Archive for January, 2014

New House Diary: My Entry Hall Color Palette

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It’s Thursday and you know what that means! It’s time for New House Diary. Hooray!


(image via Traditional Home Magazine)

Last week we were talking about my inspiration for my new entry hall. If you didn’t see all the images that are inspiring me and weigh in on your favorites, then please head back to last week’s post and join in our conversation.

Oh but THIS week the REAL fun begins. I promised floor plans, but my team is still a bunch of busy bees trying to get the floor plan into a CAD drawing for me (yes, we had to measure ourselves, there was no existing floor plan for my 1968 beauty).

But since we are doing something so fun instead, I bet you’ll forgive the fact that I decided to talk color palette first,won’t you?  You know how I love color.

creativelive fashion photo

Just last week in my creativeLIVE course with House Beautiful Magazine, I was talking about Fashion as a design influence. I even had some of my live audience members – like Batik textile designer Jackie O – join in that conversation and talk about how their personal style influenced their homes.

So when I started to think about the color palette of my new entry hall, I went out to Pinterest and found some fashion looks that really appeal to me and fit my personal style that also had inspiring color inspiration. Then I popped them into the handy-dandy Chip It app from one of my favorite paint companies, Sherwin-Williams. The result, 7 gorgeous color palettes for you and I to weigh in on for my entry.

So let’s do this! What do you think about…

A pop of yellow on a cool gray-neutral base?


Kelly green with a warm creamy background?


Soft coral with a gray base?


Cobalt blue on a warm gray backdrop (and maybe a pop of chartreuse)?


Tangerine orange with a gray ground?


Lavender on a smokey gray envelope?


Soft pink on a warm gray base?


or maybe a POP of hot pink on a warm beige wall?



I love SO many of these, but have a couple that are real standouts for me. I won’t tell you which ones yet so I don’t bias your opinions.

So come on friends, let me hear from you! Leave me a comment and tell me the color palette you are loving for my entry way. And yes, I know it depends on the color in the rest of the house, but I’ll be sure to make it all flow together later. For now, I hope you’ll  have fun just dreaming of the possibilities and sharing your thoughts with me.

I’m certainly dreaming in color over here!


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pillows on green rug

p.s. If you haven’t already seen yesterday’s blog post on my Mastermind Consulting Group Member Traci Zeller, head over to see it and enter to win a fab pair of pillows in one of Traci’s fabrics. We will be giving them away this Saturday.

p.p.s There is still time to register for my brand new Build Your Dream Business 6-week telecourse that starts TODAY! Many of you signed up overnight, just in time for the course, but if you still want to join us, even if it’s after the first session today at 1pm CST, don’t worry. Head over and get signed up and we will send you the recording and get you up to speed on week 1 and on track to have your biggest 2014 ever. So don’t procrastinate another day! Join me for this exciting course so you can start living and working in your passion and making the money you dream of. See you on call #1 this afternoon! Go here to register. I can’t wait to see you all there.




A Pillow Giveaway and Mastermind Spotlight with Traci Zeller

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pillows on green rug

Hello friends! Today is an exciting day because, since this is my birthday week – a week full of celebrations – I am feeling generous and so I’m giving away 2 fabulous pillows to one lucky reader of Tobi’s Blog. Now that’s really a reason to celebrate!

Actually  to be more accurate, my friend Traci Zeller is the one feeling generous and we are giving away a gorgeous pair of her “Bubbly” pillows in the sweet pea color with a chic green flange (see adorbs photo above, top left pillow). Isn’t bubbly the perfect name for this great fabric that reminds me of popping the cork to celebrate a special occasion? Like my birthday perhaps? 😉 And in just a minute, I’ll tell you how you can enter to win these beauties.

But if you don’t already know Traci, then you don’t know what you are missing. Traci has been a member of my Mastermind Consulting Group since it’s inception, and boy has she ever taken huge leaps over the last three years. I thought it would be fun to highlight all she has accomplished and let you get to know her a bit better. She has amazing things in the works, and I can assure you, you will be hearing a lot more about this lawyer-turned-interior-designer in the coming months and years.

TZD Profile Photo (headshot)

So who is Traci Zeller and what has she been up to? Well, she’s coming off a stellar year. In 2013, the founder of Traci Zeller Designs in Charlotte, N.C., launched a line of textiles and home accessories (hence the fab pillow giveaway). Another high point for her: creating a dressing room for Traditional Home’s Showhouse at Adamsleigh in nearby Greensboro, and she was in good company with design greats Suzanne Kasler and Miles Redd, who were also part of this stunning show house.

