Copy of Celebrate Red, White, and Blue


The other half of 2019 is here and with summer in full bloom, an adventure awaits on a mountaintop experience to celebrate Independence Day all month long. Red, White, and Blue happens to be our signature colors at This Side of Paris. We like to say it’s a neutral blend of patriotic colors—a perfect combination to rock a French Americana style in our experiential abode in the mountains of North Carolina.

When we purchased the cabin in the summer of 2016, we knew this 60 year-old cabin needed a revival in more ways than one. It had been in the market for over six months and if you had seen the place just as we had seen it on that hot summer day, you would have said “are you out of your mind?” ONE WORD just to describe the landscape around the house was OVERGROWN! With its uneven roof line and the 50 shades of brown inside and out, we saw visions to the “what if” questions that ran through our minds.

Today, the cabin has received more than just painted lipstick red window boxes, it has gone through some major changes in the last two years. The gardens are showing off splashes of color on a rotating basis. Reviewing this list of must change, we knew that the gardens and landscaping needed a new form. Just like a sculptor, one sees the outcome in the mass of lifeless forms. Since time was an important element in the taming of the gardens, we took every season in the last two years to mould its beauty. We placed garden elements that lend themselves to the landscape for every season. Most importantly, the side deck along with the gravel patio are rocking one-of-a-kind hand made outdoor patio furniture made from reclaimed old roof rafters and old decking boards.

At  TSOP , there are elements of design that deserve a second glance.

At TSOP, there are elements of design that deserve a second glance.

An artist’s canvas is never done, really. There is always room for change. We have one more important space inside the cabin that is begging for change. Our next major gut job is the bathroom. With its premium space and a multi-purpose room every inch counts. For us, it isn't all work and no play. We plan to take time to explore places outside of our long gravel driveway in between the jack hammering and tiling. We love exploring all the fun places near us. Business and pleasure is key to fuel the mind and body to make it to the finish line. Of course, asking God to once again “part the Red Sea” so we can make it to the other side of this renovation isn't a bad idea.

Since Grandfather Mountain is a stone’s throw away from TSOP, the Mile High Swinging Bridge would be an option to release all fears and lean on God while enjoying the beautiful landscape God spoke into existence. Mile High Swinging Bridge is a 360 degree view of all the beauty and wonder that Grandfather Mountain has to offer. Standing one mile above sea level, and infinitely beyond ordinary, this high-rise attraction was built to give visitors an easy access to the breathtaking view from Grandfather Mountain’s Linville Peak.

If cooling off is necessary, booking with High Mountain Expeditions for a white water rapids expedition to shower along the Watauga River will cool things off. The well-trained instructors will make sure your white water rafting experience is not a wash.

When days call for an higher altitude for a better attitude, driving up in elevation to Beech Mountain will take you to Emerald Outback. The seven mile trail park is open to the public year round. The trails which are maintained by the town of Beech Mountain criss-cross though the mountain top. There is a nice variety of lush forests and open spaces, all with gorgeous views. At the same time there is plenty of isolation in the trees, but don’t worry about getting lost. Just like the apple never falls far from the tree, neither does the path stray too far from some kind of connecting road or bailout point. At the end of the rainbow trail, you can head on out to 5506 Sky-bar on the summit of Beech Mountain Ski Resort. The place has a panoramic view with its 5506 foot vista to soak in all the fresh mountain air and plenty of beverages to cool you off.

These wooded chargers are made from one of the fallen trees here at  TSOP .

These wooded chargers are made from one of the fallen trees here at TSOP.

With the gardens at TSOP maturing every day, we have made it an unspoken tradition to have our lovely neighbors over for a yearly Hello Summer dinner party. Our house of fashion can help put together a great look for your next summer backyard dinner.

HOF:Adventure awaits RED,Whte, Blue.jpg

Throw the perfect Red, White, and Blue garden party in style. Denim rompers from Jcrew paired with lace- up Christian Louboutin Barbaria canvas espadrilles is the perfect look for an afternoon BBQ. Mixing highs and lows is never a bad idea. The Hampton Melamine Collection dinnerware from Pottery Barn goes perfectly well the lovely blue and white garden vases from Frontgate.

