Archive for February, 2014

Trendy or Classic? Monogram Madness

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We Southerners love monograms like these adorable pillows (find them here). Monograms make spaces personal and add interest to your interiors. But I think there is such a thing as too many monograms and they certainly become trendy sometimes.

Here are a few of my favorite monograms with style…


I love this fabulous monogrammed bedding featured in Elle Decor. If Badgley Mischka hasn’t grown tired of monograms, neither have I!


These chic chairs by Leontine Linens are to-die-for!


And Aerin Lauder makes monogramming sophisticated in her bedroom that also graced the pages of Elle Decor.

So what do you think? Are you a fan of monograms? Do you think they are Trendy or Classic? How have you used them in your home or in your life? Do tell!

Happy Friday, Y’all!


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New House Diary: The Entry Stairs

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Well it’s seems as if we have just about beaten this poor dead horse called my entry to a pulp, right? But there’s just a couple more details we need to work out before we can move on to another space.

I love the idea of a stair runner. And when it comes to a patterned stair runner, I will certainly have to make that decision before I finalize any wallpaper or fabrics for the space, or at least at the same time so they complement and don’t compete.

Here are a few of my favorite stair runners…


(square geometric–interior design by Kelly Wearstler)


(David Hicks Hexagon–Interior Design by Eric Cohler)


(Natural Fiber–Interior Design by Mary McDonald)


(Madeline Weinrib pattern–Interior Design by Serendipity Interiors)


(Leopard Runner–Interior Design by Erin Gates, Elements of Style)


(Solid but Colorful Runner–photography by Dan Duchars, Interior Designer unknown)

I’m quite fond of the hexagon pattern. What do you love? Leave me a comment and let me know your favorite stair runner. And does the stair runner decision affect what you think I should do on the walls and with the fabrics in the space, whether on a chair, skirted table or banquette? Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll narrow all my entry choices and show you the top 2 looks that are in the running so we can move on to another room. Wahoo!


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p.s. You can see all these images and many more on my Pinterest board called Stair Style.

Which Would You Choose? Lantern or Chandelier

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So it’s time to decide the light fixture for my Entry Way and I want to know which would you choose…

A lantern?


(design by Phoebe Howard)

Or a chandelier?


(see photograph here. Source unknown)

Leave me a comment and let me know which one you are loving these days.

Happy Hump Day, Y’all!


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Tobi TV: What About the TV?

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Today I’m on a plane to Italy for a little antique shopping. But it’s Tuesday so that means it’s Tobi TV! In this segment we’re talking about the TV.  What to do with it, I mean. Do we hide it, or do we buy the biggest one we can afford and leave it out for all the world to see?

Or maybe the best answer lies somewhere in between. And another thing – do we hang  it over the fireplace, install it in a bookcase, or hide it in the trusty (or rusty) old armoire?


Of all the questions I get asked on the topic of interior design, this one comes up a LOT! And I personally am a fan of embracing the “exposed” TV. They are a big part of our daily lives and we just don’t seem to go to the trouble to cover them up every day, even when we have that option.

So here’s my Tobi TV segment today with my TV tips…

And if you want to follow my lead with your TV at home, here are my Tobi’s Top TV Tips to help you do just that:

1. Just roll with it. If you are watching TV every single day, you aren’t likely to go to any trouble to put it away, right? So let it be. And go simple with decorating around it. You don’t want it to start to look like the proverbial “lipstick on a pig” because you tried too hard to decorate it or cover it up.

2. If your mantel is low enough for a comfortable viewing height, and by placing the TV there it is most visible and functional in the space, then by all means do it. But don’t try to force your TV over the mantel when it’s really too high, just because you think this placement fits the current trends. Function should always be first.

3. TVs aren’t going away anytime soon, but armoires certainly are. If you are a traditionalist when it comes to your interiors and you just can’t get comfortable with the TV being exposed, look for stylish and up-to-date cabinets or a credenza with a TV lift so it can be out of sight when you want it to be, and easily lift up for viewing. Or have your local cabinet shop build one for you that perfectly fits your TV and your room.

Now tell me, is the TV a bone of contention in your household? Do you want to cover it up but others in your house just aren’t for that? Or have you come up with a clever compromise so every in the house is happy…at least where the TV is concerned? Either way, leave me a comment and let me know how the “Great TV Debate” fleshes out in your home.

Thanks for watching today! I can’t wait to tell you about my Italy trip and what goodies I find while I am there. Maybe they will just have to be a part of a future episode of Tobi TV. Stay tuned…


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And don’t forget, if you LOVE my Tobi TV tips, you will really love joining me in person at my Design from A to Z  live event in Dallas March 18-19. After 2 action-packed “Design Days” with me, you will be ready to tackle your most difficult design dilemmas and design like a pro! So head on over to my website while there’s still seats available and grab yours so we can design together in Dallas next month! I can’t wait to see you there.


Italian Inspiration

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We interrupt this regularly scheduled Motivational Monday to bring you a post about inspiration.

As a designer, I need to regularly fill up my creative well and there is no better way than through travel. A change of surroundings not only gives me a different perspective, it gives me a chance to discover new ideas and inspiration for my designs, whether it’s through color, architecture, flavors, or awe-inspiring sights!


After back-to-back photo shoots and a non-stop work schedule, I need a break to recharge my creative batteries. And I am SO excited that tomorrow I’m heading to bella Italia to go to Mercanteinfiera, Italy’s largest antique fair! I’m attending this amazing show in Parma with The Antiques Diva for a special whirlwind tour, filled with gorgeous vintage finds.


And I’ll be on this fab trip with a few other talented designers that you may know–Los Angeles designer Mark Cutler, Dallas designer Denise McGaha, and Jon Call of Mr. Call Designs in New York City. If you would like to see what is inspiring me and my designer friends, be sure to follow my Instagram feed with @tobifairley!


I plan to soak in the colors, patterns, and stunning art on display (and I’m sure I’ll sample a bit of the pasta, parmesan, and prosciutto, too!). I know I’ll come back refreshed, renewed, and recharged – ready to take on new creative challenges!


To see these photos including this Parmesan factory, visit my Pinterest board called Destinations.

I’ve got to get my suitcase packed so ciao for now!


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