Archive for February, 2015

My New Partnership with Duralee

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This summer, I was thrilled to partner with Duralee for the Hampton Designer Showhouse! They have been one of my favorite vendors for years, but getting to work so closely with them was great. Their team was an absolute dream to work with – and now I am even more excited to announce that we’re going to continue that partnership with a new Duralee Designer: Tobi Fairley fabric collection! I am over the moon to be the next designer in Duralee’s amazing line up of Designer partners. My collection is set for debut at the wholesale Fabric Show, ITMA Showtime, in December 2015 in High Point, NC, and will be available to the Interior Design Trade in April of 2016. So that means by Spring of 2016, you can buy my fabrics from your favorite designers and manufacturers around the country.

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We have been hard at work on my fabric designs since last summer, and the process has been fun and fabulous! I can’t wait for you to see the patterns and colors that we’ve come up with – but I can tell you that the fabrics will definitely fit my brand of Bright, Bold, and Tailored! The gorgeous fabrics I used for the Showhouse (shown above) are from Duralee’s Bailey and Griffin Collection. And you’ll be excited to know that my Duralee Designer: Tobi Fairley Collection will have equally large-scale fabulous prints and bold colors that are right in line with my Tobi Fairley style, perfect for your pillows and drapery. Plus there will be brightly-colored woven geometrics and florals that are hard-working and perfect for your upholstery!


As you know, I’ve been producing my own fabrics for a few years now. You can see those patterns above. But it is SUCH an amazing opportunity to move onto a national stage with a premier fabric company like Duralee. They really get what designers need and ultimately what consumers want in their interiors, and together we are going to produce fabrics that are fashion-forward and essential!

I’ve formed some terrific partnerships this year – including those with CR Laine and Soicher Marin. And you’ll be able to see those incredible collections at the upcoming April High Point Market. With Duralee added to that list, all three of these companies really fit my brand and my aesthetic. But they also are just terrifically great people to work with – and that’s what is really important to me and the people in my company. And look for at least one more company to join up with us for this fun ride in the near future and round out the great offerings I am bringing you for your home.

Thanks for coming along with us!










Tobi TV: Luxe for Less

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We all want the sophisticated and chic designs that we see in magazines, but our pocketbooks may not feel the same way about luxury design as we do! There is a way to get those luxe looks for less – you just have to be smart about where and how you spend your budget. It doesn’t mean I (or any other designer) can give you a top-of-the-line product for a big-box bargain-store price.

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Beautiful and intricately detailed homes cost more than you think. So you’ll notice in the video that I don’t say luxury for a bargain price, but luxury for a moderate price. You definitely get what you pay for in my opinion, but there are many ways that you can save money in some areas so you can splurge in other places, and that’s what this Tobi TV is all about.

Instead of automatically saying, “There is no way I could afford that in my home,” I’m going to give you some tips and ideas for how you can mix high- and low-priced items to create best magazine-worthy looks!

See! You don’t have to go all out to have a fabulous space! Choosing where to save and where to splurge is what it’s all about. Let’s recap those tips for getting luxe looks for less:

1. Drapery doesn’t have to be the world’s finest silk to be luxurious. Try a polished cotton for a less expensive, gorgeous look!

2. Coffered ceilings give the look of luxury, but using simple cove moulding instead of intricately detailed options helps. Then consider adding luxe touches like a touch of gold paint or a pop of lavender on the ceiling. It makes this ‘wow’ look less expensive.

3. Skip the expensive dining table and opt for an acrylic base with a glass top. It’s often less expensive than a top-of-the-line wood variety. It’ll save money and create the perfect upscale dining experience.

4. Wallpaper can be expensive, especially brands like de Gournay, but using it on only one wall allows you to have a luxe look without breaking the bank! Another tip, I color-matched the paint with the rest of the walls so there is a perfectly seamless transition.

5. Repurpose some of your existing furniture by reupholstering with fabulous fabric or painting with lacquer. This will save you money and give you a great luxurious look. And yes, painting and reupholstering by a professional isn’t super-cheap, but it can be less expensive than the often thousands of dollars that new, fully-upholstered dining chairs can cost. And every little bit of savings can add up.

6. Custom rugs don’t have to be crazy-expensive. Try a carpet supplier that makes custom rugs to keep your design bill in check. Or even have a rug made from patterned carpet with a decorative binding or serged edge detail.

These tips will give you a lot of look for smaller investment! And even though taking on a luxury design project isn’t cheap, there are certainly areas where you can save so that, when the project is complete and looking gorgeous, you will never even remember the more expensive option. And you’ll feel so proud of your savings, you might even like the more affordable substitute better than the more luxury option. Let me know in the comments below how you give your home a luxe look for less!









Saturday Bliss: Finding Joy in the Kitchen

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baking loveNot much “feeds” my soul like being in the kitchen. I have been cooking since I was 10 or maybe a bit younger. And whether cooking or baking, I am at home in the kitchen and it’s a place where my creativity soars.

