Friday, April 30, 2010

I want GG's pixie hairstyle AND The Winner Is

I know I am probably the last person in the world to see Ginnifer Goodwin's short hairstyle, but I am soooo doing this to my hair!!!!!!!!!!!

By the way, this dress color is gorgeous.  I designed a whole Fairy Tale Party inspired by it.  Check it out at my Etsy shop:

And the winner to my lovely giveaway is none other than Amy from Pemberley Style!!!


A Reader's View of My Dining Room


So often we go through our blogging days without much input from our non-blogging readers.  It is just a fact that we all get accustomed to.  Thousands of people visit our blogs and move on with their lives without so much as a word.  That is absolutely OK.  We are all here to share our experiences and if sometimes the experience ignites a passion in the reader, he or she will be moved to either do some change in their personal lives or let us know about it.

One such a reader bestowed upon me such a great honour.  In her words, she "was inspired" by my challenge and put together a design for my dining room. Here is what she said"I was inspired when I saw your dining room makeover challenge. I had a lot of fun doing this. It was an adventure to source items and create a style in a room for someone I haven't met!"   I am so thrilled she wanted to share it!  Her name is Angela P.  and she owns a home accessories shop in Seattle, APMLimited, it is gorgeous.  Go check it out. 

Here is her lovely version of my room:

 Wallpaper from Anna French.

 Chelsea House Screens that will go on each side of your china cabinet.

New knobs from P.E. Guerin in antiqued brass finish (not shown) for your china cabinet.

Roundabout chairs- one on each side of the china cabinet

Ronald Redding fabric for the roundabout chairs

tortoise shell mirror 2 carvers

Sconces on each side of this Carvers Guild mirror in the tortoise shell finish

Antique cloisonné vases-one on each end of the credenza

New drawer pulls and knobs in antiqued brass (not shown) for your credenza.

Two new wing back's upholstered in the Ronald Redding fabric shown, to replace the captain's chairs for your dining table. Fabric shown also to be used on existing dining chairs.

Lantern light fixture to go over your dining room table.

Two rug options.

Cabinet with mirrored tray to be used as a "bar cart". To be placed on the wall where you currently have the chair and table. The pictures you currently have flanking the china cabinet will go over this chest.

Robert Allen Fabric possibility for woven shades or roman blinds.

"I would define my design style as sophisticated elegance with a heavily eclectic mix of furnishings and accessories. My idea of a wonderful room is to have a warm, comfortable atmosphere with layers of beautiful, interesting things to look at (and touch) but nothing that is too “precious”. Nothing just for show. Things with a purpose or a sentimental value.

My inspiration for a room design usually comes from the one item I am most excited about and then everything builds from there. The item might be a piece of furniture, a fabric, an architectural feature, it could be anything. The inspiration for your dining room design was to be able to use most of what was already there but still give a dramatic change thus, the wallpaper idea. The wallpaper was the first item I settled on and the rest of the design choices were built around that choice.

I would say my design aesthetic comes from just a lot of life experience. I have moved a lot around the country and most cities I have lived in like Seattle, Los Angeles and Charlotte, NC have a very strong but completely different design aesthetic. So, every home is an opportunity to try and incorporate the new design influences with my own personal core aesthetic which tends to be more traditional with a dose of chinoiserie. Recently, I have been very interested in Kelly Wearstler’s designs. Although Kelly’s rooms are not my “taste” I am trying to learn the art of incorporating more of the unexpected into my designs…thinking outside of the box. "

I totally see Wearstler's influence in Angela's ideas for this room.  Loved the layers!  Thank you so much Angela, for putting so much thought and effort into your design.  I cannot tell you how flattered I am that you chose to send me your creation.  It feels so nice to hear from a non-blogger-READER!!!!

This post is also very timely, as it is an intro to my next design blogger featured in our Challenge.  This upcoming Wednesday, Chinoiserie Chic maven Beth Connolly will be featured.  It is not to be missed!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Welcome Christina Fluegge

The lovely Christina Fluegge, Greige

Please, help me welcome to The Shiny Pebble Desinger Challenge the lovely and talented Christina Fluegge from the wildly popular, Greige (which I have learned is actually a color!).  She defines it as "greige: ( gra, grège, gray) adj. not bleached or dyed; unfinished; raw."  When I first arrived at her site, I thought it would be dedicated to the Belgian look.  Boy, was I wrong...  Christina has a keen talent in mixing greige elements with gorgeous black pieces and a little sparkle here and there.  I am in love...

