Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all our friends, followers, and customers!  May 2012 be the best year ever!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas with a Silver Lining

As I designed this display today for our shop window, it reminded me how much I love using silver, not only during the holidays, but throughout the year. 

I love doing simple, yet elegant displays like this design, using a silver container, garland, a few inexpensive silver ornaments, and a pretty candle.

Mercury glass is another favorite.  It is relatively inexpensive and looks gorgeous lit with candles.

Silver ornaments look beautiful among the green boughs on a Christmas tree. Paired with faux silver berries, it is stunning and classic.

This is another example of using a year-round silver container to hold shiny ornaments for a quick but classic decoration for a table or sideboard.

This is a table setting I did using red transferware, creamware, and silver baby cups from my collection. Using your collections in combination with ornaments or other holiday decor makes the design much more meaningful and personal.

Silver containers such as mint julep cups look so pretty containing amaryllis or paperwhites at Christmas time.  I also love the look of this green wreath against the silver-finish mirror.

This is just a beautiful idea using a silver tray, a crystal cloche, faux snow, some pretty ornaments, and pearls.  Easy but so elegant.

Remember to think outside the box with your holiday decorating and don't forget the silver!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Great New Design Books!

Need a gift idea or a great new addition to your design book library?  Go over to At Home Tennessee magazine and check out his months book review column, The Pick.  It is written by my daughter Shana, who is also my right hand in the family design business.  Shana knows a good design book when she sees one!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

How Our Winner Used Her Bounty!

We recently held a giveaway of two beautiful framed etchings from Wendover Art.  Our winner was reader Marilee Dennis, who was very excited to win and e-mailed me after the drawing was announced that she had the perfect place reserved hoping she would win.  She has sent me photos and I thought you would enjoy seeing where the prints went to live.

I think she did a beautiful job displaying the etchings!  I love her dining room, with the pretty curtains, crystal chandelier, and of course the out of this world silver collection.  A girl after my own heart!
I hope you enjoyed seeing Marilee's dining room and her use of her prize.  Stay tuned, we will be giving away more fabulous things soon!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Daydreaming of Summer....

With the holiday weekend upon us, it got me thinking about getting the house ready for all the family goings-on here at our humble home.  Ideas are plenty, but funds to make all those grand schemes come to life sometimes aren't so large.  But, that doesn't stop me from dreaming and planning, which is really a huge part of the fun anyway, don't you think?  So I compiled a few images from my stash to get you thinking and dreaming along with me about the summer season that spreads before us.

I love greenhouses and conservatories of all kinds and if money were no object I would definitely own one.  Some are really grand and would cost more than my house itself, but some are more in scale with what I think would go with an average-size house, like the one above.  In my fantasy, I would come out here to my garden house with my coffee every morning and tend to all my lovely plants and flowers.  In reality, I have a black thumb, so everything in there would probably be brown and dead.  Oh well, this is a fantasy, remember?

Summer here in the South usually involves using any event as an excuse to throw a hen party, I mean a baby shower or bridal shower, or some other soiree where we can bring out our pretty glasses and dishes, eat tiny little sandwiches, and celebrate friends and family.

I am lucky enough to live by the water so I always love images like this one showing great ways to get close and personal with the water in style.  Just love.

My house doesn't have a big porch, which really surprises me because I love them.  This porch just makes you want to bring a good design magazine and a glass of iced tea and relax.

Now that I am thinking about all this, I realize I don't have a porch swing either.  What was I thinking twenty years ago when we built this house.  I believe this post is bringing me to an epiphany that I need to remedy all these problems in my life before it's too late!

 Or you could always hit the road and go glamping (glamourous camping) in a decked out Airstream like this one.  Again, copious amounts of dollars involved, but still dreaming.

Before I come back to reality I will pretend this is my backyard where I stroll daily.

A nice big screened porch overlooking the water would be wonderful wouldn't it?

Last but not least, while we are thinking of this summer and the Memorial Day holiday, let's remember what it's really all about.

Happy Memorial Day!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

So Many Fabrics, So Little Time!

Fabrics bring so much to a home.  They bring color, texture, and pattern, but mainly they bring spirit and personality to a room like no other decorating tool.  I love fabrics of all kinds and lately the trend has been leaning toward using plain, unpatterned linens, silks, and cottons at the window and on furniture.  While I love that look, it can get boring after a while.  A pretty patterned fabric will forever be current as far as I am concerned.  Like classic furniture styles that will never go away, there are classics in fabric design as well.  We are gearing up for a custom window treatment event and as I was choosing fabrics for the collection, I noticed that certain patterns seem to draw me in the most.  I will share a few with you.

This Ikat-style pattern just hits me every time I see it.  If you don't want a bold pattern such as this on furniture or drapery (although I would!), then a couple of clean-lined pillows done in it would be gorgeous!

I think this sunny Ikat look is just so cheery and pretty.  I think would great on a classic French chair or any room needing a burst of sunshine!

Warm grays are so current now and I have talked before about the bird motif being hot as well.  Here you have them both in this pretty print which has sort of a damask-like feel to it.

I really love the combination of warm gray, cream, and gold colors and this toile is a beauty.  So classic.

Tree-of-life pattern fabric will never be passe.  This particular pattern is so fresh with the soft greens and corals on an ivory ground.

 And of course blue and yellow is another classic combo that I never stop loving.  Here it is is expressed in this soft and beautiful toile pattern.

Paisley will forever live and when done in classic blue-and-white it sings.

