Predicting Pantone’s Color of the Year

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Every year, Pantone announces its Color of the Year and the arguments immediately begin for or against the color that’s chosen. Last year was one of the craziest times because the Marsala color that was chosen seemed to be the most polarizing selection I can remember!

The 2016 color won’t be announced for a few more weeks, but it’s fun to try to predict what the new color will be! To do that, let’s look back at the other colors from the past 5 years:


Radiant Orchid – Pantone Color of the Year 2014emerald

Emerald – Pantone Color of the Year 2013

Tangerine Tango – Pantone Color of the Year 2012honeysuckle

Honeysuckle – Pantone Color of the Year 2011

Just looking over the selections from the past five years, you can definitely see color groups that are missing, like blues, yellow, and neutrals. Benjamin Moore recently made a bold choice for its 2016 Color of the Year with Simple White, both a classic and surprising selection.


I think a bright saffron yellow – like the one I used in my panels from Soicher Marin in the CR Laine showroom last market – would be a great choice! Pantone already has a great yellow in its spring 2016 palette called Buttercup.

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I also like the idea of a deep peacock blue, like in the dining chairs I used above for my Riverside Penthouse project. A bit blue and a bit green, it would appeal to a wide range of consumers and design styles.


And I still think that Pantone could head toward neutral territory by selecting a taupe or a grey, like the one above on my new Marguerite slipper chair from CR Laine.

swope lamps

But my favorite choice would be a bold cobalt like in these gorgeous Christopher Spitzmiller lamps from one of my favorite dining rooms I’ve designed. I am excited to have a big presence of cobalt in my upcoming Duralee fabric collection for 2016 and I still think it’s America’s (and the world’s) favorite color. It’s been strong for a couple of seasons, but Pantone hasn’t given it the nod I think it deserves.

So what do you think will be the Pantone Color of the Year for 2016? Let me know in the comments section below! We only have a few weeks left until we all find out what will rule our colorways next year!

Colorfully yours,








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Tobi TV: Creating a Master Bath Retreat

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If there is one area of the house that most of my clients want to splurge on, it is definitely the master bath! Top requests from my clients include ideas that will help create a retreat with spa-like details.

Nancy Nolan photographed Udouj Residence in Ft Smith, AR Interior Design by Tobi Fairley

I love designing those perfect master baths, and I have a list of must-haves that I’m going to share with you to help you create that relaxing retreat in your home! Let’s take a look:

I feel relaxed already, how about you? Let’s review those tips one more time:

1. For the best retreat, I always recommend a walk-in shower with multiple shower heads. To make it even more luxurious, consider adding a steam option to the shower!

2. Nothing is better in a master bathroom than a deep soaking tub. It’s fabulous to help melt away a stressful day!

3. A vanity in the master bathroom is the perfect spa-like detail. It’s a great place to get ready in the morning, or to unwind in the evening!

4. Also consider adding seating to your master bath – it helps when you are dressing or even just relaxing.

5. Storage may not seem luxurious, but getting rid of clutter in the bathroom gives you a calm and restful atmosphere.

What would you love to have in a spa-like master bathroom? Let me know in the comments section below! And I’ll see you next week on Tobi TV!








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Fame vs. Revenue

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It is so much fun to ride the “fame” wave as an interior designer – we each love to do showhouses, be style spotters, speak at events, go on blog tours, and be asked to give expert opinions for press. But recently some of my fellow designers and I have been talking about getting caught up in that whirlwind and what it can do to your business. I’ve been guilty of that myself. It’s so much easier to say yes to things, and to convince yourself that it’s critical for you to be “out there” than it is to look at your company’s financial picture.

Time Is Money. Benjamin Franklin

But, as with anything, fame comes at a price. You can have so much fun doing things to raise your profile that you suddenly realize that you’re burning the candle at both ends, and you’re not really making any money for your company.

In a way, social media has made all of this worse. Those fabulous posts from exotic trips on Instagram, the tweets about having lunch with a celebrity in our industry, and the Facebook posts about how amazing someone is – those can mislead us into thinking that we haven’t “made it” as designers unless we’re able to tout that same kind of fame.

work for it

I just want you to remember that you NEVER know what’s going on behind the curtain, and that’s why it’s so dangerous for us to compare ourselves to others and use that as a yardstick for success. Our best measure of success is the bottom line, the actual numbers of our business.

You should know your income, your overhead, and your cash flow better than you know your paint colors. You should be growing your gross and net revenues year after year and growing your salary every 3-5 years, otherwise what’s the point? You should be looking at your budget-to-actual every single week or month, and you should know exactly how much you personally cost your company (your salary, insurance, benefits), and how much your time is worth to your company.


