Archive for June, 2016

Top 5 Tips for Picking the Perfect Paint Color

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It is so hard for people to select paint colors for their home! There are just too many colors and choices out there – which can leave many standing in front of a wall of paint chips with no clue how to choose. Even selecting a white, which you would think would be an easy choice, can drive you crazy. Should you choose a warm white, a cool bluish white, or even a pink-tinged white?

I have 5 fail-proof ways that I choose paint colors for my projects! Give these a try to make your selection process so much easier:

1. Let fabric be your guide. When I start on the design for a space, I always go to my fabric room first. Fabrics can help set the tone and mood for the entire room! As you can see in the bedroom below, I chose the fabric for the drapery and pillows first, and the color in the center of those squares gave me the perfect inspiration for the wall color. That makes the room feel pulled together and cohesive!

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2. Select paint color last. You read that right – I always choose my paint color LAST. That’s because you could choose a tone or hue that actually ends up clashing with everything else in a room if you aren’t careful. Look at the photo below – I had to select the perfect creamy white color for this dining room so it would complement the drapery and the lighter-toned furniture. If I had gone with a white that had pink undertones or blue undertones, it would have changed the entire look of the room – and probably not for the better.

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3. Art can be inspiration. I love to use original art in my design work. It makes the room more unique and helps show the personality of my clients. But it also can be the perfect inspiration for a room’s palette. In the bedroom below, you can see how that painting inspired the plum, taupe, and grey colors in the room, and helped tie the whole look together.

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4. Get moody. Another thing I always keep in mind when selecting paint colors is how the room will be used. In a bedroom, like the one above, you want to set a calming and restful tone. But in a room like the game room below, I wanted to punch things up for an energetic and happy space! This bold yellow really makes an impact and highlights the playful mood I was going for. And by the way, that color was also inspired by a fabric in the space – a sofa that’s out of frame on the other side of the room.

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5. Look up. Because of my reputation for working with color, I think people expect that I use almost every hue in the spectrum, but that isn’t the case. I actually stay in the top 2 or 3 squares on any paint swatch for my selections, rather than the darker tones near the bottom. I find that the colors up at the top of those paint cards are really the ones that most people like in a room, so that’s where my sweet spot is.

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And here’s a bonus tip for you – go with colors you LOVE! If they make you happy, then you know you’re on the right track.

So what do you think of my top 5 tips? Do you have a trick that works when you select paint colors? Let me know in the comments section below!

Colorfully yours,






Tobi TV: 5 Tips to Create the Perfect Master Suite

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The perfect master suite offers an oasis from the stress and craziness of our everyday lives! With the right elements and design, it can help you recharge your batteries and get much-needed rest.


I have 5 no-fail tips for creating that perfect master suite, so let’s take a look! 

See how easy it is to create your own getaway right at home? Let’s review those tips:

1. Balance the masculine and feminine in a space. It’s like bringing in the Yin and the Yang and making everyone feel at home in the room.

2. Place the bed opposite from the entrance to the room if you can. It makes for a more grand impression when entering the space.

3. If space allows, create a cozy sitting area in your master suite. It’s the perfect quiet space to read the newspaper or your favorite book and enjoy a cup of coffee.

4. A TV is a must for many in their master suite. If you can recess it into the wall for a seamless transition, the TV adds enjoyment but doesn’t interrupt the serene feeling you’ve created.

5. I always love to put a desk in a master suite. It’s a great place to write thank-you notes and work on your laptop. A desk in a master suite can be both functional and beautiful, and it reminds me of my favorite boutique hotels.

What is a design detail that you have to have in your master suite? Leave me a comment below and let me know! For more tips and ideas, be sure to check out my YouTube Channel, featuring every episode of Tobi TV!



5 Tips to Help You Attract the RIGHT Client

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In my courses and live events, I talk a lot about attracting your ideal client. Not your idealized client, but the one that is perfect for you and the way you do business. Many of you tell me all the time that you are getting clients, but for some reason they’re the ones that everyone warns you about, the wrong fit for you or maybe even one of those not-so-great clients that can drain you of energy and creativity. No one wants that!

