Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Come on Over to Carolina Panache!

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas time! Another year is upon us and we are getting ready to ring in the New Year. Now that Christmas is past, I will be posting on my site http://CarolinaPanache.blogspot.com.
This site is all about adding panache to your home one room at a time. Come on over. Today is Tablescape Tuesday and we are having a party! Thanks to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting!

Friday, December 26, 2008

CHRISTmas 2008 House Tour

CHRISTmas 2008 is now past. What an incredible year it has been!
So much change, so many new friends, wonderful memories
and milestones with dear friends, so many blessings!
My Faith, Family and Friends - I am so thankful for all of them.
I can't wait to see what God is going to do in 2009!
So as another year comes to a close I thought I would tour one last room
before I pack it away until next year. I decided on a new color scheme for our bedroom
sometime around October this year - slate blue, gold, taupe and black.
That meant we had to scramble to get everything - painting, new moulding, new bedding - completed before CHRISTmas decorations could go up. The new decor turned out beautifully. The room is so warm and inviting! This is a picture our bed. On the last day before the Open House I decided to add a little garland and bows to dress up the bed. See the little miniature stockings? These little things are so cute - the perfect touch of whimsy for the bedroom. I actually found these stockings at my local grocery store - Harris Teeter. I think they were intended for gift cards but you could use them for so many things!
To attached the garland I simply twisted two longer stems around the base of the
finial and completed the look by tying two over sized velvet bows from
slate blue ribbon edged in silver braid.
The bows added just enough elegance.

This year I placed a full sized, slim pine in the Master Suite. I called it the BUBBLE TREE because I used all clear glass ball ornaments. When the light would shine through the ornaments they looked like bubbles with an iridescent glow - really pretty! I wired in sheer blue ribbon and finished the look with more miniature stockings all in ANIMAL PRINT.

Here is a close up shot of the tree ornaments and stockings. I really liked the way the tree looked so light and airy. I also tucked in silver painted Elm leaves and champagne colored floral picks among the branches. The result was quite elegant - probably my favorite tree this year and the new bedroom color scheme has inspired me to add touches of slate blue in other rooms of the house. So check me out at http://carolinapanache.blogspot.com
where I will feature home decor ideas, do-it-yourself projects and tips and techniques for arranging furntiure, accessories and floral display.
Find out how easy it is to add panache to every room of your home! BEAUTY does not have to cost alot of MONEY.
I have a small sitting area in my bedroom and this year I decided to add a little holiday flair to the side table and wall. I hung a faux wreath and adorned it with pine cones and sheer ribbon that matched the tree. On the side table I placed an ANGEL all dressed in brown brocade, slate blue velvet and faux mink fur. Beside the angel is a cheetah print vase
holding two over sized blue velvet poinsettias.
This concludes my CHRISTmas 2008 House Tour.
I truly hope you have enjoyed it and have been inspired to
Color your CHRISTmas in 2009!
I'd like to thank each one that posted such encouraging
words and comments. Please visit me at
and watch for updates on my new blog http://HomestyleFlavor.blogspot.com

Monday, December 22, 2008

CHRISTmas 2008 House Tour

Well we're back! Sorry about the delay in the house tour but I experienced some technical difficulties and blogger kept telling me my files were corrupted. The problem is now resolved - Thank you, Lord! - so let the touring resume.... I thought we would stop in the Dinning Room and check out the this year's tablescape. Every year I try something different - new color scheme, new centerpiece, new combination of table linens. The year the winning color palette was Red and Brown with touches of gold and evergreen.
I love these Shimmering Red Mesh trees. There are four total; two large and two small. I simply laid down a base of evergreen swags and tucked in pine cones edged in gold glitter paint. You can pick up the glitter paint at any craft or hobby store. I usually go to HOBBY LOBBY - love that place!

I love using RED ROSES at CHRISTmas time. Especially in the dinning room. I found the fluffy RED VELVET ROSE napkin rings at Bed, Bath and Beyond a few years ago for a VALENTINE'S 7-course Dinner that my and Bella-Mella hosted. I thought they looked good around the double napkins of Red Satin and Brown Silk.

