Before and After: Kitchen Getaway

Posted by

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 11.24.24 AM

Life is so busy for so many of us. And even if our homes are designed and dreamy, it’s often hard to relax at home when we are so close to our jobs and our to do lists.  There is just something about a second home, a get-away, that helps us truly relax. That’s especially true if it has serene views of a lake or ocean or even mountains. And that’s why some of my favorite and long-term clients purchased this retreat and wanted me to whip it into a functional and beautiful backdrop for all their relaxing weekends and holidays with family and friends. And in this home, one of the most important parts of the renovation for them was the kitchen. The place where they would cook and entertain the most and where everyone always seems to gravitate!

Here is what the kitchen looked like when the previous owner lived there just before my clients purchased it. My clients knew it was the house for them because of the size, layout and location. But they couldn’t quite see the design vision, so that’s where I came in!

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 11.19.33 AM

There were many perfect things about this home including the views and the size, but the interior design wasn’t one of them. And the lake house kitchen, with it’s lighter wood cabinetry, open soffits, laminate floors and countertops, and lackluster color scheme, had more of a country look than my clients wanted.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 11.25.28 AM

We gave the cabinets a much-needed update, added great hardware, and a warm-toned subway tile backsplash that gave the room a lovely glow and a fresh look.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 11.19.24 AM

The before offered lots of space for dust to gather. So we also took the cabinetry right up to the ceiling so there would be plenty of storage for all the entertaining pieces they need at this vacation home and little room for dusty trinkets and display. And, because this kitchen is open to the rest of the room, we put new flooring into the entire space which looks gorgeous with all that light flooding in.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 11.24.53 AM

The result is a great room (literally) that lets my clients entertain in comfort and style, and a relaxing space that lets them get away from it all in a gorgeous setting!

So what do you think of this kitchen redo in a vacation home? Let me know in the comments section below!

xo,

Tobi-Signature

 

 

 

 

Follow Me on Pinterest

New House Diary: Floor It

Posted by

New House Diary

By the time you read this, I should be back into my new house because yesterday was moving day! It’s been so much fun to watch the last few details get nailed down and put into place as we hit the home stretch over the last few days. I have never seen so many hard-working people helping me get this house ready and pull off my move.

One thing in my house that is a serious workhorse this week (and will be for years to come) – but rarely gets the glory – is all of the lovely flooring. We have traipsed dozens of boxes, appliances, sofas and more across them already and they are just getting started supporting all our activities in our newly remodeled home.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 8.40.47 AM

The beautiful black-and-white Emser Tile in my entry literally made me jump up and down – it’s just that pretty! It’s called Times Square so it reminds me of my favorite city and I just love this classic look. It’s clean and sophisticated, and it will really make a statement for guests as they enter my house. ProSource has been a fabulous sourcing partner to help me find the perfect look for each room and they have the best vendors who have been such a joy to work with!

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 8.47.03 AM

If you’ve been paying attention to this regular column of mine, you may have also seen a  hint of what the floors in my kitchen and wet bar just might be, too!

IMG_6489A little like another of my favorite places, this floor is reminiscent of a Paris Bistro. And though it looks like marble, it’s glass. This cool new product from Daltile looks great and doesn’t show anything, especially dirt and lint. I LOVE it!

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 8.41.31 AM

And upstairs in the guest bath, these grey marble hexagon tiles from Speartek give the room a soft glow. It’s another classic look that really makes an impact, even if it isn’t the first thing you’ll notice in this room.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 8.41.15 AM

There are so many pretties on the floors of this house, I can’t decide my favorite, but in the running is definitely the fabulous Daltile mosaic floor in the master bathroom! Don’t you just love that classic Greek key motif around the border?! It is such a stunning design and turned out even better than I imagined!

IMG_6494And don’t forget all the gorgeous AND eco-friendly wood floors from Shaw in a warm color called “Wheat Penny.”  They cover a lot of my home. With our allergies, pets, and kids, I definitely wanted the old, dirty carpet that came with the house out of there and sleek and beautiful hardwoods in its place. Now just walking up my stairs and seeing hardwoods span the length of the house and into my yoga room makes me feel more calm and relaxed. Namaste Shaw Flooring!

So what do you think about my new floors so far? Do you like the classic look of black and white that runs through much of the house? Give me your comments in the section below!

xo,

Tobi-Signature

 

 

 

 

Follow Me on Pinterest

Gift Guide: Moms Who Like to Cook

Posted by

Mom's Who Like to Cook

 

What an exciting week! I am moving into my newly renovated home today and this weekend is Mother’s Day. A two-for-one week for me! I don’t know about you, but I am NOT one of those moms that gets mad about getting appliances or functional things for special occasions. In fact, I request them.

