Photostyling Before and After: My Living Room

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IMG_1111So when I set to work freshening my Living Room for Designers At Home, I was inspired by 2 things…a pillow I made from an Hermes scarf–a gift from Paris that a sweet friend brought me and a throw I picked up on my trip to Scotland last year with Traditional Home Magazine. That one seems double appropriate since Ronda Carman, the author of Designers at Home, though American, lives in Scotland and has for the last several years.

So by jumping off from the brilliant blues in these 2 inspirations pieces, I had a great time creating one of my favorite color combinations of kelly and peacock.


My living room has been seen many times in At Home in Arkansas, in Traditional Home for a full home feature and then for a fun entertaining segment again in Traditional Home last year. So without changing all the things I love about this room, I sure had fun making it feel bright and cheerful in a whole new way.


It’s amazing how just a few tiny tweaks can really liven up a space. You really don’t have to break the bank to jazz things up. I mainly used things I already had.


And we even set up a bar for entertaining guests all color coordinated and everything.  Here are a few picks of the original design to remind you of what I added.




So how do you like it with a hint of blue? It’s hard to go wrong with such a cool hue, right? And I don’t know about you, but by adding some of my personality I think the room feels like it has more of a soul than before.

Here are my top 3 tips used in re-styling my living room…

1. Start with something sentimental or inspiring as your jumping off point. Memories of Paris and Scotland all come to mind when I see the pillow and the throw that set the tone for my blue accents. Now just being in this space makes me even more happy with thoughts of destinations I love.

2. Collections add personality to any space. My collection of design books make an appearance in this space, selected from my many titles based on their jacket cover. Displaying my books as a group of blue “accessories” certainly make a impact.

3. Share your interests…my necklaces make an appearance on the coffee table bust bringing in a fashion influence and acting as an extension of my personality. They also add a flair of the feminine, and I don’t know about you but I think the “new” version of my living room styling is definitely softer and just a touch more girly than before.

Now for some good news.  This is where the exciting book giveaway starts.


Leave a comment on this post telling me what you like about my new living room styling to be entered to win your very own copy of Designers at Home, the new book that features my home. And to be entered a second time, send a tweet linking to this post and copy me @tobifairley, and share what you love most about the new and improved look there too.  We will draw the winner of this fabulous Rizzoli book this Friday at noon CST.  Good luck! xo,
Tobi Signature

P.S. Stay tuned for more reveals of the freshened up photostyling in my home. You won’t want to miss what a few small changes can do for a room.

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49 Responses to Photostyling Before and After: My Living Room

  1. Bonnie says:

    Love the Hermes scarf pillow! Such a statement!

  2. Dot Overstreet says:

    I think that what you did to the coffee table really makes the room more vibrant, in a good way….all the books with blue touches, the vase, and even the bust, and oh yes those 2 green rocks. The blues make the greens look more fresh, and just add a little zip to the whole look. Keeping my fingers crossed, and thanks!

  3. Marisa says:

    I love the pillow made from the Hermes scarf – brilliant! and the necklace on the bust – whimsical and personal. The new styling feels more ‘alive’, less rigid. Love it!

  4. Helen Richardson says:

    Love the combination of green and blue however I prefer the room prior to the re-styling. It’s a bit too noisy now for my taste. That being said…. I love your work Tobi!

  5. Stefanie Leland says:

    These are not new but I LOVE the wingback chairs in all the photos!!!!

  6. Tobi, there is so much to love! First of all, green is my favourite colour, so this room makes me happy all around. I love your use of rhythm, the way you play with scale and pattern, the mix of whimsy and sophistication, and the inviting floor plan. Makes me want to relax into that gorgeous white sofa and chat with you over a lovely cup of tea! Beautiful. xo

  7. Janine Mashburn says:

    Love these rooms. Would like to see more.

  8. sydney85 says:

    Love the bar tray with all green bottles and accents. I have used green in my living room condo and love the freshness of this color.