Here is a long shot of the table. I've used gold chargers under my IVORY fine china plates. I topped them off with Charter Club's Winter Garland salad/dessert plates. I love the ornament motif.
You just can't have CHRISTmas dinner without candle lights - lots of candles!!
I used a large RED MOSAIC hurricane candle holder in the center of the table and 6 matching Mosaic votive candle holders - three on each side. I lit the candles for our Open House on Saturday and the table just glowed. It really was beautiful - so warm.

Here is a better shot of the china. I have paired it with all cut Crystal glassware. I like to mix and match my tableware. It's much more interesting than when everything matches. My glasses are from two different patterns and the parfait cup introduces a third.
Later tonight I will post a tour of the Mater Suite and a tour of trees upstairs and that will complete our 2008 House Tour.
See you then!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

CHRISTmas 2008 House Tour

Welcome Back! We continue our holiday house tour today. We've been touring room by room since Monday so be sure to scroll all the way down to visit the other rooms. Today we are going to stop by the kitchen. This room is truly the heart of the home. This kitchen will be busy and fully functioning through the holidays but we still found time and room to add a little holiday cheer. Let's take a look. I love to decorate with fresh fruit and candy especially in the kitchen. This year I used a three-tiered stand to display RED Delicious apples, bright GREEN Granny Smiths and Florida TANGERINES! I clipped springs from our FRASER Fir tree and tucked them among the fruit for added flair. Oh it smells so nice! I used a cedar and berry topiary on either side of the stand. These were a steal on a clearance sale a couple of years ago. Underneath I've used a table runner that looks like CHRISTmas presents. It has all the same colors as the fruit. I have this sitting in the center of my kitchen island. It makes such an easy yet showy centerpiece.
Hard candy is another decorating favorite of mine. Here I simply lined a clear glass cylinder vase with Peppermint Candy Canes and filled the center with round Hot Cinnamon candies. Somehow I defaulted to a SNOWMAN theme in the kitchen so this little guy was placed to guard my candy canes from sticky fingers! I don't think he has done a good job. I believe I see two canes missing!!! Hmmmm?

This is the Pub Table in the breakfast area. Since this area is used for everything from homework to eating to my infamous coupon clipping I have kept it rather low-key for now. But come next week it will be decked out in royal splendor. This is where we will have our CHRISTmas breakfast. Prince Charming - Douglas - will be making homemade pancakes - I'm not talking a boxed mix, no sir. These pancakes are to die for! Last year we had them at Thanksgiving - we get our choice of fresh blueberry, banana pecan or French Vanilla. I think I will opt for the Banana Pecan with maple syrup. Yummy! See these cute SNOWMAN plates? I found these at a HOME GOODS store. I love the soft colors and the light blue background add a fresh new color to my scheme.

Here is a closer look at those plates. I really like the way the ruffled edge of the red placemat frames the plates. This year I double layered my placemats. Underneath the red straw mat is a moss green velvet mat. I love the way the casual red straw plays off the elegant green velvet. These little green and white polka dot napkins are too cute! I can see me using them in the Spring with a big pink Gerbera Daisy napkin ring wrapped around the folds of fabric. I might just host a garden party! Spring in North Carolina is only rivaled by Fall!

These little guys add some whimsy to my kitchen counter. I have them standing on a 5-arm candle centerpiece. I wired two cedar and berry swags at the base and then tucked in sprigs of holly and ivy. Nothing could be easier! On the two end arms I've placed some faux SNOWBALLS. Well, I hope you have enjoyed the kitchen tour.
Tomorrow we will stop in the Dinning Room and see if were set for the big day.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

CHRISTmas 2008 House Tour

Merry CHRISTmas & Happy Holidays!
Today we will tour the Sunroom. This is probably my favorite room in the house. Because the room is three sides windows and provides early morning light I decided to use a color pallet of citrusy hues. Let's take a look. On the coffee table I started with a metal serving tray over a table runner of rust, orange, green and gold. The gold embroidery of the scroll-work is quite rich and festive. Perfect for the holidays. Then I added an evergreen swag of pine and cedar. Tucking in several floral picks in gold, bronze and orange makes the centerpiece pop with citrusy color. I completed the arrangement by using two metal standing reindeer on either corner of the tray and some pine cones edged in gold paint. I love all the bright colors!
We placed a real tree in the sunroom this year. Prince Charming and the Royal Princes picked this one from Fraser Ridge Farms. I LOVE the smell of fresh evergreens. The sunroom is a perfect place for a live tree. When the sun shines through the windows and warms up the space, the fresh scent spreads throughout the house. I tried something a little different this year - I tied PEARS on the branches of the tree using wired ribbon. I first tied a knot around the PEAR stem, then I tied the tails of the ribbon around a branch. In this picture you can see that the wall color in this room is a light pear green so the fresh color of pear really pops on the tree. See the little pears nestled in the branches?

