Archive for November, 2012

Gratitude for Traditional Home, Feeling Like a Movie Star and Family Time in the City!

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I am so happy to be back on my home turf after an AMAZING few days in New York City. I had so much fun with my mom and daughter in tow that it didn’t even seem like I was working.

First, I had to get my photo taken by Traditional Home in my Holiday House NYC showhouse room before it was disassembled. You may not know that the room I designed was the “Traditional Home Room”. Traditional Home asked me to design their sponsored space which was such an honor. I’m not sure where or when these photos might show up, but I am sure they will do something great with them soon.

I also did another photo shoot with Traditional Home for something else they are working on. As soon as I know more about it, I will be sure to let you know where to look for me. It was a VERY exciting experience. I even got professional “hair and makeup” which made me feel like a movie star, and I have to say that I LOVED what Kanesha did with both my hair and my makeup. And believe me when I say I’m not so easy to please in that department.

I have to find out what products she used on my hair and how she made my eyes look SO BIG!! Part of it was the false eyelashes. The white pencil inside the lower lid made a big difference too. But it was even more than that–maybe just the fact that she’s awesome at her job!!!

It felt really good to REALLY like the way I looked for a photoshoot for the first time in a long time, maybe ever! Being healthy and fit makes me feel much more comfortable in my skin than before.

So a BIG thanks to Beth, Maureen, Kanesha and everyone at Meredith including the photographer Brian that made me look SO great!! And thanks for taking a moment to let my little one join in the fun!!

Other than these 2 glamorous photo ops, I got to rest and relax with my mom and cutie along for the ride. We had great meals at Sant Ambrose, the Eatery on 9th Avenue, Catch, BG, Park Avenue Winter, Balthazar and Nobu 57.

This trip was honestly some of the best food I have ever eaten in New York. And so much of it fresh and healthy. Lots of beet salad, kale salad, sweet potato soup, brussels sprouts, fresh seabass and cod rounded out my menus. YUM!

And there was the gorgeous restaurant design that was quite inspiring including the cool local vibe at Eatery, the hip atmosphere at Catch, and the chic Park Avenue Winter with their newly transformed dining room from their Autumn look the day before.

Of course even when dining in fancy places, with a 7-year-old in tow you have to have some fun while waiting for your table!

And for those of you who have been following my “get healthy” process and wondering how I can stay fit while eating all this delicious food…I am thrilled to say that I made it to the gym for a run EVERY morning while away.  This new healthy lifestyle seems like it’s becoming a habit.  And for a “Type A” like me, it relieves lots of stress and adds to my patience level when traveling for days with a second grader. LOL.

What wasn’t so healthy was our trip to Dylan’s Candy Bar. But it sure was fun!! 🙂

Also making my trip great was some Christmas Shopping (I got 4 people crossed off my list) and seeing a few snowflakes…our first of the season. And if snow didn’t get us in the holiday spirit,  there was the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular which put us in a festive mood.

And our trip highlight–Annie the musical, which was REALLY great! We even had a chance to meet the cast and get autographs which my daughter thought was “way cool”.

Plus there was still time for some fun and carefree moments in Central Park in the brisk, cool, November air and Sunshine!

So, today it’s back to the grindstone (gladly) as I’ve been missing work. Yes, I love what I do, but I’ll be smiling all day thinking of the fun we had in my favorite city this week. And even though I may be counting my calories a bit more strictly through the weekend, I’ll be remembering our glorious food, wine and fun we had for weeks to come.

So our trip to New York put us perfectly in the holiday spirit just before our local Holiday Season kicked into high gear. Thank goodness, because we got home just in time for my cutie to go on a Daddy-Daughter date last night to the Sugar Plum Ball.

Now…Tell me what’s happening in your world to kick off this holiday season and get you in the spirit. Any fun trips or events you’re willing to share? I’d love to hear about them so leave me a comment and fill me in.

Happy Travels and Happy Holidays!

P.S. Are you a Designer or MEGA Design Enthusiast? Do you want your holiday to be SPECTACULAR? Then how about winning one of 4 FREE tickets to my upcoming design camps to learn how to make your business REALLY profitable or Learn all you can about the latest in Interior Design? Enter my contest with Olioboard and Benjamin Moore and show me what you think the HOT Color Trends will be in 2013, and you could get your best Christmas present ever…tickets to Camp Tobi Fairley!! Here’s the link to enter today!

Gratitude for a Motivational Legend: Zig Ziglar

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Today one of my biggest influencers passed away. Of all the people that I remember my dad quoting in my early childhood that shaped his life and mine, Zig Ziglar was the biggest and best!

So in honor of Zig, here are a few of my favorite quotes of his from Pinterest.

