Archive for January, 2010

28 Days of Things I Love

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Last July when looking for blog inspiration, I had the idea to do a month-long list of things I love. And though posting every day for an entire month (without even taking weekends off) almost killed me, I had a great response! There were many comments from readers, who loved getting to know more about my favorite places, foods, things, products, and more.  It is this sort of sharing that makes the blog experience so personal and heart felt (pun intended).

I decided that it would be fun for this to be an annual feature on my blog with one change. If I am going to focus on all things I love…why not tie it to the month of Love? So beginning tomorrow, I bring you the second annual list of things I love. I hope you enjoy the list and please leave comments about the things you love.  This way, I can get to know you all a bit better too.  xoxo Tobi

photo by the talented Max Wanger

Cheers! Eddie Ross Style

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Well, today is my birthday (we won’t say how many years). My family and I are planning a very low-key evening, with plans to celebrate “in style” later when we can all find a date to get together. So just for fun, I am envisioning this gorgeous table scape and these glamorous flutes of champagne as the perfect setting for my party until we get a chance to really celebrate.

These amazing photos are from a gorgeous tabletop decor story Eddie Ross, former Martha Stewart Editor and Bravo’s Top Design Finalist, did with House Beautiful in 2004.  Fascinating how timeless the setting and color palette are, don’t you think?

I can just imagine myself opening all these pretty little blue boxes to find special treats inside just for me on my big day! Eddie actually did send me a little birthday treat this week in the way of adding my blog to his impressive blog roll. So thanks Eddie and Cheers to you for sending all those fabulous new readers my way!!

And if you are a reader of my blog but somehow don’t know about the fabulous Eddie Ross, then you must hurry over to his site to see this gorgeous tabletop story and many more similar and equally gorgeous creations that Eddie has dreamed up. And be sure to take a moment to vote for Eddie in the Bloomingdale’s Big Window Challenge over on Apartment Therapy and also send a text vote for Eddie’s window design by texting 1 to 89800 today and tomorrow.

Thanks to Eddie and each and every one of you for making my birthday and every other day of the year so special!! xoxoxoxo

A Little Color Inspiration with Eddie Ross

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As I mentioned last week, I have been on a mission for a little inspiration. And more specifically, some color inspiration.  I am working on a guest post for At Home in Arkansas Magazine’s blog in conjunction with their annual color issue. So I have been immersing myself in all things color, which is a fun task for me since color is the hallmark of most of my work.

Well it didn’t take me long to become truly “Color Inspired” this week. All I had to do was pop over to my blogger friend Eddie Ross’s site and see the fantastic and color-filled design he created to represent Elle Decor Magazine in the Bloomingdale’s Big Window Challenge.

You probably know Lifestyle expert and former Martha Stewart Editor, Eddie Ross, as one of the finalists in Bravo TV’s Top Design Season 2. Or maybe you read his gorgeous blog full of DIY projects and amazing tips for finding the best Flea Market finds. Or possibly, you are even a fan of Eddie’s recent Halloween Block Party and Celebrity Holiday Homes Specials on HGTV.

 

But in my opinion, Eddie’s design for the Bloomingdale’s Big Window Challenge is his best work yet!! I mean seriously…who else but Eddie could make splatter paint look so phenomenal??

Editor in Chief of Elle Decor Magazine, Margaret Russell, was a judge on Top Design when Eddie appeared on the show. So she knew just who to call on when looking for the perfect designer to represent Elle Decor in the Big Window Challenge.

Eddie’s task…to create a space that represents a truly modern woman.  The inspirational character that “inhabits” Eddie’s design is the “founder of her own fashion public relations firm with offices in Paris, Milan and New York”. The result is a space where she and her family can live “boldly, joyously and with fearless panache”.

Well, Eddie was definitely fearless in his use of color and his confident pairings of fabrics, furnishings, accessories and art to create a very unique and tres chic space that I, for one, would love to inhabit!

