Archive for October, 2012

New York City Holiday House with Traditional Home Magazine

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Hi Friends,

Thanks so much for your patience with my lack of blogging of late. I have been so busy with travel during September and October, that I just can’t seem to get to everything.

But I didn’t want to wait another minute to tell you about the amazing Showhouse that I am participating in with Traditional Home Magazine. It is in New York City on the upper East side (63rd and 5th Avenue to be exact) and it’s called Holiday House. I am so honored to have designed Traditional Home’s sponsored room and to be in a showhouse with the likes of Design Greats Eric Cohler, Charlotte Moss, Geoffrey Bradfield, Vincente Wolf and many more big names in the design industry.

The Opening Gala for Holiday House was last night and what a great party it was! Beginning today, the house is open for tours daily and believe me- it is one showhouse you won’t want to miss.

Holiday House is an interesting concept in which designers create rooms based on a holiday theme. Now not all the “holidays” are the traditional ones.  Mine, in fact, is called Spring Forward and it is in celebration of the time each Spring when we “Spring Forward”, but it is also a play on words as the room concept is built around being “Fashion Forward”.

In my space you will find all sorts of fashion references and couture detailing beginning with my classic color palette (for both fashion and interiors) of black and white inspired by the Phillip Jeffries wallcovering that graces my space and is magnified by these chic paintings by Kansas City artist Jane Booth. Oh, and did you notice my black and white Faux Bois fabric from my Tobi Fairley Home Collection?

Other details like grosgrain ribbon trim, applique and embroidery on the drapery panels, contrast welting on my channel-back banquettes, and the sexy curves of my Hickory Chair slipper chairs all bring to mind a feminine fashionista.

In fact all my gorgeous furniture is from Hickory Chair and what a pleasure it was to work with them once again on a successful show house!

And to top it all off, my delicate chandeliers from Canopy Designs and these TO DIE FOR vintage Murano Emerald lamps from Swank lighting are the “jewelry” of my design.

And for those of you who are a fan of Dunes and Duchess, you won’t want to miss how great their double sconces look flanking my fireplace. I think it is the best I have seen these beauties look yet (if I say so myself!) And don’t miss seeing my GORGEOUS black natural fiber Cortina rug from Merida Meridian. It’s Yummy!

I’d like to thank all these amazing vendors that worked with me including Holiday House sponsors’ Pratt and Lambert Paints and NDI.  And a big thank you to Mountjoy Custom Drapery, Michael Savoia, Personal Touch Movers, Freddy and Sandy from Creative Strategies, Traditional Home Magazine and the Holiday House staff and volunteers! We couldn’t have pulled this off without all these great partners.

So if you are in the New York area or will be between now and  November 18th, you MUST go see the Holiday House. And the best news is that it benefits such a great cause, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. This is a cause that is very close to my family because my husband’s mom died of breast cancer before I had the pleasure of knowing her. I also have a young friend (who is only 29 and a former member of my design team) who is currently fighting breast cancer. So PLEASE take the time to see this gorgeous designer showhouse and help this very important cause!

I look forward to hearing what you all think of my “Spring Forward” design. And I will be back soon with many more exciting blog posts because I have SO much to tell you that has been happening over the last few weeks and months.

Oh and speaking of exciting things…If you are in the New York area or will be there next week, please come have breakfast and hear me speak at Astra in the D & D building with Traditional Home and design celebs Philip Gorrivan, Patrik Lonn, Anne Foster Maxwell of Tilton Fenwick, Gideon Mendelson and blogger and author Ronda Carman of All the Best blog,along with the Scottish Textile Industry.

One of the things I haven’t had time to get you up to speed on is the FANTASTIC trip that I took with Traditional Home and these amazing designers to Scotland in June.  I will be bringing you an inside look at my trip to Scotland here on the blog very soon, but you won’t want to miss hearing all about our amazing experience touring Scottish Textile mills first hand on Tuesday, October 30th at 10am.

And as an added bonus, see the chairs each of us designed using Scottish Textiles and great frames from Edward Ferrell + Lewis Mittman. (Hint: Mine is both Scottish and perfect for Breast Cancer Awareness Month!! #thinkpinktartan)

So as you can see, New York is the place to be over the next week and I hope to see you there!!


(Drumroll, Please…) I’m Announcing Exciting Guests for Design A to Z and a Special Offer for You!!

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I’m about to burst with excitement, because I’ve been sitting on a BIG surprise! As you may know, my next 3-day session of Design A to Z begins on November 7th (that’s just three weeks away!), and we have the most incredible line-up of special guests ever in the history of Camp Tobi Fairley!! Yes, I said “guests,” as in more than one special guest.

