Wednesday, June 30, 2010

And Now... A break from our regularly scheduled program

Hello all:

The lovely and very busy Crystal Gentilello from Plush Palate had a surreal week and was unable to submit her entry for this Wednesday's challenge.  I am thrilled to announce her newest venture.  Crystal, along with the writers of The City Sage, Live Creating Yourself, and Sacramento Street have just launched an online magazine, Rue Magazine.  Its first issue will come out September 16th, so keep your eyes peeled.  These ladies have been travelling all over the world in order to put together a fabulous piece that will cover all aspects of fashion, design and more!

Next week we should be back with our regularly scheduled program. I am dying to introduce you to Kellie Cashon from Dallas based Cashon & Co. If you haven't met her, get your little eyes there as soon as you can. Not only will you be impressed by her amazing talent, her energy and humor will have you coming back for more.

Now for your entertainement, I want to leave you with this enthralling presentation of The Riverdance Monkeys...  Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Newest Kid in Town

"Just make yourself at home! If the sheets on the bed aren’t gray enough there are grayer ones in the drawer. And we just got the latest issue of Wallpaper magazine!" (via Catalogue Living)

A dear friend and reader just sent me an email about this site (blog).  It is hilarious, unique and original.  I think they are brand new (only 22 posts - all of which in June).  The writer, with the aid of a catalogue image and a few poignant lines seems to take a stab at catalog styling and consequently a nudge at the design blogs. The format is simple and brilliant:  a little skit about a couple, Gary and Elaine, and their everyday dialogue about what is going on in their world.  The whole thing is funny and pretty harmless, unlike some of the anonymous snark we are all aware of.  I think I'm a big fan already!

Go check them out:  Catalogue Living

The writer is also an actress of Sonic Commercial fame.  : D  Those always crack me up!  Her name is Moly Erdman, here is her website.  At the risk of putting myself in her crosshairs, I am going to have to give her my Favorite New Blog Award.  And mind you, those don't go out very often.

Monday, June 28, 2010

My New House Plant


Do you all remember this corner of my living room mentioned earlier this year on this post?  Pretty desolate, I know.  Well, a few weeks back I found just the plant to grace this spot.  Unfortunately this poor giant Bird of Paradise was looking like it came straight from Hades.  So I waited until it leafed out a little and here it is.  Still not perfect but getting there.


I find it amazing what a difference in the warmth value of the room a little house plant will make.  This spot is H.O.T. -- in a good way!  Now hop on over to the ubber cool blog Chic Modern Vintage to read my guest post on House Plant Containers and Decorating Styles.

Linking to Metamorphosis Monday

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Living Room Edition

If you read my blog, than you already know about the Living Room Edition of my Designer Challenge starting next week.  If you are new to The Shiny Pebble, welcome!  Pull up a chair and visit a while, we have lots to share here.  A few months back we started a series geared towards showcasing the design work of some fabulous designer bloggers.  Eight such talented people came up with a version of my dated dining room, representing THEIR design aesthetics.  Along with their design, they submitted the answer to some questions I posed to them.  All very insightful and inspirational stuff.

Now the challenge has been re-issued for my Living Room.  The designers for this challenge may be familiar to you:

6/30 Crystal (Plush Palate)
7/7 Kellie Cashon (Cashon & Co.)
7/14 Elie Fournier (Punctuation Mark)
7/21 Will (Bright Bazaar)
7/28 Laura Ingalls (Decor to Adore)
8/4 Marija Stephens (Holding Court)
8/11 Cassity (Remodelaholic)
8/18 Erica Cook (Moth Design)

 Here is what the room currently looks like.  We moved to this house eight months ago, and have not done a thing to the inside.  I have, with the exception of a $10 dollar mirror, bought nothing for the house.  All of the furnishings were transferred from a very different home in Tulsa.

dMy current living room

 This living room is actually our family room.  It is part of a casual great room floor plan, with the breakfast room to the right and access to most parts of the house.  We keep the furniture close to the wall of windows because of the weimeraners, who love to stand on the windowsills if they see something of interest on the other side.

