Tobi TV: 3 Ideas for Displaying Collectibles

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I love to collect jadeite, vintage cake plates, antique oyster plates, and glass grape clusters – they are all special to me and many of them have been handed down to me by family members! If you have a collection that means something to you, it’s great to share it with others by showcasing it in your home.

Collectibles can be anything from vintage china like Flow Blue to something like my client’s antique Russian boxes from her grandmother. Decorating your home with these special items can bring give your design a unique look, so don’t hide those precious treasures!


Some people tend to only bring out collections when it’s the holidays, to showcase special china or vintage silver. But I have three ideas for displaying your collections all year long – let’s take a look:

What do you think of those fun ideas? Let’s recap those tips for putting your collectibles on display:

  1. Put collections of small items, like my client’s Russian boxes, in a bold and beautiful cabinet to make a big statement.
  2. Use acrylic risers to add scale to your collections or put very important pieces under an acrylic box. Putting anything under an acrylic box makes it seem more important!
  3. Display your collections in one place. Spreading them out throughout your home diminishes their importance and displaying them together will have a greater impact.

Use these tips to help you create the perfect home for your cherished collections! And let me know in the comments section below what you collect and how you’re making a home for your favorite treasures.

Happy collecting!







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

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5 Business Lessons I’ve Learned

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When you’ve been in business as long as I have – over 17 years now – you learn some things along the way. I’ve learned from business experts, coaches, my dad, and so many others. But the lessons I really took to heart are the ones I taught myself, by making missteps, having to course-correct, or flat-out failing at something!

Those experiences may not be fun, but they do give you a real-world lesson. And they taught me that I can fail at something and come back even stronger. So here are the 5 lessons I learned the hard way over the years:

1. Bigger is not always better. I thought I had to have a big office and a huge staff to be taken seriously and to get everything done. I just thought that was what you did as a “real business.” Boy was I wrong. I’m now in a much smaller office (more about that in the future), and I not only have a leaner staff, but they are based in several different states, too! We are a much more efficient and cohesive team that functions at a high level with a lot of online tools. And business is better than ever!


2. Profit margins are where it’s at. I’ve told you over and over how I had to face some hard truths early on in my business, and get super-serious about my financials. And the one thing in that painful process that really rocked my world is the realization that profit margins are the key. Small business owners like me can fool ourselves into thinking we have a ton of money coming in. But once we weigh that against the expenses going out, or against our REAL hours spent on the project, we can get a cold slap in the face when we realize we aren’t making a 10th of what we think we are. I watch my margins like a hawk today!

3. Think local. Now I love the major shelter magazines more than you can imagine, and they are always my goal for publishing. But sometimes we forget that our local magazines are fabulous vehicles for getting published, too! In fact, they can often bring in more clients for a designer than one of the national magazines. So even though I will always earmark projects for submission to the premier magazines, I really love to support my local and regional publications, too. In fact, as I always say, At Home in Arkansas really helped me get to where I am today!


4. Niche is key. If you’ve spent time with me, or read this blog for any length of time, I know you’ve heard this before. But defining and refining what makes me different from other designers and businesses was the key to everything for me, from getting covers of publications, to forging new partnerships, to attracting new clients across the country. In the early years, I wasn’t clear on that niche. It took me a while to really settle into what was my “sweet spot.” That happens for a lot of us, we’re afraid to be pigeonholed. But being clear about what makes us different is really what sets us apart!

5. Leap into new ideas. This one is actually already part of my DNA – I love to come up with new ideas and strategies for my business. But where I’ve made missteps in the past is on not pulling the trigger! Whether it was fear or overthinking, I’ve missed out on some really great ideas that I then saw someone else execute and put out sooner than I did. And good for them! However, it did teach me to trust my gut and leap when I have a great idea. After all, if it doesn’t work, I’ll have another good idea to replace it!

What do you think about the lessons I’ve learned? And what are the most important lessons you’ve learned along the way? Let me know in the comments section below!







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Before and After: Updated and Edited

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I love starting a project where the “bones” of the house are all in place, but it just needs an update to bring the design into a more modern look. My clients for this project were moving into a fabulous new home, with gorgeous windows and beams in this living area. Look at that view through the windows in the photo below!


But the floor left something to be desired, and the fireplace was a visual mess. The clients told me they wanted a gorgeous space that reminded them of their favorite boutique hotels – very clean and edited.


The blue in the modern art was a jumping-off point for me, so I layered in gorgeous blues that were only slightly lighter or darker, and added in neutral tones in the tables and rug.


The dark and dreary fireplace and mantle you see above got a major update, which also lightened and brightened this wall of the room.


And a bit more color was introduced with another stunning piece of art over the fireplace. I love how it draws the eye up with that pop of pink! And then on the opposite wall I added another original artwork, framed by stunning white lamps. The two lucite tables also keep the room serene and edited.