Once you are that clear on your finances, you can really see that you shouldn’t be doing things that don’t make money for you and for your business. It makes it harder to say yes to a trip that will take you out of the office for a week when you realize how that’s going to hit the bottom line. When you compare the ROI of reaching out to new clients to the ROI of speaking at an event, you really start to see how important this is to your company and to you!

Thinking this way will not only put you on track for a healthy financial picture, but it will also keep YOU healthier because you won’t be trying to do everything that’s asked of you.


Don’t get me wrong – that doesn’t mean you say no to all of the things you’re asked to do! It’s good to get your name out there and to market yourself through speaking engagements and press quotes. And though both are important to our business goals,  I want all of us to think more about increasing our incomes than we think about increasing our profiles or our popularity!

Financial freedom really does free us up to do the things we want to do – but first we have to get there. As we head into the last few months of 2015, this is something I’ll be re-examining as I define my budget for 2016. Let me know what you think about this idea in the comments section below! I want us all to make more money in 2016!








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The High Point of the Year

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The High Point Market is an incredible trade show for designers and retailers – showcasing the best of home furnishings and marking the new trends that you’ll see in your home in the coming months. I have loved shopping at the show every April and October for the past 15 years, and it is such a dream come true to now be showing my own furniture designs, like the pieces you see above in the CR Laine showroom!


Last month, I had a brand new collection launch with Woodbridge Furniture, another amazing partner that produces beautiful, high-quality furniture. That’s my London drop-leaf table in the showroom above, part of my new collection! It’s great as a console and opens into a 58″x78″ dining table. Plus it looks gorgeous with the art above which is from my Soicher Marin collection. And check out the fabulous brass claw holding an acrylic ball on that table!

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 1.21.18 PM

Woodbridge also perfectly created my design vision in the brushed brass Pierce table with a custom logo motif in the center. I loved it when I designed it, but it’s just so much better in real life! This was my very favorite piece from my collections this market.


I had an amazing time with color and pattern in the CR Laine showroom, too, particularly with my “catty” version of the Elle chair in the fabric “Cattitude”. I launched the Elle last April but I think it looks completely different in this glamorous fabric. What do you think?


And I loved using my Soicher Marin collection of art to complement the vignettes in CR Laine, like the one below that features my Taylor sectional and the stunning Stella screens with my exclusive logo motif in nailhead trim.

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 2.04.39 PM

I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into some of the new products you’ll see soon in stores and design studios! Let me know what you think in the comments section below, and stay tuned for more photos in future blog posts!








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New House Diary: Master Closet Inspiration

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New House Diary

It may not look like much now, but the photo below shows what could be my favorite part of my house renovation – my half of the master closet! I have been living with all my clothes upstairs while my husband used the one tiny master closet that existed when we purchased our home. I won’t fit all my things in this new closet space, but it will be so nice to not have to traipse upstairs just to get dressed daily.

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The inspiration for my master bedroom closet can be summed up in one word: ORGANIZATION! I want everything to have a place (or as much as I can squeeze in comfortably) and to maximize every single square inch of the closet. And though I know there just isn’t room for all these details I love, I am working hard to fit many of these ideas in so my closet really works!


Jay Jeffers

Of course I also want everything to look gorgeous, too, like the lovely design above from Jay Jeffers. He created a clean and coordinated closet that’s a place I’d love to just hang out in!

Nate Berkus

Nate Berkus, Architectural Digest

Every detail is perfect in the design above from Nate Berkus, from the hardware to the lighting to the seating. I’m just not sure that’s enough shoe storage for me, though!

Miller and Wright Arch

Miller & Wright

My husband and I will actually each have our own closet in the new master bedroom design, and this closet from Miller & Wright Architects is also stunning in a more masculine way. The built-in dresser is a great addition that we will both have in our closet spaces.

Organzied interiors

Organized Interiors

I do have a lot of shoes, so I sure wish I had room for something along the lines of these shoe drawers. They just might help me find a place for every pair in my closet.

Style STate

Style State

I also love the idea of retractable drawers and pull-out shelves to take advantage of as much space as possible, while keeping everything pressed and organized.

Fresh American Style

Fresh American Style

I will definitely be using some fantastic jewelry boxes and holders like those above to keep my jewelry in good shape and easy to view.

So what do you think about the inspiration ideas for our master closets? Let me know in the comments section below! I can’t wait to show you the finished space. My life is going to be so much easier and organized really soon and I couldn’t be happier about it!








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