Before and After: The Old Main Suite

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A few weeks ago, I showed you one of two luxury suites I was asked to design in the Chancellor Hotel in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Today, we’ll look at the before-and-after of The Old Main, the second suite I created for this gorgeous boutique!

This suite’s name was inspired by Old Main, a historic architectural landmark that’s also the oldest building on the University of Arkansas campus. Old Main, built between 1873-1875, is the grand dame of the U of A and its bell towers are recognizable by all university alumni.

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Using this iconic Arkansas architecture as the inspiration for this suite makes such a connection with all those who will stay in the hotel either from our state or that are alumni of our university.

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And how could I begin to design The Old Main Suite without giving a nod to the traditional University of Arkansas color – RED? So yes, you will see “Razorback Red” all over this suite, but I was going for a mix of sophistication and varsity style here with handsome checks, plaids, and textures.

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Luckily, the owners completely gutted the original rooms to create this huge suite – which gave me quite a blank canvas to work with!

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Using velvet and suede in the space to resulted in a warm and cozy retreat for Razorback fans on game weekends, alumni visiting throughout the year for special University events, or just guests visiting Northwest Arkansas.

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So what do you think of this revved-up red suite? Would you use bold color like this in your home? Let me know in the comments section below!

xo,

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Shopping Guide: Gifts for Kiddos

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I absolutely love holiday shopping for the kids on my gift list! It brings back the magic and excitement that I had as a little girl waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve! This year, there are some really colorful items on my list – which shouldn’t be a surprise since I’m all about the color, right?!

There are toys, games, and gorgeous clothes, all perfect for that little girl or boy that you might be shopping for! Hope Santa is good to you and yours!

Happy Shopping!

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  1. Mudpuppy Enchanting Princess Puzzle Sticks– A fabulous puzzle for girls ages 3 and up featuring beautiful princesses on 24 double-sided puzzle sticks.
  2. Kate Spade New York Scout Girls’ Glittered Crossbody Bag– Let your little girl sparkle this Christmas with a gorgeous pink glitter crossbody bag.
  3. Cherry Tree Hall Four-Story Dollhouse– Let her imagination shine this year with a four-story dollhouse. Each room is decorated differently, so her inner designer can shine!
  4. Girls’ Polka Dot Christmas Tree Pajama Set– Nothing is better than new Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve.
  5. ‘Star Wars Holiday’ Organic Cotton Two-Piece Fitted Pajamas– Is your little Jedi obsessed with the force? The Star Wars holiday pajamas will get him (or her!) excited for presents and holiday treats!
  6. The Elf on the Shelf Book– Teach your little one all about their very own scout elf from the North Pole who works for Santa Claus himself!
  7. Burberry Girls’ Victoria Hooded Cape– Your fashionista needs the latest styles this holiday season, and that means the classic Burberry pattern in a fun fringe and hooded cape!
  8. ‘First Classic’ Glitter Rain Boot– Give her the gift of splashing and fun this year with a pair of classic rain boots in a military red finish!
  9. Lacoste Boys’ Hooded Puffer Vest– Keep the little man in your life warm in this dark green hooded puffer vest.
  10. ‘Future – Magbot’ Magnetic Wooden Blocks Play Set– Watch your little one’s creativity soar with this set of magnetic wooden blocks with pieces to create all of the robot characters he or she can think of!
  11. View-Master Deluxe Virtual Reality Viewer– This virtual reality viewer is compatible with several smartphones to allow your little one to literally step into the games!
  12. A Teepee to Call Your Own– Perfect for any of the children in your life – they can play pretend and have a secret hide-out inside this colorful teepee!
  13. Kids’ Musical Instrument Gift Set– Get ready to make some music this year! The music box includes a flute, metal triangle, xylophone, and other instruments to let your new favorite band sing carols to their heart’s desire.
  14. ‘Scoot-Around’ Riding Toy– Get the little one in your life scooting around on this fun foot-powered riding toy designed to develop muscle strength and balance!
  15. Zoo Pack Backpack– Your little one can be fun and practical with this cute monkey face backpack to carry all of the fun on-the-go toys!
  16. Striped Critter Nap Mat– Nap time just got so much cooler with a monster face navy and green striped nap mat and matching blanket!
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Tobi TV: 3 of the Best Things About Wing Chairs

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One of my favorite furniture designs ever is the wing chair, or wing-back chair. The chair design is an older one – featuring an upholstered arm chair with “wings” on the back that seem to enclose the person sitting in the chair. Back in the day, that design helped hold heat in for people sitting near a fireplace.

