Which Would You Choose? Interior Door Colors

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Today I want you to weigh in on my interior door colors. I have been dreaming about black interior doors for a while now. So rich and handsome, huh?


But maybe I should keep it simple and white in a  traditional profile to compliment my home’s architecture.


If I were feeling spunky, I could go out on a limb and have fabulous pop of color somewhere.


Or maybe even a colored AND upholstered door or two in just the right place.


Which one would you choose? Leave me a comment and tell me which option you love and why. But I have to say I still fancy those handsome black ones. The first instinct is usually a good one in design.

See you tomorrow for New House Diary when we’ll be talking architectural detailing.


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And speaking of architectural details…that will be one of the topics I’m covering in my next creativeLIVE course that is all about Form and Function called Function Driven Interior Design. Have you enrolled yet to take this course? Or better yet, applied to be a live member of my studio audience in San Francisco the last week of March? You can find all the details here.

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Tobi TV: Creating Spaces that Are Rustic and Refined

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Rustic and refined, not necessarily two words that you think of when you think of my design style. Refined, maybe. But I’m usually not too rustic.

But believe it or not, I have a ton of clients who want a bit of rustic ambience in their homes, particularly with the traditional residences and farmhouse that I am currently working on.


So a few weeks back, my friend P. Allen Smith asked me to come up with a few of my top tips for adding “Rustic and Refined” into my projects that are still clean and edited.

Here’s the video with my tips…

If you want to add a rustic flavor to your home, but still want it to be refined, colorful, edited and along the lines of one of my designs, here are my Tobi’s Top Tips:

1. Don’t forget to use details to make a space just a bit rustic especially with metal. Nailhead trim in the right metal finish, whether antiqued or hammered, can add a rustic flavor to your furniture.

2. Wood, particularly reclaimed wood, is great for adding a rustic flair. Use it in architectural details like ceiling beams or hardwood floors. Or bring it in as a piece of furniture for a less permanent option.

3. And finally leather–you can’t go wrong with leather in my book anyway, but make the leather rustic…the older it looks the better. Find a “beat up” looking leather with lots of age and wear and patina and you will be well on your way to a rustic look. Put it on a piece of furniture with more clean lines and you have the perfect mix of both rustic and refined.

So what about you? Do you like a rustic look in your home? How did you like my Tobi TV tips today for adding a rustic flavor to any interior? Do you have other ways you marry rustic and refined with success? If so, leave me a comment and tell me what they are.

Thanks for watching Tobi TV.


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Motivational Monday: Staying 30 Feet Down

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Life is SO hectic. And it seems like just when we get everything and everybody rowing in the same direction, then a storm blows in and wrecks the whole boat, right?

Well not too long ago I heard a great lesson from Joel Osteen. Now you may not be a fan of his or may not agree with his philosophies but I think this lesson is worth listening to and it crosses all religions and belief systems, in my opinion.


It’s the idea that on the surface, life is turbulent…just like the ocean.  And most of us spend our time reacting and responding to every little thing that happens each day. We are constantly getting knocked off course. Off our work schedule, our exercise schedule, or family schedule – in fact we spend more time off course than on usually, don’t we?

Well good ol’ Joel gave me this great tip that I have used so often over the last several months that I just had to share it with you. It is the idea of cultivating a calmness and an attitude that is resistance to the daily storms we encounter.


You see he told a story about how 30 feet down in the ocean, there is always calm. The top of the water may be raging. It may be white capping. But you go 30 feet down and it is calm and consistent as can be. Completely at peace.


I love using this idea in my life. So I had to find what it took for me to stay “30 feet down” at all times no matter what was happening around me. The tools that I found to work best in my life were yoga, sleep, exercise, meditation, and scheduling. When I stick to these 5 things, I find that no matter what comes to pass, I can stay calm in the midst of the big ol’ storm. But if I get tired, or don’t relieve my stress through exercise, yoga or mediation, or if I stop being disciplined about my schedule…then that’s when all hell breaks loose. And the result for me is that my ship starts going down and going down FAST! The voice in my head starts yelling  ”MAN OVERBOARD!”

