Posts Tagged ‘Balance’

2017 Year in Review

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It’s hard to believe, but it’s almost the new year. 2017 is done. And equally hard to believe for me is that this is my 10th year of sitting down on December 31st and doing a comprehensive review of all the things that I experienced, accomplished and celebrated over the last 12 months. One of the first things that comes to mind today is that this means my blog is also almost 10 years old. Wow, those years went so fast though I can hardly remember life before this blog.

For this 10th anniversary of my year in review, I am doing things differently. And that’s because these days, I am running my whole life a lot differently than I did 10 years ago. Yes, my life is even far different than just 12 months ago. Previously my year in review was the place that I highlighted all my business successes big and small, because I was admittedly a workaholic and my business was really what I thought about more often than not.

These days, my business is only a part of my focus and it shares the spotlight with my family and other meaningful experiences. Novel idea, I know. But I am committed to a balanced life and I am having more success with that than ever before. So this year, my year in review is a wonderful mix of things to celebrate across all parts of my life.

2017  was a BIG year with some dreamy, BIG, work stuff. But I intentionally curbed many of the smaller things at work to leave more space for what matters most. My mantra for the year has been “Say no to the good, so you can say YES to the Best!” And maybe that’s why I believe 2017 is my best year yet. Let’s take a look.

First and foremost, I completed my home renovation this year. Can you say Hallelujah? I cannot tell you how exciting it is to no longer be working on my own project. It’s always harder to do your own home, especially when you’re a designer and you have to fit it in around all your other projects. But this baby is FINISHED!

And having my home all beautifully designed and functional is adding so much joy to my life each day, especially since I now work from home, too. My design studio is on the back of my house with a gorgeous view of my pool and the golf course beyond, which makes for more relaxing days at the “office”.

This was also the year I became a columnist with Traditional Home magazine. The features kicked off in January and I wrote an article for every issue this year that chronicled my home renovation. From planning the floorplan layout, to selecting the colors, to designing the kitchen and baths, we covered it all. If you missed any of it, you can find it all on the Traditional Home website here.

The pool and outdoor areas of my home were featured in the summer issue of Traditional Home as part of my column, and readers really seemed to love this feature. My family and I especially enjoyed many hours by the pool from March all the way through December thanks to a few resort-style outdoor heaters and that great new fire pit.

In the December issue of Traditional Home, I finally got to showoff my entire home renovation all dressed up for Christmas. Having a column with one of the top national shelter magazines for an entire year was definitely a dream come true and I am grateful to Traditional Home and all the team that worked with me to make this happen. It was BIG!

My own home renovation wasn’t my only celebration with Traditional Home this year. In April my work graced their cover with one of my favorite client projects.

In addition to the column on own home renovation, the April issue showcased a beloved Farmhouse project that I have been dying to show you. And getting the cover for this project was the icing on the cake.

Also in April, the Pandora’s Manor Showhouse opened in High Point North Carolina. I designed one of 6 bedrooms in this lovely boutique bed and breakfast, with some of the country’s biggest names in Interior Design including Thom Filicia, Barclay Butera, Alexa Hampton, Celerie Kemble and the guys from Madcap Cottage.  This amazing property is all sponsored and owned by Eastern Accents. What fun it was to use my Tobi Fairley collections for Duralee, CR Laine, Woodbridge, Soicher Marin and New River Artisans all in this room.

We even had a super fun “designer sleepover” in our Pj’s at Pandora’s Manor, each spending the night in the rooms we designed. Eastern Accents spared no luxury on us that week, we even had celebrity chef’s cooking our meals. We were spoiled and it was great fun. Thank you Eastern Accents for this fantastic experience.

2017 was also a big year for my product lines. I launched my second full collection with Soicher Marin art company in April.

I expanded my outdoor collection with Woodbridge Furniture from the soft launch last October.

