Preparing for Autumn with the Daily South

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Find me over on Southern Living Magazine’s Blog The Daily South for a quick interview. We’re talking about how to get ready for Fall.  And I talk about my favorite hostess short cut. Here’s a hint of what it is…

tomato jam

So check me out on the Southern Living Blog and I will see you back here soon!



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Tobi TV: Mixing the Masculine and the Feminine in Your Bedroom

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Today is the day we dismantle our lovely room at the Hampton Designer Showhouse. It has been such a successful Showhouse and an honor to be a part of this event. I am especially grateful to Traditional Home magazine and Duralee Fabrics for the opportunity to create a gorgeous design in the Hamptons with them this summer! And though I hate to see it go, I am happy we have gorgeous photos and videos of this space so we can continue to use it for sharing my favorite design tips and ideas to design lovers like you. So in honor of this space, let’s take a look at it again for today’s segment of Tobi TV.

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One of the key ideas in my Hampton’s master bedroom was a mix of the feminine and the masculine all in one space. That way, no matter which you prefer, you can find something to love in this room. This approach is perfect for a room like a Master Suite where there are often 2 people who might have 2 distinct ideas for design, living there together. So first lets take a look at the video…

And now, a recap of my Tobi’s Top Tips for Bringing Masculine and Feminine together in your space…

1. Use the color palette to achieve both of these ideas. Here I wrapped the room in masculine shades of gray from the lighter linen color to the darker charcoal. And then I popped in a bit of a more feminine orange with the sherbet colored toile.

2. Pattern and texture help mix the feminine and the masculine. Here the handsome textured solids and geometrics like the grasscloth wallcovering lean towards the masculine, and then the floral toile in a linen texture blends in a bit more feminine sensibility.

3. Shape and form are a great way to bring in both the yin and yang of masculine and feminine energy in a space. The glamorous curves of the overscaled wing chairs and the shapely and tall headboard are more feminine, and the sleek and simple lines of the sofa, the ottoman, and other straight-lined pieces in the room bring the masculine in, too.

4. Don’t forget art as a way to mix both ideas into your space. The abstract art in this room is decidedly more masculine, while the flowers and feminine figure in the photography certainly lean more feminine.

5. And finally, use a statement piece or two to sway the emotion and feeling of a space one way or the other on the masculine-feminine scale. The smart and tailored orange chest definitely gives a masculine punch to the room.

I hope you loved these design ideas for making any master bedroom work for anyone and everyone who uses it! And I hope you’ll share this video with all your design-loving friends who may need help designing for more than one person in their space. Do leave me a comment and let me know what tips I’ve given here resonated with you, or if you have any other great ideas for making a master bedroom, or any room, fit the needs of all who use it.

I’ll see you next time on Tobi TV! Happy Tuesday and Happy September!


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New House Diary: Thermador Appliance Love

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New House Diary Ok, so I know I said I was moving to the Breakfast Room for New House Diary (and I sort of did last week) but as I mentioned in Sunday’s post about my love of cooking, I have to go back to the kitchen for a bit and talk about appliances. Tobi-Fairley-interior-design1 So my mom, who taught me everything I know about cooking, has a fabulous Thermador Range with a fantastic, large single oven below that she’s had for years in her beautiful mint green kitchen. Not only is it handsome to look at, it also makes great meals whether Mom’s cooking her delicious beef tenderloin, her homemade lasagna or her signature “Bebe Eggs”. Her oven has been responsible for many a happy holiday meal and lots of my family’s full and happy tummies.

So I finally had the time to go out and do some research on what appliances I want for my own home and I am happy to report that I too fell in LOVE with all things Thermador. Now I already knew I was fond of their new offerings from recently using them in 2 clients’ homes, but after learning more about what Thermador offers, I am totally convinced.

cook quote First, Thermador is an appliance line for cooks. Real cooks. And that’s exactly what I consider myself to be. But have you seen their Steam Oven? So I never really understood the tiny ovens that I often see under the left side ranges and certainly I didn’t realize that some these made by Thermador were steam ovens. therm blueSo though I would have never thought I’d want a steam oven, now that I know what all a steam version can do and I’ve seen one in use, I’ve had a change of heart. So if I get this range above that I have been eyeing, I will definitely have a steam oven included. range top But I am starting to lean towards a Thermador range top with deep “pots and pans” drawers below. I think I may opt for those gorgeous blue knobs still, but then I’d add Thermador wall ovens–1 regular and 1 steam. I just love the convenience of wall ovens. And like many of you said in response to this previous NHD post, since I’m used to wall ovens, I might miss them. I agree. steam Eek…just the thought of brand new wall ovens, one of them steam, makes me ready to cook Thanksgiving dinner right now! Or how about baking some yummy desserts with my daughter? I’m so excited.
grille and griddel And next, I never really wanted a grill or griddle in the house, but after seeing the clean-ability of Thermador’s grill with its ceramic briquettes and their griddle with the easily removable grease tray, I am ready for those too. No more pulling out a $30.00 griddle that I got at a local discount store for my Saturday morning family pancake ritual. No Ma’am, I’ll take my griddle built in thank you very much!  And yes, my hubby is great on the charcoal grill outdoors, but what about when I want to grill fish or steak for my daughter and me and he’s traveling. No more going out in the dark to fire up the portable kitchen, I will be grilling right inside without smoke filling up the room and easy clean up as a bonus. Aidan Then there is the piece de resistance (or a few of them)–the Thermador refrigeration columns. I mean SHUT UP already, right?!? I’ll take a fridge, a freezer and a couple of lovely wine columns please! I love the way the wine columns look in this recent feature in House Beautiful. Traditional but updated and OH SO CHIC! warm Then I plan to wrap it all up with a Thermador Microwave Drawer, Warming Drawer and Dishwasher. Thermador can now be my one-stop shop for a brand new kitchen. I just outfitted one of my favorite clients’ (who happens to be my contractor) home with everything Thermador and they are SO happy. And they’ve definitely had an influence on my new-found love of Thermador too thanks to their rave reviews. Because it’s word of mouth from people you trust that can have real influence on whether a product will work for you, right? star So there you have it, friends. The wait for deciding my kitchen appliances is over. And yes, I’m going “matchy-matchy” and I’m proud of it. Thermador has won my heart and with their patented star-shaped burner, I hope they can become the star in my kitchen soon. They’ve also won the attention of my pocketbook (and my husband) with their 1-2-Free promotion. Now if I can just get started on the demo  of my current circa 1990′s kitchen I can be cooking with Thermador before we know it.

