Self-Care Saturday: Wholesale Therapy

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All right ladies, when the going gets tough what do you do to relax…go shopping, right? Ok, so maybe not all of you do, but many of you love a bit of retail therapy.


This weekend I am in High Point, North Carolina with thousands of my designer friends at the High Point Market. With over 10 million square feet of wholesale or what we call “to the trade” furniture, accessories, lamps, rugs, artwork – you name it. If it’s for the home you can find it here.

So although I could use a little R & R this weekend, I am  doing a bit of “wholesale therapy” instead. I’m shopping for clients and my own new home plus seeing the latest and greatest in design trends and new products. High Point gets me inspired and starts my creative juices flowing again, so ultimately it’s like food for my designer soul – how’s that for self-care?!?!


Now don’t worry…I’ll bring you all the details and fabulous finds next week like this glorious green chair at C.R. Laine. So stay tuned and be ready to be inspired.  But for now maybe you should head out today for a bit of self-care or “therapy” in the form of shopping too.  You deserve it!

Have fun!




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My Colorful Designs Go Global

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While I’m in High Point teaching my Think Tank event and attending the High Point Market, I thought it would be fun to show you a bit of “worldly” design news, too. I have no idea what this Hungarian magazine says about me and my design work, but I’m sure glad they did.  How fun to be on the cover of this international publication with an 8-page spread inside.


I just think the layout is so pretty that I had to share it with you.


It’s fun to see how they highlighted all the aqua in my home instead of focusing on the green that’s usually the focal point of this project.


And my sweet pup Harley made not one but two shots in the spread. She’s an international doggie model.


I hope you enjoyed seeing this fun press as much as I enjoyed receiving it. And if any of you know what this article says about me, you’ll have to translate.

Happy Weekend, friends!



p.s. I want to say a BIG thank you to our Think Tank sponsors Duralee, CR Laine, Currey & Company, Bernhardt, and Studio Webware. We couldn’t put on this life-changing business event for designers without the help of these great companies.

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New House Diary: Kitchen Inspiration

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New House Diary

Today I am jetting off to High Point, NC, for High Point Market, the World’s Largest Furniture Market. It’s a great place to see the latest trends in home furnishings and since I need several new pieces of furniture, rugs, accessories, and more for my own new home and for clients, I have plenty on my to-do list while I’m there.

But before I start thinking about furniture, it’s time to start thinking about kitchens – my kitchen.

Here are a few of my favorite kitchen inspirations…


(from My Ideal Home)


(from Willow Decor)


(design by Andrew Raquet Interior Design | image by Jose Picayo | as seen in Clover Magazine)


(design by Studio Isle)


(design by Haynes-Roberts, via Elle Decor)


(design by Benjamin Dhong)


(from Better Homes & Gardens)


(from Shannon Darby Design)


(from New England Home)


(design by Anne Schlechter via House Beautiful)


(design by Michelle Workman via Veranda)

While at High Point Market, I am speaking to a group of design professionals at Lexington Home Brands with my friend Krissa Rossbund, Senior Style Editor at Traditional Home magazine. Krissa and I are sharing tips on how to get published. One thing I know is that Krissa is a bit tired of white kitchens. Of course it’s always classic, but from an editorial standpoint, it’s a little overexposed.

So what do you think: Which kitchen design above do you like? And what about color? I still love a white kitchen, but do you think I should mix things up a bit with gray or even another more bold color in my kitchen cabinetry, like blue or chartreuse? Leave me a comment and tell me what you think.

Wishing you a great weekend. I’ll be shopping away for furniture in High Point.


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Tobi TV: Carving Out Personal Spaces

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Whether you’re living large in a big house or you’re making the most of a smaller home, it’s so important to have a space that’s all your own!

Last week, in my creativeLIVE course on Function-Driven Design, I talked about how important it is to live WELL in your home, and for every family member to have a room or a corner that they can call their own. In a small home, that could be a comfy chair and good lighting for the person who loves to read, or a secretary for someone who needs a home office area.

Today on Tobi TV, here is a quick tip I did for my friend P. Allen Smith’s show on how to carve out a space that’s all your own. Take a look…

As always, here are my Tobi’s Top Tips for creating a personal space in your home:

1. Be sure each family member has a room or area all to themselves. Does your son enjoy music? Does your daughter love games? Does your partner love to scrapbook? Whatever the hobby or experience, set up a space that each person can call his or her own.

