Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Welcome Leigha Oaks

Leigha Oaks from Elle Oh

This week at The Shiny Pebble Designer Challenge we are welcoming to the designer corner of the blogosphere, Leigha Oaks from Elle Oh.  Leigha is a recent member of the blogging community and her blog home is a lovely sight to see.  She brings to the neighborhood the warmth and fragrant beauty of a sea breeze in the afternoon.  It must be a result of her five year sojourn in  Hawaii?  Either way, I am sure you are going to love her.

My formal education is a Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts in Interior Design, with a value and regard for endless education. I am an Allied Member of ASID {American Society of Interior Designers} and a LEED AP {Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional}. I believe the world we inhabit is as important as the spaces we live in; keep both clean, sustainable, and beautiful.

I got my start in the industry working for a general contractor doing high end residential design. Then I moved on to a custom furniture and import company that also did high end residential design. Most recently, I worked at one of the largest hospitality and resort architecture and design firms in Hawaii.

How do you define your style?
My taste swings wildly from industrial and rustic to lavish and glamorous. I love interiors with enough tension and contrast to be interesting and enough charm and cohesion to be appealing. Combining unexpected textures and distinctive pieces makes me swoon.

What inspires you?
Nature. Geography. Elements. Vintage. Sustainable. Salty water (and all the salty creatures that live in it).

What designer or life experience has influenced your design aesthetics?
My design aesthetic parallels the places I have dwelled and the captivating cultures that come with each location, all of which have deeply influenced my designs.

Where is your go to resource?
Antique stores and, of course, the world of design blogs.

What were your thoughts on designing my room?
When Catherine offered me design freedom on a silver platter, I accepted with utter glee. The design concept is based on my personal aesthetic and current obsessions, though I did embellish the design with some of Catherine’s favorite things.

Disclaimer: Catherine, you will notice that I have replaced your furniture, starting with a clean slate. While many of your pieces have flawless lines and great potential (some new upholstery would instantly freshen things up), boundless projects of infinite possibilities (no budget, no timeline, and no restrictions) are so rare, that I fully enjoyed and exploited the opportunity. Realistically, you can create a beautiful interior with many of the pieces you already have. But in this dreamy re-design, just enjoy the ride!

First, let’s set the stage. This is the inspirational foundation, pure genius from Amy Neunsinger.

1.Inspiration Image

We’ll start with a little dose of glamour, the Lily Juliana Chandelier from Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic Couture. And because I believe in a bit of unexpected whimsy, we’ll use Edison Bulbs from Anthropologie; the bulbs are based on a vintage version and add just enough industrial charm.


This Railroad Tie Dining Table from Viva Terra will provide a delicious texture and a quiet canvas for the room, plus it’s handmade from reclaimed and recycled materials.


To complete the seating area, let’s string raw steel tolix chairs on each side (Tolix A Chairs from Conran USA) and cap each end of the table with linen and sophistication (Piccadilly Chair in Flint Linen from Serena & Lily).

Combine all of these items and we have the essential elements from the inspiration image as a foundation.


For the color scheme, I am going to maintain the neutral greige bliss of the original image and add a hint of color, drawing on Catherine’s favorite, blue.

6.Color Scheme
The existing credenza will be replaced by the Directoire Chest from Wisteria. This wall will be cloaked with Newbury Port Blue paint from Benjamin Moore. This deep navy blue will be the perfect contrast for a gorgeous frameless mirror assemblage, Eleanor’s Frameless Mirrors from Pottery Barn.


This image by Polly Wreford perfectly demonstrates the aesthetic. Antique stores are the perfect resource for this wall, salvaged vintage frameless mirrors would work best for this grouping. Placing the mirrors opposite the windows will subtly open the space and convey both daylight and incandescent light through the room. Catherine, you said it yourself, “I love drama.” Drama it is; luxurious, glamorous, shiny drama.

8.Frameless Mirrors.Polly Wreford Frameless Mirrors.Polly Wreford)

The French Bedroom Company’s Sylvia Silver Display Armoire will replace your current hutch. French Alps Chalet Grass cloth from the Phillip Jeffries Glam Grass Collection will finish the portion of the wall that is recessed. This is no ordinary grass cloth; this paper is the perfect synergy between casual grass cloth and metallic glamour. Afternoons of casual lounging will be embellished with metallic sheen by the incandescent glow of the chandelier. Lovely evening ambience.

The rest of the dining room will be finished with Perfect Greige paint by Sherwin Williams. All molding and trim will remain crisp, fresh white.

Now to embellish the space with some charisma. Nothing adds life like a few botanicals, lots of fresh flowers and a plant or two (I hear rubber plants grow like weeds in Houston). Scientific glass is classic and interesting, not to mention the appeal to the scientific nature of Catherine and her husband.

The foyer is visible from the dining room, but still a distinctly separate space. The color scheme flows from the dining room in a light tint, Agreeable Gray from Sherwin Williams (this hue has a slight cool undertone which will eliminate the current ‘pinkish’ beige). For cohesion, the paint color for the foyer walls is two tints lighter than the Perfect Greige used in the dining room, but it will still provide a clean canvas for adjacent spaces. For an element of visual connection, the foyer niche will wear the same grass cloth as the parallel dining room wall, French Alps Chalet. Paul Huchton’s Texas Longhorn photograph is a glamorous glimpse of Catherine’s home state. The Oversized Tufted Ottoman from Wisteria anchors the artwork with a functional place to lounge.


