Tag Archives: Downtown Raleigh

Garden Style | A Succulent Centerpiece

Succulents are some of the most striking and uniquely beautiful plants out there.

The plants themselves are stunning, even without a flower. They’re perfect for containers and patio gardens and can easily be used to create centerpieces, wreaths, and arrangements. To top it all off, they’re easy to grow and maintain. No wonder they’re all the rage!

Container gardens are great for small spaces and are super versatile. They make the perfect accent to a patio set or bench, they’re beautiful clustered on the front stoop for a welcoming decor touch, and can even be used as a centerpiece for gatherings and dinner parties.

I’ve been inspired by some of the low-profile pots and planters I’ve seen recently, and decided to create a succulent container garden to use on my patio table as a centerpiece. A garden on a tabletop? What a conversation piece. Yes please!

Styling + Creating a Succulent Centerpiece

Step 1 | Find a planter

Find a planter or low-profile dish that’s the size and shape you prefer. Succulent plants are so bold and gorgeous. To allow the plants room to shine, try going with a planter that’s neutral in color. Neutral tones are also easy to work into any decor style. I found this low-profile wooden vessel at Home Goods. I couldn’t resist the organic texture and form of the wood. Gorgeous, neutral, earthy, and perfectly suited to my style and taste.

How to Create a Succulent Container Garden Arrow+Sage/Design Lines Raleigh NC


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Step 2 | Gather plants

Local to the Raleigh/Cary/Durham area? I found loads of gorgeous succulent beauties at both Logan’s and Fairview Garden Center. Hard to decide which plants I ‘needed’ so badly for this project. They were all so gorgeous. And to be honest, I have so many plants already. Maybe too many. But this project was a good excuse for new ones.

I ended up going with some echeveria, sedum, and an aloe.

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{Tip} When selecting plants for any arrangement or container, try to find something with some height, something trailing, and then some shorter, ground-hugging plants to fill in. Keep your plant selection to three to five varieties, depending on the size of your planter.

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Aloe ferox or ‘Fierce Aloe’

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Echeveria ‘Lola’

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‘Blue Spruce’ sedum

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Echeveria pulidonis

Step 3 | Drainage

If the planter you’ve selected doesn’t have drainage holes, put some gravel (easily found at your local garden center) in the bottom of the planter. This helps the soil drain properly, and prevents the roots of your plants from sitting in pools of water.

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Step 4 | The dirt

When planting succulents, go for a potting soil designed specifically for these plants. They like soil that drains and dries quickly. Miracle-Gro has a great option that I use for all of my succulent plants. Once selected, add the dirt to your planter. Fill it about 3/4 full, and save some to add after the plants are arranged.

Step 5 | Plant

The fun part! Try different things and see what you like best! For an aesthetically pleasing arrangement, I place tall plants in the center or back of the planter, trailing plants toward the front or spilling over the edges, and then fill in with smaller plants.

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How to Create a Succulent Container Garden Arrow+Sage/Design Lines Raleigh NC `

After arranging your plants, gently add more soil around the base of the plant stems, and pack the soil around the base of each plant. And as a rule of thumb, always water any new planting to settle the soil in around the roots of your plants.

And voila!

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A beautiful succulent container garden, perfect as a patio table centerpiece.


Images and Content by: Arrow+Sage

Current Trend: Farm to Table

These days the trend is to buy local. It seems farmer’s markets, backyard fruit and vegetable gardens and even chicken coops are popping up everywhere. For us this has translated into clients requesting us to use local resources, American made products, and even using reclaimed material.


This lifestyle not only enriches everyday life but also simplifies it by knowing where and products are made.

Raleigh has even embraced this localization with a Chicken Coop Tour that showcases all the coops in their glory!

Katerina’s family receives a box every Thursday with fresh seasonal produce from local farmers. This is perfect for the working family who doesn’t always have time to stop by the supermarket. This box is left on the front porch; it is always a surprise to see what produce is inside.

Can’t get enough produce? Surrounding area farmer’s markets provide endless options for your culinary desires.

Downtown Raleigh Farmers Market , Western Wake Farmers Market, Midtown Raleigh Farmers Market, Carborro Farmers Market , Durham Farmers Market


Local restaurants in and around the surrounding Triangle area even promote that their ingredients come from local resources. Rob and Judy recently ate lunch at the Umstead and Herons has a menu devoted to everything local.

Brittany’s farmers market is in Carborro. She particularly loves the Chapel Hill Creamery Cheese Products and their Fall flowers – Dahlias and celosias are her favorites.