With my move-in happening, I cleaned out and donated a lot of my old things and I now need a new toaster and a new food processor – Williams Sonoma, here I come! But maybe for Mother’s Day, I will also get one or two of these pretties for my kitchen to use along with all my beautiful new Thermador appliances that were installed yesterday (eek! I am thrilled!).

And how about that gorgeous soft blue Kitchenaid above? I got a new Emerald Green one (my favorite color) last Mother’s Day and I truly designed my entire new kitchen around it. I can’t wait to set it on my bright and shiny new Dekton countertops today for the first time when I pull it out of the moving box. Watch for that ceremonial moment on Instagram, but I had to show you this beautiful color of icy blue in case it’s the mixer color of your Mother’s Day dreams.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there. I hope you get what your heart desires this Mother’s Day, which probably isn’t gifts at all, but time with your babies. Now I’m off to move in so maybe I can be all unpacked and organized before Mother’s Day arrives, and I can take the day off. After this big move, a day off might just be the best gift ever!

xo,

Tobi-Signature

 

 

 

  1. Sugar Paper Recipe Box: I love this bright fuchsia box with scalloped dividers to hold all of my family recipes!
  2. Meyer Lemon Oven Mitt and Potholder Set: There’s nothing sour about these kitchen goodies! This matching set is not only durable, but gets your kitchen ready for spring and summer!
  3. Oval Au Gratin Dish: I love bold colors in my home and my baking, that’s why this stoneware dish is perfect! Microwave, freezer, and dishwasher safe, this baby does it all!
  4. All-Clad Kitchen Scale: If you’re a baker, like my daughter and me, this scale offers precision measuring!
  5. Initial Dish Towel: This beautiful dish towel with a personal monogram and scalloped edge adds a personal flare to your kitchen!
  6. Salt Mill: Infuse bold color into your kitchen and cooking with this cobalt blue ombre salt mill!
  7. ‘All in Good Taste’ Cookie Cutters: Forget boring cookie cutters! These lady-like shapes such as a bow, apple, ampersand, and a spade will make fabulous cookies for your next girl’s night!
  8. Nest Measuring Cups: 8 stackable cups ranging from ¼ tsp to 1 cup in bold colors tuck away for neat storage!
  9. Marble Rolling Pin: This cool marble rolling pin can roll out dough with ease! Fabulous for breads and cookies (that I will now be baking in my new Thermador ovens…yay!) and looks super chic with your baking tools!
  10. kate spade new york Bowls & Lids: This set of 3 colorful bowls adds style to your kitchen while helping with easy food prep and storage! The scallop detail on the lids is so chic!
  11. Colored Paring Knives: Never get confused about which knife is for cutting your chicken or dicing a tomato again! This set of 3 colored knives have long-lasting stainless steel blades and are dishwasher safe.
  12. KitchenAid Artisan Design Stand Mixer: If you follow my blog, you know, my daughter and I love to bake! This KitchenAid Stand Mixer is a must in our house! I have an Emerald Green one but this soft and icy blue is so pretty, I just had to show it to you. Use it to mix up all of your sweet treats!
  13. Wusthof 2 Piece Mincing Set: Add minced garlic to your favorite spaghetti recipe effortlessly with this 2 piece mincing set! You’ll never have to struggle with a knife again!
  14. 4-Quart Rectangular Dish: This beauty has an exterior enamel that is resistant to stains and scratches, while the stoneware prevents scorching and maintains even temperatures across the dish while baking! I love to bring homemade dishes to friends, and this dish with a matching lid makes it easy to bake, store, and carry!
  15. “Neiman Marcus Cooks” Cookbook: You can find all of the great recipes here, even their famous chocolate chip cookies and probably their pop-overs too! Looks like I have some baking to get through!
  16. Ceramic Lemon Juicer: Weather for cooking, cocktails, or lemonade, this two-piece reamer and pitcher will make squeezing lemons easy and enjoyable! There’s even a strainer in the reamer to catch the seeds!

 

Follow Me on Pinterest

Tobi TV: Top 3 Tips for Using Books as Decor

Posted by

Tobi TV logo

It’s Tobi TV and today we are talking about books – one of my favorite topics!

Image1

I get a lot of questions about my design and architecture book collections and all my novels covered in paper, and why I have both in my home. The collection is classic and useful and the covered books are trendy but the truth is that I still love them both even though many people think the covered book trend has run its course.

And as I always say when talking trends, if you love it, then do it…even if other people think it’s passé. Be confident! So I’m holding on to both versions of books in my home, at least for now.

Take a look at today’s Tobi TV episode. In it, I talk about where and why I incorporate both types in my living room and how to make this work for you.

