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.



Karena said...

Wow, I love Raina, and she has done a truly uique and exotic dining room. Would love to entertain there!!

Art by Karena

My Galveston Cottage said...

Raina created such an exotic, glamorous dining space -- perfect for one Brazilian beauty!! She really provided a new and interesting twist on things. Love it! Great challenge. Makes us all want to invite Raina into our homes! best, -s

Mary Ann said...

i do love it! verbena cottage

Silvia C said...

Those are some wonderful inspiration boards! I love Raina, I've been following her blog for the last month or so.

Allie and Pattie said...

Love it. Creative, unique, elegant- everything a dining room should be.
xoxo Pattie

Raina Cox said...


Thanks ever so much for inviting me to participate in your project. I had a ball!


If the Lamp Shade Fits

Coryanne Ettiene | Kitchen Living with Coryanne said...

this is such a great post, I adore OL wallpaper, have a feature wall in my foyer with their divine prints. Just love how 'Daily' has you on her site today too.

nelya said...

This is spectacular! Not that it would be anything other than unique and beautiful with Raina at the helm. I love that this room is sophisticated without sacrificing comfort and the realities of a home with children and pets. It's completely stylish and do-able. Bravo Raina!

I chuckled while scrolling through because I have so many of these items and resources bookmarked...the Wisteria mirror, the Oly chandalier, the Jayson Home sideboard, the Fort Street rug, and my favorite fiddle leaf fig! I could move right in.

And Catherine, when I come for dinner, we'll have to fight it out for that gorgeous outfit!

Charlotta Ward said...

To all you gorgeous girls in this post - It is so gorgeous and I love all of it.
The room looks fantastic and I can so relate to that theme. Very very nice!

Catherine, a dinner party over at your place with caipirinhas would be a dream. In fact, when this is all over you have to host a 'virtual dinner part' where all the designer are invited! How fun would that be!?

Good luck to lovely & talented Christina. Can't wait to see what she comes up with!

x C

Acanthus and Acorn said...

Oh, I knew she'd hit a home run!!!

A Perfect Gray said...

this designer challenge is one awesome concept and I am having a blast already. Raina. babe. BABE. Fantastic. I loved it from minute one. You rock, sweetie....

Herself said...

C! A grand beginning to your new room! I really like so much of Raina's design! Great job, Raina! Can't wait till nest week to see more...

Unknown said...

I loved learning more about Raina! She is cooler than the flip side of my pillow! How much do you love her concept for your d.r.? I am dying over it...not to mention all the gorgeous jewelry, etc. What a great roundup going on here!

Emily said...

The pieces she selected are amazing! I love that chandy and the Wisteria mirror! It all has an eclectic and sophisticated vibe!

Beth Connolly said...

Raina has gotten this off to an amazing start. I love her choices. Great job!

Splenderosa said...

C, what a home run for both you and Raina. I really love what she proposes, even with the patterns going on it's so hip & chic, but still sleek. I could come home to this. Wonderful wonderful 1st Wednesday. Great job.

Pauline Wiles said...

Wow, Raina, this is stunning, and the wallpaper is just gorgeous.
Be careful, Catherine: if you choose this look, you risk making the other rooms in your house look very underwhelming by comparison!!
Fun idea - congrats and look forward to seeing more.

Anonymous said...

I think that a beautiful coral on the walls would be terrific....very flattering to skin tones in the evening candlelight. I'm sure Farrow & Ball or Donald Kaufman has a sensational color or venetian plaster. I do not think you need to change the entire room. I would work with what you have and change a few accessories. maybe new lamp shades or a great new border for the rug.

erin@designcrisis said...

Raina is nothing short of brilliant. Period.

The Shiny Pebble said...

Karena - agree and so would I.

LWYL - exotic seems to be the operative word here. Glam comes to mind too.

Mary Ann - isn't she fabulous?!

Casa Bella - I have been reading her since before I started blogging. :)

Pattie - great adjectives

Raina - you rock!!!!!!! if I had all of the money in the world i'd throw it at you to redo my whole house... Maybe all of this coolness would rub off on me.

nkp - great minds...

Charlotta - yet ANOTHER great idea from you.

Acanthus - I don't think that any of her followers would ever doubt that she would.

A Perfect Gray - thanks, come back next wednesday.