The crew at Design Lines doesn’t think this trend will end anytime soon, if anything we predict this trend will grow. How do you buy local?


images: 1-4: Carolyn Scott Photography-for Downtown Raleigh Market 5. Pinterest 6-10: Personal 11: The Umstead Pinterest 12: Personal

Guest Blogger Series: An Interview with Chuck from RTown Living



I am thrilled to bring to you an interview with Chuck from RTown Living. Chuck is on the pulse of everything from living, playing, eating, and working in Downtown Raleigh. Thanks Chuck for your insight and knowledge; I am proud to call Raleigh home. Now…let me turn it over to Chuck.

DLL: Describe the Raleigh Lifestyle.

RTown Living: The Raleigh Lifestyle, to me, is an interesting mix of cultures. With so many different people moving here every day from other areas it’s created an awesome mixture of a little bit of this and a little bit of that. The biggest contradiction is the struggle between the “old South” and the “big city North” which leads to some pretty great aspects of small town America as well as the luxuries of larger metropolitan areas. The Raleigh lifestyle caters to everybody. It’s calm, it’s polite, it’s Southern! But it’s exciting, changing every day, and a wealth of opportunity. We have the beach a few hours East and the mountains a few hours West. We have a climate that gives us the best of both worlds. Hot summers at the beach, warm falls perfect for college football tailgating, a snow flurry here and there in the winter….and perfect springs. The lifestyle of downtown is amazing and has something for everybody.

City of Raleigh 2009 Ice Skating Rink

Here is the ice skating rink down at City Plaza.


DLL: What sort of transformations have you seen Raleigh go through in the past 15 years?

RTown Living:How about 15 months….or weeks. Raleigh is changing almost every day. And it has to. I’ve heard estimates of over 100 families moving here every day and reports that our population is expected to double in the next 15 years making us one of the fastest growing cities in America. With all that, change has to come. We’ve seen the city government take a proactive role in creating a safer and more desirable downtown area complete with shopping, culture, history, parks, museums and much, much more. We’ve seen a shift to a more eco-friendly city with the addition of the RLine, green restaurants like Spize Cafe, the Raleigh Rickshaws and soon to come bicycle kiosks.


Raleigh Rickashaw

There is now free Wi-Fi downtown and a City Plaza complete with an ice skating rink in the winter. We’ve seen an exciting change in that recent grads from our top universities in the area are now calling Raleigh and the triangle home instead of moving to bigger cities. Our work force is stronger and now smarter. A smarter workforce leads to a more educated community and therefore a more progressive and educated consumer. And possibly the biggest or at least the tallest transformation is that downtown Raleigh now has an abundance of condo and high rise living. I can’t think of a better view than the one from the roof top pool and BBQ area of the RBC Plaza. It’s amazing.


DLL: Why is downtown Raleigh the place to live instead of a community like Cary or Apex or for that matter another big city like Charlotte, Philadelphia or Baltimore?

RTown Living:Well, it may not be the place to live for everybody but I find it very desirable and exciting. And I moved here from Baltimore! I guess others are thinking the same thing as recently we are seeing a bit of a shift in where people want to live. Many young people seem to be waiting longer to “settle down” and want to be near the excitement that a downtown area brings. Many “older” people, empty nesters or retirees are downsizing to smaller, more convenient homes and neighborhoods like downtown Raleigh as well. The 90’s and 2000’s were all about MORE, MORE, MORE, and recently we’re seeing those same people give that up for smaller, urban communities. As our property values and appreciation rates in Raleigh stay conservative and consistent, we will continue to see people relocating from the larger, overgrown, possibly less stable cities like Charlotte, Philadelphia and Baltimore. I think there will always be a market for areas like Cary and Apex. People can move there from other areas and get so much more for their money, however, the shift we are seeing not only in Raleigh but on a national level, is a shift back to urban areas. As Raleigh’s ITB and downtown area continue to develop, there will be more and more of the consumer who wants to be near the action moving in. 

city market raleigh

DLL: For new home owners looking to find a place of their own, what are three factors you suggest they keep in mind when looking, if they want to consider the downtown area as their new backyard?

RTown Living:I can only pick 3? Wow. There is A LOT that goes into home-ownership and I always recommend taking it slow and working with somebody that you trust…especially if it’s your first time. I guess that’s #1.  I’ve come across many people, my younger self included, that after reading a book or two felt they knew everything about buying real estate and we didn’t. So take it slow and talk with somebody in the business that’s educated and professional and above all…you like and trust. Buying a home is often the biggest financial asset a person takes on and you need to work with somebody that is looking out for your best interests. 

Number 2…focus on your lifestyle. You want to live near certain things that fit into your lifestyle. Whether it be nightlife, restaurants, walking trails, shopping, dog parks, and a million more. Also, and maybe more importantly, the spending habits of your lifestyle is something people don’t pay enough attention to. If you absolutely do not cook and you eat out 21 times a week…you don’t want to start looking at homes a little out of your comfort level price range and say “umm…if I stop eating out and learn to cook then I can afford this house.” NO! You won’t. Don’t do it you’ll only be miserable and you find yourself in financial trouble soon.