Let’s review those top 3 tips on decorating with books:

1. Any collection makes your home uniquely YOU. When using a collection of books that you truly love to decorate your home, you create a win-win because they are both beautiful and functional.

2. If you are going for a warm, eclectic, traditional, or cozy space, surrounding yourself with all sorts of books and their handsome jackets or covers adds to the comfort and interest in the space.

3. If your books are random, hodge-podge, or a compilation of paperback and hardback that really cheapen or distract from your interior design, consider covering them. It creates a restful, soft, and modern presentation of your beloved tomes.

Image4

In my previous house I used both. What do you think? Do you love books as decor in your home? Are you really a reader or are they just an accessory? And are you a traditionalist who wants all your books in their purest form or do you still love covered books for a cleaner and more edited look?

Do tell! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about this episode of Tobi TV and how you prefer your books.

xo,

Tobi Signature

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

Follow Me on Pinterest

Come On, Get Happy!

Posted by

joyI’ve said it before – and it still holds true – running a business is hard. Really really hard. But it shouldn’t be so hard that you resent it, or even hate it. It shouldn’t become a grind that you dread every single day. Otherwise, why do it at all?

Yes, there are stresses, there are problem clients or employees, and there will be times when you wonder where the money will come from to keep the doors open. But that shouldn’t be every single day. There should still be moments (days, weeks) of joy! There should be some (or lots of!) fun and laughter – or none of your hard work is really worth it.

If you find yourself caught up in the grind, or unable to see the pretty forest for all the mean trees, then I have 10 tips to help you get your happy back!

laughter

1. Schedule joy. While you’re setting your schedule and packing it full of meetings, remember to schedule something fun in there, too. At least once a week, put a fun item on your calendar. It can be as simple as going to a museum or picking your child up early from school for an ice cream date. But put it on your calendar and don’t move it off for any reason.

2. Turn it off. It’s a proven fact that our electronics cause us stress. If the election is making you crazy, don’t watch it on TV. If your phone buzzes all the time, turn it off so you can get some work done. And stop scrolling through Facebook. You may think that you’re just connecting with friends, but when you’re under the gun, those photos of someone on vacation may give you some serious guilt/envy.

happiness

3. Simplify. Put only 3 things on your “have to do” list for each day. If you keep making super-long lists of things to do, you’ll only make yourself feel like a failure if you don’t accomplish them all. It feels so good to check things off your list, so make your lists achievable!

4. Take care of you. Why is it that we seem to push our own self care to the back burner? We are our company’s best asset, so why in the world do we come last in most cases? You have to eat right, get plenty of rest, exercise regularly, and be mindful of how you’re moving through your life. It’s critical to your personal life and your professional life. Make the time to take care of yourself.

5. Have a gratitude attitude. I keep a gratitude journal every single day. I always write down the things that I’m grateful for in my life, or that happened that day. It reminds me of why I started my business, of what life is really all about. That’s so important. And celebrate every single success in your business! We tend to just push towards the next goal without really celebrating, and that is a real thief of joy.

appreciate

6. Laughter IS the best medicine. You should find the humor in something every single day, even in some mistakes or challenges. Sometimes it’s either “laugh or cry” so choose laughter! And really, if you ask yourself how much something will truly matter in a year, in most cases the answer is that you’ll barely remember it.

7. Meditate. I can hear you say, “How in the world am I supposed to schedule joy, make time to exercise, AND now meditate? I’m too busy!” I get it. We get caught up in the whirlwind and we think everything is so critical that it just can’t wait. But you know that isn’t true. You can take 10 minutes to do some yoga poses. You can have that phone meeting while you’re walking. And you can definitely take 5 minutes to be still and breathe. It’s been proven to reduce stress levels AND to help you focus!

8. Keep your eyes on your prize. Don’t look at what others are doing and think they have some magic sauce that you don’t. You don’t know what their struggles are (and they definitely have them), so don’t be envious of what you think others have. Keep the focus on you.

others

9. Delegate. It can be tough to shoestring a budding business, but you definitely need help. Don’t try to build your own website, don’t try to do your own books, don’t try to take on every task by yourself. You’ll burn yourself out! You should focus only on what makes your company money – that’s it. Outsource anything and everything you can – and if your budget for that is tiny then just pick one thing that someone else can help you with right now.

10. Don’t blame your business. Your business is not there to make you happy. It can help you get to goals that will eventually make you happy – but it can’t be the entire source of your happiness or your life. That’s expecting way too much from your company. Look outside your job for other sources of happiness to help get you through the stressful times at work.

Try these 10 tips to get you back on the happy train! You’ll be amazed at how much more you’ll get done when you’re feeling more upbeat – and at how much you enjoy it!

xo,

Tobi-Signature

 

 

 

 

Follow Me on Pinterest