Tobi TV: 4 Tips for Updating a Tired Kitchen

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As you know, I love to cook and bake, especially with my daughter. Having a functional and fun kitchen is key – especially because that room really is the heart of a home. So what can you do to update a kitchen that is dated and not longer functioning for you?

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In this segment I show you how I worked added style to an older kitchen and spiced it up with paint, lucite and COLOR! Take a look:

That was a big transformation, right? Let’s review those tips again:

  1. Update your dated or tired kitchen with the latest paint. I chose gray for this kitchen. It matched the existing granite and gray is still a big color trend in design.
  2. Add some “WOW” to your space. I used lucite in the barstools, towel bars, and cabinet hardware. It’s one of my favorite materials and it makes this kitchen fun and glamorous, yet still functional. I even designed the custom corbels to support the existing countertop and the refrigerator handles.
  3. Update your backsplash. There are so many gorgeous tiles and stones that are perfect for updating your kitchen backsplash. In this room I used Carrara marble tiles and laid them in a herringbone or chevron pattern for a bit more fun. The backsplash is a perfect place to use marble if you are afraid of having it on your countertops because of possible spills and stains. This way you can embrace this timeless and trendy material in your home.
  4. And finally punch things up with COLOR! You know how I love color and in this kitchen all layered in gray, I wanted to make a splash with an accent color. I chose a bright sunny yellow and I think it does the trick.

So what do you think? Do you like the outcome of this remodeled kitchen? To see the before and after photos, visit this recent blog post. It’s pretty dramatic. And be sure to leave me a comment here to let me know why you love this space. Feel free to share this post with your design-loving friends, especially if they are dreaming of a kitchen renovation.

xo,

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For more tips and ideas, be sure to check out my YouTube Channel, featuring every episode of Tobi TV!

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Not Everything Is an Emergency

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Have you ever had a client call you after hours in a panic to tell you something had gone horribly wrong with their project, only to find out that it was something minor or that could have waited till the next day? Of course you have; it happens all the time in business. But how did you respond?

Did you immediately answer? Did you promise to come up with a solution right then and there? Or, worse, did you then start calling others to get them involved in the drama? Because that’s the key – how you respond to those “emergencies” can make or break you and your business.

Yes, customer service is the keystone of any successful company – I talk about that all the time. But there’s customer service and then there’s enabling, and you have to understand the difference and know how to handle those non-emergency panic attacks.

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Business is just a series of calm and crazy, especially when you’re dealing with so many players. And sometimes you’re working with people who just seem to thrive on drama. We can find ourselves getting absolutely nothing done because we’re putting out wildfires that didn’t really need our immediate attention. And there are two particular reasons for why immediately responding to a non-emergency is not a good idea.

First, you get caught up in the crazy – especially if you’re responding to all of those “emergencies” after hours. And sometimes, if you get caught up in the crazy, you can help spin it even further without meaning to. It can escalate in the heat of the moment. So it’s good to have some space, and allow things to calm down to a more rational point before you deal with it.

One thing you can try is to let calls from your clients go to voicemail after 5pm or 6pm. If it’s truly something important, you can call them back immediately. But if it isn’t, you can call them back the next day, during working hours. It sends the subtle message that you have a life, too, and that there are boundaries that need to be observed.

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The second reason for avoiding those panicked non-emergencies is that they will take your eye off the ball. You can end up spending most of your time doing someone else’s bidding, not the important (planned) things on your to-do list, or the projects that are on deadline, or even REAL emergencies. In other words, sometimes we let other people’s agendas, poor time management, poor planning, and procrastination, take priority and control over our workday goals. And that’s not good.

Yes, plans rarely go exactly as planned, especially on interior design projects. But save your energy, your time, and your stress for real emergencies. For your own health, don’t let those faux panics wind you up, too. And be sure that the actual priorities on your to-do list get the attention they deserve. Sometimes, the squeaky wheel shouldn’t get the grease.

xo,

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A Peek Behind the Door

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If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ve seen a couple of sneak peeks behind the door of my new house! I want to show you everything, but I have something cooking that will offer a grander reveal in a few months. It’s hard to keep all of it under wraps, though, because I love living in the new house – with gorgeous details like these stunning doors in my signature kelly green!

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And of course I’m using blue – another of my favorite colors. I love how it’s mixed with the green hues in this stunning wallpaper from Fromental.

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The wet bar, with an amazing counter from Cosentino and sink from Kohler, turned out even better than I thought it would! We’ve been mixing up some fun summer cocktails in here.