“2013 was a fantastic year,” Traci says. “My word for the year was ‘dream,’ and a lot of dreams really did come true.”

tra120215_ 026 (room shot)

Traci has been involved in the world of interior design for about a decade. Her design philosophy is rooted in her belief that “beauty is created when you make the ordinary orderly.” You can see more of her gorgeous work here.

This mother of  7-year-old twin boys has a particular passion for working with families.

tra130603_046 (fabrics)

“I create crisp, classic, and highly functional products and interiors that empower active families to enjoy simpler and more stylish lives. Many of those families have young children and, yes, multiples! There’s something special about having twins or triplets and understanding those dynamics. Most importantly, with the busy pace of everyday life today, I think we all want life to be simpler and more stylish.”

And as I mentioned, Traci has been part of my Mastermind program since its inception three years ago. That’s dedication, right? So I had to ask what has kept her working with my team and me for so long. Here’s what she had to say…

“I have always been impressed by how you make things happen, Tobi. The biggest takeaway I’ve had is how much work goes into making those things happen and what I need to do to make those things happen for myself. You can’t sit back and wait. Take the reins and make it happen for yourself!”

tra130603_024 (candles)

And sitting back is certainly not what Traci has been doing. Besides her amazing design work and fabric launch, she’s been published in Better Homes and Gardens and her home that she shares with her wine-loving husband was recently featured in a fantastic spread in the prestigious publication Wine Spectator. And if those two magazines weren’t enough, her work graced the pages of Traditional Home, too.

And then there’s Traci’s signature scent. Her candle is Ah-mazing! I have already had two of them and I burn them so often that I need to buy a case. And it’s so chic in the mercury glass container. You can find all Traci’s products in her e-store in case you want to bring some of them into your home.

Traci is planning to make things happen again in 2014. Her No. 1 goal is to “continue doing great work for great clients,” but she’s also embarking on new ventures a few that I am privy to but I can’t spill the beans just yet.  Traci wants you to know that she has “a few little (and for the moment hush-hush) projects” that she’s working on, and she can’t wait to see them come to fruition. And don’t worry, the moment they are public, the readers of Tobi’s Blog will be there first to know.

And since I am so into video this year, here’s a little video that sums up all that Traci does…

So now for the giveaway. If you want to be the lucky winner of Traci’s Bubbly pillows, just leave me a comment below and tell me where you would use these fun pillows in your home and what you love about them most and you will be entered. You have until midnight on Friday, Jan. 31 to enter to win. I will be announcing the lucky winner on Saturday morning, Feb. 1.

Please be sure to follow Traci’s blog for great ideas on Stylish Living even if (or especially if) you have kiddos in your life.

Good Luck Everyone!


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p.s. If you want to take charge of your business and your life with the help of Tobi Fairley & Associates like Traci did, check out our website consulting page here. It will tell you all about our programs, courses and more.

And if you want to start with my best-priced course ever, you should join me for my Build Your Dream Business 6-week telecourse that starts tomorrow. (Don’t know what a telecourse is? I explain it all here.)

You still have time to sign up and really start living and working your passion and your dreams this year. Join the dozens of folks including Traci who have already signed up. It’s time to start getting paid what you are worth for a job you love. A year from now you will wish you had started.

To learn more about this telecourse and to sign up, go here. Don’t procrastinate on not procrastinating! It’s time to make your life and business all that you dream of starting TODAY! And don’t worry if you miss the first call on Thursday, we will email you the call and get you up to speed so you can have BIG results this year. I can’t wait to help you so go ahead, take the leap.


Tobi TV: Create a Cozy Living Space

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It’s time for another episode of Tobi TV!  And with all the things I’ve been talking to you about over the last few days including my course on Style with House Beautiful and creativeLIVE and my focus on prioritizing rest and relaxation for 2014, I thought I’d bring you a fun clip today that I recorded with my friend P. Allen Smith about Style and Rest for his television show called Garden Style.


In this video, I talk about cozying up on a rainy day to read my collection of design books and how to get the comfort AND style just right for your bed, sofa, settee or wherever you like to cozy up.

Here are my Tobi’s Top Tips for creating a cozy space in your home that is BIG on comfort and BIG on style all at the same time:

1. When cozying up to relax and rest in your home, layering is the key to success. From blankets to pillows and any other textile or prop you prefer, give yourself options to customize your experience for temperature and comfort.

2. If you are going to pick just one type of blanket, cotton blankets work for any time of year. But if you want a collection for the seasons, try wool, cashmere, or even an electric version for fall and winter and cotton for spring and summer.

