Happy Thanksgiving!

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Today is the day to gather with those we love and to give thanks for everything we have! My life continues to overflow with blessings, too many to count.

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I sometimes can’t even get my mind around all that I have – and I don’t mean material things, but things that really matter – health, love, friendship and family.

So today as I give thanks for so many things in my life, I wish you the very best day full of blessings like family, fun, food, and laughter in your life. No matter what we are going through, there is always something to be thankful for.

And today, I am thankful for YOU! Happy Thanksgiving friends!

xo,

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Which Would You Choose: Sofa or Sectional?

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Suzanne Kasler

The seating for my new living room is key – after all, we’ll spend a lot of time in this room! So this week I need to decide between a sofa (or a couple of  sofas) and a sectional for the space.

This room will also be the main space for watching TV, and a sectional is perfect for that, especially on game day when we all pile up in there together to cheer on the Razorbacks! A sectional also provides a lot of seats for the space.

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Amanda Dixon

But a sofa gives me a more open floorplan which I really like. It doesn’t block or close off part of the room  With a sectional, you can be stuck with one layout because of the way the pieces have to be configured. I also like the idea of a sofa or two with a few coordinating chairs in the room – it’s certainly big enough for that!

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C.R.Laine

So which would you choose – a sofa (also known as a couch!) or a sectional? Let me know in the comments below and give me your reasons for the one you would choose! As you saw in my furniture plan last week, I am leaning towards 2 sofas but when I think about how we live, I sort of want to go back to the drawing board and see if I can make a sectional or at least a sofa with a chaise on the end (like one of the photos above) fit in the space.

Thanks for your help again as we move through my new home’s design! And I hope you have a great time curling up on your sofa/couch/sectional with your family this week for a little downtime! You deserve it.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

xo,

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Tobi TV: Creating an Entryway with Style

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The entry really sets the tone for your entire home! It welcomes your guests and gives them clues for what lies beyond in your home, which is especially important during Thanksgiving and the holidays! I love to create bright and bold entries like the one in my office. It features a gorgeous blue sofa from C.R. Laine and a colorful painting by one of my favorite artists, Jane Booth.

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And in my previous home, I used a daring and graphic wallpaper by F. Schumacher to create a real statement, and to showcase the color story that continued right into my family room.

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To help you create the perfect entry in your own home, here are some of my best tips for designing a welcoming space:

Let’s recap those tips for creating an entry with style:

1. If you do go bold with your wall color, tone everything else down by using neutral trims and furnishings. Don’t let too many bright colors compete in such a small space.

2. For two-story entries, consider an overscaled wallpaper. It gives a grand appearance, but brings the scale down to a more normal height. Add in an amazing light fixture and a stair runner, and you’ll have an entry that is full of style!

3. Using the same color in all of your entry’s furnishings and accessories, like navy with white, gives a coordinated look that is classic and timeless.

4. If you want to create drama, use a bold and graphic wallcovering. That will definitely set the tone for your stylish home!

Use these tips to design an entry that has a “wow” factor and sets the mood for your guests over the holidays! Please share this video with your friends, and let me know what you’ve done to create an amazing entry to your home!

Until next time!

xo,

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Gifts for Home Bodies

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Surya pillow in raspberry and orange

Not only is the home my business as an interior designer, but MY home is my favorite place to be! I love to be there with my daughter and husband - we have so much fun at our new house, and though it’s not quite finished and ready for cooking big dinners for family or entertaining our friends, it will be soon. For now just having a quiet night on our own together is one of our favorite ways to settle in. This weekend when we’re full of Thanksgiving Turkey, we’ll be enjoying a warm fire and admiring our freshly decorated Christmas Tree at home. I might even have a few gifts wrapped and tucked underneath the tree.

Speaking of gifts, some of the best gifts for me – and the ones that I love to give – are for the home, like this bright and bold Surya pillow above! Oh how I love a graphic trellis pattern. Here are more of my favorite things for the home this holiday season that just might be perfect for people on your list:

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Bright blue ramekins from Rachel Ray

There are about a million things I can think to cook in these beauties. Let’s see…individual Sweet Potato Casseroles sound delish! Yes, the recipe with the brown sugar praline topping. And cobalt is still my favorite color this year so it would be delicious on the inside and gorgeous on the outside.