Here is a close up of an arrangement I placed on the console table. Love the bronzy-rusty colored poinsettia next to the gold pine cones.

I haven't used a BOW on the top of a tree in more than 15 years but this year I found 30 feet of this fabulous ribbon at Michaels for $2.99! That was too good to pass up. So we fashioned a big, fluffy bow with 5 ribbon tails and used it on this tree. I love how it turned out. Luckily the top stem of the tree was sturdy enough to support the weight of the ribbon and bow. The stripes are orange, rust, gold, gray, and brown. A very unusual color scheme for a CHRISTmas ribbon but fresh and fun all the same.
Well that concludes the tour of the sunroom. Be sure to stop by tomorrow as we take a look in the formal dinning room and kitchen. See you soon.

Monday, December 15, 2008

CHRISTmas 2008 House Tour

Family Room Decor - Fresh Greens, Gold, Silver and Ivory take center stage!
This year the family room was decked out in fresh green, gold, silver and ivory with touches of rustic brown. This is a close-up of our mantle. I started with a good quality artificial garland. I prefer one of Fraser fir. I then begin tucking in fresh cedar clipping from my trees in the backyard and magnolia leaves from our miniature magnolia. It's a wonderful thing to live in North Carolina where all of these fresh and natural materials are just outside my door. Once the basic garland was complete, I wired in glass ornaments in silver, gold and green. I finished it off with ivory velvet poinsettias. Our family stockings are gold silk with lots of embellishments and trim. This year we pinned silver monogram letters on each stocking. The mantel is probably my favorite thing this year.Here is a wide angel of the mantel which showcases two large angels. They are fashioned out of tin and they have been painted to look old and rustic. At each end of the garland I placed a pom-pom bow of brown stripe, green silk and ivory ribbon.

I used a downward swept Fraser Fir tree in the family room. Keeping with the color story, the tree is trimmed in mostly gold Angel and Cherubim ornaments which I have collected over the past 20 years. The ribbon is a fresh pear green edged in gold and I finished it off with ivory and silver glass ball ornaments.

The top of the entertainment hutch was the perfect place to display my "Holy Night" statutes. There are four pieces in the collection but I purchased two of the angels. I like odd numbers in collections - 3, 5, 7 and so on. These pieces are cold cast resin. I love the details seen in their faces, hands and clothing. This is a a close up of one angel and part of the Wise men. I placed another garland around the base and wired in clear twinkle lights, ball ornaments, green ribbon and poinsettias.

This is the entire collection. I love the way the twinkle lights cast a golden glow around this vignette. The pieces were purchased from Home Interiors a few years back and are now out of production - to bad. Everyone always wants to know where they can purchase them. At night I turn off all the house lights and just leave the CHRISTmas lights on. I love to sit on my sofa and look at the grouping and think about what a holy night it must have been. Christ JESUS - the reason for the season. The SAVIOR of the world.

CHRISTmas House Tour 2008

WELCOME! Merry CHRISTmas and Happy Holidays! Thanks for stopping by for my CHRISTmas 2008 House Tour. We will be touring all week. Today we are going to take a look in the Entry, Living Room and Family Room. I hope you enjoy the tour and that you will be inspired with ideas and tips for making all of your holiday decor merry and bright.

Nothing brings a smile to my face more than a beautiful holiday wreath. This year I decided to go big, bold and RED! I started with a blue spruce wreath and layered in fresh magnolia leaves. I have always loved Magnolia trees. When we moved to North Carolina I was so happy to see one standing in front of the house we decided to buy. It provides me with beautiful clippings year round. I wrapped a wide red velvet ribbon around the wreath and finished it off with a fluffy bow and two red floral picks - one poinsettia and one magnolia.

