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.





It's that time of the year when my husband has an absolute season crush on all things related to Noël.  His joy meter is beyond full and can be quite contagious.  The second week of December brought in eleven inches of snow that blanketed the landscape in the brightest white.  Paired with O Holy Night -  Minuit Chrétiens - in its original language, This Side of Paris is a perfect setting for a White Christmas.

What better place to grab your perfect Christmas tree and trimmings than the surrounding farms around TSOP.  Watauga County Christmas Tree Association provides a downloadable directory of local Christmas tree farms for a good old fashion family tradition of selecting and cutting the perfect tree.  Our neighbors recall the time when the land down by the driveway was once a Christmas tree farm.  

Although we won't be putting up a Christmas tree at the Paris house this year, we are taking notes of how the first Christmas will be decked out.  The natural elements around the property will make up the majority of the festive decór. This Rustic Glam simplicity is a mix of wintergreens and pine cones interwoven with a bit of colorful animal print. If you make it to the High Country this time of the year,  here is a weekender list of a few things to do and see in the High Country during this festive season. 

Day One

Pre-dinner primer at Banner Elk Winery for a relaxing afternoon wine by the large outdoor firepit. 

Comfort food dinner at the Banner Elk Cafe.

Night skiing at Sugar Mountain.

Day Two

Get pampered and enjoy a relaxing Spa day at Westglow Resort and Spa.
Main Street Blowing Rock for afternoon shopping.
Festive Lights at Chetola Resort at Blowing Rock
Enjoy an elegant dining experience with live music at Timberlake Restaurant.

Day Three
Explore Appalachian State University for a Fine Arts Day.
Turchin Center for the Visual Arts
Catherine J. Smith Gallery
Mast General Store
Vidalia Restaurant and Wine Bar