Archive for April, 2014

Which Would You Choose…Panel-Front or Glass-Front Refrigerator?

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I’ve always been a fan of glass front refrigerators like this fab one in the kitchen of my friend Kathryn Greeley’s Chestnut Cottage. I aspire to keep my fridge this neat and tidy inside. Maybe a glass front would keep me organized.


But I sure do love this refrigerator in the kitchen by Caitlin Wilson from a recent issue of House Beautiful. I am particularly fond of the panel front french doors, freezer on the bottom and that hardware is to die for!

So which would you choose…glass or panel front refrigerator? Do tell. Leave me a comment below with your preference.

Happy Hump Day!


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Tobi TV: Tobi’s Tricks with Trim

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Today on Tobi TV we’re talking trim. I love adding embellishments like grosgrain, gimp, and banding to decorative elements in a home to make the space more unique and personalized.

And trimmings don’t have to be fussy unless you want them to be. I prefer them clean-lined, simple, and edited.


So take a look at my latest video and see what you think about my ideas for adding trim to your home.

And here are my Tobi’s Top Tricks with Trim  (say that 3 times fast!):

1. Add trim to the leading edge of drapery panels or on all three sides of a valance or roman shade for a bit of detail and interest.

2. Lampshades are the perfect place for flat trims like grosgrain or gimp. These embellishments give your store-bought lampshades a custom look.

3. The tabletop is a great place to have fun with trim. From your napkins to your placemats to the tablecloth, there are many places to add trim to your tabletop to create a more festive soiree.

4. Pillows may just be the best place to use trim. You can create geometric details and patterns of your own design, or keep it simpler and just use fringes or tassels on the edges. Whatever your style, adding trim to your pillows can help you make a statement in your interior.

Now’s the time for you to weigh in. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think of this video and how you’ve used decorative trims and embellishments in your interior. And if you love this video, please share it with friends who might find my Tobi TV design tips inspirational and helpful in designing their homes.

Happy Trimming!




Pray for Arkansas

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My home state was hit hard by devastating tornadoes last night. Many have lost their lives, many are injured, and many more have lost their homes and everything they own, and some people may still be missing or unaccounted for.

Please join me in praying for all those impacted by these horrific storms. And please consider helping in any way you can including through the American Red Cross. Arkansans are strong people who always come together in the wake of tragedy and I know this will be no different. But it will be a long road to recovery for many in my state, so anything that you can do to help, please know my fellow Arkansans and I will be forever grateful.

Hug those you love today. Life is short.


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Self-Care Saturday in the Garden

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Today is one of my favorite days of the year. It’s the day I plant all my spring flowers. And now that I have a swimming pool as the centerpiece of my back yard, I can’t wait to make things more beautiful than ever because we’ll be spending so much more time there.

And on the topic of self-care, nothing feeds my mind, body, and spirit like digging in the dirt!  I see pink petunias and chartreuse sweet potato vine in my immediate future. Any of you planting flowers today?


Happy Gardening! xo,

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Before and After Kitchen

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I continue our before-and-after home tour today from my project featured in the April issue of Traditional Home Magazine. And since we are talking all things kitchen in my New House Diary, I thought you might want to see the great kitchen before and after from this amazing home.

Here is the kitchen range before…

Swope Kitchen Before Range

And the existing island that we refaced…

Swope Island Before

And here is the chic and modern “after” where we kept the countertops and designed the new sleek kitchen to coordinate in the fresh gray and yellow color palette.


Here’s a look at the before of the sink wall…

Swope Kitchen Before sink view

And the much simpler version in the after. We removed the wooden cornice and drapery valance over the sink and showcased that gorgeous marble subway tile in a herringbone installation.


The previous kitchen had open storage and display and a desk area that was a catch-all.

Swope kitchen before storage wall

And the after includes lots of closed storage, frosted glass in the uppers to disguise any pieces stored there that aren’t aesthetically pleasing or congruent with the kitchen style, and a buffet area for serving and storing snacks for the kids in glass canisters.


And did you notice all my custom lucite accents including the barstools, towel bars, cabinet pulls and custom-designed lucite corbels to support the existing countertops and the custom refrigerator handles? I am in love with these almost-invisible functional details.



So what do you think about this dramatic kitchen renovation? Leave me a comment and let me know your favorite details from the new and improved kitchen. Does this make you want a kitchen remodel? It certainly makes me anxious to start mine!

Happy Weekend!