Sneak Peek: My Kitchen Selections

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This month in Traditional Home, I’m giving readers an inside look at how I redesigned my new kitchen, including the best tips for planning that space. And my number-one tip is to think about how you use a kitchen before you jump in to the design. As you know, I love to cook and bake – it’s really my stress reliever. So I knew that my appliances needed to have a lot of functionality and smarts.

Because I’m a Thermador brand ambassador, I have been able to really test a lot of their product line while visiting their Experience & Design Center in Irvine, CA. So when it was time for me to start buying my appliances, I knew just where to start! Let’s take a look at some of my purchases!

For the range, I chose Thermador’s 48″ Professional Series Pro Range Grand Commercial Depth Range. The key for this great appliance for me was that it is duel fuel. I like for my cooktop to be gas because the amazing Star Burners give me a lot of flexibility in the heat source, from an extra-low simmer to a quick and fast boil. But I love an electric oven because I find that I get a more even bake with it. For the range top, I also purchased the grill insert that switches out with the griddle for all the times that it’s not outdoor grilling weather. And I had a local metal worker create a custom hood with a Thermador ventilation insert and blower to perfectly vent my new commercial grade range. You’ll be able to see that – along with my entire kitchen design – when it’s unveiled in Traditional Home later this year!

I love love love the Thermador steam oven, and I gave it a workout at Easter – it’s large enough to cook several vegetable dishes on separate racks at one time, or to cook a big ham. And it can roast a 14-pound turkey in just 2 hours! That will really take the holiday pressure off when Thanksgiving rolls back around.

For refrigeration, I love the flexibility of Thermador’s Freedom Collection. It allows me to select refrigeration columns based on how my family eats and cooks. I use a lot of fresh ingredients and I wanted the fridge section to be bigger, so I chose the 30-inch Fresh Food Column, combined with a 24-inch Freezer Column.

And for our wine storage, I bought the 18-inch wine preservation column. All 3 of these pieces fit perfectly in a row. I can’t decide if I am more excited about my refrigerator or wine column!

I also purchased a 30-inch convection panel-front warming drawer for the island, and Thermador‘s built-in MicroDrawer Microwave. And I have Thermador’s brand new under-counter refrigerator drawers that allow me to store drinks and other food in an easy-to-access place. And for quick clean up, I chose 2 (yes 2!) of Thermador’s amazing Star Sapphire dishwashers. Yep, we use a lot of dishes and cookware when my family and I fix meals and I hate to have dishes in the sink. This dishwasher can do a full clean cycle in only 20 minutes, which is incredible! And with 2 of them running at once, we should never have a dirty dish for long.

I’m so thrilled to be in my kitchen and baking away! If you want to see the finished project, check out my monthly column in Traditional Home. Every month I’m writing about a different room or area of the house, and at the end of the year you’ll see the BIG reveal. Stay tuned!

xo,

 

 

 

 

 

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Tobi TV: 4 Ways to Create Kids Rooms That Really Work

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It’s almost summer and your kiddos will be spending a lot of time at home. Spaces for your kids should be full of function AND fun, giving them an inspiring place to work and play!

In my farmhouse project that was just featured in Traditional Home, I designed kids’ spaces for this large family that would not only give them a great place to hang out, but would also showcase their personalities. Let’s take a look at ideas you can use in your home, too:

1. Break common areas such as dens and playrooms up into zones – like conversation areas, snack areas, and places for homework or crafts.

2. Every child needs a spot for a little privacy, like a quiet reading nook tucked into a hallway.

3. To make those rooms really work, be sure to provide tables for homework or crafts, and include plenty of storage for all of their games, toys, and supplies.

4. A great way to personalize any kids space is to put their art work and projects on display! They’ll be proud that you’ve showcased their special pieces!