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And I may have surprised a few of you with the lovely combination of yellows and pinks in this room, with a Jan Showers lamp and Clark and Clark wallpaper. Can’t wait to give you the full reveal on this room. In fact, I can’t wait to give you a full tour of the whole home!

Meanwhile, keep checking my Instagram feed for a few more looks behind the door – I can’t help myself!

xo,

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Shopping Guide: Outdoor Entertaining with Style

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Can you believe that the first day of autumn is only 64 days from today?! Wow! So we’ve got to get that outdoor entertaining in while we can. And I have some great ideas for how to make your next party an amazing al fresco event!

Whether you’re hosting a small dinner or a big family pool party, these colorful accessories and gifts will really make you the talk of the neighborhood!

Happy Summer!

xo,

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  1. Double Glass Beverage Dispenser– Why just offer one signature drink when you can serve two? These stacking drink dispensers take up the space of one with the ability to serve multiple flavors.
  2. Ceramic Lantern & All-Weather Flameless Candle– Neither rain nor wind can blow out these flameless candles! Drop them into a beautiful ceramic lantern to add a pop of color to your pool party decor.
  3. Copper Hammered Beverage Tub– Bring your love for metal accents outdoors with this copper beverage tub! Fill it with ice and your favorite drinks to refresh your guests.
  4. Outdoor Printed Suzani Pillow– Breathe new life into your outdoor decor with a few pillows, like this beautiful floral medallion print in melon and navy!
  5. Tasmin Blue Chinoiserie Outdoor Wing Chair– I love creating rooms in my outdoor design! This chinoiserie wing chair is the perfect statement piece, just in time for a pool party!
  6. Swingasan Cushion– Do your kids like to hang outside? Let them hang, literally, in this fun swinging chair!
  7. Moscow Mule Copper Mug– Serve up some Moscow Mules, one of my favorite drinks, in the perfect copper mug! Simple and elegant, these mugs will elevate your cocktail hour.
  8. Himalayan Salt Plate & Holder Set– If you’re the chef for your pool party, this Himalayan salt plate is perfect for grilling to gently add flavor and to tenderize!
  9. Green Garden Stool– Garden stools are a great way to add color and extra seating to your design!
  10. Lilly Pulitzer Ceramic Coasters– Serve up your summer cocktails on these fun, colorful coasters from Lilly Pulitzer!
  11. Lilly Pulitzer Insulated Beverage Bucket– Casual party? Great! Add some ice and all of your drinks into this brightly patterned Lilly Pulitzer beverage bucket that can later be packed away easily for your next shindig!
  12. Sophie Conran for Portmeirion Melamine– I’m in love with this chic and durable dinnerware with a lovely blue and yellow pattern!
  13. Geometric Twist Indoor/Outdoor Rug– Bring the indoors outside with this fabulous geometric print rug!
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Tobi TV: 4 Ways to Get Sentimental in Design

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How often do you or your client want to design a room around something sentimental, whether its grandmother’s china hutch or your wedding china? In today’s Tobi TV segment, we’re talking about how to do just that!

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Even interior design pros love using cherished items as a jumping-off point for a room. These family heirlooms or collected pieces can be a perfect inspiration for a room’s design. Take a look at this dining room where I used the client’s favorite china to the lead the way for the dining room design:

So here are my Top Tips for Creating a Room Around a Sentimental Object:

  1. Be strategic when pulling out the colors and finishes from the inspiration piece that are the best fit for your home. In this instance, I chose to highlight the blue instead of pink, since the home was a family with 2 young boys and the client wanted a space that was a bit more masculine.
  2. I also leaned towards blue because it’s a traditional and timeless color, so I used it throughout the space and even throughout the home – it will also give the design longevity.
  3. When it came to metal finishes, I took cues from the china’s gold accents and replicated that in the lamp bases and the starburst mirror.
  4.  And finally for this young family, I didn’t want the traditional china to lead to a room that was fit for a grandmother just yet, so I included a few simple and clean-lined pieces of furniture so that the room’s result was sophisticated and not stodgy. It really appeals to all ages.

So what do you think? Can you take this approach to using your favorite heirlooms and collectibles as a jumping off point for your design schemes? Leave me a comment and let me know how you have used or will use these ideas in your projects.

Happy Decorating!

xo,

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For more tips and ideas, be sure to check out my YouTube Channel, featuring every episode of Tobi TV!

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