Tobi TV: 4 Tips to Heat Up Your Kitchen’s Design

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Kitchens are at the heart of every home. No matter the party or occasion, friends and family always seem to gather in the kitchen. So it’s critical to have a kitchen that functions correctly, that’s beautiful, and that is welcoming! But if you love to cook, like I do, it’s even MORE important to get this hard-working room of your house planned perfectly!


Being in the kitchen is natural for me and it’s so much fun to design these fabulous and functional spaces for my clients since the kitchen is one of my favorite rooms in the house. So here are my best tips for heating up your kitchen’s design:

Those are really sizzling, aren’t they? Let’s review those tips for creating a kitchen that really cooks:

  1. Be sure your kitchen has plenty of space for storage to hide the clutter that always accumulates here.
  2. Beautiful built-in cabinets keep kitchens organized and leave all the counter space for cooking and food prep.
  3. A kitchen that opens to the breakfast or dining area makes it easy for the cook to stay in the loop while preparing meals. No cook likes to feel left out of the fun and conversation.
  4. A smart banquette and fabulous barstools create all the sitting space you’ll need in the kitchen to enjoy meals and conversation!

How does your kitchen bring the heat? I hope these tips really get your ideas flowing to create a kitchen where everyone will want to gather, and a space that really cooks! Please let me know in the comments below how your kitchen functions for you!

If you would like to see some of my favorite recipes, click through here for my top picks on Pinterest! And you can see the finished results of my cooking here on Instagram!

Bon Appetit!







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

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4 Reasons to Give Yourself a Paycheck

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Here’s a question for you: Who is your most valuable employee? The answer is YOU are your most important and most valuable employee, and you need to treat yourself just as you would any other staff member who’s important to the success of the company.

So are you paying yourself? Most small business owners think they can (or should!) put off paying themselves until they’re “making it.” Whatever that means. But that’s actually the wrong way to think about it! Not paying yourself a real salary and just assuming that you will use whatever profits are left at the end of the year is a very dangerous game of smoke-and-mirrors. Because if you are just making enough to pay your bills, or fooling yourself that the $10,000 left over at the end of the year is a job well done, then you don’t have a good grasp on your financials and you don’t have a clearly defined path to profitability. Basically, you don’t have a sustainable business model.

I know it can be hard to set that money aside, but here are 4 reasons for why you have to start paying yourself today:

1. This is a business, not a hobby! If you’re subsidizing your business by not paying yourself, then your company isn’t in good financial health. Too many small business owners think they should be the last to get any money when they’re starting or growing a business. But that isn’t true! You have a better chance of starting on the path to a real and profitable business if you have a salary included in your overhead from the very first day of business and you make a plan to cash flow your operations including your salary.


2. You can’t ever hire if you aren’t paying the ONE employee you have now! That would be you. Think about everything that you do for your company – all of your responsibilities and tasks. Wouldn’t you pay someone else to do all that work? Exactly. But it’s going to be tough to add someone to your overhead and come up with the money to pay them, if you’ve been just “volunteering” for your company all this time to complete those same tasks. You have to be able to afford employees as your company grows, and you can only do that if you have a budget line for salaries.

3. You have to pay yourself to keep the passion for your business alive. If you aren’t making anything out of this business, then what’s the point of doing business at all? No, really, what’s the point? Running a small business is hard. I know from experience that, if you haven’t already, you’ll soon find yourself managing people and tasks and you will have very little time to do the thing you started this business for to begin with. And if you’re working for free doing these tasks you don’t love, it’s even worse. You’re going to burn yourself out and you’re going to be angry and resentful about your business and lack of funds. That isn’t exactly a great mood to be in if you want to attract more clients and more business.


4. It’s a great incentive. If you do want to attract more clients (and I know you do!), then what better way to motivate yourself to work harder than you already do than to give yourself a paid incentive to bring in more money. If you’re really being disciplined about your finances, then you know exactly how much money you need to make each month to meet your overhead. And you should then know how much more you need to make in order to give yourself a raise. And realizing all the things you can do with that money from taking your family on a vacation to saving for your kids college funds, can be a real reason to work even harder and put some more of that money in your own pocket.

I know getting serious about business and making money can be tough, especially for creatives, but it’s critical to getting your company into great financial shape and operating it like a real business should so it can afford you your dream life. So get out that checkbook and write a check to yourself TODAY! And leave me a comment below and let me know if this is one of the things you struggle with in your business and if you’re willing to make the leap towards valuing yourself as the key part of your business right now.  You can do it!







PS – Need help getting your financial house in order? My Financials for Creatives online master class will give you the strategies and tools you need to become that financial genius that I know you have inside you! There are 9 modules, each designed to help you get a handle on a specific part of your income, your fees, and your cash flow. Each module is a video webinar, designed to deliver you the information you need so you can work through them on your own schedule and at your own pace. Click here to learn more!

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Before and After: The Chancellor Suite

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I love to work on commercial projects almost as much as I enjoy residential design! One of my favorites – and a project close to my heart – was the Chancellor Hotel. It’s right in the historic downtown square in Fayetteville, home to the University of Arkansas, where I attended college not once, but twice.


