Archive for June, 2012

Turning to the Experts…

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Hi Friends!!
Today is such a fun day, because I have an exciting announcement! All throughout the month of July, I will be featuring expert advice on the blog from some of your favorite designers, stylists, authors, fabulous-people-in-general, you name it — they are all going to be here!! Many of them will be sharing some the best advice they have ever received, while others will give you tips they have learned through their own life lessons.

I don’t know about you, but when I have a tough question or just want to know the best way to solve a problem in general, I think it’s wise to consult an expert. That’s why I thought it would be a great idea to round up all of these individuals and get them to give you their go-to answers, soulful advice and surefire solutions! Similar to the same way many of you turn to me for great design advice!

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I’m so excited to share this series with you. I hope you will find it inspiring and helpful. Starting tomorrow, be sure to grab a pencil and get ready to take a few notes from these experts. You can consider it my “Christmas in July” gift to you!!

Enjoy!!
xo, Tobi

Bridal Registry Bliss: Guest Post with Kathryn Greeley

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Hi friends! Today I am so happy to once again have my friend Kathryn Greeley here to share some expert advice on a topic that is so relevant to our current season — wedding season, that is! Kathryn’s extensive knowledge of entertaining, collections and china patterns make her the perfect person to share some tips on creating a registry! I hope you or a bride you know will find these hints helpful. Enjoy! xo, Tobi
Many brides and grooms love selecting china, stemware and flatware patterns for their wedding registry. However, it can be a big decision and there are certainly a lot of factors to consider. I have spent years collecting tabletop items and curating timeless place settings with brides of all ages. Using “something old and something new” not only applies to the wedding day itself, but also to a brilliant and completely dressed table! Today, I am excited to share this list of wedding registry advice I’ve compiled through the years to help couples make selections they will love for a lifetime!

My collection of Flow Blue china

1. Inventory Your Collection  Brides should take an inventory of the things they already own, and determine the quantity and quality of these items. For instance, if you have already started collecting a china pattern, then consider the number of place settings or serving pieces needed to finish out the pattern. Also consider the quality of your items. Is it something special that you love or is it just something you use to get by? Be sure to keep family heirlooms in mind, as they are a huge part in pulling together a well-set, collected tabletop. An inventory of these pieces will really help you when you register.

An heirloom collection of Flora Danica

2. Make an Appointment to Register  Selecting a bridal registry can be time consuming. Filling out paperwork and perusing the store takes time. It is important to call the department store or local boutique to determine if they have an appointment policy for wedding registries. If you can, I would also recommend going on a weekday. There are likely to be fewer people registering and you may receive more personalized attention.

3. Register with More Than One Store  I recommend registering with three to four different places, including department stores or chains, boutiques and antique shops or art galleries. Department stores or nationwide retailers, such as Bed, Bath & Beyond and Williams-Sonoma, offer a large variety of housewares such as small appliances, cookware, and bed linens. These are all also smart choices to add to a wedding registry. I also recommend registering with a local boutique. They often carry lines that department stores may not have, including items that are indigenous to your area. For example, a local boutique may offer a line of pottery, colorful cocktail glasses, or seasonal gifts.

Specialty retailers are another good choice when selecting places to register. I would recommend selecting a few items at an antiques store or an art gallery. You will truly find unique pieces at these locales! If vintage china is your thing or you have a family set that you would like to add to, I would also consider Replacements, Ltd. They are the authority on this topic!! Family and friends like having a choice when selecting a gift. Providing guests with many options will allow them to select something that is truly special or significant. Additionally, out of town guests may want to purchase gifts online so that they do not have to travel with an additional package. Registering with a variety of stores will allow them to this do this.

A collection of vintage martini glasses I enjoying using at cocktail parties.

4. Go Early and Go Often On your first visit to these stores, I would suggest going alone or with your groom. You can browse the selection, make certain you want to register there, and then really dig in to the selections by working with an associate. On return visits, you can take your mom, mother-in-law and your friends to see your selections and ask them to help with any final decisions that need to be made. Stores are always adding new merchandise, so it never hurts to go back and add to your registry!!

Table settings for at a shower I hosted for a dear friend.

5. Don’t Skip the Holidays  Seasonal china is a great way to layer in holiday decor to a tabletop. Many china manufacturers offer accent salad plates with seasonal motifs. Selecting an accent salad plate or serving pieces will provide a very collected look. Be wary of selecting seasonal pieces that may only be available for one year or as part of a limited edition. It may be difficult to complete the set or find a replacement in the future.

Seasonal accent plates in holiday hues.

6. Register for What You Love  After all, you are the one who will be using it on an everyday basis, so it should be something that brings a smile to your face each time you pull it out of the cabinet! If you are worried that something may be too expensive, it’s perfectly acceptable to still place it on your registry. You never know — your guests may decide to go in together on a gift or shower purchase or you may find you have an especially kind relative!

I hope these tips are helpful to all of you brides!  Visit my blog for more tabletop and collecting ideas!
Have a lovely day!
~Kathryn

[Images: WeddingBee and Kathryn Greeley Designs]

My Favorite Pink & Green Paints!

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This is the month of pink-and-green love here on my blog, so naturally I couldn’t let the month slip by without sharing these…

What are your favorite pinks and greens?

xo, Tobi

Around the Showhouse…

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Hi Friends,

Over the course of the past year, I have shared a lot of the details about my first Traditional Home Hamptons Showhouse experience and the guest room I designed that was chock-full of color and pattern!!

Now, the July issue of Traditional Home is going all out and sharing the scoop on ALL of the rooms in last year’s showhouse!

As I was poring over the issue, I was reminded of this fun video from The Editor at Large. I think it’s always a treat to hear from designers on their theory and inspiration, so take a peek…

Remember to pick up your own copy of the Traditional Home feature — it’s on newsstands now. Trust me there are plenty of pages you’ll be marking!!!

Big thanks to Traditional Home and Editor at Large for these fun features!

xo, Tobi

P.S. Wondering what this year’s Traditional Home Showhouse will feature? Get all the details on the 2012 house here.

We’re Hiring!

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That’s right, we are officially on the lookout for a talented designer/project manager to join the team here in Little Rock!

I’m excited to announce this position and even more excited to hear from you guys who might be interested in joining our fabulous (and fun!!) team.

Here are a few of the credentials we are looking for:

  • Interior design degree from a 4-year accredited university
  • Three or more years of experience working as a designer and managing projects
  • Ability to manage a residential design project
  • Ability and desire to work on our e-design service, InBox Interiors
  • Ability to develop and execute a design from the conceptual and presentation stage through the completion of construction documents and final installation

Think you’ve got what it takes? Send your resume to me at info@tobifairley.com.

Hope to hear from some of you bright stars soon!
-Tobi