider ORANGE. It is not just for Halloween anymore!
Until I see you again,
Life Life Beautifully!

In The Mood...A Christmas Preview

Hey there! Happy Saturday!
What fun things are you doing today? I'm listening to Christmas music and planning room by room decorations. I've just finished the Fall Nesting and put away all the storage tubs for a month or so until it's time to pull it down and pack it away to make room for Christmas Glitz and Glamour. I usually start planning my Christmas deocations around this time. I take pictures of each room so I can refer to them the next year. It helps me not to repeat the same thing year after year. This year I'm going to break with tradition and NOT put up a tree in my family room. Yeah, I know that sounds sad but in the spring Mr. Panache bought a new entertainment cabinet with bookcases on either side and it's rather big. I don't want the room to be overly crowded so no tree in that room. Our sunroom is directly off the family room so our big tree is going in the sunroom this year. That will be something new. Without a tree in the family room, I will make the mantle and fireplace surround the focal point. I found this photo in my files. I am sure I've kept it for inspiration. I love the lavish garland around the fireplace, the kneeling reindeer on the cocktail table and the bow and floral spray around the golden mirror. So classic and elegant!
This tree caught my eye as I browsed through some photos I had saved last year. I love the white and silver decorations on the pinetree. The soft, muted colors are so soothing. Last year I used a similar color scheme in my family room. To check it out go to Colors of Christmas and take a peek.
Here is another room that is so elegant - all white and gold. This year I am thinking of using white, gold and silver as my color palette for my formal dining room. I'm still comtemplating that however...

What a cute collection of stockings! I like the homey, country feel. Our media room is usually where we get out our country whimsical decor. The boys usually take care of that room. It's always fun to see what they come up with.
These 3-D stars are great! Last year I hung large ornaments from fishing line over my kitchen island. But this year I think I will look for stars! The clear glass vessels filled with red and silver beads are perfect for making a big statement. The lush green pine and cedar garland set the backdrop for a fabulous holiday mantle.
It's really hard to believe that Christmas will be upon us before we know it. I can hardly believe that we have 10 weeks and 5 days until CHRISTMAS! Yikes!
Well, for now I think I will enjoy Autumn just a little longer :-)
My new Winter / Christmas catalog for Celebrating HOME is now available. To check out the great home decor, entertaining and Christmas line go here.
All Readers of this blog are eligible for a 20% discount on anything listed in my current catalog or the promotional price if lesser. Enjoy shopping the catalog! :-)
Until I see you again,
Live Life Beautifully!

Playing Dress Up....

I've got my silver paint and I'm ready to paint some pumpkins! I hope to share some of the pictures with you soon. In the meanwhile I wanted to show you a little dress up project. Sometimes it is fun to play dress up with accent furniture or salvage pieces. What do you have to lose? Not much in this case. The chair featured in the photo below was salvaged by Mr. Panache about 12 years ago. It was found at a second hand shop in Indian Rocks, Florida and was a dirty white. We painted it a nutty macadamia color and have had too many upholstery patterns on the cushion to keep track of. Most recently, the chair sported a black fabric with a tiny gold dot. On a whim I would move this chair from the living room, the entry hall, to my bathroom. Here it is pictured in my entry about 2 1/2 years ago. So much has changed this that time....
The desire to dress this little chair up was so strong that I jumped at the chance to re-make it into something more grand. The "after" picture below features a new coat of glossy black paint with gold-leaf accents. The cushion was covered in a rich mustard tapestry with deep red, orange and teal flowers. I love the lines of this little chair and its scale - the perfect side chair.
I was so pleased with the way this chair turned out the we turned our attention to another side chair that we've used all over the house. (See photo below) While the shape and wood of the second chair are different, the scale is the same and the curved lines look great together. The black paint and same fabric did the trick of unifying the two mismatched chairs.

Now these two plain Jane chairs have been given an extreme makeover and are playing a new, important role in my updated Country French formal living room...
More photos to come.
I'm always amazed at what a little paint and fabric can do to transform any room. The key is not being afraid to take risks. If I would have hated the outcome, another color of paint & fabric would have done the trick to correct my error. Fortunately, I was really happy with the final work and it was exactly what I had in mind. I am working on some new custom window treatments and decorative pillows in a beautiful red, yellow, gold and black checked fabric. Stay tuned in for updates. I hope to have the project completed before November 1st. Until I see you again,
Live Life Beautifully!

Who says Pumpkins have to Orange?

Who ever said that pumpkins must be orange?
Even God created a variety of colorful pumpkins! White pumpkins are my favorite! I have a collection of white ceramic pumpkins and this year I've displayed them in my dining room. Each year I try to use my seasonal decor in different rooms and in different ways. I also have a collection of Mercury glass and I've been thinking of ways I could use it earlier than Christmas. I was searching for inspiration when I came across this photo on MarthaStewart.com
LOVE, Love, love this photo! Spray painted pumpkins in an antique silver is the perfect solution! While maintaining the familiar icon of the season, you tone down the bright orange and create the perfect pairing with antique mercury glass. This mix would be just right in a formal living room or dining room. The silver paint takes the whimsy of pumpkins to the elegance of fine accesories. The way the stylist has displayed the pumpkins on cake stands is a great way to way movement and interest to this vignette. This would make a stunning table top display in our entry hall too! Well, I guess I'm off to the home improvement store to buy a can of spray paint. Then I'll head over to Wal*Mart to pick some pumpkins. I was in there over the weekend and they have a large variety of pumpkins and gourds. Have you heard of Fairy Tale Pumpkins? I had not but they have the most gorgeous shaped pumpkins there that look like Cinderalla's carriage. I think I'll pick one of those for my focal point and then add various gourds and mini-pumpkins as accents.