Alright y’all!  If you read my blog or some of my snarky comments in other blogs, you already know that the ‘Belgian look’ is not my favorite -- to put it mildly.  But, and that’s a huge BUT, I think that Leigha did an absolutely awesome job at using it and integrating enough elements that I would love:  chandelier, dark blue wall with the dramatic display of mirrors, the shimmering grass cloth and the fantastic collection of scientific glass (my absolutely fave!) that even I have to admit that this room would look smashing and sparkly!!!!   And to top it all off, the symbol of my husband’s Alma Mater: the TX Longhorn.  This girl hit the bull’s eye, right on!  Please, make sure you stop by her blog and welcome Leigha to the neighborhood.

Now, go see what rocking outfit Marsha at Splenderosa has put together for me.

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:

Christina Fluegge’s (Greige) Transitional Eclectic Mix
Mark your calendars for next Wednesday, when Kellie Collis from Ada and Darcy will be doing her own version of this room.  I see lovely colorful cushions and a bright white background…

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

Hugs and Kisses!

Linking to: DYI Day, WooHoo Wednesday, Make it Yours Day, Room to Inspire, Tablescape Thursday, Transformation Thursday, Show and Share Day, Show and Tell Friday


myletterstoemily said...

exquisitely divine! i love the chandelier
paired with the rustic table.

Splenderosa said...

Now that I see the entire concept the drop-dead gorgeous outfit I've found for you is perfect. I love the chandelier and the navy/blue paint, and really love the fresh greenery. But the Longhorn sold me completely! Love you, Marsha

carissa said...

this is my favorite! i love the rustic vintage look (that's my name for it... i know it's not proper). i think it could totally grow on you!

Coryanne Ettiene | Kitchen Living with Coryanne said...

As luck would have it, I just bought some antique mirrors to do the exact same thing in our new bedroom in AZ. I found them at portobello market and cannot wait to see them on the wall, especially after seeing the picture you posted.

Movers are here today, frantic times for sure, but so pleased that I popped over to catch up.

Looking forward to seeing your guest post on desert gardens. xx

Gwen Driscoll said...

Just beautiful. Very talented lady.

Naomi@DesignManifest said...

wow I love this one... but then again I am full on obsessed with tolix chairs and that dining room by Amy Neunsinger.
Such great details and pieces!

Acanthus and Acorn said...

That was truly fun and I enjoyed getting this perspective. I think it's perfectly fine not to like a certain style...if we all loved and embraced the same thing...what on earth would we blog about!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, inspirational photos. My favorite is the wall of mirrors. I love decorating with mirrors. Thanks so much for introducing us to Leigha and joining the fun at Woo Hoo! Wednesday.

Charlotta Ward said...

Well done Leigha - it looks gorgeous. The Texan bull mad me weak at the knees and you know how much I love the mix of a little industry chic with natural materials and a touch of glam.

Lovely Marsha - what a spectacular necklace. Perfect pick as usual.

Love to all and extra big hug to Catherine.

xx Charlotta

Kathy said...

This one has taken my breath away...I really, truly can hardly breathe!

jami @ i m a g i n e said...

Love the Tolex chairs and the Edison bulbs lately! Great mix of products here! Pretty palate! Great blog. -jami

Leigha said...

Sometimes I am grateful to 'hide' behind the internet {because then you don't have to see me lounging in my sweat pants}, but today I wish you could see my huge, gaping smile. All the kind words and praise have left me giddy and grinning.
Thank you, all!

Emily said...

This is my favorite too! Beautiful rustic elegance!

Signing Out said...

Beautiful! I love the chandelier and the bulbs from Anthro.


Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Lot's of great inspiration here.

Will @ Bright.Bazaar said...

Love the wooden dining room chairs!

Harmoni og Kontrast said...

My absolute favorite too!! Love the contrasts between rustic and glam:-) Excellent work, Leigha! Laila

Unknown said...

i love the chairs and the frameless mirrors!

Chris said...

Now that was some serious eye candy. Talk about someone who has a vision! Thank you for sharing!

Unknown said...

New to this blog...will have to check it out, since the choices here are all so lovely, I know I will love her blog as well!

Pemberley said...

Well done, great design concept. I think that first image really grabs you and shows just where you are going with this, then everything else falls into place. And I really want that armoire!!

Tanya said...

Love it all. A perfect mix!

Mónica LR said...

Hola,pues nada q me he pasado por aqui y he visto que en la barra lateral tienes un enlace a mi blog y me encanta que queria darte las gracias jejeje.Besitos

Bring Pretty Back said...

What talent! That chandelier is so gorgeous. Someone called this rustic vintage. perfect name for this- perfect!

Splendid Willow said...

Leigha, stunning presentation! Love the color choices, the textures and the mix of rustic and chic.

Catherine how on earth are you going to be able to chose?! My head is already spinning way too fast!

ox, Mon

Miss Mery said...

What lovely ideas! Wonderful designer!

Millie said...

Hooley dooley - this one seriously talented girl! Has Mr. Shiny Pebble indicated a favourite look yet Catherine? Would love to hear his thoughts!
Millie ^_^

Punctuation Mark said...

what a great post... love the colors and all the details... have an amazing long weekend!

nannykim/spindlecottage said...

Nice! but I really love that necklace!

Room to Inspire said...

Lots of inspiration - I love the chandelier paired with the rustic table...and those chairs! Thanks for linking up to Be Inspired last week.


2 by Design said...

Okay, just found yours and Elle Oh's blog after she stopped by mine today and I just want to say I'm THRILLED. This post, along with so many others are simply fantastic!! I'm so looking forward to checking it out further.

Let the snooping begin!

Mona Thompson said...

You did a fabulous job. I absolutely love the look. You jumped right out of the box!

Cashon&Co said...

Ahhhh, this is so soothing and relaxing. Lovely. Rustic yet refined at the same time


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