KATV’s Design Time with Tobi Fairley:Bang For Your Buck!

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I am so excited to bring to you my first blog post in conjunction with my appearances on KATV Channel 7’s Good Morning Arkansas. If you were able to watch this morning, you saw me talk about current design trends and how to get the most Bang For Your Buck in your home. 

Now I want to show you exactly how you can do these easy projects at home and save lots of money!

Using grosgrain and satin ribbon to embellish decorative items around your home from chairs, to pillows, to linens is a major trend. Here’s how you can do it yourself and make your dollars go farther! 

Go to my blog post Add a Little Energy to Your Pillows… for step-by-step instructions on creating this look on pillows.  It’s so easy and you don’t even have to sew!

I also talked about adding ribbon to napkins… 

Adding ribbon to your napkins is an easy way to add style and elegance to a dinner party.  I used this idea for a table I recently designed for the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House Spring Gala in New York City.

Here’s a quick lesson on this easy project:

Cut your ribbon and heat-set fusible tape a little wider than the napkin.


I used fusible tape that has a paper backing.  Heat set the adhesive side to the ribbon.  Once the tape is bonded to the ribbon, peel away the paper backing.  Repeat this step for each length of ribbon.

Iron the ribbon to the napkin, one ribbon at a time.  Make sure the adhesive side is facing down.  Fold the ends under and adhere to the back side of the napkin.

That’s it!  Now is the perfect time to press your napkin if you are planning on a special fold.  We used a fold accomodating a menu card in the gala photo above.

Now let talk about getting bang for your buck with lamps…

Colorful gourd lamps are all the rage in the design world these days. 

The lamps pictured above were $30 flea market finds.  I had them painted (a slightly more punchy shade of orange than their original paint job) and installed new shades.  Check out the before photo…

It’s amazing what a little paint and a new shade will do to a shabby flea market find!  This is what they looked like when I found them.

Want to know how to create inexpensive art with high style?

This designer set of prints provides a dynamic focal point in my family room.  The prints are very detailed and are a virtual scientific study of sea shells.

This morning you heard me talk about a great website called Vintage Printable.  They are a great source for downloadable copyright-free images.  You can create a designer look for less with a printer and a ready-made frame.  These types of images always look spectacular in groupings.

This grouping of giclee prints are hanging in the bedroom at the March of Dimes Energy House I recently designed in Diamonhead near Hot Springs.

Here’s a similar looking image on Vintage Printable.  You could easily create your own grouping from the multiple images on the website.  You can print them on card stock and resize the images to work with the frames you have selected.

I hope all the KATV viewers enjoyed Design Time with Tobi Fairley this morning.  I can’t wait to be back next month with more exciting ideas for your home!  In the meantime, you can subscribe to this blog and get great design information every day.

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8 Responses to KATV’s Design Time with Tobi Fairley:Bang For Your Buck!

  1. Wonderful ideas! I’m always looking for inexpensive updates for my home. Vintage Printable is a favorite of mine. I would never have thought to add ribbon to napkins. I’m definitely going to use that tip!

  2. Beryn Hammil says:

    Great, colorful, affordable ideas! No wonder you’re a star! Congratulations!

  3. Molly says:

    What type of paint would be best used for repainting the lamps?

  4. Thania says:

    I am with the previous poster. What paint is best for lamps?

  5. Beth Ann says:

    Oh. my. goodness! I am so excited you are doing a series – I am such a fan. Thank you for sharing your work!

  6. Steph says:

    I love the vintage prints, can someone tell me how to print from the site?

  7. Percy Miller says:

    ditto on both of those questions: what type of paint did you use on the lamps and how do you print from the vintage prints sight? i love both!