This is another paisley done in soft shades of blue and gray.  This just says to me it wants to live in my bedroom!

If you want to bring new life to a room, fabric is a great way to do it and can provide a wonderful starting point for your whole design scheme.  If you have been living with plain fabrics for a while, consider bringing a classic patterned fabric in somewhere to add some beauty and color.

Be sure to follow Carol Raley Interiors on Facebook!  We will be showing more fabrics and gorgeous hardware for our custom drapery event.  Check us out!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Pretty Bedspreads for Spring and Summer

I am a big proponent of changing looks for different seasons.  One easy way to do that is with the textiles and soft goods in the house.  In an earlier post, I discussed how pillows are a great, inexpensive decorating tool to change out with the seasons or to try a new trend. 

But another great place to do this is with your bedding.  I look I love for warmer months is the gathered bedspread, especially when they are done in light, flowing fabrics such as linen, cotton, or sheer organza.
Here I have gathered a few examples of this look.

This is a wonderfully cool and summery look in a semi-sheer fabric with a place to insert a duvet as well.


Here is a gathered bedspread with another light coverlet layered over it.  I love the casual, slightly wrinkled look here.


These gathered bedspreads are paired with a gathered bedskirt so everything looks pretty and pulled together even when the spreads are turned down.

Of course, gathered bedspeads look fabulous when paired with canopies like these.

This is a gathered bedspread in my own house done in linen.  I like it with the upholstered headboard.

This is also a gathered bedspread I did for a client's daughter done in white cotton with a contrasting welt around the top of the bed.

Flowing, gathered bedspreads in light, breathable fabrics just beckon you to come, plop down, and enjoy a nights rest in cool, crisp comfort.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Congrats to our Winner!!!

We have heard from our winner!  Marilee Dennis!!  She is super excited to be the winner.  Here is what she has to say:
"Dear Carol,
Thank you so much!!! I am so excited . . . you have no idea! This is totally unexpected. I already have a prominent place for the Framed Etchings in my home.
I also have been telling my friends about your website. All of them love decorating! Wait till I tell them what I won!
Thank you again!"

Huge congrats to Marilee and to all who signed up.  Don't forget to visit our shop.  We will post here when it is up and running very soon.

Thanks to all of our friends and readers for celebrating our new look and new exciting happenings at Southern Chateau and Carol Raley Interiors!

We Have a Winner!!!

We have great news – our Framed Etchings Giveaway Winner has been selected! We have notified the selected winner by email and are waiting for an acceptance reply.

Unfortunately, we’ve also got some not-so-good news; due to some technical difficulties, we are not opening our online store today. While we sincerely regret the inconvenience, we decided that postponing the opening is in the best interest of you, our customers, as we want to make sure that your shopping experience with us is the best it can be.
However, we will still be sending out a 10% discount code to all of you by email when send our official winner’s announcement.
Again – we regret we can’t open today, but we’ll keep you posted on developments as we know them.

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Time is Running Out!! Our Giveaway Deadline is Near!!

City Engraving I

City Engraving II
To celebrate our upcoming grand opening of our new online store,, we are giving away two beautiful framed etchings from Wendover Art to a lucky reader. These etchings are exclusives and work beautifully in any decor.  They measure 15"x17" each, and have beautiful linen mats and black patina frames. They have a retail value of $250 for the pair.

To be entered for this fabulous drawing, just go to our website, and sign up for our Sales and Specials e-mail list between now and midnight (Eastern time) on Thursday, May 5. And to show our appreciation for signing up, you'll will receive a 10% discount on your first purchase through our online store!

On Friday morning May 6, we will announce the winner of the etchings and will send out the 10% discount code to all members of our Sales and Specials mailing list.

Thanks for celebrating with us as we begin anew at Southern Chateau and Carol Raley Interiors!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Trend Alert: The Year of the Peacock (and a Giveaway!!)

Trends are good.  Trends are bad. 
Trends are fun in small doses and a very bad investment in large doses because when they are over, they fall with a very large thud.

BUT, back to the good part of trends.  They bring fun, fashion, and color to your decor when used wisely.
Some of the best ways to incorporate decorating trends is in your accessories and soft goods.  This way the hot new motif or color can visit for a while but leave without fanfare when it becomes a guest that has worn out its welcome.

A really hot trend I am seeing in the design marketplace right now is the peacock motif as well as a color I call Peacock which is a deep, green-tinged, inky blue.  I have brought a few examples to show you.

This rug features a stylized peacock feather design with that beautiful "Peacock" color.  I think this would be great in a dining room under a traditional style table or in a living room with a Lucite coffee table on it.

I particularly love this vase that hints at the peacock motif and colorway.  Another good way to add the trend without investing too heavily into it.

Fashion gets into the act, too. 

Greeting cards with a nod to the peacock trend would make a wonderful, stylish gift or look great sitting on your desk.  So chic!

Again, pillows are an easy way to bring a touch of a hot trend into a room without major commitment.

Beautiful, large-scale peacock perfect for a shelf or a console table in an entryway.

Pretty blue and white interpretation of the peacock.

How about a peacock tonic cocktail? 

I am in love with this large scale peacock motif fabric from JF Fabrics.

Look around closely and I believe you will be seeing the peacock being interpreted in many fresh and exciting ways.

Be sure to enter our Giveaway celebrating our updated website and online shop!
(see link above)

 credits: Peacock cocktail Martha Stewart (photo Simon Watson)
cards ParadoXx Art
blue/white pillow  Cottage Cupboard
all others through Carol Raley Interiors