Archive for April, 2015

New House Diary: I’m Back!

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New House Diary

Ok, so I admit it. I hit a point a couple of months back that I had to put my own house project on the back burner to get my new CR Laine and Soicher Marin collections launched and dig into the last few stages of development of my Duralee fabric line that will be finished in the coming months.

Well if you’ve been watching my social media feeds the last few days you know that my 2 collections have had VERY successful launches at the High Point Market and hopefully you will be seeing them in your local retailers and design shops by summer.

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Working on the design of my area in the CR Laine showroom – now I’m ready to tackle my house!

And the Duralee fabric line is looking like a million bucks! We are in the stage of COLOR!! My favorite part. So I know pretty much what all the woven and print patterns look like and now is the time to add my magic touches of Bright and Bold color to make the collection come to life.

So…with all that progressing perfectly, I am now ready to really turn my attention to my house. And I am just a few weeks out from making MAJOR changes to the structure. We’re talking gutting the kitchen and the bath. So stay tuned – you just may see me wielding a hammer to demo some of my walls in just a few weeks, just like they do on your favorite DIY TV shows!

And while the construction gets into full swing, I’ll get us back on track with making decisions for the rooms we haven’t tackled here on New House Diary. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

So thanks for hanging with me as I work to balance all the parts and pieces of my life. I am so excited it is time for ME to be the client. I can tell you, getting this fabulous home camera-ready is a bit overdue but I know it will all be worth the wait.

I’ll be back next week with more of my decisions and selections and I am going to need a bit more of your help making some final choices. Join me for the process, won’t you?








I’m Blushing Over These Beauties!

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The High Point Market wrapped last week, and it was an amazing whirlwind! I was so happy to see how well my new CR Laine collection of upholstery was received – the showroom was packed and the orders were being written at lightning speed!

For those of you who weren’t able to attend the market, I know I’ve teased you for weeks about the three color stories that we showcased – Blushing Beauty, City Sophisticate, and Drama Queen – so I thought I would show you each collection. This week, we’ll look at the Blushing Beauty group – featuring the fashion-forward blush color!


I loved mixing the sweet blush color with the tangy citron, which gave it a nice balance and kept it from going too feminine or “precious.” In the group above, you see the Julianne sofa, the Helen slipper chair, the Lena ottoman, and the Stella screen. I also designed the blush table with gold leaf with a fabulous company called Woodbridge Furniture. It was so much fun to work with them, that I might just have to do it again!


The Julianne is a Sheraton-style sofa, but unlike the vintage design, this one is super-comfortable! And I love the details here, like the starburst pattern on the nailhead trim of the screen, and the Greek key carvings on the base of both the slipper chair and the ottoman. The art above the sofa is part of my new collection with Soicher Marin, another fabulous partner!


This bedroom area in the CR Laine showroom was a big hit! We had quite a few people who said they wanted to pick up this vignette and put the whole thing in their own bedrooms at home! The Lucy upholstered bed and the leather Beverly bench are both from my collection with CR Laine, and the art is from my Soicher Marin line. I’m also really appreciative of partners who allowed us to borrow product to finish off our looks – like the lamps from Currey & Company, the mirror from Mirror Image, rug from Surya, the bedding from Eastern Accents, and the bedside tables from Woodbridge.


The Lucy is fully upholstered all the way to the floor with no boxing wooden foot, which gives it such a luxurious look! And that blush leather on the Beverly bench was to-die-for!

I loved the Blushing Beauty group in my Tobi Fairley for CR Laine collection, and I am so happy that it was a success at market! I can’t wait to see it in stores in just a few weeks, and in people’s homes! I’m already planning to put these designs in some of my own new projects.

Next week, I’ll show you the City Sophisticate group. And if you want to take the quiz to see which group fits your personality, just click here!








Tobi TV: Sophisticated Retreat

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There is no better retreat in a house than the bedroom – and it is one of my favorite rooms to design! I like to bring a sophisticated look into this oasis – in fact, I just designed a luxurious leather bench and stunning fully-upholstered bed for my collection with CR Laine. Stay tuned to tomorrow’s post for a look at those gorgeous pieces!

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One of my favorite recent projects was a penthouse in Little Rock, and the master bedroom is a chic and inviting room, full of va-va-voom! So let’s take a look at some ways this room is bringing sexy back, and how you can create your own retreat!

Wow! Let’s recap how you can use these tips to create a chic getaway:

1. An interesting wallpaper like a neutral snakeskin creates a perfect jumping off point for the rest of your bedroom’s design.

2. A satin headboard and fur throws really ramp up the romance.

3. A cobalt lacquer ceiling highlighted with a Sputnik light fixture really takes sophistication to another galaxy!

4. Add a little edge to your chic space with deep navy drapes and sharkskin lamps!

I hope these ideas help you fall in love with your bedroom all over again. Let me know in the comments below how you chic up your space!