Here is another fresh take on the standard orange pumpkin.
These pumpkins are in shades of white and pale green. They've been punched out with intricate designs, then scooped out to make room for a candle. They make beautiful luminaries.
To see how this is done and to view more inspiration pictures, pop over to
Take the link for Halloween Central. Enjoy!
Until I see you again,
Live Life Beautifully!

Welcome to the Cook's Corner!
It's been a while since I've shared some of my family's favorite recipes with you so today I will give you two of our best fall treats! The photo of the ingredients above is for "Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies". Years ago when Mr. Panache and I first were married, his wonderful Mother shared this recipe with me. I had eaten pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin soup but NEVER pumpkin cookies!
3 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
5 Cups Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
2 Teaspoons Nutmeg
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
1 Large Can Pumpkin Filling (unseasoned)
1 Package Chocolate Chips - 12 oz.
1 Cup Walnuts, chopped
Here is my Pumpkin Cookie Jar. It's the perfect place to store the MANY cookies this recipe makes. Last year I displayed my cookie jar in the center of my kitchen table. To embellish the jar I used a few fall floral picks to form a wreath around the base.
Combine sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla using electric mixer or hand beater.
Sift flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and cinnamon together.
Add pumpkin and dry ingredients alternately to the liquid mixture, mixing well with a spoon. Then add chocolate chips and nuts. Mix well.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 350* for 10 minutes.
Makes about 6 dozen
(That's enough to share with neighbors and friends! Or you could just eat them all yourself but don't get mad at me if you can't fit into your favorite jeans afterwards! ;-)
Here's a great tip from Grannie Annie (my Mother-in-law):
Use an extra small ice cream scoop to drop the cookie batter on the baking sheet. It makes the job a lot easier and you have uniformity in size.
After you make your Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies, pack up a little hamper with some sandwiches, cookies and a thermos full of pipin' hot cider or coffee and take a stroll down this tree-lined lane with your favorite guy. In my case - 3 favorite guys!

Fall is a wonderful time for hosting a harvest-time get together or football party. We are always looking for quick and yummy receipes that we can fix in a hurry! Below is a new recipe that I found on bhg.com
Blue Cheese Ricotta Dip
1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
8 ounces blue cheese, such as Gorgonzola or Maytag, crumbled (2 cups)
2 tablespoons apple cider or milk
Freshly ground black pepper
Snipped fresh chives or your favorite herb
Green and/or red apple slices
Breadsticks or crackers
1. Allow ricotta and blue cheese to stand at room temperature for 1 hour. In a medium bowl stir together the cheeses, mashing with a fork until well combined.
2. Stir in the apple cider. Add pepper to taste. Spoon into a serving bowl. Sprinkle with chives. Serve with apple slices, breadsticks or crackers. Makes 8 servings.
This dip would also make a great spread for a fresh, grilled burger on game day!
Nothing causes me to catch my breath more than the beauty of God's creation. I have always been in love with the colors of Autumn. This is a picture from Maine. One thing I would love to do is take a road trip through New England during the fall stopping at little Bed & Breakfasts along the way. Maybe Mr. Panache will read this and take a hint!

I also promised to share another of my family's favorite cookie treats -
Outlandish Oatmeal Supremes
1 Cup Butter
1 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Cups Flour, plain
2 Eggs
3/4 Cup Coconut
3 Cups Quick-cooking Oats
5 Tablespoons flour, plain
1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Vegetable Shortening (Like Crisco)
1 Cup Granulated Sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
To make the Oatmeal Supremes:
Mix the first eight (8) ingredients. Drop by teaspoon on non-stick cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven at 350* for 8 minutes.
Baking Tip:
Use parchment paper to line you cookie sheet. It makes for better browing and easy cleanup. Again, try substituting a small ice cream scoop for a teaspoon when dropping the cookie dough onto the sheet.
To make the Cookie Creme:
Cook flour and milk to a thick paste.
Chill mixture in refrigerator.
Mix shortening, sugar, salt in a bowl with electric mixer.
Add mixture to paste one tablespoon at a time.
Mix until smooth.
Place a teaspoon of filling on the bottom of one Oatnmeal Supreme Cookie, top with a second cookie to make a cookie sandwich. Makes 20 servings.
I hope you will enjoy these family favorite treats. This weekend I will be putting the finishing touches on my outdoor decor and giving the house a good cleaning. I am going to a Christmas Craft Fair with my friend early Saturday morning. I hope to get some great pictures I can share with all of you next week. Until then,
Live Life Beautifully!

Cookin' Up Some Business!

Hey! I haven't forgotten about my cookie recipes that I promised to share. Today, however, I've been busy cookin' up some business and I have a meeting to go to in a short while. SO - I will post these yummy treats tomorrow. :-)
Have a sweet evening! Until then,
Live Life Beautifully!
Please continue to pray for Andrew. He is back in the hospital and needs a miracle! We are standing with Melanie and Dannie in our belief that God is still a miracle working God and He is more than able to speak the word and divinely heal little Andrew from brain cancer. We appreciate everyone's prayers. God bless you all. For more information and to stay up to date, visit Bella~Mella.


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