When asked by the new owners of the hotel to design two of the luxury suites, The Chancellor Suite and The Old Main Suite, of course I jumped at the chance. Back in the day, I had a design internship in Hospitality Design in Las Vegas for the firm Yates-Silverman, so getting back into the hospitality arena was an exciting return for me.


Today we’ll look at The Chancellor Suite and in a few weeks I’ll show you The Old Main Suite! For The Chancellor Suite, several hotel rooms from the previous hotel establishment were combined into one luxury suite. The “before” was built several decades ago.


My goal for this suite was to bring a level of sophistication to Arkansas reminiscent of some of my favorite classic hotels in the U.S., like the Carlyle in New York City, but infusing it with my signature colorful style.


As you can see, there was a lot of space to work with since this suite had a central living area, and two bedrooms!


Shades of rich turquoise, charcoal, and gold mixed with classic black-and-white formed my color palette.


The bedrooms were really a blank slate, so I was able to add luxurious materials and a calming color palette that made them chic and restful, and complemented the nearby living space.



So what do you think about this hotel renovation? There are so many ideas that would easily translate into your home, too, don’t you think? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!







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Shopping Guide: Elegant Holiday Tabletops

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Holiday Tabletop

We are 3 weeks from Thanksgiving, people! And less than 8 weeks until Christmas – and that is hard to believe. I love planning for our family dinners and holiday parties, though. It really is my favorite time of year!

So I’m dreaming of new ways to set my table with sparkle and shine for the holidays, but with a chic and sophisticated look. I put together a little shopping list of my favorite things, perfect for welcoming family and friends for a fabulous celebration! I’ll bet you need one or two of these for your own table, right?!

Happy shopping!







  1. Emerald Hemstitched Tablecloth– Your tablecloth is the base of your tablescape. Be sure it’s fun, vibrant, and beautiful, like this lovely emerald green Sferra tablecloth with a hemstitched border.
  2. Matouk Rectangular Placemats– Never let your placemats go out of style! A set of 4 with a charcoal border from Matouk can be dressed up for a fabulous dinner party or used alone for a casual meal.
  3. Sliced Quartz Platter– Start your meal with fine cheeses served on this glamorous quartz platter with 24K gold edges!
  4. Cheese Knife Set, Gold– This set of handmade knives offers a comfortable grip, a variety of shapes for different cheeses, and a gleaming 24K gold finish.
  5. Sago Palm Bread Plate– Serve your fresh, warm bread in style this Thanksgiving with a beautiful gold sago palm bread plate, sure to wow your guests!
  6. Pulse Wine Glasses– Serve up your favorite wine in these chic, angular wine glasses from Orrefors.
  7. Gold Pave Sphere Place Card Holder– Every guest will have a personalized place setting at the Thanksgiving table this year with a fabulous gold pave sphere to set the tone for a glamorous evening!
  8. Marble Salt and Pepper Cellar– This pair of salt and pepper cellars will let you add a little oomph to your plate and your tabletop!
  9. Aleotto Napkin Rings– Edgy and chic, these crystal napkin rings are sure to add shimmer and shine to your holiday table.
  10. Palmyre Gravy Boat– Serve up your famous brown gravy in this elegant white gravy boat with gold trim!
  11. 12-Piece Palace Dinnerware Service– Marble and gold are trending and classic, so why not try them out in a style you can enjoy every year?
  12. Vera Wang Polished Gold Flatware– Simple, yet stunning, this polished gold flatware set will add sparkle to your tabletop!
  13. Grey Malachite Napkin– Beautiful white cotton and linen blend napkins with a gray malachite design will bring the stone trend to your holiday table!
  14. Pedestal Server with Dome– Set out your perfect holiday treat in a gorgeous acrylic server topped with an agate slice and crystal for the perfect after dinner treat!
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Tobi TV: 5 Ideas for Using Black and White in Your Home

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Which two colors have ALWAYS stood the test of time, no matter the decade or the design style? That’s right – it’s black and white!


Together, they are really a dynamic duo. Black and white are two of my favorite colors – they are classic, traditional, and timeless. You can never go wrong with these two, whether it’s in your wardrobe or in your home!

So how can you use black and white in your interior? Let’s look at a few of my projects, and I’ll give you some ideas!

Wow! Are you ready to jump onto the black-and-white bandwagon? Here are things to consider:

  1. Consider a large-scale wallpaper in black and white! It will really make an impression, and will add amazing visual interest to your room.
  2. Black and white is perfect in a graphic or geometric pattern. Use it with bright splashes of another color, like coral or green. After all, black and white go with everything!
  3. White and black furniture is also a classic look – put these colors on classic forms and your room will be completely timeless, and will have a bit of that Dorothy Draper look!
  4. The dynamic black and white duo is perfect in the great outdoors. Consider large cabana stripes for a pattern on awnings, fabrics, or even a porch ceiling.
  5. Black and white isn’t just for grown-ups. Pair it with pale pink, pale green, or even fire engine red for a kids’ room. Psychologists say graphic patterns in black and white are great for stimulating little minds, so you can even use these two classic colors in a nursery like I did for my daughter!

I hope these tips for using black and white have helped you! Do you have the two in any of YOUR rooms? If so, tell me in the comments below how you use them in your home!

If you’ve never used them, consider black and white in your next room makeover! The classic look will be perfect in your home for years to come!







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

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