  9. I love how you spruced up the look with personal touches that were significant to you! A great inspiration for others to take a new look at their own space. Adore the Hermes scarf pillow!

  10. Steph. says:

    Hi Tobi! I love the accessories on the cooktail table….especially the beautiful blue and white porcelain vase filled with hydrangeas as it picks up the blue in Hermes pillow. I also just LOVE the wonderful make-shift bar that you have created. Wow, that is stunning. I think I will go re-style my little bar cart now (see how inspirational you are?). 🙂 Blessings, Steph.

  11. Elizabeth says:

    Loving the Hermes scarf as a pillow idea! My great uncle worked as an importer for the company and we have a handful of scarves as a result. My mom framed one and it’s such a statement piece. I’ll have to show this to her to see if any others would work as pillows.

    Did you spray your table too? It could just be lighting, but it looks more silver than gold in the new photos.

  12. I love how you refreshed your space! Adding the blue, the new pillow, and the additional accessories on the coffee table makes the room less formal, and much livelier! The bar is a really nice touch, too! You are ready for entertaining at any time!

  13. Bonda T Vance says:

    Although I loved your living room before the redesign, it seems more personal now with the touch of pearls and the bar set up. I also love the scarf pillow and touch of blue (I am a blue/white fan). Wing chairs are also great, esp. with the geometric fabric!

  14. Your living room is beautiful, the lamps, the mirror, the pillows and the table are all gorgeous! thank you for sharing with us the 3 tips on how you styled your living room

  15. Karen says:

    Blue is my favorite color, and I love what it does to the greens in your room!

  16. Rita Johnson says:

    A little quirky ness is what makes a space your very own. And the good news is that it can change as often as your mood. Many who are afraid to step outside the box on big things can relax into a look that feels both personal and temporary by repurposing their life’s treasures. Now that I am retired and have time for myself, I find that I really enjoy rethinking my accessories with the season. Your rooms now have a nice freshness and I am enjoying your blog. Thanks

  17. Nancy says:

    I adore the addition of peacock and the blue books and the bar set up! Great job. Love to tweak every year!
    xo Nancy

  18. Sharon Avinger says:

    I love the Hermes scarf pillow. The pattern is beautiful. Also love the green chairs and the pattern in that fabric. My favorite is your choice of the blue and green color combo. The room is stunning!

  19. Terri says:

    My favorite thing is the color combination itself, but I also love the green stones on the coffee table.

  20. Karen T. says:

    Both rooms are gorgeous! I love how adding the blue gives the room a different range of depth. The collections, both the books and the bar, add layers to the room. What a wonderful Hermes scarf pillow!

  21. Diane Dyhan says:

    Hi Tobi – I love the B&A photos! I have to say that my favorite part of the AFTER is the coffee table. I’m afraid that I would stay for hours going thru all of the design books and be the guest that just won’t leave! The only thing missing in this room is the pair of yellow shoes from your entry BEFORE pictures :-). One more comment, I really like the wallpaper print reflecting from the entry in the mirror in the Before. This along with the black & green contemporary glass pieces makes me appreciate the legs on the wingback chairs. Great work as always!

  22. Paige says:

    Hi Tobi ~ This is my first comment on your blog. 😉

    First off, I’m a huge fan of your “live authentically” message. Thank you for reminding all of us of that very important message.

    Second, your room is incredibly vibrant and brings a smile to my face, but my favorite piece is the monogrammed chair. What a wonderfully personalized yet subtle touch to the room. There is something about monogramming that really makes an item our own.

    Have a wonderful day and thank you for all you do.

  23. Alison says:

    I love seeing you use your design books with the paper covers on them. I am never sure what to do with those covers. Like they do on your coffee table, they add a modern, fresh and clean touch at no cost. I have always loved this room, so it amazing to see how easily you refreshed it. Thanks for the inspiration!

  24. Tobi,
    The addition of the blue makes all the difference in the world. The scarf pillow (which I want BTW) and the flowers on the table totally changed the room’s personality.
    Great job!