To check out her portfolio, please go HERE.  You will love it too!

Christina Fluegge's Background:

"Coming from a family of creative and design oriented women Christina Fluegge has found her spot in the design world. Since graduating with a degree in Interior Design in 1998, Christina has worked with a successful custom furniture and bedding manufacturer as well as an award winning California Interior Design firm. In 2002 she started her own company, Fluegge Interior Design, Inc. which has completed projects ranging from Leasing office design, Model Merchandising, Club room design, Residential design, Custom home design and Interior Specifications.

After 10 years in the Interior Design field Christina has created greige design. Greige is a division of Fluegge Interior Design, Inc. that offers the residential client access to a different type of interior design, one that allows them a kind of creative freedom in the completion of the design process."   [They even offer online design services... how cool is that?!]

I also got to ask Christina a few questions, and here are her insightful answers:

The Shiny Pebble:  How do you define your style?
Christina Fluegge:  Humm that is hard- I would say that it is a transitional eclectic mix. I like just about every style mixed together in some way.

TSP:  What inspires you?
CF:  Everything. I love to see spaces that are a true reflection of the person who lives/works there. I have a couple of best friends who are designers also and to go into their homes is like walking into my own home (minus the kids). We gravitate towards the same things, even when we are not together and going into their houses makes me have an amazing new feeling of inspiration each and every time because I feel like I can see them in every item they have. Everything has a type of purpose and special ness (is that even a word). I also love to travel and I find that old cities make everything new again to me.

TSP:  What designer or life experience has influenced your design aesthetics?
CF:  I think that my biggest influence in design has to be my Mom. She has always taught me the value of your surroundings. Where you live should always be special and a reflection of what you love. She also helped me appreciate antiques as she has been buying and selling them for the last 30 years.

TSP:  Where is your go to resource?
CF:  Is it bad to say the internet?? I do most of my resourcing online and at shows. The pictures are at hand and that makes it so much easier to express what I want for a space. People need to see things to want them in their home or space.

TSP:  Tell me about your ideas when designing my dining room:
CF:  I fell in love with the lifestyle photo and thought it would be a great way to dress up/dress down Catherine’s dining room a little. I think that the dining room can be a little bit fancy and fun at the same time. Adding the hanging pendant above would give you a chance to use the dimmer for this space which is a necessity in the dining room and draw your eye to the woodwork. The deeper paint colors would help to bring out all of the wood detailing in the room too. I am not really big on matching pieces so I thought it might be nice to change up the dining chairs a bit by adding these great Louis XVI chairs from Paris 1st dibs in there. Switching out the smaller art pieces with a pair of the Astrid Mirrors from Oly will really put a wow on that wall and draw your eye into the room. Adding in some less traditional accessories makes for great dinner conversation too. Switching the traditional plaid chair for a leather piece from Oly with a fun pillow from Romo paired with a garden stool makes the corner area more interesting. Finally, I think I would add some rich texture by putting some stacking roman shades in a thick linen on the French doors- for looks or for privacy either one and always fresh flowers in the room.

I absolutely love it that she let me keep all of my big pieces.  This is a totally doable option, don't you all think?  I can totally see the pendent light floating over the table, appropriately dimmed, and the gorgeous pair of sunburst mirrors flanking the china cabinet (minus all of the stuff above it).  The lighter chairs and accessories should really make the warmth of the woods pop, all set against the deeper wall color.  Love it!!!!  I think my favorite item is a toss between the gorgeous ombré lamp and the Oly chair.  Please, go visit my guest at greige and peruse through the list of businesses and services that her entrepreneurial and talented family purveys.

Christina, please give us some insight into the color chips and gorgeous wallpaper you selected.  I am sure we all would love to hear more about it.  You did such a fabulous job... I am so glad I don't have to pick a favorite between yours and Raina's design.  It would be like picking a favorite child!

Tourmaline Bracelet by Splenderosa

I have asked the very talented jeweler, Splenderosa, to put together an outfit to celebrate the occasion... Imagine a semi-casual cocktail and hor d'oeuvre soiree in this beautifully lit room,  this bracelet would totally sparkle.  Go check out the rest of the outfit at Splenderosa's.  It is gorgeous and very fitting to the occasion.