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Greek key patterned vase from Three Hands

Bet you’re surprised I would select something embellished with Greek key…NOT! And this piece is especially great because it’s Greek Key AND blue! A pair of them might look handsome on my new mantle.

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Moscow Mule mug from Mikasa

When my friends come to Little Rock and stay out our fabulous Capital Hotel, they love drinking Moscow Mule’s in traditional copper mugs. Why not have some of these cooper beauties at home so you can have your favorite drink and not even leave the house? We might just have to ask the Capital to share their recipe.

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Juliska dessert plates from Saks

I love all things Juliska. We eat from their whiteware each day at the office. And when Juliska meets a Toile or Transferware look I want to be the first person in line. And if these charming dessert plates are good enough for Saks Fifth Avenue…enough said! 
food52cake_612My favorite Jadeite, in a cake stand from Food52

I have this VERY Jadeite cake plate in 3 sizes and I have given one like it to lots of people in my life who love to bake. But even if you hate baking and are using this pretty stand to make your favorite bakery cake look impressive, who can resist it’s minty green color. It’s the perfect piece to take your favorite cakes to a new height!

As you can see, I LOVE to select gifts for the home! I have even more ideas on my pinboard – just click here to view it! What are your favorite gifts for home bodies? Tell me in the comments below.

Happy shopping, ya’ll!

xo,

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Mastermind Spotlight: Michelle Lynne

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Today, I want to introduce you to one of my newest Mastermind members, Michelle Lynne! Michelle started her design business, Michelle Lynne Interiors Group, in Dallas in 2008 and has really revved things up in the past year! She has a terrific niche – creating glamorously functional interiors for the busy professional – that comes from her nearly two decades of corporate management experience before she made the leap into full-time interior design.

“I can really relate to the necessity of having a retreat to come home to after hours and hours in an office every day,” she says. “Plus, if the house isn’t well thought out and diligently organized, what good is it? When you’re working such long hours, you don’t want to work at home trying to find your keys or anything else – everything has to have a place.”

Michelle Lynne

Michelle says that her greatest triumph in 2014 has been re-branding and re-defining the business. “2013 was challenging, to say the least. So in 2014, I really dug in to the identity of the firm, analyzed the financials – and focused on streamlining the areas that result in the highest profitability,” Michelle says. Her biggest challenge, she says, has been recovering and re-inventing her business instead of being able to dive head first into her design work.

“I am so incredibly grateful that my staff is wickedly smart and talented and hard working and trustworthy – and just overall lovely people I enjoy being around,” Michelle says. “From the business standpoint, I couldn’t have made it through the difficult 2013 and recovery in 2014 without them. In fact, we’re looking at a record-setting 2014, so I think we are onto something!”

She says her biggest “a-ha” moment in Mastermind was realizing what her assets are, and appreciating them. “My experience in corporate america IS a huge benefit to my clients,” she says. “I was insecure about my lack of classical interior design education. I really got the ‘a-ha’ from Tobi that my business experience, management skills, and financial savvy are all a value to my clients who would otherwise be dealing with a solely ‘creative’ designer. So now I brag about my business brilliance.”

Michelle’s business goals for 2015 are to continue up-leveling her business’s service so it can continue to increase the value to her clients – and her profitability. “Providing a step-by-step defined process while giving our clients an experience is what I’m most excited about,” she says. “The foundation should be solid in 2015 so I can start implementing some of the genius takeaways I’ve received via Mastermind.”3824PalloVerdasDrive-Dallas-TX

Her favorite things to do offline these days include catching up on sleep and running, and she says she has her work-life balance down to a science. “I work before The Handsome Hubs wakes up, go into the office after I’ve seen him off, and then when I come home, I leave my work at the office,” she says.  “There are exceptions, but when I tell the Hubs that I’m working on a $100K presentation and need to stay up late, take a call, etc., he gets it. I think he just has flashbacks of 2013 and doesn’t bat an eye. Additionally, I took up running this year – completed a couple of half marathons this spring – and have enjoyed the time that I’m thinking about dying of exhaustion on the side of the road instead of anything related to work.”

Michelle is really a go-getter, right? I need to take cues from her to get my work-life balance back in check! If you’re in that corporate rat race and need someone to create a sanctuary to come home to, she’s the person to call! I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know her!

Happy Weekend Y’all! xo,

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