So what do you think of this modern update? I loved the blue tone-on-tone vibe in the room – and so did House Beautiful! This project was featured on its cover just a few years ago. Let me know what you think about the redo in the comments section below!







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Shopping Guide: All Things Orange

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All Things Orange

Is there a more iconic color for fall than orange?! It’s the color of pumpkins, changing leaves, and gorgeous sunsets – and it just happens to be one of my favorite colors!

Everyone needs a bit of this “happy color” in their lives, whether it’s in the home, or something fabulous to wear. So here’s a great shopping list that focuses on everything orange – snap up something for yourself today!

Happy Shopping,






  1. Tangerine Pagoda Mirror– Add a pop of color and chinoiserie style to your design with a gorgeous titian-toned mirror!
  2. Tissue Weight Wool & Cashmere Scarf– It’s all about the details in your home decor or personal style, so let this beautiful orange scarf add the perfect finishing touch to your fall wardrobe!
  3. David Yurman Albion Petite Citrine Ring– Beautiful stones come in all colors, including this lovely citrine ring from David Yurman.
  4. Orange Lidded Urn– This beautiful urn is a great way to add a pop of orange to your home without having to commit to the color year round.
  5. Personalized Passport Case– Travel in style this holiday season with a fun tangerine passport case, and you can even add your monogram!
  6. Tory Burch Eau de Parfum Rollerball– Beautiful floral peony notes blended with citrus tones make this perfume perfect to stash in your purse for quick touch ups!
  7. Pedi Replenishment Kit– This kit can turn any Clarisonic into an at-home pedicure machine to heal your dry winter feet.
  8. ‘Laurel’ Scented Candle Jar– Light up this lovely orange candle with a grapefruit and oleander blend scent to start your fall season.
  9. Tory Burch Collins Double Wrap Watch– Orange really is the happiest color! So always be on time and have a smile on your face with this beautiful orange double-wrap watch.
  10. Prada ‘Candy’ Eau de Parfum Spray– This sweet scent from Prada is perfect for your fall wardrobe – a beautiful mix of caramel and vanilla fragrances you will love!
  11. Astor Clutch– Bright and functional, this orange leather clutch with a detachable crossbody strap will send your outfit over the top!
  12. Dorien Gourd Lamp– Fall is here and it’s time to add some new colors to your home decor. Try a burst of orange with a pair of fabulous gourd lamps to light up your home!
  13. Manolo Blahnik Tondala Suede Ankle-Wrap Sandal– Autumn is all about adding in warmer materials like suede, like these gorgeous heels with a gold buckle!
  14. Equestrian Throw, Orange– Snuggle up with your loved ones as the nights get cooler with a beautiful equestrian-inspired throw in autumn’s favorite color!
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My 2000th Blog Post!

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WOW! This is my 2,000th blog post! I almost can’t wrap my mind around that – it’s such a big number. But I have been blogging away since Sept. 10, 2008, as one of the very early design bloggers. Eight years – can you believe it?!


In that first week, I wrote about a huge feature I had just received in At Home in Arkansas, my love of Christopher Spitzmiller lamps, my favorite Greek key patterns, and the color green. The more things change, the more they stay the same! Hey, they’re called classics for a reason.

Other posts that came up a lot in those first weeks focused on fun, laughter, and gratitude – and all three are still a big part of my life! Laughter and fun make everything better, and my heart is always full of gratitude for everything that I have.


I’m also incredibly grateful to everyone who has read my blog, and who has reached out to me when something touched them or meant something to them. I’ve had over 10,000 comments on my blog over the years, and I’ve read every single one! Thank you to all of you who took the time to comment!

To give you a fun look at some statistics from those 2,000 blog posts, the number-one topic that I’ve blogged about the most is…COLOR. No surprise there, right?? The first color I ever blogged about was green, as I said above, and I still have these Barclay Butera chairs below in the kelly green that I love so much.


The blog posts that got the most comments from all of you were also focused on color, with the top “most commented on” blog post being the one that highlighted my penthouse project featured in Rue Magazine! It was a fun and challenging project for me, and you really loved all the bold colors I used. And the most controversial topics? Any time I wrote about TVs – which rooms to put them in, whether or not to hide them –  I could be guaranteed to get a lot of comments! You all have a love/hate relationship with this electronic gadget when it comes to design, that’s for sure!


And one of the biggest honors I received over the last eight years was the award for Best Overall Design Blog from the Design Bloggers Conference in 2012! It also included my induction into the Design Bloggers Hall of Fame, which was amazing.

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But none of this would be possible without YOU! So thank you again so much for reading my blog, for commenting and letting me know what you like, and for giving me the feedback I need to keep blogging away day after day! Let’s continue that dialog – let me know in the comments section below what topics you love and want me to write about. And we’ll keep going for another 2,000 posts!







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