Hoping these inspire you to have an amazing attiude, expect to win and make your own ending! I’m on a mission to do just that and it’s working beautifully! Here’s to a 2013 that Zig Ziglar would be proud of for us all!!

xo, Tobi

P. S. If you want to take charge of changing your life and your business in 2013, why don’t you join me for my upcoming session of Designer MBA? It is changing designers lives, helping them finally start charging what they are worth, identifying their ideal clients and zoning in on a niche that sets them apart from their competition. And it is putting REAL dollars in their pockets for the first time in years!!

Our dates for Camp Tobi Fairley’s January session of Designer MBA are JANUARY 8-10, 2013. Want to learn more about my Designer MBA–a business education for design pros? Visit the Camp Tobi Fairley website!

Gracious Gifting: A Checklist

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Maybe YOU already have all of your holiday shopping done? I know lots of people who pride themselves on wrapping it all up (pardon the pun!) before Thanksgiving. But, I must say, I love the bustle of shopping and choosing gifts in this special stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It really helps me get into the spirit.

So…I thought I would share with you a few of my personal rules of thumb for gift giving ANY time of year.


Give yourself a chance to meditate on the person for whom you’re choosing a gift. Think about the special moments you’ve shared, any special things about them you’re grateful for, etc. This will get you in the right attitude (as usual, one of GRATITUDE) for giving.

After focusing on them like this, think about what kinds of gifts would express your appreciation for them AND would be something beautiful or useful or meaningful TO THEM. Of course, you shouldn’t give a gift that you think is revolting or destructive or will bring negativity to them, even if it’s something in which they’ve expressed an interest. The emphasis on “to them” is all about separating a little bit from your own attachment to a gift and truly think about their tastes, needs, etc. After all, you’re not buying for yourself; but you are giving OF yourself. Let the gift communicate accordingly.


This is self-explanatory. Instead of showering a person with gifts they will sort-of like, use your entire budgeted allowance for a particular person on one or two items that they will TREASURE! The only exception I can think of to this is toddlers. They are mostly interested in wrapping paper and pretty ribbons, so wrap up every thing you can find for them and let them celebrate the holiday by tearing it all to shreds 🙂


When and how you give a gift can really turn-up the volume on the impact of the gift itself. A little bit of festivity goes a long way. Think of it…isn’t one of the most special things about Christmas morning (or even a birthday party) the ceremony surrounding the exchange of gifts?! If the person you’re giving a gift isn’t part of one of your usual holiday gatherings, make a point to give your gift over dinner or coffee, in the context of togetherness. It will add a bit of ceremony to the event.

If you’re sending a gift to a long-distance friend or family member, put some effort into timing your mailing date just right. And include a photo of yourself or your family for them to see when opening the gift! For those closest to your heart who might be far away, don’t underestimate the power of technology to connect you! Skype or Facetime or a phone call can bring you together as you give.

Packaging should be beautiful; it shows the recipient you took extra care with their gift, and…well…it’s pretty! And don’t we all love to receive pretty things? Even a brooding teenager has to struggle to hide excitement with a festive package in-hand! Maximize anticipation with presentation.



And now…a gift idea for YOU! If you are buying for a designer or a design professional this holiday season, why not give the gifts of knowledge, training, and inspiration?! Send someone you love to my January 8-10 session of Camp Tobi Fairley’s Designer MBA!

Designer MBA is a business education for design professionals. In it, I share the lessons I’ve learned as a business owner in the design industry. From fees to contracts to public relations, I’ll offer tools and strategies that can give the designers the confidence they need to professionalize their processes.

Happy gift giving! What tips are on YOUR checklist? Please share!




Gratitude for 2 HGTV Magazine Features!!

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I told you that while I was busy traveling in October there were SO many things I didn’t get a chance to celebrate with you and now there are 2 things I should tell you about; and both are from HGTV Magazine!

Firstly, I was included in HGTV magazine’s October issue and didn’t even get a chance to tell you about it. I am thrilled that one of my favorite kitchen projects EVER was featured in their “What Color is That?” section.

Hopefully you saw the feature for yourself but just in case you want to paint part of your kitchen that perfect shade between aqua and green you’ll be happy to know it is Sherwin Williams Topsail SW 6217. It’s one of our most-requested colors!

And NOW…I am in their December issue! Also in their “What Color is That?” section, one of my favorite dining rooms makes an appearance in all it’s Chocolate glory! Pick up an issue today to find out this yummy shade of brown.

A BIG thanks to HGTV for including me, not once but TWICE. For both features, I am VERY grateful.

Happy Painting and Happy Holidays!
xo, Tobi