One of my favorite things about making a meal or a sweet is that even the most labor intensive recipes are still complete in a few hours. So much of my work is never-ending or at least takes months to complete, so there is something super satisfying about the beginning and the end of a culinary creation all happening in the same day. Plus cooking is definitely a way we Southerners show love to those important people in our lives.

banana breadToday I’m baking my mom’s delicious banana bread. Here’s the recipe:

1/2 Cup Butter

1 1/2 Cup Sugar

2 Eggs

1 1/2 Cup Flour, sifted

1/2 tsp Salt

1 tsp Baking Soda in 1/2 Cup Buttermilk

1 Cup Mashed Ripe Bananas

1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans

Cream Butter and Sugar together. Add Eggs, Flour and Salt. Mix thoroughly (I use my Kitchenaid Mixer). Add Buttermilk Mixture and Beat. Mix in Bananas and Nuts. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until done. I like to bake in 5 mini loaf pans so I can easily share with friends. For 5 mini loaves my oven takes 30-35 minutes.

And here are a few of my other recent creations…

salmon Ramen with Miso Broth

vegetable soup

mushroom penne

chocolate chips

valentine's cupcakes

To see more of my cooking adventures, follow me on Instagram.

Happy Saturday from the Kitchen!


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Don’t Miss Out on Tobi U!

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I had an AMAZING response to the launch of Tobi U, my new online learning center for interior designers! So many designers have signed up and are already telling me how these business courses are changing their businesses and their lives!

If you haven’t made the leap to join me for the first semester of Tobi U at the very limited Early Bird Pricing, now is the time! Early Bird pricing will close on Feb. 28, and Spring Registration will officially close on March 31st and won’t reopen again until Fall when I launch my second semester of Tobi U.

In each semester of Tobi U you get 8 modules of content, each module focusing on a central topic that is CRITICAL to the business of interior design. I give real, honest and straightforward information on how to REALLY take your business and your life higher, no matter what level you are in your business right now. It isn’t fluff, it’s roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-to-work content.

Each of the 8 modules includes a video that walks you through the topic, like how to get a handle on your financials, and gives you a clear focus of why it’s so important to your business. Then I include a webinar for each module, made up of the best-of-the-best of the foundational business content from my classes and courses plus all new cutting-edge ideas on how to reach your goals in the state of our industry right now.

Each module also has downloadable PDF worksheets for your HOMEWORK! Yep, that’s right! Tobi U brings you homework. As I love to say, “This won’t work if you don’t do the work!” And then I offer you a podcast in each module that helps keep you motivated. To see more about how Tobi U works, check out this blog post from a few weeks back where I walk you through the process step-by-step.

If you start with Tobi U NOW, you can have tools and strategies in place to help turn your business around by this summer – and isn’t that what you want? So what are you waiting for? Register NOW for Tobi U (by Feb. 28) and get the limited time early bird special of $999 while you still can. The regular price is a fabulous value for all this great content and the Early Bird Special makes Tobi U a steal of a deal!

Here’s what a few of our Tobi U students are saying…

“Excellent job on Tobi U. It’s easy to use, has great and valuable content and the badges are fun. Thanks for sharing your secrets to success. And thanks for being accessible to all of us striving to achieve the best we can be!”–Maria Adams

“It’s horrifying to work the numbers (for your design business) but when you finally get them- and understand them- you can get a plan and take action! The Tobi U Financials module is so great!”–Kathleen DiPaolo

“Most helpful was the goal discussion. I am all in with the go big or go home! I like getting permission to do that, to think that way, to shoot for that.Thank you Tobi U!”–Mara Malcolm

“The content is great and so far. This is the most fun I’ve ever had doing homework!” –Wendy Fisher

So what are you waiting for? Don’t spend another minute waiting to change your life. Don’t put off building your dream business. Sign up TODAY…6 months from now you will wish you had!









How to Change Your Interior Design Business

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The interior design business is a tough one. It’s a creative business that also requires some serious entrepreneurial skills, and too often those aren’t taught in design school. So many designers tell me that they were blindsided by the business itself, and the need to understand financials, marketing, pricing, negotiation, sales, and so much more.

But here is where I can help – in fact, it’s one of my PASSIONS to help other designers improve their businesses! I have an accounting degree and an MBA, in addition to my interior design degree, and I have years of experience in coaching and teaching other designers how to improve and refine their businesses for maximum success!

My Designer MBA course is the deep-dive business education that has completely transformed design businesses across the country! Taking place Nov. 10-11 in Dallas at the historic Stoneleigh Hotel, this two-day event will give interior designers the tools and confidence they need to professionalize their processes and to sell their services with confidence.

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 4.01.54 PMWhat separates Designer MBA from any other business course or event is that I am also in the interior design trenches every single day. I know how hard it can be – and I have developed Designer MBA to answer all of the pain points you can have as a designer. I’ll teach you to:

  • Charge what you’re worth
  • Get your financial house in order
  • Attract your ideal client
  • Market your business like a pro

Here’s what a few of our Designer MBA customers have to say about the course:

“Since attending Tobi’s event, I had a 500% increase in profits! What Tobi will spoon-feed you is a roadmap to making money.” Mara Malcolm

“Tobi is so generous with her time and her knowledge. I walked in frightened about the future of my business. I walked out a confident designer! I have the tools to restructure, and I am rebuilding for success.” Alison Johnston

“I would have paid twice as much for the results I have already reaped!” Suzy Watkins

“After returning from Designer MBA, everything has changed in my business for the better. I have been sprinting just to keep up with everything happening. Now my time is not wasted running around, but in meeting new, quality clients and closing the largest contracts ever!” Kim Layne Gonzalez

Let me give YOU the same results! Join me at Designer MBA! Learn more by clicking here.

Stop leaving money on the table, and start feeling empowered!