And number 3…know why you are buying the home and what your plans for the future are. That seems a little weird and maybe simple but it’s so true. People buy homes for many different reasons ranging from buying your dream home, to finding your starter home to buying an investment. Even first timers need to think about this. That will help you narrow down what neighborhood you will want to be in and there are many different areas of downtown all with different “feels” and appreciation potential. Each neighborhood is it’s own community with different amenities, different appreciation rates and different styles of homes.



DLL: Your thoughts and 2010 projections on the real estate market in Raleigh.

RTown Living:My thoughts and projections are positive for our market. I can’t help but be excited about the direction we are headed. The first time home-buyer tax credit was huge and helped a lot of people get into their first home. We’ll see a little bit of a slow down now from the mad dash to get under contract on a home before April 30 but it will pick up again. We are so lucky to live in an area like Raleigh and The Triangle and to have not been so badly affected by the housing market downturn as many areas in the country. With our conservative average appreciation here we’ve avoided, for the most part, the huge crash. We’ve seen days on market increase but sales prices remain fairly consistent through much of the recession. Of course, if you bought a home in the last two or three years you may be in a different situation as you most likely bought at the top of the market. But moving forward, our showings are up, our year over year sales are up and we’re leading the way out of the recession. It’s a great time to be in Raleigh and it’s a great time to buy a home.


images. 1. Unkown, 2. Raleigh Connoisseur, 3.-5. Raleigh Convention Center, 6. Forbes

Design Lines Donates Time to the Carolina Ballet Cinderella Ball


Cinderella Cinderella Cinderella! Hurry before the clock strikes midnight! This past Saturday Carolina Ballet hosted their annual Cinderella Ball at the Downtown Marriott City Center in an effort to raise money for the ballet company. Today Carolina Ballet is one of the top ten dance companies in the country. Design Lines started helping with prepreations back in late November 2009 on both the Logistics and Decorations committees.

Design Lines helping Carolina Ballet(3)

(Above Brittany and Judy pin tulle on the table skirt.) 

Design Lines helping Carolina Ballet(2)

(The Design Lines team helping decorate the carriage table.

This is the first thing the guests see when they arrive.)

Design Lines helping Carolina Ballet

(Above Brittany and Molly tying turquoise ribbon on the back of the carriage.)


That evening Carolina Ballet honored Mr. and Mrs. Thomas F. Roberg and Mr. & Mrs. Steve Techet, who have contributed to Carolina Ballet since the company started 12 years ago. The Techets and Susan Garrity, the Cinderella Ball Chair, also happen to be two of our longtime clients. Susan, the ball was fabulous! Thank you for letting us be a part of such an amazing event. Michele Weathers of Carolina Ballet and the rest of the committee chairs did wonderful job!

 Design Lines helping Carolina Ballet Carriage

The velcro slipcover carriage was inspired by Stewart Woodard was engineered and built by Walter Newton and painted by William Strickland. At midnight the carriage turned into a pumpkin! How awesome is that! Stewart and Nancy Church collaborated on the decorations and overall the look of the evening to create a stunningly beautiful event. Below are a two shots of the ballroom centerpieces. Stewart and Nancy, they look awesome.

Carolina Ballet Cinderella Ball


Carolina Ballet Cinderella Ball(2)

Let the ball begin!  The evening had many surprises. The Live Auction Items included trips to Paris, Tortola, BVI and even a two night stay in NYC. There were also 70 silent auction items that attendees could bid on. My favorites were the dove hunt in VA and a weekend trip to a mountain home in Echota, North Carolina. Oh did I mention the food was delicious! Beef Tenderloin seared with toasted cardamom seeds and to top it all off  a white chocolate editable slipper with fruit for dessert. Yummy! By the end of the night our tummy’s were full and ready to hit the dance floor.

(Molly and Judy at the Cinderella Ball.)

Judy Pickett & Molly Simmons at Carolina Ballet Ball copy


To see more on Carolina Ballet’s 2009-2010 Season click here. Also please join us in helping and spreading the word about the “Fund A Dream” program, which helps a specific need for every dancer, pointe shoes. These shoes are the lifeline for the dancers and with each pair costing $70 the shoe bill adds up. Over the course of a year, the bill exceeds $90,000. By contributing to this effort we can help the dancers at Carolina Ballet have the best pointe shoes. To donate call (919) 719-0800 ext. 229.

To see more of Design Lines in the community head to our community involvement category.

Award Winning Interior Design | Raleigh, NC