Archive for September, 2012

Have you Hugged Someone Today?

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I just left my Saturday morning Yoga class.  I have been on a mission of healthy living and self care and I feel like a totally different person. I can’t wait to tell you a lot more about that soon.

But today while I was in my yoga practice, my mind wandered as minds are prone to do, and what I began thinking about was the power of human touch. More specifically, how my former yoga teacher, Holly, who no longer lives in Little Rock, used to give me the biggest hug every time I came to class and every time I left. Now this was a very firm hug, a real SQUEEZE. And I always felt SO loved and SO relaxed when she did this. Many of us used to get these kinds of hugs as kids from our parents and grandparents, but how many of us as adults get these REAL hugs on a regular basis?

I missed the hugs for a few years until I began working with my Health Coach and Massage Therapist, Julianne, and guess what? She does the same thing. Every single time I see her. Whether it is for a massage, one of our health coaching sessions or even if I run into her at yoga or in the grocery store.

That’s right, no matter where we are, there is no embarrassment on either of our parts. A big ole bear hug happens. And you know what? It always makes me feel SO loved and SO relaxed just like when Holly used to do the same thing.

So this got me thinking about how I could make every person in my life feel this loved and this relaxed with just a hug. Now I’m not talking about a one arm around them with a light squeeze or pat or “lean” into them. I am talking about a face-forward, 2 arms around them squeeze like you will never see them again.

And so now I am on a mission to make this happen. I think it is part of “taking my yoga practice out into the world” as my current teacher always reminds us to do. I can hardly wait to see the next person so I can get to “hug practicing”!

What about you? Have you hugged anyone lately? Do you have the confidence to practice this even if others think you are weird, cheesy, or even if they won’t admit that they like it (though we know they secretly will)? Give it a try.

The great thing about these hugs is that they fall under the category of “it is better to give than to receive”, because whether it helps the people you are hugging, I promise, it will make you feel like a million bucks!

And don’t forget you can give “virtual hugs” and encouragement to people too by taking the time to call, text, and email just to tell them how great you think they are and that you are thinking of them and hope they have a fabulous day! Want to know more on this subject. Here is a book I love that can help you get into the habit of lifting other people up. It’s called How Full is Your Bucket and it’s by the amazing author of Strength Finders 2.0.

Happy Hugging!

xo, Tobi

Two New Top Tens!

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In my two latest top ten lists on Williams-Sonoma’s Designer Marketplace, I’m sharing my Top 10 Ways to Give Every Design Project a One-of-a-Kind Look and Where to Splurge and Where to Save: 5 places to get the look for less, and 5 places you should never compromise when it comes to designing interiors.

And let’s face it: plenty of us have had to adapt to the changing economy. Adapt, Yes!; but that doesn’t mean sacrificing a unique look for your home! You can have a home that expresses your family’s style, without spending big bucks on every element.

One place I insist that you should consider a splurge is: original artwork. It doesn’t get more one-of-a-kind than this! It stands the test of time and it’s an excellent investment. Not to mention…it can add MAJOR impact to a room.

Here are a few pieces that really elevated the design in a few of my own projects. Each of these pieces not only make the design more layered and complex, they also give a hint of each client’s personal taste. Have a look:

And here are a few more examples of designs that put the emphasis on originality by incorporating fine art that caught my eye on Pinterest and that I pinned on my board, Art Smart (which, if you are as wild about this stuff as I am, you should be following!).

Design by Jonathan Adler, pinned from

pinned from

Design by Kate and Andy Spade; pinned from

I hope these images have inspired you NOT to skimp on artwork, because it can give a room a truly custom, curated look!

If you’re looking for more ways to balance the splurging with a little saving, read more tips HERE!

And if you’re trying to find more ways to give your home a custom, personalized look, get my top 10 ways to do that, HERE!

I hope you find these useful! Let me know if these are ideas that work for you!





p. s. For how to use artwork to it’s maximum effect, join me November 7-9 at one of my signature Camp Tobi Fairley events: Design A to Z! Learn more here!

Virginia is for Lovers!

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Today, I’m in Richmond for the IFDA Day of Design, hosted by the Virginia chapter of the International Furnishings and Design Association. I’m honored to be the keynote speaker for the event!

It will be held at the site of the 2012 Richmond Symphony Designer Show House, Pinifer Park.

It’s built in the type of architecture referred to as Queen Anne, which makes me think of lovely cabriole table, desk, bench, and chair legs! What a graceful shape! Want to see some favorites of mine?

I liked this table enough to choose it for my own Master Bedroom!

And this ornate, traditional bench is freshened-up with the bright, patterned fabric.

And you’re familiar with my D-I-Y desk, but have you checked out the legs on it?! So pretty!

This coffee table cuts a gorgeous silhouette don’t you think?

And how about these cabriole inspiration posts from Pinterest:





I’ll be back in the Natural State soon, but for now….I’m a lover…a cabriole lover 😉





p.s. You can learn more about mixing furniture style and incorpating traditional pieces in bold new ways at my Design A to Z camp! Learn more at!

KATV Design Time: I’m Speaking Greek!

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Of course you already know all about my LOVE for Greek Key. To me it isn’t a trend, but a pattern that’s as classic as a Chanel suit! That’s what I talked about today, on Good Morning Arkansas!

Greek Key can be masculine and stately, but it’s also so clean and geometric and versatile!

It can give a design structure, like in the Richmond showhouse project I’ve shared with you before… (how many Greek Keys can YOU find?!)

(photo credit: John Magor; design: Tobi Fairley)

(photo credit: John Magor; design: Tobi Fairley)

And it is also gorgeous as a delicate detail, like on this glamorous tableskirt in my Lenox Hill tabletop design!

It makes a lovely border on these outdoor rugs!

And did someone say…Chanel?

And here’s my segment if you missed it so you can hear exactly why I love Greek Key and how to use it…

Tobi Fairley: Decorating with Greek Key.

Here are some of my past posts on Greek Key goodies, for your enjoyment!
p.s. If you love Greek Key, you should check out my Athens line of pillows and fabrics (sold by the yard) over at Tobi Fairley Home!

Blast from the Past: Hickory Chair Then and Now

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Remember how I told you that the home I designed that was recently featured in At Home in Arkansas is full of amazing antiques and vintage family pieces? Well, the wonderful staff at Hickory Chair did a little digging and found amazing old catalog photos of some of the furniture. Just look at this!

Even more of the other pieces in these photographs including this sofa (bottom photo)  are also classic Hickory Chair pieces. And I threw in some new Hickory Chair (like the polka dot dining chairs)to spice things up a bit. Oh how I love to mix the old with the new. What a treasure trove this project was, and what a joy to work with such gorgeous foundations!

Don’t you just love the nostalgic old photos, in contrast with the same pieces in fresh, new fabrics?! I can’t say enough about the folks at Hickory Chair and how cool it is they dug these out for us. I hope it was fun for you to see them, too!


p. s. If you’re looking for ways to layer-in and mix furniture of different periods–or even fabrics with different patterns and colors–you might want to join me for Design A to Z on November 7-9 at my home studio in Little Rock. Design A to Z is a Tobi Fairley Camp that can give anyone (professional or amateur) a good grounding in the basics of interior design. Learn more about Design A to Z at the Camp Tobi Fairley blog.