If you read this blog, chances are you love design (some of you probably eat, sleep, and breathe design!), and if you love design, it just doesn’t get better than practical training in creating gorgeous interiors AND schmoozing with the design elite at the same time.

And what has me extra excited about the guests we’re hosting for Design A to Z next month is that they are all dear, dear friends of mine.  So, without further ado, our superstar presenters…(ready for that drumroll now):

Yes, Amanda Nisbet is coming! In case you don’t know about the stunning work of my sweet friend Amanda Nisbet, she’s an interior designer who creates interiors with lots of energy that feel fresh and cleverly-layered.

She’s a very busy lady, with her own line of textiles (available through Holland & Sherry showrooms, Harbinger (L.A.), Travis (ATL), and Tigger Hall (Australia)), a lighting collection with The Urban Electric Co., and two rug collections (!!!), so we’re honored that she’s taking the time to join us. She’s received a TON of attention around her signature aesthetic, including publication in House Beautiful, Traditional Home, Veranda, Coastal Living, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Oprah At Home! There’s been a boost in the buzz lately surrounding the release of her beautiful new book,  Dazzling Design.

You. Want. This. Book. Believe me, you do. And…if you join me for Design A to Z, you will receive a signed copy as a GIFT from me!! You all know I’m wild about giving gifts, and this is my special, secret (oops!) gift to each and every camper for our upcoming session.

Now, if you’re thinking to yourself…that’s plenty of excitement for a three-day event, think AGAIN! We will be joined by another fellow designer and friend, whose work I admire: Scot Meacham Wood!

You probably already follow Scot’s wildly popular blog, The Adventures of Tartan Scot. He is a man whose cosmopolitan sensibilities have led him to a signature style that he calls “gracious.” I just love that description of life-inspired interiors, so insightful! He’s a tartan lover, a runner, and he collects antique china. I’ve asked him to speak specifically about his technique of choosing finishes for a room, so that things stay layered and diverse without getting distracting and chaotic (this is a topic I’m frequently asked about, so I know it’s going to be a HUGE help for lots of you!).

We are all going to learn a lot from Scot’s unique design perspective, and we’re also sure to enjoy ourselves because he’s lots of fun to be around.

Of course all the bustle right now is about High Point’s Fall Market, and I know lots of design enthusiasts want the SCOOP on this high-profile trade show. And if you want to know the ins and outs…Cheminne Taylor-Smith is your woman.

Cheminne is the Vice President of Marketing at the High Point Market Authority. You’re not likely to meet anyone more familiar with the design industry from ALL angles. She has over two decades of experience in home furnishings, as well as experience working with Margaret Russell at Elle Decor. We’re lucky to have her expertise as part of our sessions! Not only is she going to lend us her insights, she’s also looking forward to getting more information on the design side! She’s been a good friend of mine for some time, and I’m so excited to see her.

I’m also thrilled to say that the response to the Central Arkansas Antique Tour Add-On was so great, that we’ve invited interior designer Kathryn Greeley to lead us in search of the state’s finest pieces AGAIN!

Of course you know of Kathryn’s passion for entertaining and for creating and displaying magnificent collections, through her features here on the blog and on the pages of Traditional Home, on Martha Stewart Radio, on our mutual friend, P. Allen Smith’s radio show. NOW is your chance to get her expert advice on how and where to find the antique pieces that will make your room look “collected, not decorated.” When you attend the the Antique Trip, you’ll also receive a signed copy of her book, The Collected Tabletop!

"Kathryn Greeley"

So, with a line up of guests like that, I’d say you can’t afford to miss out on this Camp Tobi Fairley event! I always ALWAYS get inspired about sharing my design experience and tools with people who are eager to learn more, and I always learn a lot from the amazing people who attend! So the fact that we will have such a great group of presenters and guests just compounds my anticipation; I’m marking off the days until Design A to Z!!!

To learn much more about the content of this crash-course in the basics of interior design, CLICK HERE. It has been a major motivator and source of inspiration to design professionals and enthusiasts alike!

And, here’s an exciting promotion. Because this amazing group of design experts are going to be in my home studio, ready to learn and share with us, while there are still seats available I want to make YOU a very special offer: If you decide to join us for Design A to Z…I want to invite you to bring a friend FOR FREE!! (Not valid with early bird special or other discounts. But certainly email us if you have questions). So, to learn more and reserve your seat, visit the Camp Tobi Fairley website, here.


P.S. Don’t miss me on KATV’s Good Morning Arkansas Today at 9am CST. I’ll be talking about getting your kitchen ready for Fall and speaking of Fall, I’ll elaborate more on our Fall Lineup of Camp Tobi Fairley guests and give you more details!

