Hello From Sunny Florida!

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Hi Friends! I didn’t forget you. Actually I feel a bit lost while I am away from the blog and not in touch with you daily, but the last couple of weeks just got a little more hectic than usual. Life happens like that sometimes especially in the summer when my daughter is out of school. I’m sure it happens to you too. But today I am happy to report that I have landed safely in Florida and made my way to the Seaside/Watercolor area for an exciting 2 week stay.

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I have been vacationing in Florida for years but never stayed for two weeks at a time so I am very excited to see how it goes. I do have to make a quick jaunt up to NYC this week and will be making a fun announcement while I am there, so stay tuned for that.

Otherwise, I will be relaxing, replenishing and getting uber creative so I can hit the ground running for the second half of 2014 because I have a LOT on my plate for Fall that I will be telling you about soon.


I hope you are having (or planning to have soon) great summer vacations too. They are so important to our health and well-being. Especially for workaholics like me.

Happy Summer! xo,

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Tobi TV: Designing a Room Around a Sentimental Object

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How often do you or your client want to design a room around something sentimental whether its grandmother’s china hutch or your wedding china? In today’s Tobi TV segment, we’re talking about how to do just that.


Even interior design pros love using cherished and loved items as a jumping off point for a room. These family heirlooms or collected pieces can be a perfect inspiration for a room’s design. Take a look at this dining room where I used the client’s favorite china to the lead the way for the dining room design…

So here are my Tobi’s Top Tips for Creating a Room Around a Sentimental Object…

1. Be strategic when pulling out the colors and finishes from the inspiration piece that are the best fit for your home or your client’s home. In this instance I chose to highlight the blue instead of pink since the home was a family with 2 young boys and the client wanted a space that was a bit more masculine.

2. I also leaned towards Blue because it is a traditional and timeless color so I used it throughout the space and even throughout the home because it would have longevity.

3. When it came to metal finishes, I took cues from the china’s gold accents and replicated that in the lamp bases and the starburst mirror.

4.  And finally for this young family, I didn’t want the traditional china to lead to a room that was fit for a grandmother just yet, so I included a few simple and clean-lined pieces of furniture so that the room’s result was sophisticated and not Stodgy. It really appeals to all ages.

So what do you think? Can you take this approach to using your favorite heirlooms and collectibles as a jumping off point for your design schemes? Leave me a comment and let me know how you have used or will use these ideas in your projects.

Happy Decorating! xo,

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Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 10.25.49 AMSorry I’ve been away this week! I’m working on some exciting things in New York right now – projects that I hope I can announce to you very soon. It’s been such a busy spring for us at Tobi Fairley & Associates, and I can’t wait to let you in on all the secrets!

I’ll be back in the swing of things on the blog next week – but now I’m off to the Met for the fabulous Charles James exhibit. Happy weekend!


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Tobi TV: Creating a Neutral Room with a Pop of Color

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Today on Tobi TV,  if you have color fears you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to teach you how to create a neutral foundation and layer in the color a piece at a time.


It’s called creating a neutral room with a POP of color. And you get to decide if your “pop” is big or small. It all depends on how risky you are. Take a look…

So here are my Tobi’s Top Truths about Creating a Neutral Base with a POP:

1. Everything at the core of the room is neutral–walls, curtains, rug and major pieces of upholstery

2.You can layer color into the space in small doses, or even big ones if you prefer.

3. Your room will have longevity because with most of the furnishings being neutral these pieces will stand the test of time.

4. If you have Color Fears this is the design “Do” for you. It allows you to dip your toe into the scary idea of color.

5. A Neutral Room with a Pop is virtually Trend Proof. That’s because only the accents have colors that could be deemed trendy and you can change them out easily if they become dated. Everything else is a classic.

6. And finally a Neutral Room at the base is Budget Friendly because with the major pieces being neutral, they are investment pieces. You can keep them a long time equalling a fantastic return to your bottom line. Then you can change out the accents periodically to stay current. And with only these small additions every few years, you won’t blow your budget.

I hope you like creating a neutral room with a pop of color. It is a design approach that works for everyone! Now leave me a comment and tell me which benefit  of this design technique resonates with you most.

Happy Designing. xo,

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Before and After: Playroom

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It’s Before and After Friday, hooray! I gave you a look at this playroom on Monday (including the fun snack bar above) with a nod to all things Americana. Today I want you to see what it looked like before I gave it a facelift.

Before it was a playroom for younger boys. By the time I entered the scene the boys were getting older and needed a space that reflected their age and interests.  Here is the before…


The after is a cool hangout for lots of friends. It’s a perfect place for video games, board games, television and more.


Here’s another before of the space. The air hockey game was hard to access and it really didn’t take advantage of the dormer.


In the after, I used the dormer as a window seat with a game table for board games. You can really see some of my favorite details in this shot including the chambray wall treatment, the rugby style stripes on the ceiling and the fun mix of fabrics including many of my Tobi Fairley Home Fabrics in custom colors for this space.  And don’t you love that Scott Carroll original artwork? I used it in my Richmond, VA show house a few years back and found a permanent home for it in this great space.


And here’s one more before of the space looking towards the back of the room. It had cute storage and a fun mural but the boys had outgrown this look.


I don’t have a professionally styled and photographed look at the back of the room, but I have to at least show you a snapshot. I created a fun wall installation to look like red and white art but it’s actually a magnetic metal dry erase board. So the kids can hang their artwork on it with magnets, use it as a dry erase board for keeping score when playing the air hockey game that I placed underneath or leave it blank and enjoy the graphic pattern.

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As always, I’d love to know what you think. Leave me a comment and tell me your favorite part of the transformation.

Happy Friday Friends! xo,

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