 When we moved into this house, it was time to replace the large glass top and wrought-iron coffee table with something more toddler friendly.  So we just used the ottoman and chairs from my old bedroom.

chair at previous house Old bedroom
bedroom 2Old bedroom  -  I had to add this photo so you all can meet Kitty Kate.  She is very shy and doesn’t make an appearance very often.

You will find that many of the pieces from my old bedroom made it to the living room at our current home. I had a formal living room at the old house, but I also redistributed the furniture from that room because its Tulsa/French Country style and scale did not belong in my current Modern French home near the TX gulfcoast.  I am trying to streamline the look of every room in the new place.  My bed currently has next to zero pillows on it.  :)

But back to the Living Room Edition…

a My current Living Room

 The room configuration is open and uneven, which makes it for a challenge when placing the furniture.  Add to that the fact that my husband insisted that we keep the dogs away from the windows, and we end up with this.  A huge void in two sides of the room – which honestly works for us as the little man loves riding his tricycle in this room, unencumbered.  You may have noticed the baby gates…  mostly they are there (all 6 or so of them) to keep the dogs from going into the wood floors in the house.  What can i say… I live with an engineer.

I can’t wait to see what the designers come up with.  So come back Wednesday, June 30th and see what fabulous Crystal from Plush Palate has in store for us.

Monday, June 21, 2010

An inspiration

john saladino

It is funny how inspiration works in twisty little ways instead of always in a direct line.  I have been in love with this room from John Saladino’s interpretation of a NY apartment based on the movie Girl with a Pearl Earring.  For a peek, go here.

Catherine's dining room[1] (2)

Ever since I first saw the Astrid Mirror from Oly mirror that Christina from Greige used on her design for my dining room (see here), I have become enamored by it and have vowed to have at least one sunburst mirror in my house.  I must be the last person on Earth to get one!


So there is this little corner of my house with an empty spot right above the two turtle prints.  There was a little convex ornament that I had planned would go there.  As luck would have it, as I was about to hang it the little rascal jumped out of my hands and laid in halves on the tile floor below.  Needless to say, this little corner has been ‘hanging’ since last Fall.

etsy mirror

As luck would have it, today I found this little convex mirror on Etsy that should fit in very nicely.  And y’all, it cost me all of $10 bucks plus shipping.  I think it will look like a million bucks!  I might even rub some black stain on it.  Will see after it gets here.

AFTER  - artistic interpretation
Do you guys find that inspiration is not as straight forward as some people would think, but rather an extension of what is going on in your life?  It is a hodgepodge of ideas that seem to just fall into place, fit and mold to your current need.

Friday, June 18, 2010

This Just In!

You all don't ever tell me I never do anything for you... :)  I just found out about this awesome giveaway and there are only a few entries thus far so the chances are pretty awesome that one of us might win this gorgeous black pearl necklace valued at $1200.  Hurry on up to This Photographer's Life in order to enter.

Have a Great Weekend!

Hugs and Kisses

If I lived in Arizona

If I lived in Arizona, I think I would be happy here.  Please come see my guest post over at the Housewife Bliss.  While you are there, check out her fabulous new site!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Finale Party – Texas Style


Dear Diary,

It is six o’clock and I am getting ready for tonight’s event.  I feel so giddy and just know everyone will have a wonderful time.  I am so glad Marsha helped me put together the outfit for this party.  So much time was spent on the preparations that I hardly had any time to get the ensemble together… No worries, the bubbly will calm me down.

My guests should be arriving just at dusk, when then temperature will be perfect for a Texas Summer Soiree.  Good thing I planned on the air conditioned tent that Ann Onnusko recommended.  It will be so dreamy to see the lights shining thru it as they arrive.  I wonder what Yvonne will be wearing.  She said she is bringing friends.  I can't wait to meet them all.

I know the designers will enjoy the goodie bag I have put together for them as a token of my appreciation for all of the fabulous work they have done.  Let me see…  There were 8 designers, plus my dear Amanda, and Marsha, and I can’t forget Cynthia or my dear reader Angela

Christina Fluegge’s (Greige) Transitional Eclectic Mix

When mentioning the personalized stationery I must remember to say S – my-thson, not S-myth-son.  And I hope they find Clive Christian’s Imperial Majesty to their liking.  I know they will be delighted to receive a couture hat from Anya and one of Marsha’s fabulous bespoke creations.  The group trip to Monte Carlo staying at the Hotel de Paris should top it all off nicely.

