Archive for June, 2015

Tobi TV: Mixing Classic Furniture and Modern Art

Posted by


One of my favorite things to do as an interior designer is mix classic and modern styles – especially with furniture and art. Modern art keeps any traditional setting from getting too formal or stuffy, and the classic furniture lets the art really play a starring role.

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 7.07.58 PM

At the recent High Point Market, I used classic forms to create my new collection of updated upholstery for CR Laine, which mixed perfectly with my new line of modern artwork for Soicher Marin! So how can you mix up this magic in your own home? Let’s take a look at some ideas:

That’s a perfect balance of classic and contemporary! Let’s review those tips again:

1. Contemporary art can jazz up any room, especially when it has a classic look like a Sheraton-style sofa to play a supporting role.

2. If you have a feminine and curvy form on your furniture, like on my Lucy bed, consider using bold modern art like black brushstrokes to add a balancing touch.

3. A camelback sofa is a timeless design form, and when mixed with a watery blue modern print it creates a very dynamic duo.

4. In some cases, you may want the classic look to be the star of the show, like in this Greek bust. So give it a great understudy like these very simple black-and-white characters.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with mixing two distinct design styles – you’ll end up with a look that’s all your own!







Tobi TV: Behind the Scenes

Posted by


We’re going to do something little different this week on Tobi TV! Normally I give you some great decorating tips right from one of my projects and in the actual room.

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 3.20.14 PM

But I know how much you love before-and-after shots of the homes I design, so this time we’re going to look at the process I went through to design this great dining room for one of my favorite clients! Let’s head behind the scenes and look at how it all started, and where we ended up!

Wow! What a difference, right? Let’s talk about a few of the things we did to take this dining room from dated to dynamite:

1. In home design, we sometimes encounter those strange little spaces that make a room a little awkward. Don’t be afraid to straighten out those odd walls and openings by working with a contractor.

2. You can give a boring wall a lot of interest by using details like applied molding.

3. Layers of neutrals from white to cream offer dimension and sophistication. And when you add a pop of color like red, it really makes a statement!

4. Use accessories to pick up complementary colors in your fabrics, like a touch of eggplant in the art that highlights the deep purple in the upholstered chairs.

5. I love to hang art within the borders of panel molding – it looks sleek and chic!

So what do you think about the before and the after for this dining room? I love the result and I know my client is happy with what we did.

What would you change about your dining room? Let me know in the comments section below!









My New Partner: Woodbridge Furniture

Posted by

9000-00B_Sofa_805-05_81-07_Ottoman_DTL02A Tobi Fairley for Woodbridge table that we tested last market

I am so happy to announce that I will have a new furniture collection with Woodbridge Furniture that will debut at the October High Point Market! The Tobi Fairley for Woodbridge line will launch with a great introduction of 10-12 pieces this fall, and a larger collection will be introduced at the April 2016 Market. The Tobi Fairley for Woodbridge Collection will include a selection of case goods from side tables and dining tables to desks, chests, consoles and dining chairs.


The Ellison Cocktail Table from the Tobi Fairley for Woodbridge Collection

This may not be a big surprise to some of you if you were at the High Point Market last April. We tested a couple of my designs with Woodbridge, like the blush and charcoal Ellison cocktail table with the gold leaf border that you can see in the photos above. Isn’t it gorgeous? And how about the table I designed below with the green top and curvy legs? This fun piece with a matching console and cocktail version will be available in a variety of colors. The best part is Woodbridge allowed me to bring my creative vision to pieces I couldn’t find out in the marketplace. And I think Woodbridge really knocked it out of the park creating them for me, don’t you? 

You know I love to work with partners who are collaborative and share a vision that we’re both ready to work hard to execute – and the Woodbridge team is exactly that type of partner. Co-founders Watts Humphrey and Kevin Hinshaw are fantastic guys to work with, and their young company is really a hidden gem that offers incredible quality and expertise! The vision I’ll bring to our partnership is fashion-forward design that fits the way people want to live today. It’s a win-win!


Another of my “test tables” that I designed with Woodbridge.

The Woodbridge designs will also coordinate fantastically with my upholstery collection for CR Laine and my artwork for Soicher Marin. And the wood pieces will really round out my licensed lines. It brings my dream of a full Tobi Fairley licensed home group closer to coming true! Stay tuned for more!

And come see me at the High Point Market this fall – we’ll have a lot to show you!