Camp Tobi Fairley is grateful to its event sponsors:

Traditional Home Fall Feast Photo Shoot: Let Me Take YOU Behind the Scenes

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I recently hosted a dinner party to share with my nearest and dearest all the stories and photos I brought back from my amazing trip to Scotland! Traditional Home joined me for the preparations, and the story is in the magazine this month. They’ve also included photos and recipes of the event on their website.

And, today, I discuss more about the decor for the event (including how YOU can create a Fall Feast that’s vibrant and fresh), over at my friend P. Allen Smith’s blog. Don’t miss it!

In Designer MBA last week, we talked for a moment about how to work smart at a photo shoot, and it occurred to me that YOU might be interested in a behind-the-scenes peek at what it takes to pull off an event like this, when it’s going to be captured on film. So I pulled together some progress shots for you.

Of course the lighting had to be just right!

And the Palette Catering staff was busting a move in the kitchen! They were fabulous, as always! They helped me re-create this shortbread: a recipe I picked-up on the trip!

And the flan…to die for!

The all-green centerpiece really amped-up the decor!

These favor pouches were a special treat for my guests, and the tag echoes the stagshead motif that’s incorporated throughout the decor!

Whew! These photo shoots take more work than you might think! At least after it was all said and done I had the chance to sit down and enjoy the fine meal and the great company!


p.s. For more on styling your home for parties with a keen designer eye, join me at Camp Tobi Fairley for Design A to Z, November 7-9! It’s a 26-step crash course in the basics of design. You won’t want to miss it! See what people are saying about Camp Tobi Fairley events here!



Tobi’s 2012 Resolutions Report Card

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Hi My Fellow Fall Lovers!

I can hardly believe it but here we are in the 4th quarter of 2012. It’s time for buying pumpkins and just weeks until the Holiday Season. Then we’ll be rolling into a brand new Shiny 2013. As I mentioned yesterday, I am back today to check into my progress on my 2012 New Year’s Resolutions.

A few weeks ago, my friend Jo Beth was talking about checking into her goals this year and seeing what could be made what of what’s left of 2012. I LOVED her good news…There is still time to make some of our resolutions come to pass before 2012 is in our rear-view mirror.

So on that note, I wanted to look back at my resolutions for this year and give myself a grade on each. Then I’ll see what I’m going to tackle in the next 12 weeks so I finish strong.

This year, I simplified my goals a bit.  I picked only 6 things to work on and I think that was a really good approach. I feel like I have been more successful than in years past.

Below are my Resolutions and you’ll see my “update” to each that will tell you just where I stand to date. I love putting not only these goals but also my progress out in the Universe to hold myself accountable. And feel free to share your report cards here too by leaving me a comment. I would love to help you stay on track to reach your goals in the coming weeks as well.

First I said…”1. Get Organized–2011 was a bit busy and I let some of my organization fall by the way side, this year I’m on a mission to get things whipped back in shape so I don’t waste time looking for things. A place for everything, and everything in it’s place will be my new motto!”

UPDATE: Well I’m excited to say that I have done some great work in this area. Lots of closet cleaning, garage organizing, office detailing, and organizing of my calendar have happened in 2012. And what do I have to show for it? A much less hectic, much more peaceful life. We aren’t spending time looking for things instead of having fun. We aren’t flying by the seat of our pants to get my daughter a home-cooked breakfast and to school early each day or figuring out what to put on the table for dinner at night, get homework done, and to bed on time. My family and I have really taken our quality of life up several notches thanks to getting organized.  Our score in this area? We aced this one so I’m giving us an A.

My next goal was this…”2. Get Fit–In 2011 my goal was to get healthy.  And I did it by losing 20 pounds and changing my eating from carb based to protein based.  In 2012 my goal is to get fit.  This will involve exercise, weight-lifting, and lots of healthy, natural foods. I am even thinking about growing some of them myself in a backyard garden…what fun! This time next year, I will be showing you my arms and abs of steel.”

UPDATE: Another success story for me in this area. I have now lost a total of 31 pounds since June 2011 and I only have 5 to go.  I have been working with a health coach since June 2012, I am going to yoga 4-6 times each week, running on my treadmill 5 days a week and though I don’t have my arms and abs totally sculpted yet, they are on their way. Plus I have totally integrated a self-care component including regular massages and meditation to become mentally fit as well. But since we still have some time,  I want to take this resolution to the next level in these last 12 weeks. So here’s the plan, I’m starting back with my former personal trainer TOMORROW and our weight lifting focus will be abs and arms. I’ll hopefully be showing you my “after” photos at the end of this year! GRADE A- but I’m working for an A+ by December!