The guests are going to be ecstatic when I announce the line up for The Living Room Edition of my Designer Challenge.  I must toast celebrating the past designers and welcoming the newest team:

6/30 Crystal (Plush Palate)
7/7 Kellie Cashon (Cashon & Co.)
7/14 Elie Fournier (Punctuation Mark)
7/21 Will (Bright Bazaar)
7/28 Laura Ingalls (Decor to Adore)
8/4 Marija Stephens (Holding Court)
8/11 Cassity (Remodelaholic)
8/18 Erica Cook (Moth Design)

I better make haste, the guests will be arriving any minute now… Oh, I almost forgot the parting gifts for all of my wonderful blogger friends:  their own iPads with a gorgeous handmade Vaja case.  I hope Mary Ann makes it to the party.

Vaja ipad case

Images Credit:  Chanel, Don Peringnon, Cartier, MiuMiu, Preston Bailey, Braborne Farm, Almas Iranian Caviar, Dooby Design Group, Splenderosa, Hotel de Paris, Anya Caliendo, Clive Christian, Smythson, Vaja.

I cannot wait to see what all of my fabulously stylish guests are up to!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Five Fun Filled Facts

I have come to realize that everybody enjoys a measure of good gossip… In my case, not so much the tabloid type, but the kind of "news" that makes our heart beat just a little faster and our ears perk up a bit to make sure we don't miss out on all of the intricate and tantalizing details. So… Listen up, because I have quite a few tweeting news from my side of the blog neighborhood:

Topping my List: Did you hear about D├ęcor to Adore's Oprah Audition? That's right, our own Laura Ingalls Gunn has submitted a fantastic show idea for Oprah's new network. Her show will transform drab to fab finds in a very budget friendly way without sacrificing style and excellent taste. Here is the tipper: Every day a new fabulous blogger will be featured. How fun is that?! Now, this is a popularity contest. So let's help out our sister blogger and go vote for her. Watch her lovely video and click that big green vote button!!!

Here is a good one for all of us who love dishes and china! Our dear Susan from Between Naps On The Porch has opened up a vintage china Etsy shop, In The Butler's Pantry. I am sure we will all find some fabulous treasures there. She is in the process of stocking up her shop right now -- apparently having a really hard time letting go of some of her new finds. Can you blame her?

Now what good gossip list wouldn't include cute babies? Our sweet little Sage has arrived. Sage is the second child of our dear Carissa from lowercase letters. And what a cutie! You are going to have to stop by her blog to take a look at that sweet little baby, as I am not in the habit of posting kids in my blog. Ok, so who looks this good right after having a child?! No fair.

Here is one to keep you coming back for more: multitalented Susan Fox of Love Where You Live, blogger, business owner and editor for Home and Garden magazine, is starting a fantastic new series. It will be a Saturday post called "Her Favorite Space - at Home with ( the featured blogger)" . Yours truly will be featured. I am soooo excited about this one!  This Saturday is the first post of the series.  Don't miss it!

And of course! If you haven't heard it yet The Shiny Pebble is having a party this Wednesday, June 16th, to celebrate the finale of my Designer Challenge. Fabulously stylish bloggers from all over the world will be linking up to the party and sharing their secrets and insights on throwing a successful party. You are all invited. Pick a dress and join in! It will be lots of fun and fabulous!!!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

You Are Invited to The Designer Challenge Finale Link Party

Hello friends,

If you haven't heard it yet, some fabulous friends and I are throwing a very stylish soiree this Wednesday, June 16th to celebrate the Finale of our Designer Challenge.  All sorts of fun things are planned out for the event.  Atendees will be revealing what they will be wearing, drinking , eating, what music will be played and what our surroundings will look like.  It will be so much fun to see what everyone comes up with!