Tobi TV: Mixing Color with Style

Posted by


This week, we’re in the CR Laine showroom at the recent High Point Market where I launched my new Tobi Fairley upholstery collection, and a line of art with Soicher Marin! I’m known for color, so you know I brought bright combinations into my new product designs, too.

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 6.52.43 PM

So many people, though, are intimidated about working with color. I have people tell me all the time that they’re worried they will choose the wrong color, or that they aren’t sure how to mix colors for a stylish look. Well today I’m going to bring you some tips and ideas that will help you banish those color fears and start embracing the bright side!

Let’s take a look at some combinations that really up the style quotient:

Bright and bold, right? See how easy it is to make color really work for you? Let’s review those tips:

1. Don’t know where to start with complementary colors? Go to the color wheel you remember from school! Once you have a color you like, choose a supporting color that is on the opposite side of that wheel.

2. Mix light and dark together – it’s what makes black and white such a classic duo! Think about using one dark color, like navy, with a paler hue like mint green.

3. You know how sweet and sour can taste good together? Try a tangy bright citrus color like chartreuse with a sweeter flavor like pink – the result will be delicious!

4. Also think about analogous colors, or those that are right next to each other on the color wheel, like lavender and sky blue. Because they are neighbors, they tend to play well together!

Use these bright ideas to really kick your color combos up a notch! And let me know which colors are your faves in the comments section below!







A Significant Review

Posted by


Can you believe that we are already halfway through 2015? The time is flying by, as it always does, but it just seems to move faster the older I get. I think it’s so important to slow down our “busyness” every now and then and review or look back to see how far we’ve come.

At the beginning of the year, I decided on a word for 2015, and that also set an intention for my year. My word, as you can see above, is Significance. My intention was, and is, to go for Significance as in Intention, Meaning, Essence, Magnitude, Heart, Soul, and Spirit. All the things I choose for 2015 must be “significant” or important – really important to ME. They should touch my heart and fill my spirit. That has meant being VERY honest with myself about what I want and, more importantly, what I don’t want. And it means having the guts to say no to things.


This is such a HARD thing for us, particularly for those of us who are women, to do in our lives. We’re either saying “yes” to every single thing at work because we think it will make us more successful, or we’re saying “yes” to insignificant things out of guilt or a false sense of obligation. In business and in life, we think there will be some judgement held against us if we say NO. So instead we find ourselves saying yes and as a result, we’re frazzled, burned out, and crazy!

And the problem with saying YES to everything, is that we cannot be SIGNIFICANT – we can’t really make a difference if we’re stretching ourselves so thin that we’re about to snap. You may remember that one of my favorite quotes is “You have to say no to the good, so you can say yes to the GREAT!”


Now – how am I doing with my intention so far this year? Well, I have definitely started saying “no” more often. And I have found great joy in reaching MAJOR goals that I’ve wanted to achieve for years…Significant goals! I launched my first product lines with CR Laine and Soicher Marin, and I also unveiled Tobi U, my online learning center for designers and creatives. It is incredible to see those dreams come true.

I’ve also been able to take my mom and my daughter on my business trips, which makes that travel much more fun. My top priority is family, and the only way I can be really happy is to make sure I am there for all the important things at home and then take them along every chance I get. I know I will look back on the significance of having the people I love with me for many highlights of my career and hopefully they will, too.

But yes, I could do better in some of the other areas, like finding time to relax and spending more downtime with friends. And I just happen to be taking care of those two things this month with a fun trip to the beach in Florida with friends and family! And I know my work will be more significant when I get back because I will be rested and refreshed.


The best thing about doing this mid-year review, though, is that it refocuses our attention on those goals that we’ve set for ourselves. It’s so easy to get bogged down with the daily challenges and responsibilities of life, that we forget what we really wanted this year to be. And we find ourselves falling into old habits that are not aligned with our intentions at all. We can often find ourselves missing out on the fabulous forest we desire because we can’t see past those pesky old trees!

So far on the BIG things this year, I am doing really well. Knocking them out of the park to be exact. And now that I have given myself a little check up, I can re-adjust some of the details in my life so at the end of 2015 I can have all those little things whipped into shape, too. Because it’s the little things that can often have the biggest impact, isn’t it?

I just need a few tweaks and then I can truly say that I lived with SIGNIFICANCE this year. So how are you doing with your 2015 goals? Let me know in the comments below! Meanwhile, I hear the beach calling my name!