As you enter our foyer, I have a console table in the hall. I love to use this space to decorate for each season. I've gone with a rather understated look this year because I wanted to highlight the big black and gold mirror featured in the photo. This was a find at ROSS. I saw the same mirror in a fancy department store catalog for three times what I paid for it. I love the two kneeling gold reindeer. I found these at Old Time Pottery. Love that place! Other than the floral arrangement and the gold NOEL plaque, a Pottery Barn runner in a red print is all that was needed to welcome the holiday and our guests.

Next stop, the Living Room tree. This year I went with RED, GOLD and BROWN. A different color story than I've used before but nevertheless I liked the results. I found a red and gold floral print ribbon at - you wont believe it - LOWES HOME IMPROVEMENT store. I cut 8" lengths and tied them on the ends of the branches. This tree also features RED CARDINALS found at Michaels on clearance for 70 cents each! I'll show you a close up of them in a later post.

This is the mantel in our Living Room. I decided to place my two "Holly & Ivy" Reindeer in the center flanked on each side with the matching stocking holders. Now we're off to the FAMILY ROOM.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Deocrating with Poinsettias

Poinsettias - At CHRISTmas time I can't get enough of these beautiful plants! Decorating with Poinsettias can add holiday panache to any room in your house. The poinsettia is native to Mexico and there are over 100 varieties of poinsettias available. I usually wait until the first weekend in December to purchase my live poinsettias. This ensures they stay fresh and vibrant through New Year's day. I was amazed at the selection that was available at our local farmer's market. Red, burgundy, white, yellow, pink, pale green - all of these were natural colors. Then there were purple, blue, teal, gold, silver and copper. These plants had all been spray painted. Still lovely but I prefer the natural blooms over the artificially colored. 74% of Americans prefer RED poinsettias while 8% like WHITE and 6% opt for PINK. That leaves 12% percent of Americans opting for other colors or none at all. I just love the brilliant red, snowy white and delicate pink of these natural holiday blooms. Here we see traditional red poinsettias tucked down the top of SANTA's Boots. A simple yet whimsical way to add holiday flair to any corner that needs a little color. Last year I used lots of white and pink poinsettias in my decor but this year I opted for lots of red. I tuck these lovely plants all through the house. In the entry hall I have grouped 7 plants around two small evergreen topiaries potted in metal urns. I've highlighted our family CHRISTmas pictures by placing a collage of smaller prints inside a black frame and resting it on an easel then surrounding the grouping with the brilliant red plants. In my family room I've decorated with bright green, ivory and gold so the natural choice was white poinsettias. I love how the bracts has a slight touch of green undertone. I placed three large pots of these lovely white plants on nesting tables. I love to group poinsettias in clusters for more impact. But don't bunch them up to tightly - poinsettias like their space so when decorating indoors make sure that you allow the plants room to spread out and for air flow to circulate freely. In North Carolina we can't set these plants outdoors because of the cold temperatures but when I lived in Florida I used to plant RED poinsettias in planter beds along the walk and front porch. I miss that.
For a quick hostess gift try adding a fluffy bow or ribbon to a wicker basket and sitting a plant inside. I like to place smaller poinsettias inside decorative bowls, urns and baskets and tuck them on shelves, in bookcases and on courtertops. Over $220 million worth of poinsettias are sold during the holiday season. Most (90%) of these plants got there start on the Paul Ecke Ranch in California. For information on care and how to get your poinsettias to "re-bloom" check out their website at www.ecke.com where you will find some interesting facts and tips.

For those of you who prefer the delicate bracts of a pink poinsettia, below is a picture from the Paul Ecke Ranch website. I thought these plants were just lovely. If you decorate using a pastel or Victoria CHRISTmas theme, these beautiful poinsettias would be just the thing.