I figured some of you may not know what a link party is or how it works, so here is a very quick run down on the kind of link party this one is.  A link party is when several bloggers write about one specific post, usually on the same day. In order to easily access all of the info in one neat package, each blogger will go to one place (in this case here at The Shiny Pebble on Wednesday June 16th) and put a link to their post in my blog, under the post that I write.  For an example of a very successful link party, stop by Between Naps on The Porch and look at their Metamorphosis Monday and Tablescape Thursday posts.  If you are new to blogging, this is a great way to build up your readership.

So, there are several ways to accomplish this, but here is how I am setting up this party.  Follow the steps below:
  1. Write a post that is party related.  Please add a link on your post to my blog so others can learn about the party (Thanks Struggler!)
  2. Come to my blog on Wednesday after 12:01AM Central Time and scroll down to the bottom of my post (You might want the read the post so you don't miss out on anything fun!)
  3. At the bottom of the post you will find a link gadget called Mr. Linky. 
  4. Click on it and follow directions.  They are pretty self evident.  You will need your URL, which is the line that starts with http:// in the address bar of your post.  It will tell Mr. Linky where to go fetch your article.
  5. Go look at the other bloggers posts linked up to the party and be inspired.
It's that easy.  But just to reinforce the exercize, I am adding the link down below and you can try linking today's post to it to see if it works.  Let's call this a dry run.  I will come over and check your post.  :)

Also, if you are stuck and can't get it to work on Wednesday, just shoot me an email at and I will try to do it for you.

I would love to thank some very generous friends:  Marsha from Splenderosa, Mary Ann from Verbena Cottage and Yvonne from Stone Gable .  These fantastic ladies are helping spread the word of this fun event.  I love you all!  Please, go pay them a visit.  All three have absolutely gorgeous and creative blogs!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Welcome Gwen Driscoll

Gwen Driscoll and Family, Ragland Hill Social

Let us welcome this week to the Designer Challenge, Gwen Driscoll from Ragland Hill Social.  Gwen is a fantastic designer whose work is admired and respected by the interior design enthusiasts in the blogosphere.  Her business, Gwen Driscoll Designs, is a full service design firm located in Memphis, TN, specializing in residential, contract and hospitality projects nationally.  If you are not familiar with her work, please visit this home , one of her latest projects and this fantastic Sophisticate of the South piece.  You are sure to be smitten by this designer’s unique talent.



Tell us a little bit about your background?
I'm a Southerner through and through.  I split my time growing up in Bowling Green, KY (a small town one hour north of Nashville) and Memphis, TN.  I had the advantage of living in a city and a rural environment.  My family has always owned a beautiful farm in Kentucky and we spent lots of time there as children.  My time in Memphis allowed me to interact with sophisticated environments and people.  I'm a woman who is comfortable with people of all walks of life.  I can be equally inspired by a highly educated, sophisticate or a farmer who loves the land.  I believe all people who are good and wholesome can teach me something always.  I'm not afraid to ask any question, regardless of how elementary it may seem.  I love my cowboy boots as much as my Jimmy Choo's!

I do not have a formal education in design, my degree is in English Literature.  I believe a liberal arts education is the absolute best a person can have.  You can always hone your skills in a certain field later in life but learning about many, many subjects in college, I believe, is the best base for a well-rounded person.  I wouldn't trade it for the world.  It's made me thirsty for knowledge in so many different fields, I'm constantly in search of educating myself with something new and interesting.  My mother was a teacher for 30 years and both my fathers have the patience of Job, leaving a child open to explore lots and lots of subjects.  We were always encouraged to ask questions.  I was told many times, "It's the only way to learn.  Speak up!"

I also believe I was given a gift from the heavens above.  I can see a space instantly as it should be (in my opinion, of course).  When starting out in this business I took it for granted, not realizing others didn't have the same ability, even other designers.  I now drop to my knees daily and, with humility, give thanks.  It's been a major key to my success.

I love family and friends (I consider clients both).  They are the main emphasis in my life.  Without all these special people I interact with daily I wouldn't be me.  They are part of my daily tapestry and make me who I am, past and present.


How do you define your style?
I don't consider my design as a style but more a set of guiding principles that I use in every project I work on.

