New House Diary: The Living Room Floorplan

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New House Diary It’s time to tackle the floorplan and furniture layout for my living room. Take a look at the space as-is below. The living room is on the far left side of the floorplan. floorplan And here are my ideas for laying out the furniture in this large family gathering space… living room floorplan I will make a couple of architectural changes including closing the door from the dining room and opening up a double door from the dining into the hallway. That will allow me to design new cabinets on either side of the front window deep enough to hold our AV equipment. IMG_8662 There is also an opening from the bar to the living and I will be closing that space to allow for a sofa with a great piece of art to go above. And I will have an arched opening to the bar in the hallway. (There’s that lovely paneling again!) IMG_8660 My husband’s large TV (65 inches) will be over the mantle. Eek!  But I have a few ideas on how to disguise it when I don’t want my Living Room to look like a movie theater. I’ll give you a look at that in the next New House Diary. And in case you are wondering, I will be covering up the brick. I like brick, but it’s more casual than the look I’m going for. So as you can see in my sketch above, I plan for a lot of furniture in this space. The great thing about living in a home before you remodel it is that I have already arranged many of my existing pieces in the layout above and they work perfectly. Even the chair that looks like it’s blocking the double door to the sunroom, actually fits great with plenty of room to travel around it and use the door. cityapt1_01_large

(Mariette Himes Gomez)

I love having multiple furniture groupings for ample seating for holidays and entertaining. I am inspired by designers like Mariette Himes Gomez who are skilled at creating similar furniture layouts with multiple seating areas like the room above. Here is another of my favorite of Mariette’s Spaces for Inspiration. 8193b7c5a4c9e3b8544de58bf30d4186

(Mariette Himes Gomez via Architectural Digest)

So what do you think? I have an advantage because I can already see the furniture layout in person. Trust me, it’s perfect! Please do leave me a comment with your thoughts. I’d love to hear your input. See you next time on New House Diary!










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Which Would You Choose: Exposed Beams or Applied Molding?

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(Design by Ashley Whittaker via House Beautiful)

Things are looking up this week in my living room – well, at least we’re looking up for our next decision! That’s right, it’s time to talk about those beams in the ceiling of my living room. I LOVE the look of these painted beams. Very little contrast with the ceiling but they add dimension and interest.

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(Room designed by Anna Lattimore)

I could leave the beams as they are, which is dark like these but not quite as rustic. Or maybe by adding a little paint, or refinishing them with a different stain they could look unique and charming. Either way (painted or stained), exposed beams can add a nice touch of architectural detailing to a living room!


(Jean-Louis Deniot)

Or should I try a different ceiling treatment that’s a bit more elegant, like applied molding? Adding molding in gorgeous patterns adds a tone-on-tone depth and interest to that “fifth wall.” And the beams in my ceiling are decorative, so they are not necessary from a structural standpoint. The painted fretwork option above is SO gorgeous!


(Design by Thomas Pheasant)

And oh how I love this more simple geometric ceiling pattern by design great, Thomas Pheasant! Timeless simplicity at its best.


(Richard Hallberg Interiors)

But I also love the more natural coffered ceiling above, too. The grayish tone could be perfect with the color palette I am leaning towards in this space. So which would you choose – exposed beams or applied molding? Painted or stained? Tell me in the comments section below! As you can see, I have a LOT of decisions to make in this new living room! And pretty soon I will reveal some of my selections for the spaces we have talked about so far!









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Tobi TV: Mixing Vintage and New China for the Perfect Tablescape

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It’s time to think about your Thanksgiving tabletop. If you love and collect china like I do, the options are endless for creating a gorgeous and unique look for holidays, special occasions, and every day!

A few months back I did a segment for my friend P. Allen Smith on his show The Garden Home. It was all about mixing my vintage china with new pieces for a fresh look.


Take a peek at the video and then let’s recap my tips for becoming the perfect mix-master for your tablescape:

So when prepping for your Thanksgiving or holiday tables, remember these tips:

1. Antique and vintage pieces mix beautifully with brand new china and glassware. Don’t feel like you have to stick to a particular age or style. I use new with old, and expensive with affordable, traditional with sleek.

2. Meaningful pieces from your heritage can add a bit of nostalgia to your table. Pull out grandmother’s pieces or your mom’s wedding china and enjoy the memories they bring to your event or dinner.

3. Mixing pattern and color is acceptable on the table, just like in an interior. The most interesting mix is achieved with a variety of scale, pattern, and color.

4. Tie it all together with a unifying piece. In my video, it’s the floral cup and saucer that makes all the shades of pink and green in the antique, vintage, and new tabletop decor all work seamlessly together. So look for that unifying piece for your table. And don’t overthink it. The unifying piece could even be the linens!

Now tell me, how do you plan to entertaining for the upcoming holiday season? And will you incorporate any vintage pieces and collectibles? I’d love to hear your entertaining ideas and recipes too. And be sure to share this video with those entertainers in your life. It just might inspire them to drag out their collections for a unique tabletop of their own.

Wishing you luck and creativity as you plan your gorgeous Thanksgiving table!


Tobi Signature







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My Holiday List of Favorite Things!