Herself - good times. :)

The Zhush - I think it is fabulous and glamorous and I just can't say enough good things about it.

Emily - I think the chandelier and the blue chairs are my fave.

Style Redux 2 - looking forward to your vision for the room

Splenderosa - thank you again for the outfit/jewelry montage. Excellent job!!

Anonymous - thanks for the great ideas. The beauty about this project is that we all can see these talented artists' personal taste and vision. Love that!

Struggler - I'd have her redo the whole house if I could. :)

Pemberley said...

Amazing job! I have been out all day getting ready for a big show. So happy to be home so I could get a look at this. Love it all, well done.

anita said...

She has (of course) set the bar very high!
I love everything, but especially the wallpaper and the rug! Gorgeous!!

MFAMB said...

divine perfection. wallpaper and buffet and rug are standouts here.

Unknown said...

Raina, Waving at you from a downunder in Auckland. Love your design ideas.
Were you with Freedom Furniture in NZ?
Jane Beckenham

Raina Cox said...

JaneB - Hi there! Yes, I was with Freedom at the Christchurch store.

If the Lamp Shade Fits

Tonia Lee Smith said...

Raina, once again you've done a fab job! I love the choices you've made, just not the prices. ;-)

Thanks, Catherine for having Raina over at the Shiny I just wonder will you use any of her ideas?

Marija said...

I think the thing I love the most is that the inspiration board actually relates to the selections! Raina nailed it. The other thing I love the most (maybe not grammatically correct but whatev) is that you could take almost any one of those elements and subtly work it into your existing space without a total gut overhaul. Though if money were no object, I'd go with this dreamy total overhaul ;)

Totally creative.


Unknown said...

The lighting is amazing.. well the whole plan is- xoxo

essbesee said...

p.s. what a great idea, a virtual makeover!

essbesee said...

Raina rules. the wallpaper and rug are rockin my world. Bee-youtiful makeover!

pve design said...

Raina did a fantastic job, I can just see the menu now and the festive party with umbrella's in drinks and chopsticks on the table for asian cuisine.

susie q said...

Oh my gosh. This Raina room is genius. Every single detail. So lush and yet so crisp. Gorgeous.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

HI, Catherine, what a pretty blog you have. Thanks for stopping by. And wow, what a fun challenge you have going on. Your house is beautiful & that DR has some nice pieces, so I'm sure you will get it updated in no time. I'll have to check back & see what everyone else comes up with.

PS Those palms I have are new, so I have no idea how long they will last. Fingers crossed!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

HI, Catherine, what a pretty blog you have. Thanks for stopping by. And wow, what a fun challenge you have going on. Your house is beautiful & that DR has some nice pieces, so I'm sure you will get it updated in no time. I'll have to check back & see what everyone else comes up with.

PS Those palms I have are new, so I have no idea how long they will last. Fingers crossed!

OneCraftyFox said...

Wonderful textures and I can't get over that wallpaper!

I enjoyed Cynthias designe very much and look forward to seeing the next challenge posting.

Lia at Petite Little Bee said...

I love your challenge and your blog. I am a new follower. Hope you have a chance to come say hi.


Anonymous said...

Brilliant, love it ALL!! Well done!

*Chic Provence* said...

Wow, thanks for introducing me to Raina..she has a wonderful eclectic and glamorous eye..your project is off to a great start!



Leigh Chandler said...

What fun! I love the new concept, it is absolutely delish!

Millie said...

Wow has Raina ever set the bar high here! Her look of formal mixed with a little bit of fun is perfecto. A Dining Room always gets noisy at about 1a.m. during a dinner party with friends, so her delightful combo. will assist those fun nights to rock & roll BIG TIME.
Millie ^_^

Gwen Driscoll said...

So sorry I've been M.I.A. I've been out of town for a week working and on vacation. I'm now realizing that being in the last slot for this challenge I'm going to have a really, really BIG CHALLENGE! If every week is as great as Raina's (and I'm sure it will be), I'm going to be up a creek without much of a paddle!

Yikes! Can I deliver?

Cashon&Co said...

oooh, this was so fun to read! i like her picks! and what a great idea to do this makeover on-line!

Leigha said...

Raina, I LOVE the wallpaper. And you totally used my dining chair from Restoration Hardware! Guess I will keep searching for the perfect chair that melds casual sophistication and pure glamour.


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