Guiding Principles

Architecture I always respect the architecture of a space I'm working on.  This architecture never dictates or limits my design plan but is a place I start with every project.

Client Input
I spend lots of time with my clients initially to determine what their desires and dreams are for the project.  I consider designing a space a collaborative effort with my clients and me.  It's important to know how the space will be used, how it should look and feel and then I like to know why a client chose me to work on their project.  If they have seen a space I've designed and concepted it's helpful to know that.  It gives me direction.  Most spaces I design are unique to the client I'm designing for but I use a lot of the same concepts in my work so knowing what inspired them to hire me is important.

Research & Development
I spend a great deal of time researching products and finding new and innovative things to do in every project I work on.  I think this is what keeps my design fresh and exciting.  I do use a lot of the same sources again and again but never the same items from a source.

Products & Artisans
I couldn't do my job without the beautiful things I use to create wonderful spaces for clients but, most importantly, my team of artisans that make my design a reality are a huge part of my style and process.  I always focus on what the best design is for a space and then pull together my talented team to make it happen.  I've worked with many of the artisans for more than a decade so we speak the same language and know each others strengths and weaknesses.

Respect Tradition & Quality I love the tradition of design, antiques and unique items that are found in my travels and research.  I'm always looking for objects and special pieces for each space I design.  I believe a huge part of my job is to educate and assist clients in starting collections they can cherish forever whether it's antiques, art, lighting or quirky things that make a space exciting.

Quality is of utmost important to any design.  To me, quality doesn't equate to expensive. It can be a piece of art from an artist just starting out who has immense talent.  I think a strong designer is able to spot quality a mile away and, quite frankly, that is what you are paying a designer to do:  steward your money to best of his/her ability.  Having a designer involved in your project will elevate the budget a bit, but your money will be spent in a more diligent, educated way.  It's smart to bring in someone who does this every day (and night) in my case.  How in the world could a lay person keep up with the current design world?  There are so many options, products, opportunities.  A designer can narrow it down and focus your process instantly.

Many times clients come to me and don't fully understand the importance of the process of designing a space.  As good as I am, the longer I work for a client or work on a project the better my design gets for that client and respective project.  I think about what I do as a profession constantly, so a fabulous idea may only occur to me after we've had time together and I've had time to live with the project.  Rushing the process is an absolute NO NO.  You must have patience and enjoy the process to really get the best product in the end.

Element of Surprise
I like spaces that are alive and exciting.  This doesn't mean that every tabletop or inch of wall should be covered but it does mean that every space should have something that is unexpected and different.

Restraint A space must have order and a common language to be fabulous.  My spaces are layered and interesting but that doesn't mean things just land and aren't properly planned for.  My design may appear that way and I hope it does but everything, and I mean everything, has a purpose and is part of the plan.  I'm certainly not saying a client shouldn't purchase an item without my approval but I am saying I deserve to have input in a space that I've concepted and decide where to place each item.

What inspires you? Everything!

Which designer or life experience have shaped your design aesthetics? I really think growing up in a home where I was allowed to express myself let me grow as a creative being.  My parents (I have three:  my Mother & Step-father & my Dad) all appreciated and allowed me to be me.  I was encouraged to explore my artistic talents my whole life.  My first love was clothes.  I was always experimenting as a child and teenager with different compilations of clothing, jewelry, shoes, etc.  I did receive "Best Dressed" of my high school senior class.  I'm not sure I deserved it, but "Most Creatively Dressed" I did deserve.

I love all different types of design so my guide with other designers and their work is GREAT DESIGN.  It doesn't matter if it's traditional, modern, eclectic, bohemian, etc.  If it's well done it gets my attention.  I have great respect for all that practice design of any kind.

What is your go to resource?
I have so many!  I love Osborne & Little, Holly Hunt, Clarence House, Scalamandre, Schumacher, Kravet, Quadrille,  C & C Milano, Niermann Weeks, Formations, Dessin Fournir, Gracie, Leontine Linens, West Elm, Z Gallerie, Target, Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma Home, Crate & Barrel.