So how do you avoid the bad-fit clients and attract the right ones for you? I’ll give you my top 5 tips to help you get it right:

1. POV. What’s your point of view, or your niche? What’s your specialty? What sets you apart from other designers? Do you know? That may be your entire problem! You need to differentiate yourself, and you need to point out HOW you’re different in your marketing and communications. That’s actually a two-part issue. For the first part, you need to define and refine your unique selling proposition. Even if you think you know what it is, take a hard look at your business, your brand, and your niche. Is it really solid? Do you believe it in it completely? Because if you don’t believe it, how in the world will you convince a great client to believe in it, too?

fit in

2. Tell them. For the second part of that tip above, I want you to review your website and your social media. What would those sites tell someone who knows nothing else about you? Are they sending the right message? For example, if you really want to attract clients who love modern design and super-edited rooms, is that what your portfolio shows them? Or are your photos all of traditional design? You might be confusing your message! You can always design a room or two in your own home, in a showhome, or in a friend’s home, to give you the photos and look that you want to show the world. And double-check your taglines and copy – do they clearly spell out your niche and your services? It’s difficult to attract the right client if they can’t figure out who you are and what you can do.

3. Remove emotion. It’s difficult to keep yourself from saying yes to every single client who calls or contacts you. That’s why I think it’s so important to have a screening system for clients – it helps you weed out the ones that aren’t a perfect fit without having you get emotionally attached to the client, or the money. If you can’t afford someone to answer your phone, at least have a client questionnaire on your website that asks some screening questions. On my site, I include a range of budget numbers so I can immediately get a sense of where that person fits. We also ask questions about the scope and size of a project, and my screener asks what they like about my work. If they say they haven’t really seen my work, then that client isn’t a fit. Find a way to keep from getting emotionally involved before you find out if that client is a fit for you!


4. Time for benefits. Studies show that people want to save time MORE than they want to save money. Their time is precious to them – so speak that language. Be sure you’re telling prospective clients exactly how your services will help them in their own lives, that you will save them time and energy on all the thousands of decisions that go into designing a stunning home. And if you have any other amazing benefits, be sure you’re listing those, too!

5. Be honest. However, if you aren’t the speediest designer around (and that’s ok!), then don’t say that you can create a room faster than anyone else. That’s a recipe for disaster for both you and that potential client. Instead, point out that you have the knowledge and talent to make the job run smoothly and efficiently, bringing it in on time and on budget. Honestly is definitely the best policy when you’re talking about your niche and your abilities!

And as you’re weeding through those potential clients, watch out for those red flags that tell you the client isn’t a fit! You know what those red flags are – and they’re different for every one of us. But pay attention to what your gut is telling you. And use these tips to be sure the right potential clients are headed your way!







On the Road Again!

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I can’t believe it’s almost July! The last couple of months have been a whirlwind of travel for me, which has made the time really fly by. And as much as I want to be home working on my interiors, I do find lots of inspiration from my travels and fabulous finds for client projects! And aside from the amazing inspiration in the cities I visit (like Chicago last week), the events I’ve held and attended have introduced me to incredible people and let me visit with longtime friends.

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In May, I held my Designer MBA class at ADAC in Atlanta, where the Duralee team (above) hosted a fun cocktail reception for my attendees and my new fabric launch. Atlanta is so much fun, and the ADAC group was fantastic to work with, too!

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Then I got to meet up with my great friend Barry Dixon in Dallas and Houston as we hosted a presentation on the business of design, and also talked about his new line with Fabricut and mine with Duralee. I always love catching up with Barry!

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In Chicago, my Mastermind group met at the Eastern Accents headquarters, which are amazing! The Eastern Accents team also gave us an incredible tour of their factory where we were able to see their stunning designs under construction, like the pillow above with its pattern template. So cool!