On TUESDAY I will post a CHRISTmas tour of the whole house decorated for the holidays. We are now in the last week before our OPEN HOUSE and all the decor is finally finished. All that is left to do is bake, cook, and bake some more. In the week to come I will be sharing some of our families favorite holiday recipes so visit again soon.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

CHRISTmas FUN with my SON

My son, LUCAS, goes to a WONDERFUL elementary school. The school has some time-honored holiday traditions which make the season really fun for the kids. At CHRISTmas time they have a very special holiday luncheon for the kids and parents. Today was that special event. I took along my trusty little camera to capture some holiday memories. Lucas (the one in RED) hammin' it up with some of his 4th grade pals; Timmy, Elijah, and Kenny. All of the kids were so excited. Each one was telling me about what they wanted for CHRISTmas and where they were going and who they would see. There's only 6 school days left till break and they are counting them down! The cafeteria staff goes all out to prepare a really special lunch and unlike most school cafeterias, the food is really tasty.
Here is Lucas, Elijah and Timmy waiting happily in the hallway lunch-line smiling for Mom's camera.

Cafeteria staff along with Parent volunteers work to decorate the cafeteria into a Winter Wonderland. Although it was 60 degrees today and raining outside we could feel the Arctic chill as fluffy white snowflakes and FROSTY made an appearance on the windows and walls. White icicle lights were hung from the ceiling and one of the staff, Mr. Helms, provided live entertainment as he sang holiday tunes with his Karaoke machine. Too fun! Some of the kids even sang along when he broke out in a chorus of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Each classroom provided handmade place mats with season's greetings and artwork.

We even had a special guest appearance from some of SANTA'S reindeer. It was a fun lunch and ended too soon. If you feel a little removed from the joy of CHRISTmas, go hang out with a few 4th graders. Their excitement and joy is sure to rub off!
I'm wishing you a fun and childlike joy this season.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The JOY of receiving and sending CHRISTmas Greetings!

CHRISTmas cards - I just L-O-V-E reading them! I can literally spend hours in the store standing in the card section reading cards, narrowing down my choices to two dozen or so. Choosing the right greetings can take time. Oh the joy one receives to go to the mail box and find a CHRISTmas card awaiting. I can hardly wait to get inside so I can open the envelope to see which friend or relation has sent me a special holiday blessing or wish. Sending and receiving cards is such a time honored holiday tradition. I like to change up the style of card and message i send from year to year. This year my card of choice was governed by my family CHRISTmas picture. Prince Charming's sister - Sweet Linda Charlene - is a professional photographer. So while we were in FL for Thanksgiving we got all dressed up and Linda worked her magic. Royal Prince Adam wanted to wear a new argyle sweater vest of Red, Brown, Gray and White. So that was our inspiration for our color scheme. The rest of the family just followed his lead with brown, red and white. Needless to say Sweet Linda's magical touch brought out the hidden beauty that she just seems to coax out of her subjects. I was thrilled with the results! So off to the card store I go to find just the perfect card to complement our picture. This was the winning card. The card is made from a linen card stock and features a gray background of evergreens and pine cones. The card is them embellished with a little envelope of red damask printed paper and a silver satin ribbon is attached to the miniature envelope. A little scalloped seal embossed with a snow bird is then placed on top of the ribbon. Next a little scallop-edged card scripted in Red with MERRY CHRISTMAS and tied with a velvet red ribbon is placed slightly inside the mini envelope. It's just the perfect card to carry our season's greetings and a current photo of the family.
This card was the winner last year. I loved the color scheme of aqua, evergreen and ivory. Such a fresh take on the colors of CHRISTmas. The verse blesses the recipient with God's everlasting light. love and great goodness.

This card was a very close second this year. The verse was taken from Max Lucado's book, God Came Near. I love the way Max Lucado writes. I've printed the verse below.
"God became man. Divinity arrived. It all happened in a most remarkable moment... a moment like no other. For through that segment of time a spectacular thing occurred. God had come near."
The inside verse simply states a heartfelt wish -
"May His presence be your peace, your joy, and your light this Christmas."
So as you hurry to post your cards and strike another name off your list as "sent", I pray that you too experience the peace and joy of this season and that in the stillness or the rush of the holidays you allow God to come near to you.
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