And, I love antiques and art.  I have great relationships with so many dealers.  I typically shop in Memphis, Atlanta, New York and New Orleans.  I love 1st Dibs too.  Some of my favorite dealers are:  Karla Katz, Shane Robuck, Amy Perlin (so sad she is gone), Amanda Talley, David Lusk Art, Linda Ross Art, Vicente Wolf, South of Market, Jerry Pair Antiques, Travis & Co. Antiques and Frankum Antiques in Memphis.

What were your thoughts when designing my room?
I love Catherine.  I've been reading her blog for many months now and it isn't hard to see what an interesting person she is.  Though I haven't been in her space, personally, I think it can be a wonderful room for her family to enjoy, both formally and informally.  In all my design, I'm interested in creating a mix of styles and price points.  I'm always looking for something that will be the lead, in this case, the Gracie wallpaper, Julie Neill chandelier and Holly Hunt chairs.  And then, everything else can be secondary.  I hope everyone likes it.  I LOVE IT!


I'm so excited Catherine asked me to be a part of the collaborative team giving design ideas for her Dining Room.  First and foremost, when designing a project for someone, I create the absolute best option for a space, usually, starting as if it was an empty room.

Many times it's challenging for a client to get excited and inspired in a space when repurposing items.  I usually propose doing projects in stages if the budget doesn't permit an entire overhaul.  So, if the space is designed from scratch in the beginning, a client can see the vision clearly and we can decide what should happen in phase I, II and even III.

Catherine's Dining Room is a nice size room, not too large or small.  I do think the room would be more important and dramatic if it was furnished more sparingly.  So, move it all out (mentally) and envision a blank slate.


Because this room has multiple doorways and windows, I propose painting all the trim to include, base and crown molding, windows and door trim Benjamin Moore's Coastal Fog.  It's a beautiful color that reads as a neutral but isn't dreary and dismal, it has some life to it.  See this beautiful image board of Gracie wallpaper below.  Let's wrap the walls with Gracie and let it sing openly. 

I love a Dining Room to have drama and presence. It's typically a room that you aren't in every day, it's usually a room you celebrate holidays, special occasions, elaborate family dinners and we always have dinner in our Dining Room on report card day (at least so far it's been a celebration).  Therefore, I like a Dining Room to have its own feel, emotion, a space that doesn't fall flat, a space to be remembered.


Gracie was founded in New York in 1898 and is still a family run business today.  Isn't that amazing?  Mr. Gracie had a friend, a textile trader, who showed him a roll of spectacular hand painted wallpapers he had discovered in Beijing.  As any great entrepreneur would see, Mr. Gracie felt he had found his unique product for the design market.  Decades later, Gracie Wallpaper is truly a beautiful product that, most anyone, would love to have in their home.


This is the Gracie paper I've chosen for Catherine.  It's sophisticated without being stuffy, it's interesting without being too busy, it's perfection!  Now, for those of you thinking, "Yeh, right, who can afford Gracie?", I have a solution.  I would never contemplate copying Gracie exactly, that just wouldn't be professional or ethical.  But, I would show a local artist in Catherine's area our Gracie inspiration board and ask him/her to create a dramatic original plan for us.  Or, I have several artists I work with on a regular basis who have created masterpieces for my clients.  Finding the right artist is key.  This could go beautifully or could be a disaster.  And, my eyes guide the entire process.  That is really what a great designer does for a client, takes a concept and turns it into a reality seamlessly.


Here is my paint selection board for the Dining Room.  Benjamin Moore's Coastal Fog will be the trim and molding color (as stated above & here above right), everything except the ceiling.  I think Catherine's ceiling, actually, could be an interesting opportunity for this space.  It calls for a fabulous chandelier & special treatment to create drama.  I propose painting everything above the crown molding, Benjamin Moore's Texas Leather (see above left).  If the budget permits, I would love to see Catherine mirror her entire ceiling in this room.  So, we have two options for that.  Which do you prefer?

And then, we will hang this beautiful Julie Neill Designs chandelier.  Have you ever seen anything more simply gorgeous?  My two favorite things in juxtaposition:  simple and gorgeous.


