Archive for July, 2015

Tobi TV: Series of Art

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Hanging a series of art is a great way to fill a large wall or to add interest to a room. I love to use several coordinating pieces together, or even one large piece of art that’s been framed in individual sections.

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But how can you hang a series of art successfully? I’ve put together a list of tips to help you achieve this look like a pro, with a few examples from my art collection with Soicher Marin! Take a look:

See? It’s easy to create fabulous looks with several pieces of art! Let’s recap those tips:

1. You don’t have to hang a series of art in a grid. Consider hanging coordinating pieces in a vertical or horizontal pattern instead.

2. Think about “wrapping” art around a corner – you don’t have to stick to just one wall!

3. Hang a series of art close together – say 2 inches apart – to let the group read as one large piece.

4. Pieces hung in a series don’t have to be all exactly the same. By using the same frames and selecting art in similar color groups, you can mimic the look of a series.

If you have a large wall in your home, or you have that one room that just needs something, consider a series of art to give your space some personality!








Tobi TV: Take a Seat

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Have you ever had a party and run out of enough seats for your guests? I’m always wishing for that one extra seat! So what’s a hostess to do?

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I like to use furniture that serves more than one purpose – like an ottoman that also works as a coffee table. That really helps your guests to make themselves comfortable in your home anytime. Let’s take a look at a few more of those multifunctional pieces:

See how those little things – like an extra seat – can mean a lot? Let’s recap what we saw:

1. Think about using a great leather bench. They can work at the end of a bed, or in a hallway. And they definitely provide a great place for guests to perch!

2. For CR Laine, I designed small ottomans that fit right under a table. That way they’re out of the way when they aren’t needed, but are easily pulled out for extra seats or surfaces at a party.

3. I also love my little bench ottomans, called Lena. They are a bit like a bench, a bit like an ottoman, and a whole lot of stylish seating!

So remember that the perfect party always includes making your guests comfortable with that great extra seat!








Tobi TV: Mixing Patterns Like a Pro

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Wow – time flies! I am down to the last two meetings for designing my new fabric collection with Duralee, and then we’ll start preparing for its launch in December! That collection will be full of color and pattern, because as much as I’m crazy about color (and you know I am) I also love to work with pattern! But it can be tricky to mix patterns in a room and have the result look professional and not overwhelming.

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At the recent High Point Market, I showcased a lot of pattern in my new upholstery line with CR Laine. Let’s take a look at the results and I’ll share some of my top tips with you:

See? Pattern play is a LOT of fun if you know how to do it. So let’s review those ideas for mixing it up:

1. It’s important to let one pattern be a star, then you can mix in a smaller-scale pattern as a supporting player, and fill in with color and texture.

2. Menswear patterns with animal prints? Why not! With a coordinating color, you can mix any pattern with panache!

3. Two of my favorite patterns to mix are florals and geometrics – the key again is to use very different scales. So if you use a large floral print, be sure to mix in a geometric that features smaller scale like little diamond shapes.

4. You can really balance the look of a room with pattern. If you think a design like gingham might be too sweet or girly, you can mix in another pattern like a faux bois to bring in a more masculine design for balance.

So which patterns do you love? Start mixing them up and find YOUR perfect combination – and be sure to tell me about your pattern play in the comments below!








Saturday Thoughts: Writing your way to Success!

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toes in the sand

(“Toes in the Sand” is where my big ideas come to life!)

This blog post is a little bit about balance, a little bit about rituals and a little bit about living your dreams with a dose of healthy living mixed in.


(2015 has made dreams come true with designing 4 Product Lines for amazing partners!)

It’s been a while since I brought you a personal post. In fact it’s been a few weeks since I’ve done much blogging at all. And I miss it. Blogging is one of my favorite ways to express myself, to share design ideas, and to encourage others in business and life. I have been blogging for 7 years now and when it’s not a part of my daily life, I definitely feel a void.

Thermador Video

(Spending time “Shouting from the rooftops” of my love for Thermador Appliances)

Speaking of feeling a void, I feel a bit of a void in my goals for the future. There are a few holes.  This whole year I have been working on “birthing” some new ideas and projects but I have had many exciting design jobs and responsibilities that have kept me from bringing these ideas to life. I know there is a bit of a shift in direction that I need to take (because there always is a shift we need to take to be our best) and I am very excited about these new ideas that I think will take me in the right direction over the next few years of my business and my life. But I am having a hard time finding hours in my days to get these BIG ideas on paper.

client remodel

(One of many exciting Client projects in the works this year)

I’ve thankfully been so blessed with more fabulous client projects this year than ever, I’ve been knee-deep in launching 4 licensing collections, I’ve held the 2 most successful and impactful sessions of my Mastermind Consulting program we’ve ever held, I’m thrilled to be the new Brand Ambassador for Thermador because I have loved their products for SO long, and I have continued designing my own home, which those of you who have designed your homes know how hard this is. I think mainly because designers never have time to get to their own projects. It’s the old “Cobbler’s children have no shoes” dilemma. And Yes! We are finally gutting the kitchen and bath. How long have I been saying that, right? And that requires me temporarily moving out of my house soon because it’s about to get really dirty around here when the demolition starts.