My third resolution was a big one…”3. Save More, Give Better–my church had a great focus in December 2011 based on Wal-Mart’s “Save More, Live Better” slogan.  They changed it to Save More, Give Better and it really made an impression on my 6-year-old and me. This year, we are going to get disciplined about the money we spend and ask ourselves, “can we live without it?” before we buy. What we save we will put in a fund to help others in 2012, not just during the holiday season, but all year long. So it’s a mommy-daughter Save-A-Palooza for 2012!”

UPDATE: Uh-oh…Here’s where things fall a bit short. 🙁 Well, the news isn’t all bad.  I completely turned my company finances and savings around this year. We are very “LEAN AND MEAN” and it’s really showing in our profitability at work, so that is a good thing and it is allowing me to do a LOT more charity work through my company than I did in 2011. So that’s a start. But on the home front, I didn’t do quite as well with my savings. We are still very committed to helping others and have done so in several ways this year already, especially with donating all our gently used items when we got organized including clothes, books, and furnishings. And we will do our favorite charity work this holiday season by adopting “angels” through our church and much more to help those in need. It is really the defining moment of our holiday season each year and nothing could keep us from this experience. But I can’t honestly say we mastered the art of “Do we really need that?” this year. So the next 12 weeks will be crucial in seeing if I can redeem myself (and my little 7-year old shopper) in this area.  Score: C

I love my 4th resolution for the year. It was “4.  365 Days of Thank you–I have always been disciplined at Gratitude. I have told you how I even keep a gratitude journal on my phone and iPad. But in 2011, my thank-you note writing fell short compared to years past. So this year, I am taking cues from this great little book and I am going to be disciplined enough to write at least one thank-you note a day. I know it will have more positive influence on me, than even those that I thank.”

UPDATE: OK, so I started off with a bang on this one and fell off the wagon around April. So now I am on a mission to catch up on all my thank-you’s before that 365th day of 2012 rolls around. I will be writing several notes a day to make this happen but I have no doubt I can do it. It may have been 10 years since my wedding but I still remember the discipline of writing thank you’s for our gifts, so it will be just like riding a bike for me, right?! SCORE: C+ but determined for an A+ by end of year!

Resolution #5 is a great one…”5. Fill People’s Buckets–Thanks to my work with Strength Finders 2.0 last year and spending time on their member’s only website, I was introduced to another little book that I LOVE! I have always liked complimenting, inspiring, and uplifting others, but this year I am going to make a conscious effort to do so.  If I can make a difference in other people’s lives and attitudes, it will be one of life’s biggest rewards.”

UPDATE: Well thanks to my work with other designers through my Mastermind Consulting Group and my Camp Tobi Fairley events, I get an opportunity to lift a lot of people up on a regular basis. And Filling People’s buckets is contagious. Plus you can ALWAYS do more, which is what I am determined to do through these last 3 months of the year. SCORE: A- today heading straight for an A+ in the coming weeks.

By the way…Did you see my recent post on Giving Hugs? I’ve been hugging everyone I see and it seems to be filling people’s buckets by leaps and bounds. People are coming out of the woodwork who read that post and are ready for their “squeeze” so obviously our world is even more hug-deprived than I originally thought. Definitely more hugging is in my future this year and beyond! 🙂

And lastly, my sixth resolution was this…”6. Discipline as a Lifestyle–There are a few areas where it would make my life easier and/or better if I could improve my discipline. Some examples include getting up earlier, exercising more regularly, reading even more business books, using my vision boards more effectively, calling my clients more often, journaling, and monitoring my finances at home and at work more. This isn’t about adding a bunch of new tasks, it’s about being more consistent with the ones I already have. My typical “All or nothing” habits are holding me back a bit. I think ridding myself of those “Nothing” periods will really pay off.”

UPDATE: Well this area is the one I really hit a home run in this year!!! I have been disciplined at getting up at 5am, exercising regularly, reading more, and monitoring my finances, especially at work. I have been disciplined about keeping my daughter on a healthy schedule, keeping myself on a healthy and whole foods eating plan, and I have really kicked that “All or nothing” habit.  There have been very few “nothing” periods this year and you can really see the results both physically and mentally with me.  I am healthier, happier, less stressed, with more stamina and I have a general sense of peace that I’ve never had before. I am spending tons of quality time with my family and I am here to tell you this is the best thing I have ever done for my family and for me!!  EVER!! SCORE A+  (But now the hard part of maintaining this discipline really sets in.)

So here it is…Tobi’s Resolutions Report Card:

I’m feeling really good about my score so far for this, my 40th year . I think it has probably been my best year yet and it’s not over. The next 12 weeks will really tell how I roll into my 41st birthday in January. So far I am feeling better, healthier, and wiser than my thirties and thanks to my new habits, I’m looking younger too! 🙂

How about you, how’s your year going and what are you going to do for a strong finish? I really do want to know. Leave me a comment, please.

Cheers to us all!! xo, Tobi