CHRISTmas Collections

Do you like to collect things? CHRISTmas is a perfect time begin a collection. Sweet Linda Charlene (my sis-in-law) collects "puffy" ornaments. You know the blown glass type. My friends Paula and Brenda collect SNOWMEN. Another friend collects Wizard of Oz ornaments. Well I was never a "collector" until the first year Prince Charming and I were married. That year I began collecting Old World SANTAS. I think I've mentioned that on a previous post. I thought I would show a few of my favorite ones. I was going to post a project on using old garden urns to display extra ornaments, unfortunately I had a few "technical" difficulties. That's code for "my paint did not set as intended because of a heavy NC frost". It's always a good idea to NOT forget your project on the back deck overnight. Ha,ha. So we will revisit that project later - much later. This is one of my favorite SANTAS. I love his light green damask robe trimmed in dark brown fur. He fits perfectly with my family room decorations this CHRISTmas. His beard is made of frayed white velvet strands. I received this SANTA the first year we lived in North Carolina This SANTA is about 5 years old. He is wearing a blue and red plaid robe trimmed in gray sheep skin. I love the little Teddy Bear he is carrying in the top of his sack and the rustic rope tied at his waist. His staff is fashioned from a real wooden twig with real pine cones attached.

This was the last SANTA I purchased while living in FLORIDA. He matches the new window treatments I featured in an earlier blog. His robe is almost an exact match with the gold, brown and deep red brocade of the window panels. I really like the SANTAS that feature shorter robes and boots vs. the tree topper styles. They are more stable and hold up much better. The plastic cones under the long robes tend to warp after a couple of years.

I usually group my collection is threes or fives. Always use ODD numbers especially if you have varying heights or sizes. During the holidays I clear away most of my accessories from end tables, consoles and shelves. This makes room to display seasonal collections. Sometimes I will arrange my regular accents and accessories "under" my end tables. I saw this trick used in a model home and thought it was a great way to make space for your CHRISTmas decor while solving the question of where to store things during the holidays.

This was a new addition to my collection last year from Sweet Linda Charlene. Prince Charming L-O-V-E-S to "go" fishing! In honor of her Big Brother's preferred past-time, this SANTA enjoys some down-time after the hectic holiday rush! No matter what you collect at CHRISTmas time, it is always fun and sentimental to unpack your collections each year and remember the people and the moments that make the collections special.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Christmas Makeover!

CHRISTmas isn't the best time to decide on a makeover for a room in your house but this mismatched and dated bedroom needed some CHRISTmas cheer! With the big day less than a month away and family and friends scheduled to descend in waves this year, we had to work fast to pull this off! While red was right in style with the season, I had grown tired of this Pottery Barn bargain and opted to add a little holiday elegance using slate blue and gold. The result was a restful, sophisticated palette that just makes you want to say "Ahhh!" Let's take a look... As you can see the walls were painted Spiced Vinegar while the focal wall was given a coat in Stony Creek. These colors really warm up the space and provide a neutral backdrop for the pops of slate blue. The new bedding set was a steal - only $45! I added a few extra toss pillows and the Euro Shams but still managed to keep the ensemble below $70.
This year I opted for a full-size tree in the bedroom. It is a slim tree. Just the right fit in front of our window. I always say that pictures never do justice to decorated trees unless of course you have all that fancy-smancy lighting equipment and as you can see I don't. But this little tree turned out so beautiful. I know it is hard to see all the details but the decorations are kept to a very neutral color scheme - soft blue, champagne, silver and clear glass. The only color or pattern used are the little cheetah print mini-stockings! Love them! They really play up the whimsy and complement the animal print accents used elsewhere in the room. Fun, fun, fun!

This really is my favorite tree so far. I have never used clear glass ball ornaments. They look like lighter-than-air bubbles resting on the tree branches. I finished the tree by tucking silvery leaves and champagne colored floral picks in the branches. They look like little wings or feathers nestled among the boughs of evergreen.

As you can see in this picture animal print is used in a variety of patterns. The common theme is the color - black and a very rich golden tan. The picture below is of a bedside table. To add a little seasonal glamour I cut the stem off a velvet poinsettia and wired the flower to a table lantern which holds a pillar candle. Just enough CHRISTmas charm to make me smile.

Well this little project was well worth the investment. Time was the biggest expense and now this room is ready to greet guests during the holidays.
Tomorrow I am going to demonstrate a little project using some old garden urns. It's amazing what a little paint can do.