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Places to Go, People to See from Kate Spade

It’s only one week until Thanksgiving, can you believe it? The holiday season is really sneaking up on me! Each holiday, one of the things I love to do is make lists of the perfect gifts for the people in my life – including friends, family, and clients! I search out the best sources and fun unique ideas to make the holidays brighter for the people who are on my gift lists.

This year, I thought it would be fun to bring you some of my favorite things – the go-to gifts that are perfect for anyone on your list! That includes the fantastic new book from Kate Space, Places to Go, People to See, which is part travel guide, part fashion photography, and a whole lot of style!


T earrings from Tory Burch

I also love jewelry, and the iconic T earrings from Tory Burch are among my favorite things to wear (might have something to do with the initial, right)?. But I also love to give them to others. And this year, Tory Burch is also offering an amazing fretwork necklace that contains a surprise – a solid perfume that smells fantastic!


Tory Burch solid perfume necklace

I’m also loving the copper and rose gold trend right now and this open-work cuff by Sabine is a gorgeous look in warm metal.

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Sabine Cuff Bracelet

Anyone who knows me knows that I love kelly green – it’s one of my signature colors! So I adore this python embossed clutch in that fab color from GiGi New York!

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GiGi New York

I also love a little bling – who doesn’t during the holidays? This Ted Baker embellished sweater in a gorgeous shade of blue is perfect for those parties and events for the holiday season! I think this color should have been the Patone Color of 2014.

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Ted Baker Embellished Sweater

If smelling great is on your holiday to do list, Kate Spade’s Live Color Fully Scent is fresh and fun all wrapped into one! Not only is the fragrance fantastic, but the packaging is gorgeously bright and bold!

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Kate Spade’s Live Color Fully

Of course I also have some favorite items for the home, too! Not only is home decor my business, it’s my passion – and I’m a real homebody in my personal time, too! I love to curl up with a good book at home by the fire, and these Ralph Lauren throws are perfect for snuggling.

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Lauren Ralph Lauren Throws

Cooking is another of my favorite things to do at home, and when there’s a crowd for Thanksgiving dinner, nothing is better than this multi-tiered rack from Williams-Sonoma. It saves space and time! It makes my oven a work-a-holic just like me. Ha!


Williams-Sonoma Baking Rack

This glowing solid copper tray is another fave from Williams-Sonoma – perfect for serving drinks at a Christmas cocktail party! And you look like you are right on trend with all the copper I’ve been seeing at market.


Williams-Sonoma Solid Copper Tray

This scented candle from Diptyque is a fantastic scent for winter months. My favorite year-round Diptyque scent is Fig, but for the Chilly season of the year, it’s Feu de Bois with the smell of a warm wood fire!


Diptyque’s Feu de Bois

For the fabulous men in my life, How about great accessories like this handsome plaid scarf or the sophisticated Michael Kors watch!

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 11.07.48 AMMango Wool Plaid Scarf

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Michael Kors Scout Men’s Watch

And of course I can’t forget my favorite holiday gift this year for the kiddos on your list! My daughter is all about shoes (wonder where she got that?!), so these Clarks Snugglehugs boots will be perfect for sledding this year. They’re cozy and fun and go with the great sled she got from Santa last year. And I hear we’re in for a lot of snow in Arkansas this winter, so these will be perfect. Wahooo!

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Clarks Snugglehugs for Girls

So there you have it – my list of favorite gifts for this holiday season! Soon I’ll be telling you what I hope Santa gives me this year. But for now, I hope you found a present or two while you were looking through these photos! If you would like to see MORE of my favorite things, go to my pinboard by clicking here!

What’s on your list for this holiday season? Tell me in the comments what you have planned! Good luck as you count down to the Thanksgiving festivities next week and then on to many Happy Holidays. The New Year is almost here!









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Coming Soon in Home Decor Trends

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CR Laine

(C.R. Laine’s fabulous showroom at High Point Market)

Every six months, I take a trip to High Point, NC, for the High Point Market – which is like a Fashion Week for the home design arena. It’s a fabulous place to spot the newest products and trends that will be heading to YOUR home in the future! So this week I thought I would give you a sneak peek behind the scenes of this huge show, and tell you about some of the trends I’m seeing for 2015.


(Global Views)

One of the biggest themes I saw was the use of bright metals – especially copper and brass. Copper was very big at the recent European trade shows, and the warm metal really brightened up a lot of designs in High Point, too. I loved this Global Views copper table, inspired by a cuff bracelet. And you can see the brass trend highlighted beautifully in the photo of C.R. Laine’s showroom at the top of the post.


(Caracole “See Write Through Me” Desk)

Lucite is hot-hot-hot right now, and a lot of showrooms were using it in new and different ways. I loved this desk from Caracole that was “spotted” by my friend Shay Geyer of IBB Designs!


(Bungalow 5)

Great graphic prints made eye-popping statements in a lot of showrooms, with terrific patterns like this one from Bungalow 5 that mixes well with a bright lacquered green! If it mixes pattern and color, you know I love it!



And as much as I love bright colors, I also really like the new trend toward softer colors and pastels like blush, cream, lavender, and champagne. This room from Bernhardt is so soft and calming – perfect for a night’s rest!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look behind the scenes at the High Point Market! I’m REALLY looking forward to the next show in April, when I will debut my first furniture collection with C.R. Laine!

Which of these looks are you most excited about for your home? And if you want to see more of the trends from this show, just click through here to my pinboard!










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