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The group also heard from successful designers about how they do business, and I’m so thankful to Denise McGaha and Tiffany Brooks for being so open and sharing so much with the members. We also had fun doing a little shopping in Eastern Accents from their samples. And designer Rachel Cannon Lewis even spotted her client’s order, waiting to be shipped!

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And while I was in the Chicago area, I also hosted consumer and designer presentations at two Toms-Price retail locations in Lincolnshire and Wheaton. It was so much fun to meet everyone who came out to hear me talk about color and the business of design- and to see my CR Laine designs on the retail floor and get a glimpse at my Woodbridge collection hitting Toms-Price locations this summer.

Whew! It’s a good thing I’m heading to the beach this weekend. Yes, it’s more travel, but this time with family and friends so there’s a lot of relaxation waiting for me at the other end of this trip! And just for a week I am leaving work, my house and dog, plant watering, my home renovation and punch list and all my daily responsibilities to my fabulous team, sub-contractors, house-sitters and friends back home.

Happy Summer!







PS – If you’re interested in becoming a member of my Mastermind group, just click here! This amazing group of designers is serious about elevating their businesses with me, and I’d love to do the same for you! Click through this link, or email me at to get started today!

Shopping Guide: Patriotic Looks for Summer

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Red White Blue

Can you believe we’re less than two weeks from the Fourth of July?! This year has flown by, but I’m slowing down next week to really enjoy summer as I head to my favorite beach with my family!

Getting ready for that trip has me thinking about the fabulous palette of red-white-and-blue, and how I can wear it, or use it, for the fabulous Fourth. Rather than getting all literal with flag motifs, I like this gorgeous trio of colors for summer soirees and getaways! So if you’re getting ready for your long holiday weekend, pick up a couple of these fabulous finds – for you or for someone special.

Happy shopping!






  1. Lapis Lazuli Wall Art: Add shades of cobalt to your home decor with this beautiful pair of lapis lazuli hangings. I love the natural element of the lapis!
  2. Patriotic String Lights: String up your patriotism for all to see at your Fourth of July barbecue with these red, white, and blue string lights!
  3. French Fry Cup: Keep your party festive with these fun vintage-inspired french fry cups!
  4. Confetti Dot Napkins: Use your patriotic theme to dress your table for a party with these fun confetti dot napkins, available in navy or red!
  5. Chinoiserie Ceramic Lamp: Infuse your space with a little red and white with this gorgeous chinoiserie lamp with Lucite base!
  6. Reversible Leather/Canvas Belt: Finish off your holiday outfit with the perfect tailored accessory – a belt! This lovely belt is also reversible with red leather or the Gucci logo in canvas.
  7. Tory Burch Miller Patent Logo Sandal: I love my Tory Burch logo sandals, and this pair in vermillion would be fabulous for a casual outdoor party.
  8. Milano Dinnerware Collection: Serve your holiday meal in style with this classic navy and white dinnerware set.
  9. Tory Burch Pop Bag Charm: Add a little red, white, and blue to any bag with this summer inspired charm.
  10. Rouge d’Armani Lipstick: You can never go wrong with a classic red lipstick for any event or occasion. This fiery red shade will put your holiday outfit over the top!
  11. Patchwork Flat Clutch: Polish off your patriotic look with this patchwork inspired clutch. The classic red, white, and blue color palette will look great year round!
  12. Beats by Dr. Dre: If you’re heading down to the pool to enjoy this holiday, don’t forget these headphones to drown out the noise and relax to your favorite songs.
  13. Personalized Turkish Cotton Towel: I love giving individual gifts, and this personalized towel would be the perfect hostess gift for the Fourth of July bash you’re attending!
  14. Grand Lacquered Tray: Fabulous to serve drinks, hold magazines on an ottoman, or display those freshly baked cookies, this navy lacquer tray will never disappoint.
  15. Tricolor Tote Bag: This stunning Prada bag is sure to be your favorite red, white, and blue go-to piece!
  16. Reversible Enamel Pendant Necklace: Keep things casual at the pool or beach with this lovely enamel pendant that’s reversible for double the versatility!