And I launched my new rug line with New River Artisans company. You can see products from all these collections in my home reveal too. How exciting to bring my own furniture and home accents to my own house for my family and me to enjoy for years to come. Definitely another dream come true! (P.S. Stay tuned for more product line announcements in 2018!)

One of my favorite things about my design work this year is that I had 5 of my most favorite former clients of all time start new projects with me. It felt like the best year of design ever and you will see lots of these beautiful spaces revealed next year. From family homes in Arkansas to a family-owned business headquarters, to a condo in Dallas and a beach home in Florida, we are working on fun spaces for these clients that have been a real joy this year!

A great honor I received in 2017 was being inducted into the Sheridan High School Hall of Fame and giving the keynote address to their graduating seniors at the annual senior banquet. How exciting to be able to come back home and share the highlights of my almost 20-year career in design and consulting with these young men and women who are just getting started on their own paths.

This year was one of transition for my consulting and coaching businesses in the best of ways. I loved hosting my Mastermind group in Dallas in the Winter and then at my own home in the Fall. What fun showing a group of other designers how I live and work in my new space, and treating them to a seated dinner in my dining room with fabulous celebrity chef, Donnie Ferneau!

I also hosted the last in-person session of my Designer MBA Course in California in early Summer at the fantastic Thermador headquarters in Orange County, California. I have hosted classes, courses and mastermind events at this amazing facility for 3 years now and Thermador always treats us like royalty. Thank you Thermador, for your amazing hospitality and all the delicious food cooked by fabulous chefs on your outstanding appliances. Being there with you was definitely a highlight this year!  And for those of you who have been waiting to take my fantastic Designer MBA course, you still can. And all-new version of it is coming to the online world in 2018.

My consulting and coaching business is my major focus for next year (more on that soon) and so I enjoyed concluding the way some of my courses and programs have worked for the last 8 years to make room for my most exciting launch yet, happening in just a few weeks in mid-January.  If you want to take your business AND your life to the next level in 2018, you are going to love masterminding with me and getting my top tips and my most popular programs all online (some taught live) and at THE most affordable price yet! And one of my favorite parts is my courses are no longer just for designers, and heres why…

To bring all of you my best next year, I wanted to take my own coaching and consulting skills to the next level. So 2017 was a year of education and training for me. Those of you who know me know that I am a lover of knowledge and learning. And in July of this year I completed a 12-month health and wellness coaching certification from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to help me teach all of you how to better balance work and life. Lack of balance is the main challenge I hear from designers and entrepreneurs each year, and it’s been true for me too. So I wanted to be equipped to bring solutions to this challenge for both you and me, and now I’m ready!

To take it a step further, in December I was certified as a Life Coach and a Weight-management Coach from the Life Coach School with Brooke Castillo. I would say of all the courses, classes, books, seminars and learning I have gotten in my life (and I have completed a lot), this training was the single most life-changing program I have ever been a part of.

I cannot wait to bring my knowledge of nutrition, health, wellness and life coaching to my consulting business next year. This training has resulted in my biggest personal shifts yet, and I am incorporating these ideas for wellness and balance into all my interior designer and business coaching offerings next year. You won’t believe the results you are going to get!

And on a related note, I have just tackled the redesign of my website and online education site that is launching in just a few weeks. So that was a huge part of my 2017. I don’t mean I am just doing a refresh. I have literally redesigned my entire brand, mission, vision and goals to align my Interior Design and Business Coaching businesses with a holistic approach to wellness and balance. It’s been a labor of love with web designers, photographers, copywriters, strategy consultants, online marketing and products gurus and more. And I feel like we have blended all the things that inspire me the most into a simple and straight forward approach that allows me to help people design their homes, their businesses and their lives to create more health, wealth and joy.

And speaking of balance and joy, there was a lot of that this year for me too. I made room for my big goals this year for work, and worked those in around my main priority…my personal relationships.