The idea of a modern thinking woman with traditional values, speaks to my own personality. And I love how Eddie interpreted this concept by mixing current pieces with gorgeous antiques to represent a sophisticated and savvy woman who surrounds herself with things she adores, who values family above all else and who doesn’t take herself too seriously.

One glance at Eddie’s window design and you totally buy into the scene where his jet-setting home owner returns home, kicks off her fashionable shoes and takes a break with a few of her favorite shelter magazines before she has to dress and host friends for cocktails later in the evening.

Inspired by Eddie’s design?? Love what he’s done with color?? Well join me in supporting Eddie and Elle Decor in the Big Window Challenge by voting.

Visit Apartment Therapy to see more photos of Eddie’s design and his 2 challengers rooms (who are also beautiful and stylish) and vote for your favorite. Yes, I know Apartment Therapy doesn’t make it perfectly easy to vote. But if you registered to vote for me and your other favorite bloggers in the Homies Awards a few weeks ago, then you already have a login and are ready to go! You can vote online once a day, everyday through January 28th.

You can also text one vote (America Idol style) per day. For Eddie text the number 1 to 89800. 

So don’t forget to vote twice per day, once online and once by text, to help Eddie’s or your other favorite design win the Bloomingdale’s Big Window Challenge!!

And pop over to Eddie’s Blog to read all the details about the imaginative story behind the design. And in true DIY style, Eddie will even show you how to create the stunning artwork over the sofa. 

Happy Voting!!!

Time for some Inspiration

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Hi Friends.

I guess you all were wondering what the heck happened to me and my blog, right? Well I took an unplanned two week hiatus from writing to find some new inspiration. I have to say it was a very welcomed break for me and my family.  I think this was the longest break I have taken from the blog in over a year. I am really surprised at how hard it was to come back to it today.

2010 is already shaping up to be a great year for me.  I have several new clients, two new employees, a new office, and some amazing news about upcoming national press that I can share with you really soon. My design team and I  have loved every minute of settling into our new office so far.  I have been at work every morning at 7:30 am with my staff of 12 and we have been extremely productive in our new 6000 square feet including a gorgeous kitchen, a conference room for 10 and a beautiful and very organized design workroom. It is amazing how a new, light-filled and very organized space can make you want to come to work each day.  We think up reasons to have meetings so we can try out all our new rooms.

So why not blog about it all right?  Well, I love blogging. I might even say I have been a bit addicted to it at times.  But though it is a pleasure and a privilege to be able to bring ideas and inspiration to my readers, it really is a job.  And it is a job that continues even though my real job is busy as ever.  It is a job that goes on, even when my family needs me. And the blog is a job that goes on when I would rather be biking (yes I got my Townie for Christmas) and hiking and having a little me time. So sometimes, you just have to put it away for a while. But the good news is that while you are away, you find all sorts of inspiration.

So no worries, I am definitely coming back. I have been working on some really exciting things for the blog and its appearance for about 3-4 months now and I think we will have it all ready to launch in May. I am working on many new series, new projects and a dedication to bringing you unique content and our own photos that can inspire you in your own interiors and DIY projects.

Until that time, I have some exciting posts planned. I will be repeating my 28 days of things I love in February (last year it was in July) , a Sustainability series in March based around two rooms I am doing in “The Energy House” to benefit the Arkansas March of Dimes, and will have part two of my Blogger Book Giveaway Series in April with a fabulous line up of guests and interviews along with the giveaways of their fabulous books.

So the remainder of this month might be a bit sporadic on the blog front as I continue to look for products and ideas that inspire me. I also have a lot of work to do for clients and new staff to train. My COO and I are completing year-end evaluations for our staff so we can tell them what an amazing job they did in 2009. They are all a great inspiration to me. Then we will be turning our sights to our many plans and goals for 2010. This is an exciting time at Tobi Fairley Interior Design.  I look forward to taking you with us on our journey this year. I may even bring you a few of the inspiration boards and musings from my talented team.

