Copy of Celebrate Red, White, and Blue

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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?

Noël

 

Christmas

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