3. Quantity AND quality are important when it comes to pillows. The more the merrier in my opinion if you want to sink in for an afternoon nap or prop up for a read. I prefer down-filled, but there are many poly and hypo-allergenic options too. Don’t forget to vary the shapes and sizes from standard or king sleeping pillows, to lumbar or boudoir versions to bolsters as a great option for under the knees.

4. Round out the comfort and atmosphere of your cozy nook with your favorite candles, books, flowers, tea or coffee, or maybe even a glass of wine – whatever you love and that allows you to relax and enjoy.

Now it’s your turn to weigh in on this topic. Please leave me a comment and tell me where in your home you cozy up on a cold or rainy day or even just on the weekend. And what are your favorite creature comforts when you DO get cozy – tell me your favorite books, magazines, blankets, beverages, or anything that you settle in with when it’s time for some R & R.


And speaking of creature comforts, if you never checked out the book Designers at Home, you should pick it up! In this great book by Ronda Carman you can learn more about my favorite things and what almost 40 other top interior designers use to be most at home in their home. And the exciting news is that just named Designers at Home one of the top books in Home Improvement and Design for 2013.

Now I hope you’ll spend some time today cozying up at home. Enjoy!

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p.s. My Build Your Dream Business 6 week telecourse is starting in just 2 days on Thursday, Jan. 30. Will you join me in living your passion and creating a business and a life that you love in 2014?! To register and join the fabulous people who have already signed up to take charge of their business successes this year, go here to sign up.


It’s My Birthday…Let’s Celebrate!

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It’s my birthday. Yippee! A day for celebrating all the many blessings in my life. 42 years worth of blessings to be exact.


Today I get to celebrate with my 2 favorite girls in the world – my daughter and my mom. We have a lunch date. What a treat! Yes, time with these lovely ladies will be good for me. A day filled with love, laughter, and fun. What more could this birthday girl ask for?!?!


The older I get, the more I love my life and the more I appreciate it. I say this every year, but I am happier today than at any other time in my life. With age comes confidence and calm – two things we can all use more of.


Yes, age is just a number and life is privilege. A privilege worth celebrating!


So this afternoon I will be celebrating AND keeping calm while relaxing at the spa. I happen to think massages are better than cake!

See you all tomorrow. You’ll recognized me as the girl who is older, wiser, and very relaxed. 😉


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Soulful Sunday: Prioritizing Rest

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It’s an oxymoron I know, but one of the keys to my success in 2014 is that I have stopped procrastinating on rest.  I know, I know…you’re thinking isn’t rest what we do when we are procrastinating on other things?


Well for me, being the work-a-holic that I am, I often put off rest because I think I don’t have a choice but to work. I tell myself if I just push through and work longer and mark more things off my list, then there will finally come a day or a time that I can rest. REALLY rest.


But you know what? That day never comes. Shocker, huh?


In years past, the only time that I would finally rest is when I had worked myself into oblivion and would finally crash or worse, get sick and have to go to bed. How many of you do this too?


I have to say, I have much more balance in my life than I did in my 30’s including rest. But there is still room for improvement. So what is the smarter idea for being at my best? Well I think it is to be consistent with rest along the way so I am actually better at my work when I am working. Novel idea.

So if I am honest with myself, I can’t afford not to be well-rested all along the way. It’s part of the “Tobi Olympics” right? It takes small but consistent habits and practices daily to be my best. And if I’m doing 99% of things right in my life but the one thing I don’t make room for is rest, then I have a feeling life might just be a bitch…or maybe I will be. LOL


But there is another part to this whole rest thing. And here it is. I have decided to redefine what rest means to me. Instead of working until I crash and then taking several days or even a whole week to recoup with hours of sleep and mindless TV, which may or may not be really that restful, what if rest looked much healthier and less compulsive?


You see, on those days that I mark off the whole weekend and stay in my pj’s and never get out of bed or exercise or accomplish anything all in the name of “rest”, I often feel worse than ever.  I’ve recently discovered that I feel better if instead of the occasional comatose weekend, I take time each night and weekend to sprinkle in a healthy number of hours of sleep and a luxurious afternoon nap or lingering in bed on Saturday drinking coffee but not for too long. And follow it with creativity like cooking or exercise like hiking  or yoga or a nice long walk and topping it all off with a fun night with family or friends filled with laughter and relaxation? I’m going to go out on a limb and say YES! to this new idea of rest.


So I’m making this new idea a big part of my 2014. Rest as a habit. Rest as a routine. Rest as a non-negotiable. And I have a feeling that more rest=more relaxation=more success.


What about you? Is rest one of the things you need more of on a regular basis so you can be your BEST? Leave me a comment and let me know how rest does or doesn’t show up in your life and if you are going to join me in prioritizing rest this year.


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