We made our own King’s table from reclaimed wood on the property along with our wooden chargers. I have a feeling they will get plenty of use this summer. The Parisian bistro chairs are perfect pieces for a pop of patriotic colors.

Want to Go on a Wine Tour from This Side of Paris?

Farm to Table

de la ferme à la table

The farms around TSOP are known to deliver fresh homegrown produce to local restaurants in the area. These farms are associated with CSA so you get to know the farmers, their land, and their crops. There is this side of me that longs to be an expert organic, green thumb guru tilling the raised beds expecting a harvest. I know it is not as easy as it looks, especially at This Side of Paris where the climate does not allow for a long growing season. Growing up in the South in early spring, I remember my dad, would till the ground in preparation for the vegetable garden. He knew exactly what he wanted to plant. My siblings and I, on the other hand knew what would become of it — a playground for us to meander through the tunnel of green beans and bitter cucumbers. The “Big Boy” tomatoes were often picked before they could show off their size as part of the produce market game my brother and sister enjoyed playing.

We know we plan to enjoy cooking locally grown produce brought to us by our local farmers in the area. Much of their produce is sourced by local restaurants. However, if we decide to take a break from our ground work, we love supporting our local restaurants that source through local farmers.

Against the Grain is a certified biodynamic and organic produce grower not far from TSOP. Their modern approach to farming is helping their company expand their business to meet the demands for cleaner food consumption. They partner with one of our favorite restaurants in town. F.A.R.M cafe is a non-profit restaurant on W. King Street. It has a unique concept of dishing out high quality and delicious meals for lunch regardless of means. They stand by their motto, “pay what you can” and get a quality meal that is farm to table from local farmers in town. North Fork Farms is another small family farm serving pasture-raised high quality meat products without added hormones or antibiotics. They are a known meat provider to several local restaurants in the area such as Proper Restaurant— Boone’s local proper southern diner with all the fixins’.

For now, we are busy cultivating the flower beds for a bountiful perennial showcase of colors come middle of June. Finding the right plants to grow is half the battle. Thankfully, the soil at TSOP is extraordinary rich. We are borrowing gardening concepts from Paul Gautschi, founder of Back to Eden Gardening. The earth’s natural process of mulching the ground leaves for a very dark soil, rich in nutrients. This black gold makes the variety of ferns, hostas, wild irises, wild lilies, roses, and hydrangeas on the property to thrive. The property is a natural nursery for Cinnamon ferns, Ostrich ferns, Royal ferns, and Licorice ferns. Finding these all around the property, we have gathered enough variety for replanting in our redesigned garden beds. Along with the flowering plants, the variety of hostas, and the “Endless Bloom” hydrangeas propagated from our original plant back home will bring in the splash of colors and a source of flower cuttings all summer long.

We have also added large colorful terra-cotta pots around the gardens for added interest and an all year round pop of color. Most of what have planted at TSOP are perennials. With the warmer temperatures lately, I get excited to see little buds starting to pop up from the ground - weeds included. I discovered that pure vinegar works just as well to weeds as Roundup without the harsh chemicals, plus it is a fraction of the cost.

1. Terracotta pots in blue and white 2. David bust planter 3. Gardening stool 4. All in one bulb planter 5. All weather boots 6. Toile rain boots.

1. Terracotta pots in blue and white 2. David bust planter 3. Gardening stool 4. All in one bulb planter 5. All weather boots 6. Toile rain boots.

Our House of Fashion board has my best pick for garden essentials. Blue and white remains a forever classic color scheme for both indoor and outdoor decor. You must really see the colorful pots and gardens at TSOP. Our Airbnb, “Go on a Wine Tour at This Side of Paris” listing gets plenty of views, so don’t waste “thyme” but plan to come see us on the mountain side.

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