Feb 8, 2023, 23:02 PM

Fans of the popular Bravo reality show Below Deck know her for going fabulously overboard on tablescapes and theme parties onboard chartered yachts – and chief stew Christine “Bugsy” Drake is dropping anchor in Raleigh this month for a special appearance at the Downtown Raleigh Home Show.


Before she arrives in Raleigh, we asked her to fill out our “preference sheet” so we can find out what she loves most when it comes to home improvement and entertaining:


What tool should every homeowner own?
A Nespresso Machine, or any coffee machine really! Lol! I also can’t live without my air fryer.


Are you a plant mama, or is your green thumb lacking?
I have a complete green thumb! I grew up with a big garden, both my gran and my mom have an affinity for plants. My mom owned her own commercial landscaping business when I was a little girl- so I guess it rubbed off on me. 


Best home purchase for under $100?
Hurricane lamps 


Tell us about your pets.
I have two gorgeous ridgebacks, called Pippa and Brody and my fat, extremely fluffy grey and white cat called Pepper! My pets most definitely make my home a home.


What’s your favorite paint color?
Mariner 6766 by Sherwin Willaims


What are your best landscaping tips?
Know the plants you are planting and understand the climate… know the size they will grow to ensure it fits your garden aesthetically. Draw up a mapped-out plan and create a vision board to get an idea of exactly what it will look like. Incorporate pops of color… it’s so important to have color in your life… make sure the look suits the type of house you have. Where I come from, having an indigenous garden is a big thing but it’s also nice to incorporate some exotics in your garden. Just like a tablescape… play with different textures, colors and heights. It is also satisfying to grow plants and flowers that you can bring into your home. 


Favorite room in your home?
The kitchen … especially when it’s open plan. I feel like it’s the heart and soul of a home… where everyone can gather, tell stories and share laughter! 


Tips for designing an office at home.
Keep the clutter down and keep the space clean. I always love a wall to be designated for a mood board, a vision board for inspiration. Make sure you have a sufficient amount of storage and light. If possible, try to look at ways to incorporate as much natural light as possible. This always creates a healthy working environment. An indoor plant is also a must! 


Any furniture thrifting tips?I love reviving old furniture by recovering, using a pop of color, a different texture such as velvet or a fun new pattern! You can also do this with old lamp shades if you find an interesting base. You can truly give it new life! 


What’s your favorite part about speaking at a home show?
I love the fact that it’s a space where people with similar passions gather. It’s not necessarily similar in taste.. but it’s a great environment to share your own ideas with people on your craft and have them question certain things you might never have thought of. I think it’s a fantastic place to bounce new ideas off of people from all over.


What projects are you currently working on? My book came out last year. It's called The Art of Tablescaping. You can purchase it on Amazon and everywhere books are sold. I have been loving the feedback and tablescape pics from my fans.


Bugsy is creating two spring tablescapes that will be featured on the show floor daily during the Downtown Raleigh Home Show, and she will appear on stage Friday and Saturday to answer questions about all things Below Deck and share her tablescaping and entertaining tips.