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Today, modern wing chairs are really versatile pieces that transcend a particular style, and they can definitely make a room look complete. I use them a lot for my clients, in my own home, and I’ve even designed a few for my collection with CR Laine!

Let’s take a look at some of my favorite spaces with wing chairs:

I’m already excited to create more designs with wing chairs! Here are some of the best things about wing chairs:

1. Wing chairs can be traditional and stately or modern with fantastic fabrics!

2. The perfect wing chair hugs you and makes a great place to get cozy with your favorite books and magazines.

3. A traditional wing chair can be updated with geometric patterns and contemporary colors.

What are your favorite wing chair designs? And how do you use them to make your home soar? Please let me know in the comments below how you’re “winging it” in your home!

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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4 Ways to Survive the Holiday Chaos

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This time of year can be magical and special, but if you’re a small business owner like me, it can also be stressful, frustrating, and insane. Interior designers especially know what I mean because half of our clients want us to transform their homes into a showpiece in the 2 weeks before their guests arrive for Christmas.

It can be hard enough to balance your work and your personal life on the best of days, but it is incredibly hard to do during the holiday season when everyone wants something from you right now. What can you do? I have 4 ways for you to keep the crazy at a minimum so you can enjoy the best of the holiday season!

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1. Remember to say no. You can’t say yes to every client request and you shouldn’t say yes to every event or party that comes along, too. There’s only so many hours in the day, and only so much of YOU. Say no to the good to make room for the great! Choose wisely so you can give your very best to everything that you say YES to.

2. Buckle down early. Put your head down and focus on your work in the first two weeks of December, so you can really let go and enjoy yourself with family and friends during the weeks of Christmas and the New Year. You don’t want to be the one at the office on Christmas Eve, so keep your eye firmly on work so you can get all of the tasks on your list completed and checked off. If you aren’t an early planner, make it your goal next year to do your client gifts and cards in October so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute.

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3. Schedule some ME time. Find one hour here and there to get a massage, meditate, take a yoga class, anything to calm your mind and help you relax and recharge. It will make you better able to deal with clients and to enjoy your family!

4. Check out completely. On those days that you’re supposed to be off with your family, turn off your phone and be present with your family. The world won’t end if someone can’t get in touch with you. Take a deep breath and enjoy the season.

I hope these tips help you keep the magic of the season first and foremost as your goal! Let me know what you love about the holidays in the comments section below!

xo,

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4 Tips for Your Holiday Decorating

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I love this time of year! It’s all about family, friends, and fun – and adding a little sparkle to your decor! I have so many people ask me each year for my decorating tips for the holidays, so I thought I’d give you 4 of my best professional tips to get your home into the holiday spirit:

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1. Let your decor dictate your holiday palette. No matter how gorgeous your holiday items are, if they are competing with your room instead of complementing it the effect will be lost. So go for colors that work for you, like pink and black, or turquoise and green. It will be colorful and festive!

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2. Think fresh! Use fresh evergreen boughs, garlands, and wreaths combined with in-season citrus like lemons, tangerines, and oranges. That will give your home a beautiful natural look, and it smells heavenly!

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3. Bring out those collections. The holidays are the perfect time to use your collections of china, nutcrackers, teapots, or figurines. Group them all together to create fun and festive vignettes. I love to use my collections of jadeite for holiday table settings! They’re a unique color, but they really take on a holiday spirit when paired with sparkling silver, china, and glass.

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4. Be playful with your decor. I love to decorate a tree for my daughter each year, and it always includes small toys, trinkets, or costume jewelry to give it a whimsical touch that’s personalized for her.

Use these ideas to make your holiday decor both festive and unique to you! And let me know what you’re favorite ornaments and decor ideas are in the comments section below!

Happy holiday decorating!

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