You’re Invited to Style Saturday

I’ll be hosting a Style Saturday event this weekend at my local Lowe’s, and I’d love for you to come.

Style Saturday Invitation

I’ll be at the Lowe’s of Chicago-Brickyard from 10-2 on Saturday, August 2 to provide decorating tips and tricks, along with one-on-one design consultations. Feel free to bring pictures of your design dilemmas, or anything else that will help me help you! I’ve also put together a cute project that you can make right in the store to take home.

RSVP by emailing I hope to see you there!

A Makeover with Formerly Painted Wood Paneling

The current trends of all-white-everything and trim painted to match the walls in homes is lovely. Honestly, our Victorian would look beautiful with all of the wood painted out. Take away the strong feelings associated (on both sides) with painted woodwork and look at it objectively, and it would be amazing. That said, I have no plans to paint the trim downstairs, and I can’t relate to much of what seems to be out there in the decorating world right now. So when I came across a stunning before and after of a Parisian apartment with painted wood that was stripped down and stained, I thought I’d share.

Before: A+B Kasha

After: A+B Kasha

The floor makes a huge difference here, of course. Had the chevron flooring been uncovered and the paint freshened up instead of stripped, this would still be a stunning makeover. But still, it’s nice (for me, at least!) to see some unpainted wood being brought back in all its glory.

After: A+B Kasha

Exploring Northern France: Poitiers

After visiting Reims and Dijon, I ended my trip with the French board of tourism in Poitiers. (Jordan and I extended our trip and visited Marrakesh and Paris on our own afterwards.) We stayed in the Hotel Mercure Poitiers Centre, a former Jesuit chapel built in 1854. My room was incredible, as was the dinner we had in the hotel’s restaurant, Les Archives.

Hotel Mercure Poitiers Centre

We started by exploring the city center with our guide, Françoise d’Argenson, seeing Notre-Dame la Grande, Cathedral Saint Pierre, Baptistry Saint-Jean, and more. La Fete de la Musique was happening too, when bands put on free concerts in cities throughout France!

Notre-Dame la Grande, Poitiers, France

Nicole Balch, in a Cathedral in Poitiers, France
↑ photo by Jordan Ferney

Poitiers, France

La Fete de la Musique

Cathedral Saint Pierre, Poitiers, France

Poitiers, France

The next day, we went to the Marais Poitevin, a network of canals through the Atlantic marsh nicknamed ‘The Green Venice.’ The relaxing pace of the boat ride was perfect. This picture doesn’t do it justice, but my camera gear had gotten too overwhelming by the end of this trip for my poor back, and I only had my iPhone with me from Poitiers on.

Marais Poitevin, France

And, um, we had a fish spa experience which resulted in these truly excellent photos of Carol and me. (The fish felt like fizzy bubbles, by the way.)

Fish Spa

I’m so grateful to have been invited on this trip. If you find yourself planning a trip to France, be sure to explore a bit! The trains make it very easy to get around, and a quick ride lets you experience so much more of the beautiful country.

Poitiers, France

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