Archive for September, 2010

Entertaining Details: Fiesta Time with Tobi

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This month’s entertaining feature is a party that’s perfect for any time of year. It’s always Fiesta time in my opinion and never too early for a Margarita, right?

So how did I take my back patio from ordinary to Mexican-inspired chic for this festive event? With a little Mexican hat dance, I guess.  Sombrero’s are a great place to start for any party that’s theme is south of the border. I tied them on chair backs to make my regular furniture fabulous!

Colorful pillows add zing all around my event. And don’t be afraid to mix your stripes, the more layered the patterns, the more charm your party will have. I mixed a variety of striped serapes with pillows of all sorts for a truly eclectic Mexican decor.

What are the 3 most import words in Fiesta decor? Color! Color! Color! We even offered our guests color in their Mexican soda pops.

Underneath all the festive additions is my teak furniture and striped Sunbrella fabrics. And I often say start with what you’ve got, so once I added in a few festive touches, my normal patio decor is suddenly Muy Bueno!!

You don’t always have to go to authentic Mexican sources to find great Fiesta decor. Although many of these festive elements were found that way, often the perfect pieces are right under your nose in sources you visit every day.  Take these adorable color-blocked Dransfield and Ross pillows.  Could they be more perfect for the theme? I layered in several of Dransfield’s patterns to keep with my “collected” look.

And to make things  more fun and quirky, we created a little homage to the famous Latino Holiday El Dia de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead” by creating a shrine of sorts to famous Latinos.  Candles, roses, crosses and a skull or two gave this area perfect touch.

And my little Spanish-speaking senorita helped with the finishing details in her perfectly coordinated pink Mexican dress!

We even had Senor Fairley tending the bar.  So no one went without a freshly made Margarita for long.

The menu was filled with Fajitas, Queso and other spicy fare. But it was the homemade Guacamole that got the best reviews.

Gerbers and tulips paired perfectly for the table, while these great bottle lanterns and paper flowers finished off the umbrella with style.

Want to make your own paper flowers? Watch this great video for a step-by-step tutorial.

With these entertaining ideas and a few of your own, you can have a chic and successful Fiesta in your backyard.

Adios Amigos! I’m off for a Margarita because we all know,  “it’s five o’clock somewhere!”

Design Time with Tobi Fairley: Fall Tablescape

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This morning on KATV’s Design Time with Tobi Fairley, I brought ideas for creating a great Fall Tablescape that will impress your guests but not break the bank! With a bit of creativity and a little work, you can create a unique and colorful Fall table that doesn’t look like it came right off the shelf of your local store.

First lets start with the table cover. Burlap has a great natural texture and just screams Fall.  Remember those potato sack races back in school? A great way to spice things up on your table is to pick up inexpensive burlap at your local craft store and dress up the edges with grosgrain ribbon.  Fusable tape and an iron are all you need to hold the ribbon in place.  And think outside the typical “orange” fall color scheme.  I paired orange with slate blue for a fresh color palette.

Next, have a little fun with your place cards.  By purchasing a white pumpkin or creating your own with a small orange version, some white spray paint and a black sharpie marker, you can not only direct your guests to their seat, but they can take their adorable pumpkin with them at the end of the meal.

Menu cards make every meal seem extra special and more thought out. It also keeps the guests’ mouths watering as they anticipate what’s to come. It is these sorts of special touches that make your entertaining really unique. This simple menu card was typed on the computer (including the border), printed on white card stock, and then cut out and glued to orange card stock for a lovely layered effect.

So many people in Arkansas and around the world spend their summers growing delicious veggies in their gardens and then canning them so they can be enjoyed for months to come.  Sharing your homemade treats with guests is a great idea. Whether it’s salsa, jams, jellies or other delicious edibles, your guests will love taking home something made with love by you.  Here we just used the same process as the menu cards for the labels and a little left-over grosgrain ribbon tops off the jar for that finishing touch.

To create an inexpensive but trendy centerpiece that will last the season long, you just need to head out into your own backyard.  Faux Bois is all the rage in home decor, but why not go for the real thing by collecting cuttings from a tree and spraying them with a coat of white paint.  You can try different limbs from different types of trees until you get just the look you want.  These were collected from a magnolia tree and we’ve used a terracotta wine cooler for the vase.

To complete our Fall table look, we painted a $2.00 metal charger from a craft store, paired it with white and Fall-colored dishes, topped off the table with pumpkins and gourds and now all we need are the guests.

Hope you can have fun creating a similar look of your own. Thanks to those of you who watched me this morning on KATV!!

Happy Fall!!

Haute to Home: Korto Momolu

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What would one of Korto’s favorite Haute looks from her line look like as a room? I’m thinking this yummy purple space with charcoal artwork.

 Or maybe this gorgeous space with a to-die-for purple sofa and charcoal mouldings.

Which look do you prefer?

photos from the Creamy Life and Design Hole

Korto Momolu Style Revisited

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I brought to you the fashion of Korto Momolu in our Style Feature this month, but I still wondered what is Korto’s style at home. So I asked her for a photo of her dream room and here is the sleek, simple, and architectural space she said she loves.

Want to create a similar space in your home? Here are some great products that can help you do just that…

Tobi’s Tips for AY Magazine

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September is full of anniversaries for me.  This September marks the 2-year anniversary of my blog and also one year ago this month I wrote my first Tobi’s Tips column for AY Magazine all about buying and hanging art.

If you haven’t seen my latest Tobi’s Tips for AY Magazine it’s all about Fall Fever and infusing those lovely Autumn shades into your interior. Be sure to subscribe to AY to get the full column but you can see an abbreviated version on their site. 

My Color Coded monthly feature here on my blog introduces you to some of my favorite golden hues that add the perfect pop to your Fall wardrobe and interior.


But who has time for Autumn? I’m off to prep for a fun Christmas photo shoot happening tomorrow in my home for an expanded installment of Tobi’s Tips for the AY November issue.  Look for gorgeous Holiday decorating photos, entertaining ideas, recipes and more in just a few short weeks.  If you hurry you can get your subscription in time for this great Holiday issue.

And speaking of great holiday ideas, check out these fun easy napkin ring ideas from my friends at Shelterpop. I gotta go create Christmas in September…see you soon!