Archive for June, 2009

31 Days of Things I LOVE

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I am so excited to announce a special series for the month of July!!!!! I am going to focus on one thing each and every day that I love!! Yes, maybe this should have been a series in February but I am a little unorthodox! And besides, it is hotter than your know what here in Arkansas this summer and so I wanted to focus on some of my favorite things to take my mind of off the heat!

The “Things I Love” range from products to food to activities and places!!! I hope you enjoy my month of Favorites!! And let me know what your favorites are!! It might just give me more ideas for new blog posts!!!  xoxo Tobi

Hickory Chair’s Idea of the “Little Black Dress”

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Early This Month I had the FANTASTIC opportunity to attend Hickory Chair University, an informative and moving 3 day visit to the Hickory Chair Factory in High Point, NC! I am working on some amazing posts for you about my experience there but in the mean time wanted to share with you a Great Post by Laura Holland from the Hickory Chair University Blog.

I find Laura’s take on the Little Black Dress in Your Closet to be a fun way to understand that buying furniture is not unlike building a wardrobe! Thanks to Laura for the post! I hope you enjoy it!

Stay tuned for a fun new series I am launching for the month of July!! It will feature both Dresses and Hickory Chair! I think you’re gonna like it! xoxo Tobi

And PS…The photo above is by artist Jason Brooks courtesy of the blog Life in a Venti Cup.  See Franki’s recent post about Jason’s work here!!

Top Ten Benches

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I have been so busy that I haven’t posted one of my popular Top Ten Features since March. So I am squeezing one in this June just in the nick of time. I love multi-purpose and “floating” pieces of furniture! They maximize seating in small or large spaces. I often use benches for this reason. Here are ten of my favorites! Enjoy!!!

10. The San Marino by Hickory Chair

9. Barbara Barry’s Slipper Bench for Henredon. I love the feminine detailing!

8. The Donghia Versailles

7. Jonathan Adler’s X Bench…I use this ALL the time! Great as a pair at the foot of a bed or tucked under a console!!

6. Oly Studio’s Hilary. It comes in short and long. I use the short most often!!

5. The Julien by Dessin Fournir is simple and architectural…so sophisticated!

4. The Cluny by Hickory Chair is a Fave!! I love the standard length. It’s great at the foot of a king bed. And now that Hickory Chair has the made to measure program and so many finishes the possibilities are endless! I even have this in my own bedroom!

3. Thomas Pheasant’s Rolled-Arm Bench by Baker is gorgeous!! I have been using it for years!

2. H-Studio’s Majestic Bench. I am a big Fan of Lucite and love the curved legs of this bench. You may remember it from my showhouse feature in Traditional home in 2008.


1. My very favorite bench in the world (drum roll please)…Jan Shower’s X bench the Claudette!! It is so pretty and graceful and yes expensive but I adore it!!!!


For the Love of North Carolina

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Late last month I had the pleasure of spending some time in the Beautiful Smoky Mountains of North Carolina at the glorious cottage and gardens of my dear friend and interior designer Kathy Greeley.  I was on my way to Hickory Chair University (I’ll post on this later in this week) and squeezed in a little extra time to relax and enjoy some quality time with my friend who lives near Asheville!!

I have to say that these were 3 of the most relaxing and lazy days I have spent in a long, long time! In fact, we barely got out of our PJ’s! We just moved from front porch, to side porch, to the garden, and even piled up in Kathy’s comfy bed a couple of times just to read and visit!!! I have made a promise to myself (and Kathy) that I will be back at least twice a year and I am hoping for more!! It was certainly good medicine for the soul!!

Oh and did I mention that Kathy was a FANTASTIC cook?? I arrived to a sit down dinner for 14 in honor of her husband, Wells’, birthday. On the menu…local trout, individual beef wellingtons, scalloped potatoes and fresh veggies followed by her FAMOUS carmel cake!!! I was treated to several of Kathy’s other famous meals on the patios and in the garden over the weekend including two fabulous breakfasts??

There is nothing like being in nature to cure what ails you! The weather was a perfect 79 degrees or so, which I hear is normal for late May in the mountains! I’m thinking I need a summer home there to escape the 95 degree May that we had this year in Arkansas.  When you take a look at the gorgeous pics of Kathy’s garden you’ll see why I didn’t want to leave.  Southern Living did a feature on her garden in 2007 but I don’t think they captured its true beauty!!

I love this little spot to stop and think! And below is Kathy’s topiary with the mad-hatter shaped teapot on top. Like me, Kathy loves her chamomile and we had our fair share of it over the weekend!!!

The new dawn roses that grow on the house made me want some of my own! I am working on building a trellis as we speak so they will have a place to call home!

The charming ivy-covered arch hints at the side entrance to the cottage!

Another quaint seating area with a dining spot in the background. Kathy sometimes hosts small wine diners in this tree-covered spot with the vintages selected by her wine-collecting hubby! You should see his cellar… but that’s for a future post!

Lovely window boxes grace all the windows!

My final breakfast of the trip included Kathy’s yummy recipe for French Toast Casserole…and yes, I’ll share the recipe!!

Here’s my lovely hostess, her amazing spouse and their baby, Bentley!

As you can see, Bentley loves the garden as much as I do!! And I can’t wait to get back for my next visit!!!