Inspiration from the High Point Traditional Home Showhouse

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I love showhouses – both designing for them and walking through them! At the recent High Point Market in High Point, NC, the Junior League of High Point and Traditional Home magazine sponsored an amazing showhouse right in the heart of the market.

The 2015 Showhouse, a circa-1912 Tudor Revival home, featured the theme “From High Point to the World.” And the designers did an amazing job showcasing modern design in an historic home! I was so inspired by many of the designs that I wanted to share them with you.


Lisa Mende Design

The kitchen by Lisa Mende was perfection! I loved the black cabinetry with brass hardware, the wallpapered ceiling, and the gorgeous subway tile. The wide-plank floor hints at the kitchen’s history, but it is modern all the way!

lisa breakfast

Lisa Mende Design

And Lisa carried black into her breakfast area, mixing it with lime and cobalt for a chic result. By the way, her chairs and banquette are by CR Laine, the amazing company who makes my Tobi Fairley Collection. But black wasn’t just in Lisa’s space, it was a theme in much of the house, with Libby Langdon using black and white for the master bedroom, and Christy Barbour using black in the bar with a gold-painted ceiling for some glam! I loved Libby’s stories of playing at the house when she was growing up – her family lived just down the street!


Libby Langdon

The Fromental wallpaper in the Madcap Cottage designed dining room was gorgeous – loved the pale pink! And the duo’s quirky design always gives me fun and inspiring moments like this one!


Madcap Cottage

Speaking of wallpaper, Kara Cox used Phillip Jeffries’ Mica wallpaper for an ultra-glam look in her dressing room for the showhouse! And the touches of mint were a great accent for the greys.


Kara Cox Interiors

You know I love color, and the spring-inspired blues in Traci Zeller’s design for the foyer were gorgeous! I think small-space design is the most difficult and she made it look like a breeze. The mirror also had me dreaming of new Greek key designs.


Traci Zeller Designs

Michelle Workman’s library offered a lot of inspiration, too, particularly in how she mixed her feminine sensibility into such a masculine room. Michelle also has a unique way of combining vintage and new fabrics with collected pieces and original art for a very sophisticated result.


Michelle Workman Interiors

The fun and modern Upstairs Art Haven in the carriage house designed by Holly Phillips was full of great ideas! I loved her mix of quirky modern art with traditional frames that had been given an update.


Holly Hollingsworth Phillips

It was an absolutely huge showhouse, with too many rooms to list here, so if you are in the area, go to see the showhouse before it closes on May 3.

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Parker Kennedy Living

You can see work from all of the other designers like the fabulous green guest room in the carriage house by Parker Kennedy Living. Here’s a fun shot from when they were installing the space. Oh, you know how I love green!

And you won’t want to miss the fabulous rooms by Cathy Austin, Margaret Fisher, Eric Ross, Mickey Sharpe, Jennifer Hutton, Lisa Sherry, Leslie Moore, Laura Covington, Alan Ferguson, Patti Allen/Stephanie James, Jack Fhillips, Sally Altizer, and Aida Saul.

I promise you will find a lot of fabulous inspiration for your next design project!



Tobi TV: Double Duty Rooms

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I always remind my clients that function is just as important as form when it comes to home design! Of course you want your home to be beautiful, but it has to really WORK for you, too, right? And sometimes you need a space to serve more than one purpose. Those double-duty spaces, as I call them, can be a challenge to decorate to fit both functions.

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Whether it’s a guest room that doubles as an office, or a teenager’s room that doubles as a guest room when he’s away at school, there are ways to help your room play both sides. In fact, I designed the new Sheridan daybed (above) for my CR Laine furniture collection to help transition a room from an office or den to a guest room in sophisticated style!

There are several ways you can use color and design to create a double duty room, too. Let’s take a look!

Those tips really have me seeing double…duty, that is! Let’s recap:

1. Greek key is a great design for rooms that have to play two roles. It isn’t too masculine or too feminine, so it’s perfect for any member of your family or for out-of-town guests.

2. Think INSIDE the box for double duty rooms. Boxy geometrics and cool fretwork motifs are great gender-neutral design patterns!

3. Simple furniture keeps your transition room from going too far in one design direction or another.

4. Take your color cues from nature for a multifunctional space. Blues, greens, and browns are perfect “mood setters” for a bedroom or a home office!

5. Use interesting light fixtures to make a double duty room pop! Everyone – family and friends – will enjoy seeing the light when it looks this good!

Consider these fabulous tips as you design your multifunctional rooms. Let me know in the comments below how you make your transition spaces work for everyone!