Tobi TV: 6 Ways to Get Luxe Looks for Less

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We all want the sophisticated and chic designs that we see in magazines, but our pocketbooks may not feel the same way about luxury design as we do! There is a way to get those luxe looks for less – you just have to be smart about where and how you spend your budget.


Beautiful and detailed homes cost more than you think. So you’ll notice in the video that I don’t say luxury for a bargain price, but luxury for a moderate price. You definitely get what you pay for in my opinion, but there are many ways that you can save money in some areas so you can splurge in others, and that’s what this Tobi TV is all about!

Instead of automatically saying, “There is no way I could afford that in my home,” I’m going to give you some tips and ideas for how you can mix high- and low-priced items to create best magazine-worthy looks!

See? You don’t have to go all-out to have a fabulous space! Choosing where to save and where to splurge is what it’s all about. Let’s recap those tips for getting luxe looks for less:

  1. Drapery doesn’t have to be the world’s finest silk to be luxurious. Try a polished cotton for a less expensive, gorgeous look!
  2. Coffered ceilings give the look of luxury, but using simple cove moulding instead of intricately detailed options helps. Then consider adding luxe touches like a touch of gold paint on the ceiling.
  3. Skip the expensive dining table and opt for an acrylic base with a glass top. It’s often less expensive than a top-of-the-line wood variety.
  4. Wallpaper can be expensive, especially brands like de Gournay, but using it on only one wall allows you to have a luxe look without breaking the bank!
  5. Repurpose some of your existing furniture by reupholstering with fabulous fabric or painting with lacquer. This will save you money and give you a great luxurious look.
  6. Custom rugs don’t have to be crazy-expensive. Try a carpet supplier that makes custom rugs to keep your design bill in check.

These tips will give you a lot of look for smaller investment! Let me know in the comments below how you give your home a luxe look for less!







For more tips and ideas, be sure to check out my YouTube Channel, featuring every episode of Tobi TV!

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5 Ways to Reset Your Creativity

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I have a question for you: Why did you get into the business of being a designer in the first place? It was because you’re a creative, right?! Too often, all of those things that are critical for running a business can keep us from flexing our creativity muscles – and that creativity is actually key to our business. That can seem like a vicious circle because day-to-day business can be a creativity killer, but without being creative, you aren’t going to have any business.

Being more creative, really delivering the best designs that you possibly can, is going to prove that you’re worth what you charge. It’s going to bring you new clients, it will get you published, and it will help you expand your business so you can hire more people, which then allows you more time to be creative.

Designers at ALL levels still work at this. You don’t just wake up one day and realize that you’ve peaked creatively and so you no longer have to push yourself! People at the top of their game really have to work even harder to continuously deliver something that is fresh and inspired!


So how do you kick your creativity into high gear when you’re super-stressed and overwhelmed with the business side of your company? Well I’ve got 5 tips to get you going:

1. Seek out inspiration. To be creative, you have to be INSPIRED. That can be different for every one of you, but set aside time to find your inspiration! That can be going to a museum, traveling, going to a fashion show, or looking at art books and magazines that are not the usual shelter publications. But set aside time for this – don’t let it be negotiable.

2. Schedule creative time. Yes, I am aware that sometimes you aren’t going to “feel like” being creative, but if you don’t block out time to focus on creativity, it’s never going to happen. You have to set aside time to let the right side of your brain, the creative side, take over.  Once the left side of your brain – that’s the analytical side – is engaged – it takes about 15 minutes of a break to get the creative side of your brain to kick back in! So you can’t switch back and forth. That’s why I set a specific time to go into my workroom and create designs. My team knows that I cannot be interrupted! And I turn off my phone and my email – that keeps me from switching from one side of the brain to the other, which really prevents me from creating my best and most creative work!


3. Trick yourself. Science is on your side here! Research has shown that you can stimulate that right side, or creative side, of your brain. Laughing triggers that side of your brain and makes it more active, and looking at the sky blue color does the same thing. It stimulates the creative center of your brain. Here’s a crazy trick that works, too: Squeeze a ball in your left hand for 45 seconds, and then repeat that 3 times. That creates a reaction in the right side of your brain and gets it all woken up and firing off ideas.

4. Get outside. Getting fresh air – a great hit of oxygen – does two things for you. First, studies show that it will fire up that creativity center in your brain. Second, it’s also a fabulous place to find inspiration!

5. Don’t lose focus! But here’s a warning – do not ever look at your email while you’re trying to be creative. Reading makes the left side of the brain take over, and you don’t want that to happen when you want the right side of your brain to be at its best! So keep your email closed, don’t try to text, and don’t start surfing Facebook. Stay focused!

Use these 5 tips to fire up your creativity and rediscover your passion for this business. I want you to exercise your creative muscle just like you get exercise for your body. So get out there and hit your creative zone!







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Before and After: The Old Main Suite

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A few weeks ago, I showed you one of two luxury suites I was asked to design in the Chancellor Hotel in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Today, we’ll look at the before-and-after of The Old Main, the second suite I created for this gorgeous boutique!