Kids love to feel ownership over their own spaces, so use these tips to make them feel right at home! And let me know your ideas for kids’ zones in the comments section below.

xo,

 

 

 

 

 

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Tobi TV: 5 Tips for Fun Kids Rooms with Personality

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Kids’ rooms are some of the most fun spaces to design in a home! I love to fill them with color and character to fit each child’s personality, which also gives them more ownership over their own space.

In my farmhouse project that’s featured in the April issue of Traditional Home, I had a lot of kids’ rooms to choose from! It was a blast to create individual spaces for a range of ages and personalities. In this Tip Clip from Traditional Home, I give you five great tips for designing fun and functional spaces for the children in your life!

Aren’t those fun rooms? Let’s take another look at my tips for creating fun kids’ spaces:

1. I had individual silhouettes created for each child in the family, and then hung the art next to each bedroom door. It was a great way to highlight every child in the family!

2. One young lady has a more tailored style, so I created a preppy room in green and blue to fit her personal look.

3. For a fashionista in the family, I added glamour with an unexpected color mix of purple and red!

4. Rustic touches and a blue and red palette set the perfect stage for an outdoorsy boy.

5. And I designed this little girl’s room in her favorite shade of pink, but kept it from being too sweet by adding in jadeite green!

Using colors, patterns, and ideas that fit each child’s personality gives them a space that’s definitely all their own! Let me know what you think in the comments section below!

xo,

 

 

 

 

 

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Love, Baking, and Mother’s Day

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Not much “feeds” my soul like being in the kitchen. I have been cooking since I was less than 10 – and today cooking is my therapy and an escape from the whirlwind of my design and consulting business. I loved cooking with my mother when I was younger and still today on holidays, and now my own daughter loves to cook and bake with me! It’s a way that the three of us can connect and make memories. We enjoy getting into the kitchen and cooking for our families because food is definitely a way we Southerners show love to those important people in our lives!

This weekend is Mother’s Day, and I know all three of us will be in the kitchen creating treats for each other, like we always do. But this year, Ellison and I have a fabulous new kitchen for our culinary creations! For my home remodel, I put Thermador at the top of my shopping list for all my appliances. They give me the functional and fabulous tools I need to concoct amazing dishes, food gifts, and meals for all my family.

We took advantage of my gorgeous new kitchen to create a Mother’s Day video for Thermador, showcasing how much fun we have together when we’re cooking and baking and hanging out at home! I am clearly not as cool as she is, but I’m just glad that my almost seventh-grader still wants to be with me, especially in the kitchen.  Just click here to see what kind of craziness we serve up when we’re together!

I wish all of you moms out there a very special Mother’s Day and I hope you’re making amazing memories with your little ones (and not-so-little ones) in the kitchen, too!

xo,

 

 

 

 

 

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Tobi TV: 5 Ideas for Farmhouse Style

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Even if you live in the city, you can bring a little of that more relaxed country feeling into your home with farmhouse flair!

I designed this fab farmhouse that’s featured in the April issue of Traditional Home, and you can use details from this project to bring that chic country look to your home, too! One quick way is to use fun folk art, like the cow painting above. Let’s take a look at a few more ideas:

Aren’t you feeling nostalgic for a simpler life now? Let’s review those ideas for farmhouse style:

1. Look for pieces that are inspired by days gone by, like a chandelier created with old bottles and rustic metal.

2. Gingham is a pattern that reminds us of simpler times – it’s cozy and nostalgic, so bring it into any room for that country feeling.

3. Think about using a sliding barn door to replace a closet door in your home. It’s a fashionable farm look that’s right on trend!

4. Raid the antique stores and flea markets in your area for any vintage pieces like a pitchfork, an old rocking horse, or even an antique American flag.

5. For your desk or in a craft room, use old bottles and mason jars to hold pencils and other notions.

Those easy tips will give your home a farmhouse feeling, even if it’s in the middle of a major metropolis! Let me know what you think about these ideas in the comments section below!

xo,

 

 

 

 

 

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