If you all enjoyed this makeover as much as I did and would love to see more entries and related posts, please check out the links below:

Mark your calendars for next Wednesday, when Beth Connolly will be doing her Chinoiserie Chic version of this room.  It will be gorgeous, you will see!

Once again, thank you  The Daily Basics for helping us spread the word of the challenge.

Hugs and Kisses,

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Don't Forget!

Don't forget, tomorrow is Chirstina Fluegge's reveal of the dining room she has designed for me.  It is gorgeous, a la Greige style!

And a big thanks to Marija at Holding Court for the Beautiful Blogger award.  She did such a fantastic post on hers that I just couldn't compete.  :) You are awesome!

Sunday, April 25, 2010


BEFORE - to my designer friends, please avert your sight!

Every Monday I have been adding a little gardening related segment.  I do this NOT because I'm an expert or even know what I'm doing, let me assure you.  Well, this week I have an easy one.  At least it was easy for me, since Mr. Darcy did most of the work...  This little sitting corner of my back patio needed some sprucing up.  We've had this little urchin pot that has been sitting empty since my last house.  Once we moved in, right before winter, I just flopped all of these pieces right there and forgot about them... Looking pretty dreary, I know.


The plan has always been to plant some succulents in there. Well... So we did. We headed out to Lowe's today and bought as many plants as we thought we could fit in this little vessel. Then Steve stuffed them all in. Literally. We are taking bets if any of it will make it thru the end of the season.

Now, remember:

  1. If you haven't entered my giveaway, go HERE.

  2. This Wednesday is Greige's Christina Fluegge's turn at making over my dining room.  I just spent a good half an hour gawking at her talented work HERE. To see today's designer go here.
Hugs and Kisses,

Saturday, April 24, 2010

What was that?

Giles Spring 2010 via Vogue

The lovely Mary Ann over at the Verbena Cottage tagged me.  We are playing show your 6th, which means that I have to share with you all the sixth picture I posted on this blog since inception.  Well... here it is from the post Spring Wear.  I am just happy that the picture I am showing wasn't from this post...

Don't forget to sign up for the fab giveaway.  Just one more week before the winner is announced.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A cultural excursion into the heart of Inhotim

A little late into Earth Day, but never too late to care...

I am linking this post to my dear friend,  Housewife Bliss, who is hosting a weekly blog hop. Of all of her nifty categories, I have chosen: "A little birdie told me about..."  In characteristic Housewife Bliss style, I will try to emulate my hostess' grace and elegance in reminding us that, as housewives we must maintain a well rounded knowledge of current events and the arts, which reach beyond our blissful homemaking chores.  This will provide our children guidance and our husbands and friends the stimulation needed to nurture these relationships.  So today I chose to share a little bit of  'culture' with my readers.

The newest issue of Departures has been appropriately dubbed The Culture Issue.  A pretty fun read.  One of the articles was on the Instituto Cultural Inhotim, in Brazil.  Inhotim is the home of one of the largest botanical collections in the planet, which also serves as a depository of greater-than-life, specially commissioned installations by well known contemporary artists from around the world.  The institute is located in a remote area of the country.  Its beauty is only enjoyed by locals and art world insiders.  I would love to share a little bit of it with you:

 3,000 acres of preserved native forests and gardens.  The landscape was designed to surprise the senses with unfurling vistas as you turn corners of the winding paths.
 Home of over 136 species of birds, it is also houses over 3,500 plant species 

 The botanical park is punctuated by pavilions... 13 of them.  Each with its own collection or installation.  The one above is an installation by Cildo Meireles, "Atraves"("Through") in mixed media.

 Chris Burden's Beam Drop
"Rodoviaria de  Brumadinho" (Brumadinho's Bus Station) John Ahearn and Rigoberto Torres. Fiberglass and auto paint
Lezart" by Tunga. Steel, copper and magnets.
Doug Aitken's Sonic Pavilion, where when you enter it a buzzing sound that varies with the time of day amplifies the noise coming from below the earth 300 meters deep.