So come on all you cooks out there. Leave me a comment and tell me what you think about Thermador’s latest products. And I especially want to know what your favorite steam oven recipes are.

Happy Cooking! xo,
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Tobi TV: Expanding Your Space with a Room-Sized Rug

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Hello Friends! It’s Tobi TV Tuesday and today I am talking about one of my favorite topics: how to use room-sized rugs to really make the most of your space. So often we just feel forced to buy the standard size rugs that are available for sale out in the retail world.

room-sized rug

But what happens when a 8×10 or 9×12 rug just isn’t the right fit for your room? Well that’s when I use either custom rugs or have wall-to-wall carpet made into custom sizes to perfectly fit the space. Here’s the video I did for the P. Allen Smith show Garden Style talking about this very dilemma…

Here is a room where I took wall-to-wall carpet and made it into the perfect rug…

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And here are my tips for fulling your room with a rug to make the most of your space:

1. Make the rug so that it is 12″-18″ off the wall all the way around the space. This offers you comfort throughout the whole room and it gives you “permission” to use all the floorspace for arranging furniture.

2. Work with a designer to create a custom pattern and pick your custom yarn colors if your budget allows. Or work with your local carpet or home store to select a carpet you love (I am drawn to patterned versions, of course) and have it bound into a rug that perfectly fits your space.

3. Don’t forget all the exciting materials you can use for creating room sized rugs – you can have natural fibers like sisal and seagrass made into rugs and you can also take good ‘ole cut-pile comfy carpet and make it into a solid rug with a contrasting border around the edge or even have fun with it by creating your own pattern. I often have 24″ strips of carpet bound together in stripes for a bold graphic pattern on the floor.

4. And finally, I even use great ready-made rugs like the cabana stripes from Dash and Albert and sew them together to create room-sized rugs. Here’s an image where I did that very thing.


So good luck expanding your space and your comfort in your room by using a room-sized rug. Now leave me a message and let me know if you have tried this design tip in your home. And also be sure to share this great design idea and video with all your design loving friends!!

Happy Decorating!











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All New Design A-to-Z!

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Are you thinking about redecorating or remodeling your home? Or more accurately, are you a design-lover who is constantly redecorating?

Or maybe you are a design professional that is looking for new inspiration or techniques after becoming tired of your old ones. Or possibly, you are new to this business, or just getting into the design business after having it as a hobby for years!


No matter which profile fits you the best, Design A-to-Z is my one signature event that appeals to professional designers and design enthusiasts alike! It is a great fit for anyone who really has a PASSION for great design and anyone who wants to learn my own system for designing magazine-worthy interiors that I use for each and every one of my projects. And this next A-to-Z course – held Sept. 30-Oct. 1 at the Stoneleigh Hotel in Dallas – features ALL NEW content.


If you’ve never attended before, THIS session of Design A-to-Z is going to really rock your world! And if you HAVE been to this event in the past, come on back for an all-new creative refresher course – I promise you’ll find new ideas and concepts that will help you jump-start that creativity!


This course is so much more than just a how-to guide. We’re going to really dig into the idea of color and how to use it most effectively. We’re going to discuss what “style” really looks like in today’s interiors – and how to find your own PERSONAL style! And then we’re going to talk about function and how to ensure that your own home or your design projects really fit the lifestyle for the people living there.

I will empower you to design outside your comfort zone, and that is what is going to make designing exciting and fulfilling AND give you stunning results. Staying “safe” with all your interior design selections is no fun at all, right?!?


And speaking of fun, this is going to be a fun AND fantastic event – and I want to see you there! So come on – get registered here and join me for a creative event unlike any other!

I can’t wait to have a photo op with you soon. Besides, it’s going to be a hands-on, down and dirty Design-a-Palooza! Don’t miss it.

Join me!








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