So just a little life’s lesson for you today on this Monday, since Monday’s have a way of being the day where we most often lose control of our life, right? We’ve all heard “It’s a Monday” so many times. But can you start today figuring out the tools that can help you stay 30 feet down on a Monday or any other day in your life, so you are calm and collected and ready to handle any thing that you encounter each day with ease?


Wishing you luck staying 30 feet down. I’ll see you there.


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Soulful Sunday: Enjoy the Little Things

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It really is the little things that make the biggest impact. I’m enjoying a little time with my little girl, our little dogs, and a little cup of hot cocoa to start my day before I head off to Charlotte this today to see a client. Hope you’re enjoying the little things today too!

Happy Sunday, Y’all.


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Self-Care Saturday: Finding Fulfillment in the Ordinary

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Happy Saturday, everyone. Saturdays are the perfect day to take some time out of your busy schedule and enjoy the little things, right?

You know when I was recently talking about the power of our attitudes? Well, I am working hard in 2014 to truly enjoy the small things in life just by changing my attitude about them. Because to be honest, there are many things that I actually like to do, but the story I’ve been telling myself about them makes me form a negative opinion about these things.  Do you do this too?


Here’s what I mean. I love to cook. And I actually enjoy going to the grocery store, particularly when I have plenty of time to scout out new things and especially at a gourmet grocery store like Whole Foods or  Fresh Market. And these adorable grocery magnets would make me want to shop even more. So cute, right?


I also like doing laundry. And I love to organize. I find joy in arranging flowers and in entertaining. And I love walking in my neighborhood for exercise and breathing fresh air and disconnecting from my electronics for an hour. Or reading a book, just for pleasure. But over time, I have formed negative opinions of all these things because I was “too busy” to enjoy them. And I now realize how sad this is. In recent months I have heard myself complaining instead of laughing and smiling and getting excited about some of the things I truly love.


We are so busy in life these days that we forget to be happy. Or more importantly, we don’t even know what makes us happy anymore. And the things we used to enjoy, we have decided we will no longer do. And why? So we can spend more time on Facebook, or complaining and commiserating or one-upping our friends on the scale of how miserable, exhausted, or busy we are. Or maybe we are  sleeping because we are so tired from being on Facebook or from complaining or one-upping. LOL!


Now I’m not trying to be a Negative Nelly here and I’m not even bashing Facebook or sleeping (complaining, yes…I’m bashing that one). But I think it is so important that we are very careful about what we tell ourselves about our lives. We can turn everything we need to do or even once upon a time wanted to do, into a chore. We can find a reason to complain about anything and everything and before we know it, our daily existence is a very unpleasant one.


I think our parents and grandparents and generations before them were happier even though they had many fewer conveniences than we do. Maybe it was the sense of accomplishment they felt when completing their daily routine and obligations that made them more fulfilled than we. I certainly get joy from crossing things off my list especially when I did them well. Do you?


As Americans today, we are spoiled. Of all the countries in the world, we have more than most in the way of affluence and material things and we were recently judged the #17 happiest country. Wouldn’t you think we should be higher? Like #1 happiest country in the world? Maybe once and for all we can realize that things don’t buy our happiness and that we must make ourselves happy. And I think that one of the best ways for me to do that in 2014 is to find happiness in everyday life. To enjoy the ordinary. Don’t you?


So I’m not saying you have to suddenly enjoy housework, fall in love with your uninspiring job, or be giddy about exercise if you truly hate it. But I suspect, there are parts of housework, or tasks at your job, or types of exercise that you DO love. And I challenge you to take responsibility in your life to design your daily existence, or divvy up the chores with your family, or get involved in a type of exercise or activity that feels great, or tailor your job to your strengths, or start looking for a new one (job that is) that would allow you to be truly happy every day – not every moment, but every day.


Sound like a good plan to you? It certainly does to me.  Leave me a comment and let me know how you will redesign some things in your life and make a conscious effort to stop complaining and start enjoying all the many blessing that you have, including housework, cooking and exercise. Because making yourself happy is the ultimate form of self-care.

I’m taking the challenge too. Let’s do this!


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Like all these great images? Find them on my Pinterest Board called Self-Care Saturday.


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