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Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 10.25.49 AMSorry I’ve been away this week! I’m working on some exciting things in New York right now – projects that I hope I can announce to you very soon. It’s been such a busy spring for us at Tobi Fairley & Associates, and I can’t wait to let you in on all the secrets!

I’ll be back in the swing of things on the blog next week – but now I’m off to the Met for the fabulous Charles James exhibit. Happy weekend!


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Tobi TV: Creating a Neutral Room with a Pop of Color

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Today on Tobi TV,  if you have color fears you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to teach you how to create a neutral foundation and layer in the color a piece at a time.


It’s called creating a neutral room with a POP of color. And you get to decide if your “pop” is big or small. It all depends on how risky you are. Take a look…

So here are my Tobi’s Top Truths about Creating a Neutral Base with a POP:

1. Everything at the core of the room is neutral–walls, curtains, rug and major pieces of upholstery

2.You can layer color into the space in small doses, or even big ones if you prefer.

3. Your room will have longevity because with most of the furnishings being neutral these pieces will stand the test of time.

4. If you have Color Fears this is the design “Do” for you. It allows you to dip your toe into the scary idea of color.

5. A Neutral Room with a Pop is virtually Trend Proof. That’s because only the accents have colors that could be deemed trendy and you can change them out easily if they become dated. Everything else is a classic.

6. And finally a Neutral Room at the base is Budget Friendly because with the major pieces being neutral, they are investment pieces. You can keep them a long time equalling a fantastic return to your bottom line. Then you can change out the accents periodically to stay current. And with only these small additions every few years, you won’t blow your budget.

I hope you like creating a neutral room with a pop of color. It is a design approach that works for everyone! Now leave me a comment and tell me which benefit  of this design technique resonates with you most.

Happy Designing. xo,

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Before and After: Playroom

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It’s Before and After Friday, hooray! I gave you a look at this playroom on Monday (including the fun snack bar above) with a nod to all things Americana. Today I want you to see what it looked like before I gave it a facelift.

Before it was a playroom for younger boys. By the time I entered the scene the boys were getting older and needed a space that reflected their age and interests.  Here is the before…


The after is a cool hangout for lots of friends. It’s a perfect place for video games, board games, television and more.


Here’s another before of the space. The air hockey game was hard to access and it really didn’t take advantage of the dormer.


In the after, I used the dormer as a window seat with a game table for board games. You can really see some of my favorite details in this shot including the chambray wall treatment, the rugby style stripes on the ceiling and the fun mix of fabrics including many of my Tobi Fairley Home Fabrics in custom colors for this space.  And don’t you love that Scott Carroll original artwork? I used it in my Richmond, VA show house a few years back and found a permanent home for it in this great space.


And here’s one more before of the space looking towards the back of the room. It had cute storage and a fun mural but the boys had outgrown this look.


I don’t have a professionally styled and photographed look at the back of the room, but I have to at least show you a snapshot. I created a fun wall installation to look like red and white art but it’s actually a magnetic metal dry erase board. So the kids can hang their artwork on it with magnets, use it as a dry erase board for keeping score when playing the air hockey game that I placed underneath or leave it blank and enjoy the graphic pattern.

Picture 021

As always, I’d love to know what you think. Leave me a comment and tell me your favorite part of the transformation.

Happy Friday Friends! xo,

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New House Diary: Backsplash Decisions

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New House Diary

I’ve shown you some color palettes I am considering for my kitchen but today for New House Diary let’s look specifically at backsplash options. You may want to know I am leaning towards light to medium gray cabinets and marble countertops.

Here are my favorite backsplash options…

Gray subway tile


(image via Emily Jenkins Followill)

Marble subway tile


(image via Kathleen Kellett Interiors)

Classic White Beveled subway tile


(image source unknown)

Marble Slab backsplash with dark veining


(image via Martin Moore and Company)

Marble Slab backsplash with soft veining


(image via Cote de Texas)

Pale Blue Subway Tile


(image via Cote de Texas)

So please leave me a comment and tell me which you would choose. I think a kitchen backsplash is like the jewelry of the room. It can really jazz things up. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.


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Tobi TV: How to Create a Groovy Gameroom

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Today on Tobi TV we’re getting GROOVY with game rooms. I had a little fun with this family game room from the psychedelic lacquer paint to the Jonathan Adler sconces. And I had even more fun with today’s video. I even channeled a little Austin Powers.


In this great family space, I added storage, style and swivel chairs that put the “fun” back into functional! So take a look at today’s Tobi TV segment to learn all my “Hip Tips” for making your family hangout super cool.

When making your Game room far out, try these Tobi’s Tips…

1. To make an edgy paint color work in your space, use funky fabrics as a jumping off point. Fabrics can really support a unique color scheme.

2. Just because a space is funky doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be functional. In this room I used 2 sectionals for ample seating and 2 storage ottomans for holding games, blankets and other necessities.

3. Groovy lighting can set the tone for a room that is really rad. The Jonathan Adler sconces I used make this room super cool.

4. A game table is a must for any game room but it doesn’t have to be boring. Go bold like I did by adding in a graphic pattern with the chairs.

5. Finally a snack or beverage bar works great in a game room for serving your favorite snacks. To be able to sit at the bar but still join in the game room conversation or watch TV, use swivel stools. They’ll make your guests say “yeah baby”!

So what do you think? Are you ready to create a space in your house worthy of Austin Powers? This one is quite groovy but still chic and sophisticated which I think is the perfect mix. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think and if you are crazy about this cool room, share this post with your design loving friends.

If you want to see more of this space, check out the before and after where I took this game room from not-so-special to Neat-O!


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