I cannot stress the uniqueness and magnitude of this place.  There is no other museum of this magnitude and scope in the world. The vast landscape and numerous stand alone exhibits within this remote location is singular in every way.  I am glad I had a chance to share it with you.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Welcome Raina Cox to The Shiny Pebble Designer Challenge

Hello everyone! Today is an exciting day here at The Shiny Pebble as we welcome our very first guest to The Shiny Pebble Designer Challenge, or: Please, make this pebble shine again! If this is the first time you hear of this challenge, it was created in order to showcase the work of some fantastic designer- bloggers as they share their take on what my dining room should look like. This is purely a virtual makeover, which affords these talented folks to express their design ideas without so much of the limitations cast upon them when doing a real world project. This exercise is intended to celebrate their creativity and design aesthetics, not my own. I think it is a fabulous way to see the artist at their best, trying to please none other than themselves. If you would like to read all about this, please read here. Below is a picture of my dining room, as it stands now, to be used as a point of reference.

Joining us today is the enormously creative, multi-talented and witty, Raina Cox, from If The Lampshade Fits. She was asked to share a little bit of her background here and answer a few questions. And now, in her own words... Please, enjoy it:

"In the early 1990s, I graduated from Indiana University with a B.S. in Interior Design and a B.A. in History of Art. I worked [as]a junior designer in a residential firm and then as a showroom associate in a high-end stone and tile showroom.

In 1996, I opened a home furnishings store/interior design studio. Working with a broad range of clients, I designed interiors for projects from warehouse loft conversions to 10,000 square foot mansions. When space became available next door in 2000, I tried my hand at contemporary women's fashion. After several years of managing two stores, I was burned out. My darling husband appeared on the scene, and I decided to leave small business ownership and concentrate on starting a family.

We moved to New Zealand in 2007, where I worked as the visual merchandising manager for the Kiwi version of Crate & Barrel. Last year, we returned to the States and I have been hard at work renovating our house which hasn't been touched since it was built in the early 1970s.

The blogging bug bit two years ago. You can find me at "If the Lamp Shade Fits" with daily ramblings on the boho contempo side of interior design."

The Shiny Pebble: How do you define your style?
Raina Cox: A mix of bohemian elements and contemporary design.

TSP: What inspires you?
RC: Global cultures, contemporary European design, and 1970s Italian furnishings.

TSP: Do you have a designer or life experience that has influenced your design aesthetics?
RC: Some of my favorite interior designers are Jaime Hayon, Steven Gambrel, Sheila Bridges, and Joel Mozersky.

TSP: What is your go-to resource?
RC: CB2, Crate and Barrel's younger hipper chain, has a fantastic selection of well-priced contemporary home furnishings.

TSP: What was your inspiration while making over this room?
RC: The architecture and interiors of colonial French Indochina, modern day Vietnam and Laos. The fanciful koi wallpaper drove the color scheme - deep inky blues and rich warm wood tones.

Thank you Raina for your fabulous interpretation of this room.  I can't get over how rich the color and textures are and how sophisticated the whole look is.   I can even hear some mellow Brazilian music in the background as I entertain my guests, drinking a sweet and icy caipirinha...

Thank you Splenderosa for sending me the outfit and your gorgeous jewelry to celebrate the occasion!

If you are enjoying this adventure and wish to delve into further, I would love to share links to previous works related to the Challenge that you might be interested in looking at:

Check back here next Wednesday, where I will unveil a completely diffent style designed by none other than Christina Fluegge, from the acclaimed blog Greige. 

I want to send a special thank you to The Daily Basics, who has partenered with us in spreading the word about this challenge.  Thank you, Cynthia, so much for your generosity.  A great big hug of appreciation to all of the designers participating in this challenge.  All of which have spent considerable time not only on their designs, but also helping me through this process.

Thanks for visiting, and see you next Wednesday!

Catherine Hopkins
The Shiny Pebble

P.S.:  I am guest posting today over at the hillariously troubled Struggling to be Stylish. Go check it out.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Hello Monday!

Good Morning Everyone!

This should prove to be a fun week.  Just wanted to remind everyone of two things:

Here is the updated list of Participating Designers.  Go check their blogs... All of my faves!!!!

4/21 Raina Cox, If The Lampshade Fits

4/28 Christina Fluegge, Greige

5/05 Beth Connolly, Chinoiserie Chic

5/12 Amy Forshew, Pemberley Style

5/19 Charlotta Ward, Space for Inspiration

5/26 Leigha Oaks, Elle Oh

6/02 Kellie Collis, Ada and Darcy

6/09 Gwen Driscoll, Ragland Hill Social

I had a little glitch last night, so if you didn't get to read my last post on Garden Trek - Episode 4, go ck it out. Have a wonderful day and an awesome week everyone!


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