  25. lisa mintz says:

    Hi Tobi. Both the before and after rooms are beautiful. I love the whimsy you added in the after room with the pearls on the bust. Every woman needs a great set of pearls!
    This is my first time leaving a message on your blog. I love reading it and enjoy your perspective on decorating and life. You are a great inspirational woman!

  26. Pat says:

    I love the whole room in the before pictures but the addition of the blue brings everything into focus. Beautiful!

  27. Evelyn says:

    I love the monogramed chair. However, I am a bit confused. In the “after” wide shot the monogramed chair is in the foreground but in the close up of your “bar”, the monogramed chair seems to have switched places with the club chair… but no matter where you place that chair, it’s lovely.

  28. Tobi,

    Love the restyle! Feels very approachable.


  29. Tobi I love everything you do, in this project I love the Hermes scarf pillow, all of the beautiful flowers and the different colored green bottles and glasses at the “bar.” Nanette

  30. Tammy from Tammy Culpepper Design says:

    I LOVE the pillow made from the Hermes scarf! I’m also completely in love with your green lamps and the chic bar/entertaining area.

  31. Franki Parde says:

    Well…among many, I’m intrigued by the “bar set up” love the way you interspersed the picture, etc. You never disappoint. franki

  32. Jennifer L says:

    It is such a tough decision between the bar and the bust. I love the unique color combinations on the bar- very inviting.

  33. theresa s says:

    The bar is just beautiful. I love all the varying shades of green of the bottles and glasses and the lovely flash of pink with the roses. I am ready for my gin and tonic now! 🙂

  34. Debbie Carr says:

    Love love the monogrammed chair. As a southerner I love anything monogrammed. Great work.

  35. Becky says:

    I love how you filled the space with the taller cabinets rather than traditional end tables. It brings the eye up rather than keeping it at the same level. Very beautiful! You do this new shade of green so well I might add…..very Tobi!

  36. Linda says:

    My favorite color (blue, any shade) and my favorite flower (hydrangea). Looks perfect to me!

  37. Mary Jo Miller says:

    Love the addition of the pillow made from the Hermes scarf.
    What a great addition. Also, love the blue & white vase with the hydrangeas.

  38. christine says:

    I love how the rooms come alive with all the accessories. So beautifully done to begin with, but the accessories seem to bring the story of the room to life. You can picture who lives there, what she is like, what the room is used for….so fun! And I would LOVE the book! Thanks!

  39. Jacqueline Holley says:

    I love the combination of all the shades of green with the addition of blue – reminds me of the land and sea, such a beautiful pairing!

  40. Lisa says:

    I love the vibrant color (my favorite) – gives a happy feeling to the room.

  41. Mary Rollins-Hughes says:

    Love your comments re redesign! Love the pops of blue, adds that extra element…keeps the eye wandering!

  42. Cindy says:

    Hi Tobi! Adding the blue touches to the room gives a new dimension, which I love. The Hermes scarf pillow has me thinking about the same treatment on a scarf from Tiffany & Co. I just love your energy and how you add it to a room. Thank you for the continued inspiration with your terrific blog!

  43. Sandra says:

    Tobi, I love the Hermes scarf! My favorite has to be the attention to detail in the color coordinated bar! Beautiful living room!

  44. Linda Miller says:

    Love your blog and particularly your decorating style. Hermes…enough said. So beautiful.

  45. Priscilla Clark says:

    I love the Hermes scarf and the pearls on the bust.
    Great ideas! Love your work!! Love the hint of blues.

  46. olga says:

    Hi Tobi, I love all of your work and your inspirational messages!
    The before room is gorgeous, and I love the Hermes scarf pillow. The green and blue are beautiful together, but my favorite thing is the bar setting. It looks so fresh and inviting and you managed to make it look uncluttered. Great job!

  47. […] can see other iterations of the same room here and here.  Find out more details from this living room, including purchasing information, on […]

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  49. Home Comfort says:


    your living room was amazing..