Because our walls and ceiling are going to be spectacular and dramatic, I think the drapery should be simple.  My favorite drapery always is a beautiful silk used in an informal way.  I like to use crusty iron rods & rings for drapery, sewing the iron rings directly on the panels for a look that is casual and beautiful.  The silk for this project is Schumacher's Bellini Silk in Mocha.

All of these elements stated above create the first layer for this room.  A layered approach to design is what I believe makes my design unique and inspiring.  It's what puts people at ease and lets them feel like they're home.  How a room feels is as important as how a room looks and layers are what make it feel real and comfortable.


I've selected this beautiful Grand Louis XV buffet from Uptowner Antiques in New Orleans. I always love to use sterling silver in a Dining Room, something like this beautiful tray will sit on the left side of the buffet.  The turquoise faience vase turned lamp will sit to the right of the buffet (it needs a new shade that isn't so starkly white).  It's from H.M. Luther Antiques in New York.  And, our element of surprise is this David Comstock painting from Linda Ross Gallery in Memphis.  This painting is a graphic, modern element to balance our traditional pieces in the room.


If a Dining Room's size permits, I always like to create a comfortable seating area that can be used when entertaining for large groups or you can sit and enjoy your morning cup of coffee, so it doubles as a Morning Room.  I love this banquette, modern pole lamp and a pair of these ceramic garden stools to sit in front of the banquette.  And, everyone knows of my unusual interest in antlers...I love this mirror from Mecox Gardens to hang above the banquette.  This will all go on the wall where the China cabinet originally was placed.  It can be centered or banked in the corner by the window.


A Dining Room table can be a huge investment.  I haven't purchased a "real" table for my own Dining Room because, at age 40, I can't yet decide what style I want to commit to for a lifetime.  I have a table similar to this one from Z Gallerie in my Dining Room and I love it.  It's beautiful for buffet serving for a large party with its strong architectural and modern feel or looks great with chairs around it for a dinner party.


For Catherine, I've chosen these fabulous Holly Hunt chairs to be upholstered in Edelman Leather's Luxe Calf in Rootbeer.  A very chic way to finish her Dining Room project.


I also love to use beautiful tablecloths, napkins, placemats, found sterling silver and fabulously simply china that lets a beautiful meal be the show.  I think Catherine's table would be perfect for white or lavender hues in flowers.  And I love horn anything:  bowls, drinking horns, silverware with horn handles.  I think this could also be a great addition to her Dining Room table.

My go to source for beautiful heirloom linens is Leontine Linens.  See these beauties below.


Everything about Leontine Linens is custom.  They have thousands of combinations of monogram styles, colors, borders, fabric types for you to create your special heirloom.  And, best quality of all, wash and dry at home to perfection.

The founders of Leontine Linens, Jane Scott & Philip Hodges, are great friends and clients.  As a thank you gift for decorating their beautiful home, I received a set of 12 placemats and napkins for my Dining Room.  I wept because they are truly exquisite and something I will leave to my precious Lucy one day.

I hope this design scheme is something Catherine likes and you all have enjoyed having a bird's eye view into my design process.  I'm passionate about what I do, love it dearly and I'm energized daily with the lovely people and places I encounter because of my profession.  And many of those are my blog friends, who now, have become a part of my daily tapestry.  Much love to you all.



 Wow, if I didn’t love Gwen before, I would have fallen in love with her all over again.  Her design philosophy as well as Gwen’s captivating persona truly shine through in her design work and writings.  Sophistication personified!  It did not go unnoticed the little touch of lavender in the flowers, Gwen’s design signature.  And oh my goodness, I have been eyeing  that Julie Neill chandelier since I first saw it in her blog, Bayou Contessa, right after moving into my new home.  I think this post might  just have closed the deal on that transaction!

Now, please go visit the fabulous Splenderosa to find out what she has selected for this week’s soiree.

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

Next Wednesday, come back for the very stylish link party we are throwing to celebrate the finale…  More details on this Friday’s post.

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

Linking to: Trendy Treehouse , A Stroll Thru LifeTablescape Thursday, Transformation Thursday Show and Tell Friday, Remodelaholic, Metamorphosis Monday


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