 

Stay tuned for these exciting developments really soon. I think they really will be an inspiration for you all. And in the meantime, please join with us in celebrating our accomplishments in 2009 in the post below.  Although a couple of weeks over due, it is never too late in my opinion, to reminisce about our accomplishments from 2009 and say thank you to all of the people who helped make it happen.

xoxo…Tobi

photos above from google, Cote de Texas, Frolic and Flickr

A Year (and Decade) in Review

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I love the turn of the new year. It is exciting to celebrate the accomplishments of the last year and there is just something about getting a fresh start, a new beginning, hitting the reset button, that lights a fire in my soul like no other time of the year.

This turn of the new year is even more special than some recent ones because we are not just starting a new year, but a new decade. So many blessings have come my way in the past decade. A husband, a daughter, a design business, a blog and good friends too numerous to count. I can honestly say it has been the best decade of my life. 

2009 marked the 10th anniversary of my business and oh what a year it was! I wanted to recap these things last week, but 2010 has already come in with a bang.  As I did on the last of day of 2008, I want to reminisce one last time about some of the amazing things that happened to me in 2009 before I see January 2010 in my rear view mirror.

I hope you enjoy sharing these memories with me. I thank each and every one of your from the very bottom of my heart for helping me accomplish so many things last year. I could not have done it alone!
 
My sweet friend Anne Sage started 2009 off with a bang for me with her 3-part feature on me and my design philosophies. Thanks Anne you are a gem, as is your blog.

And not long after, I was the highlight of a postby Ronda Carman of All the Best Blog. Little did I know that this little interview would lead to an amazing friendship with Ronda and be the connection to so many other great friends like Michael Devine and Thomas Burak, James Andrew and Scott McBee, Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo and many, many more! Ronda you really are THE BEST. Thanks for finding my work worthy of your gorgeous blog.

To round out the features from gorgeous women with gorgeous blogs, Cassandra Lavalle at Coco and Kelley was kind enough to include my home office in her brand new Style Escapes series.  Thanks Cass. I loved meeting you this year and look forward to more collaborations with you in 2010.
What an exciting start to 2009 and all this before the end of the first quarter. But that was not all that was happening early in the year.


I had a stunning feature in the March issue of At Home in Arkansas on a Medeterrean style home I recently completed for one of my favorite clients.

And then there was that little list Traditional Home decided to put me on…The Top 20 Young Designers in America!!!! Yippee. This was one of the true highlights of my year, and for that matter, the Decade! Thanks Traditional Home for noticing a girl from the South with a penchant for bright colors and bold patterns.  You even helped me get a mention on MSNBC and a luncheon at the Governor’s Mansion. I will never forget what you have done for my career.

In April, The Sam Walton College of Business Entrepreneur of the Year was a huge honor and validation of my business practices.
And my new friend Ronda included me in her prestigious All the Best List,  a compilation of the best trend setters and taste makers across the world.  I am humbled to be included with many of my design idols and great icons in our industry. What an honor this was.
 
Soiree, one of the top social magazines in Arkansas, did a fun profile on me in the May issue for their “Executive Priviledge” section. I loved the clever styling for this photograph. Thanks Soiree for letting me show my both my business and creative sides to the state in one beautiful feature!
 

Also in May, At Home in Arkanas magazine made an amazing transition with the hiring of their new Editor Dianne Carroll.  Dianne is such a talent, and was a key factor in my first national magazine exposure in 2008 when she was a field Editor for Traditional Home. What a neat experience to not only have a project in her first issue at At Home ,but to make the cover!! Thanks again Dianne for always making me look good. I know we will have a long and exciting relationship over the next decade. Cheers to you and At Home in Arkansas magazine.

And a little unexpected bonus from the group at At Home, my Mediterranean project was the setting for the cover of the At Home Wedding issue this year. Two covers in the same month, can’t beat that!

June was a month of blogger love. I had fabulous posts on my work and my social media skills from the likes of Material GirlsViral Housing, Ava Livingand more.  A million thank you’s go out to all these bloggers and all the other bloggers (Apartment therapy, Ivan Meade) around the globe who have been so good to me this year.