2. In a smaller home, use multipurpose pieces of furniture, like a secretary, for storing your personal items. Keep things organized and free of clutter so you don’t feel overwhelmed, and the special space doesn’t feel too overcrowded.

3. In a large room, use rugs and furnishings to divide the area into functional spaces that work within the overall room. You could provide a stylish game table for board games, or set up comfortable seating and a TV for video gaming. Take advantage of all the space you have!

4. Think about unique ways to organize and display items to create visual interest whether your space is large or small, like arranging painted pots in order of the color spectrum. Set up on a shelf, they can make a colorful and fun statement all on their own. So get creative and have fun!

Do you have a special place in your own home? Do your family members each have one? What creative ways have you carved out a personal spot? Please leave me a comment and let me know what has worked to make your large and small spaces unique to you and your crew!

Happy Spring, Y’all!



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Monday Motivation: Too Busy to Design a Life

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How’s your life going? Are the days flying by like they are for me? It’s amazing how they can get faster and faster the older we get, right?

Over the weekend I was thinking about whether all the things I am doing to fill my time are things that I love. Asking myself the question, “am I am overwhelmed with things I love in my life or am I underwhelmed with too many things that really don’t matter to me” has become my litmus test for editing my schedule when times get too busy.


But today I want to take it a step further. Because yes, it’s ok for some times in our lives to be busier than we hoped but is that ok all the time? For me this is pretty much the norm because I am a doer. I am the reason I have so much on my plate and I seriously doubt there will ever be a time when I am not doing more in a day than many people do in a week. That isn’t to say I think other people should do more. Many people would think my life is miserable. Many people would never want to move at my pace. And that is ok for both of us.


I am happy with my life the way it is. And I don’t judge others for moving at a different pace.  I love accomplishing a lot. I am driven and making big things happen is my lifeblood. But I do have to ask myself the question every few weeks whether I am getting my schedule too packed. Am I too busy going through the motions, that I don’t take time to design a life?


This means something different for everyone. In my life, as long as I’m over-the-moon about what I’m doing every day, I’m at least 50% on track. And then I have to be extra careful about falling so far into my workaholic tendencies that I forget my self-care practices and other things that are important to me like my family.


I also have to keep one foot here in the present while dipping a toe in the future. Here’s what I mean: I am a firm believer that living in the present moment is the only way to be truly happy–enjoying the journey. Breathing in the moments of joy and accomplishment help me know the little moments are ultimately the big ones. But I am a visionary by nature, so for me to design the life I want, I have to spend some time on a regular basis, “seeing” what I want my life to be 1 year from now or even 5 years from now. This helps me make a guideline or a roadmap for my life that gets me the results I want in the present and future. It’s the way I design a life I love, even while living a full day-to-day life.


There have been so many times over the last few years that my mom has said, “Things have just been so crazy lately and when things slow down I am going to …” followed by a list about relaxing or getting healthy or getting organized or having fun.  And finally after noticing how many of these conversations she and I had, I decided that our life is always going to be “so crazy.” Or at least mine is, because I design it that way. And since I am lucky enough to have her help me at work and with my family so I can do all the things I do, by default at least a part of her life is going to be this way, too.


So Mom and I stopped waiting until things “aren’t so crazy.” We even stopped saying those words. We stopped waiting to carve out time together—time to travel and have fun, time to get healthy. We just made it happen in the midst of the chaos. We stopped thinking about “when things get back to normal” and started realizing that THIS IS NORMAL.  This is the life I have made. And I must make sure that I design all the important things into this life, in and around all the exciting and busy things that I do.


So what about you? Are you too busy to design a life that you love? Are you checking things off your bucket list every year? Are you hitting marks in your health, your career and with your family that are on your goals list, in and around your daily life? And if you aren’t–what are you waiting for? There is never going to be a time to start being the person you dream of. You are never going to be less busy. You have to be that person now. Today.


There is a saying that says “We only live once,” but I prefer the version that says “We only die once, but we get to live every single day.” So let’s make the most of those days. Let’s design a life that we love. And let’s stop waiting until things slow down to design it, because if your life is like mine, those slow periods may never come.


Happy Monday, Friends. I hope you start today designing a life you love. It may be a busy Monday, but now’s as good a time as any to start really living!


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