CR Laine

(My CR Laine upholstery debut was a BIG moment this year!)

And yes, all of these things that are happening in my life right now are dreams coming true! But just like I teach in my consulting programs, the time to develop new client relationships is when you have clients, instead of waiting until you have none and try to find some quickly just to pay the bills. The same is true for dreams and ideas. You can’t wait until you have accomplished everything on your list and find yourself feeling lost and directionless to think about the next steps. The best way to keep your momentum going and stay happy and fulfilled is to challenge yourself with thinking about where you are going while you are already happy and fulfilled with your current goals and dreams. It’s not about not enjoying where you are today, it’s more about knowing where you are heading. Because I know from experience, if you don’t have direction, you are going nowhere.

thermador time

(One of our most successful Mastermind Sessions yet! It was all about Financials but we had some fun too!)

So what do I do when I need to make things happen? I write. I write my thoughts and feelings in my journal. I fill up legal notebooks of design ideas and creativity. I write blog posts. And just this week I saw this interesting article and study from NPR about the power of writing.

beach time

(My Happy Place. Where is your Happy Place?)

And what do I do when you feel stuck even to the point of writer’s block? I go to the beach! I just spent two glorious weeks there reading, studying and writing and that’s why my ideas are begging to be put on paper. But what about when you have an idea on the “tip of your brain” that you can’t quite get organized or fleshed out and a beach vacation or “your happy place” isn’t in your immediate future. Or when you need to get back on track with your healthy lifestyle? Or when you are designing or dreaming of a creative idea? Do you write? Do you make yourself be disciplined and write even when you feel stuck? That’s what many of the most successful people do. They write no matter what!

woodbridge table

(The “Ellison Cocktail Table” in my Tobi Fairley for Woodbridge Furniture Collection)

It’s funny how I sometimes forget this important practice of writing. When I am engaged in many things, I sometimes can’t see the forest for the trees as far as remembering to write my thoughts down. And ironically when I am in the zone of creating and developing big ideas, it sometimes feels like I fill up enough journal pages of paper that it could make a whole tree. Do you sometimes finding yourself forgetting to do the simple daily rituals and practices that make your life a success? It happens to all of us.

Or maybe you don’t forget, but you are afraid to write things down? Does that make them “Too Real” for you? Is it scary that you may have to actually hold yourself accountable to your wildest dreams if they are on paper? Or are you insecure about writing because you think you aren’t good at it and you over-analyze and judge yourself and your thoughts when you put them on paper?

beaching it

(Dreaming of my future to the sound of the Waves and then writing it down makes it happen.)

Well think of it this way. You could be holding yourself back from your business success including becoming financially free. You could be keeping yourself from being your most healthy and happy and best version of you. And you could be letting time pass you by and you could be finally living the life you only dream about.


So give writing a try. I am off to write about my gratitude for all that has happened this year. And I am off to write about my big ideas, my home design, and my progress on The Whole 30 because I am on day 7 of 30 days to resetting my healthy lifestyle. And it doesn’t hurt that I will be relaxing by my pool while I write and enjoying this gorgeous day. What can you do to make yourself take up this powerful practice of writing? It works for me and I believe it will work for you too.

Happy Saturday!

Tobi Signature

Tobi TV: Inviting Entry

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One of my favorite parts of a house is the entry – I think that’s where you can really set the tone for the rest of the home. In one of my recent projects, the entry was anything but inviting, and it didn’t really reflect the warm and wonderful personality of my clients!

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So that tiny and cramped entry had to go – and in its place I created a welcoming space that made all the difference! Here are some tips for how you can create that fabulous entry in your home:

Now that’s better, right? Let’s recap how to roll out the welcome mat in the entry:

1. If you have an awkward or tiny space for your entry, consider where you could expand the area. For my client, we relocated a powder room nearby to gain the extra square footage we needed.

2. Go with the flow! Create a good flow from your front door into the other spaces of your home.

3. A gorgeous floor makes all the difference in a foyer – it’s a good focal point since an entry rarely has a lot of furniture in it.

4. Think open and airy in your entry. You want this area to really set the welcoming tone to pull people through into the rest of the house.

5. Don’t be afraid to look at your space with a fresh set of eyes to see all the possibilities for change!

So what areas in your home need a new look? What could you do differently? Let me know in the comments section below!