Traditional Home threw me another bone in June by including my work in a color feature on red and blue. A nice surprise for the sometimes slow summer months

My second project with the amazing Dianne Carroll came in July with the Waterfront Homes issue of At Home in Arkansas.
The local and regional accolades continued in the second half of this year beginning with being awarded the title of Best Designer in the Arkansas Times Newspaper’s Best of the Best Series. This is the grandaddy of the “Best of” competitions in Arkansas and one that I had not previously won. Thanks to all the reader of the Arkansas Times for supporting me and my work!

Another really exciting development this year was when I became the proud writer of my very own design column, “Tobi’s Tips”.  The readers of AY voted me best Designer in Arkansas earlier in the year. But now, the staff at AY Magazine included me in their all-star lineup including P. Allen Smith, Jill Connor Browne (aka the Sweet Potato Queen) and others who write for their regional magazine. Angela, Vicki and staff,  I send my sincere thanks and I am so looking forward to the exciting things we have in store for my column in 2010.

September not only marked the first issue of my column, but it started the whirlwind finish to this busy year.  First up was my annual trip to the Business of Design Conferencewith David Shephard where I was awarded Best Practices Network Member of the Year. Also, Kravet was kind enought to ask me to write the tech column for their fall magazine issue, Inspired Talk. This was another fun opportunity to talk about my experience with social media and the successes I have had with it this year.

Jetting off to LA was next on my agenda to be part of a discussion panel for Traditional Homeduring Design Week at the Pacific Design Center. I was honored to be in the company of the great Windsor Smith, the extremely talented and charming Peter Dunham, my fellow Top 20 Designer in America Joe Lucas, and social media expert Shane Reilly of Decorati.

 
Being the keynote speaker at the WITHIT Organization Breakfast presented by my friends at New River Artisans at the Fall Highpoint Market was another great experience. And while at market I had a little fun with Soicher Marin at our first annual Twitter “tweet up”. Just a few days later I joined several of my blogger friends at the Hickory Chair blogger Breakfast.

My staff and I celebrated being awarded another Asid Gold Award. This one was for our renovation of the family home of actor Clark Duke


This Fall we also moved to our New Gallery and design firm. Over 6000 square feet of gorgeous space, this is true luxury for my staff and me. We are so grateful to have this inspiring place to foster our creativity.

This Summer I had the pleasure of filming two of my projects for HGTV’s hit show Top Ten. The episodes began running in Canada this fall and are set to debut in America this month.

Traditional Home has been so good to me in 2009. They topped off the year by including me in their Designer Holiday Feature in the December issue.  I was part of a story on what 23 top designers from around the country , including Barclay Butera, Celerie Kemble, Barry Dixon and more,  practice as their Holiday traditions.  With Christmas traditions being a huge part of my southern roots, I loved being part of this story. Thanks again Traditional Home for making 2009 so special.

I rounded out this fantastic year as the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette High Profile feature the Sunday before Christmas.  I open the style section of our statewide newspaper each and every Sunday morning to see what amazing Arkansan is featured on the front cover. It was a true honor and priviledge to be featured this year.  And the plethora of friends, business people and other Arkansans, some that I don’t even know, who called, sent notes, and emailed congratulating me on the feature really blew me away.  I even got a facebook message from my all-time favorite teacher who taught me in the fifth grade.  This was a humbling experience and I appreciate the tremendous support I have received all year, all decade really, for my design work, my business and my blog.

I know it is hard to believe but these were just the highlights of the year. There were many more great moments that occured in 2009.  I am so very blessed to have so much love and support from friends like you. 

So as we begin this new year (yes, I am a few days behind already), I want to propose a toast to you. May your new year be full of good health, happiness and prosperity! And from one grateful designer, blogger, wife, mom, daughter, sister, and friend, I send a heartfelt thanks to you all.  Cheers!