This suite’s name was inspired by Old Main, a historic architectural landmark that’s also the oldest building on the University of Arkansas campus. Old Main, built between 1873-1875, is the grand dame of the U of A and its bell towers are recognizable by all university alumni.


Using this iconic Arkansas architecture as the inspiration for this suite makes such a connection with all those who will stay in the hotel either from our state or that are alumni of our university.


And how could I begin to design The Old Main Suite without giving a nod to the traditional University of Arkansas color – RED? So yes, you will see “Razorback Red” all over this suite, but I was going for a mix of sophistication and varsity style here with handsome checks, plaids, and textures.


Luckily, the owners completely gutted the original rooms to create this huge suite – which gave me quite a blank canvas to work with!


Using velvet and suede in the space to resulted in a warm and cozy retreat for Razorback fans on game weekends, alumni visiting throughout the year for special University events, or just guests visiting Northwest Arkansas.


So what do you think of this revved-up red suite? Would you use bold color like this in your home? Let me know in the comments section below!








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Shopping Guide: Gifts for Kiddos

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I absolutely love holiday shopping for the kids on my gift list! It brings back the magic and excitement that I had as a little girl waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve! This year, there are some really colorful items on my list – which shouldn’t be a surprise since I’m all about the color, right?!

There are toys, games, and gorgeous clothes, all perfect for that little girl or boy that you might be shopping for! Hope Santa is good to you and yours!

Happy Shopping!






  1. Mudpuppy Enchanting Princess Puzzle Sticks– A fabulous puzzle for girls ages 3 and up featuring beautiful princesses on 24 double-sided puzzle sticks.
  2. Kate Spade New York Scout Girls’ Glittered Crossbody Bag– Let your little girl sparkle this Christmas with a gorgeous pink glitter crossbody bag.
  3. Cherry Tree Hall Four-Story Dollhouse– Let her imagination shine this year with a four-story dollhouse. Each room is decorated differently, so her inner designer can shine!
  4. Girls’ Polka Dot Christmas Tree Pajama Set– Nothing is better than new Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve.
  5. ‘Star Wars Holiday’ Organic Cotton Two-Piece Fitted Pajamas– Is your little Jedi obsessed with the force? The Star Wars holiday pajamas will get him (or her!) excited for presents and holiday treats!
  6. The Elf on the Shelf Book– Teach your little one all about their very own scout elf from the North Pole who works for Santa Claus himself!
  7. Burberry Girls’ Victoria Hooded Cape– Your fashionista needs the latest styles this holiday season, and that means the classic Burberry pattern in a fun fringe and hooded cape!
  8. ‘First Classic’ Glitter Rain Boot– Give her the gift of splashing and fun this year with a pair of classic rain boots in a military red finish!
  9. Lacoste Boys’ Hooded Puffer Vest– Keep the little man in your life warm in this dark green hooded puffer vest.
  10. ‘Future – Magbot’ Magnetic Wooden Blocks Play Set– Watch your little one’s creativity soar with this set of magnetic wooden blocks with pieces to create all of the robot characters he or she can think of!
  11. View-Master Deluxe Virtual Reality Viewer– This virtual reality viewer is compatible with several smartphones to allow your little one to literally step into the games!
  12. A Teepee to Call Your Own– Perfect for any of the children in your life – they can play pretend and have a secret hide-out inside this colorful teepee!
  13. Kids’ Musical Instrument Gift Set– Get ready to make some music this year! The music box includes a flute, metal triangle, xylophone, and other instruments to let your new favorite band sing carols to their heart’s desire.
  14. ‘Scoot-Around’ Riding Toy– Get the little one in your life scooting around on this fun foot-powered riding toy designed to develop muscle strength and balance!
  15. Zoo Pack Backpack– Your little one can be fun and practical with this cute monkey face backpack to carry all of the fun on-the-go toys!
  16. Striped Critter Nap Mat– Nap time just got so much cooler with a monster face navy and green striped nap mat and matching blanket!
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Tobi TV: 3 of the Best Things About Wing Chairs

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One of my favorite furniture designs ever is the wing chair, or wing-back chair. The chair design is an older one – featuring an upholstered arm chair with “wings” on the back that seem to enclose the person sitting in the chair. Back in the day, that design helped hold heat in for people sitting near a fireplace.


Today, modern wing chairs are really versatile pieces that transcend a particular style, and they can definitely make a room look complete. I use them a lot for my clients, in my own home, and I’ve even designed a few for my collection with CR Laine!

Let’s take a look at some of my favorite spaces with wing chairs:

I’m already excited to create more designs with wing chairs! Here are some of the best things about wing chairs:

1. Wing chairs can be traditional and stately or modern with fantastic fabrics!

2. The perfect wing chair hugs you and makes a great place to get cozy with your favorite books and magazines.

3. A traditional wing chair can be updated with geometric patterns and contemporary colors.

What are your favorite wing chair designs? And how do you use them to make your home soar? Please let me know in the comments below how you’re “winging it” in your home!







For more tips and ideas, be sure to check out my YouTube Channel, featuring every episode of Tobi TV!

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