La Cuisine


RX : Kitchen Redo

Nouveau Départ simply means a fresh start to a new year and a new season. We are taking the hibernation out of winter by cultivating new ideas. Our agenda and priorities require us to de-clutter and take an inventory of what we want to change, and especially, evaluate those things that make us smile. These last few weeks in January allowed us to process the vibrant colors of the holidays and begin to reawaken our creative flow in anticipation of Spring to come.

The Parisience colors, red and blue, are cheering us on to fully appreciate the significant changes that took place in making the kitchen at This Side of Paris “spring” into 2019 with a bold approach in style and color. Oftentimes, we look to fashion to inspire us. Our House of Fashion inspiration board pulled together brands that are both trend-setters here stateside and abroad. No matter what your design budget may be, it costs nothing but time to put together an inspiration folder for a curated interior space.

Due to our mountain top location, tackling a kitchen renovation in Western North Carolina meant stretching the renovation calendar with careful planning. By relying on cultivated relationships within the trade industry, the design process made for a happy building experience. Our partnerships with High Country Stone and Lowe’s Home Improvement in Banner Elk along with our trusted builder all helped get us across the finish line.

If a kitchen redesign is on your resolute list for 2019, here are our top ten design tips to keep your cool in the kitchen


10 Steps To A Well Designed Kitchen

10. Have a preliminary design layout. This is a quick sketch of your dream kitchen.

9. Create a spending plan and include a 10% contingency.

8. Create a Pinterest account to pin all your inspirations. You can also put a binder together if Pinterest is not your jam.

7. Hire highly qualified trade professionals: builder, designer, electrician, plumber. Everybody needs to be on the same page to execute your vision. For extensive redesign, a building permit will need to be pulled.

6. Finalize your new kitchen design layout and begin shopping for cabinet options, appliances, lighting and plumbing material. Big box home improvement stores do have an in-house kitchen designer that can help with your design layout. Keep in mind that their services and cabinet options may be limited. It is best to hire an interior designer that can walk you through the complete design process. Some design firms have their own in-house CAD designers to create working documents. A full-service designer can also advise with design layout and finishes, place orders, and help with project management.

5. Select your finishes and order your products.

4. Review your spending plan.

3. Establish a construction schedule.

2. Create an area in your house that will serve as a temporary kitchen if you plan to live in the house during the renovation. It is also a good idea to go the extra step by applying construction plastic as barriers to minimize construction dust.

1. Pick high-quality cabinets and energy-efficient appliances. These will get plenty of use and abuse for years to come, and you want them to last.


House of Fashion Inspiration Board

House of Fashion Inspiration Board

Specification Board

Specification Board

Nouveau Départ


Fresh Start

The 2018 renovation journey at This Side of Paris brought challenges that stopped us in our tracks not only in the renovation process but in experiencing personal loss that caused us to pause from any form of creativity and allow the grieving process to take its course. I spent the first three weeks of the new year taking inventory of priorities. At last, I am at a good starting point to begin Nouveau Départ for this new year.

This last year of the decade gives us 2019 new memories which certainly includes challenging tasks, adventures, and projects to do in the days ahead. Will we do it all? Maybe or maybe not. It costs nothing but efforts in pursuing and setting our mind to start that list of accomplishments

Whether you plan to start a business, simplify your marketing strategy, go back to school, read the books you have been meaning to read, travel, redecorate your house or go tackle a major renovation like ours, you can begin today with your Nouveau Départ!

Your goals are not impossible to attain. Sometimes we need resources to get us motivated in the right direction. I’ve listed the links to a few of my favorite books that have motivated me, inspired me, validated my thoughts, and led me to the right business contacts. These authors have passion in common. When I say “passion,” it is based on experiential truth that one can validate because you’ve been around them enough to see it firsthand.

The words printed on the pages of the books are “cultivating” an environment that is relationship-focused with a culture-driven workplace. I hope these four books listed on my current blog will help trigger an appetite to begin collecting 2019 memories. Click below to access the books.


Le progrès



My neighbors up the hill said something profound.   At the time it was casually spoken; it did not hold weight.  "I wouldn't bother blowing the leaves off of your driveway. It is a battle that takes too much effort. The season will bring strong gusts of wind that will clear all of it at once and neatly file it where it should naturally go." She was right. It was not too long after that imparting of wisdom on another quick visit to the Paris house that we noticed the clearing of the leaves. One strong gust of God's breath moves a mountain of leaves to blanket the natural area.  There, the leaves will rest with the purpose of giving the added nutrients to the soil. 
As the gardens lay dormant until their time to bloom next summer, "Old Man Winter" is slowly creeping in. 
With the new roof system in place and the workers finishing the ceiling drywall, the daunting task of gutting the kitchen is next on the list. This is where "do hard work" must be evident. 
The vision for the small galley style kitchen needs to have all the right ingredients of beauty and functionality.  This tired space was never rightfully seasoned since the day the original cabinets were hung. The wood paneling, the worn out appliances, the dated cabinets, and the Formica countertops can rest in peace. 
Bring in the navy cabinets with brushed gold pulls which adds a pop of eye candy color to this pass-through kitchen. The quartz marble-look surface for the counter-tops along with its seamless application on the backsplash will visually expand the space. Every inch counts in this small culinary room, so every piece of kitchen gadget is carefully selected for its versatile functionality.  This new design is where the 50 shades of brown must go away, and the 50 shades of cuteness will welcome you to stay. I posted a few kitchen design ideas that hold my focus in place as to get us through our "reviving" mode.
 I can see the vision taking shape. It is in the sowing that we can reap a fruitful reward.  It is not just a restoration but a revival to a new form.  This is not about the house on the hill of This Side of Paris, but a home for all that will enter in the space. 
Just as Karen and Craig Waters of Perth, Australia had a vision when they purchased a dilapidated chateâu in the south of France–after only seeing four of its 94 rooms, we too have a vision in seeing beauty beyond what the eye can see.  The difference is that theirs is on a grander scale where ours is small and cozy. 
One thing I am convinced; it takes reinforcements to move mountains. I know once we begin removing the old to make way for the new, there are going to be times where I will think, speak, and believe this, "but, I will call on God, and the Lord will rescue me. Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice." 

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