It’s been years since I really traveled with my husband for his work, since I have been too busy traveling for mine. But in 2017 we made trips for his job (he’s an amazing attorney) to Scottsdale and Boston, plus a fabulous 15th wedding anniversary trip to dreamy Aruba and a fun family vacation to Seaside, Florida.

Working so hard isn’t worth it, if you can’t spend time with those most important to you. And this year, I definitely did that!

Working from home has also allowed me the most special time with my daughter. I love that I am here when she comes home from school each day. I love being here for those important moments when she tells me about her day. I love that I don’t miss her volleyball tournaments, tennis matches and school performances. And possibly the most special little moments, are in the carpool transporting six or eight 13 year olds to practices.

Motherhood is THE most important role I have. I recall several years back telling my own coach “If you think I will be one of those moms who volunteers at recess or drives carpool, you’re crazy!” But now I would give up every magazine cover or client to be here for these moments as a mom. And the best news is that with all the changes I’ve made to my business this year and my impending launch of a much bigger presence online, I can do BOTH!

I even made time for friends much more than ever in 2017. From hosting my ladies bible study group, to girlfriend nights for dinner and drinks, to date nights with other couples and my hubs, to Razorback football games and a weekend at the river, I had a lot of meaningful time with friends this year. Here’s a little pic with our friends visiting from Washington, DC and our fishing trip on the White River. I LOVE fishing. I know that’s hard to believe for a girl like me who loves fancy stuff, isn’t it? But the joy of being out on the peaceful waters with eagles flying overhead, and one of my dearest girlfriends by my side was perfect! And it was even sweeter when we caught more fish with our guide Danny, than the guys did.

Moments with true friends are so important to me now more than ever, probably because I am often reminded that life is so short. I was reminded of that this year when I lost my talented friend of 25 years, Todd. He was an event planner extraordinaire and I love this photo of him. It’s how I’ll always remember his smile. And the way he signed every hand-written note…”Smile, Todd”.

Another of my favorite things this year was doing a LOT of entertaining in my home especially during the holidays. My husband and daughter are super social, even more than I am.  We love to share our home and our cooking with friends and family.

In December alone we hosted 5 holiday parties and 2 dinner parties and we loved every moment of nurturing others in our home. One of my favorite things to share with my little family of 3 is our love of entertaining, and I know this home will be the backdrop for our events, big and small, for years to come.

The year of 2017 will go down as one of the great ones in my book.  And 2018 is going to involve some of the biggest changes I’ve made in years. Stay tuned for some big announcements, the launch of my new website and very exciting all-new consulting/coaching offerings  and a year hyper-focused on making my biggest personal contribution to the world that I have ever made. I am on a mission to make a difference in the lives of others including my family, my clients, and designers and entrepreneurs around the globe. I couldn’t be more excited about what that will look like next year.

Thank you my friends, for taking a look back at 2017 with me.

And a special thank you to Traditional Home, my licensing partners Woodbridge Furniture, Duralee Fabrics, New River Artisans, Soicher Marin, CR Laine Furniture, all the vendors that partnered with me on my home renovations, Eastern Accents, Thermador, my fabulous photographer Nancy Nolan, my videographer Leonard Chamblee, my builder Richard Harp, my landscape Designer David Munsey III, my own coaches and mentors, my amazing interior design and consulting clients, all our workrooms, subcontractors and vendors that help us create great designs, my fabulous Tobi Fairley Design team, my web designer and consultants, my amazing friends, especially my family and so many other people who helped make my 2017 great! And a big Thank you to all of you who follow my blog.

Cheers to 2018. I believe it’s going to be my most exciting year yet!

xo,

 

 

 

4 Tips for Falling in Love with Your Business

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Feeling burned out? If you are constantly giving to everyone but yourself, you can start to feel resentment. Believe me, I’ve been there – several times! And over the years I’ve also discovered that there is one sure-fire method to make you fall in love with what you do again. But it may not be what you think.

Because to rediscover that spark, that thing that gives you the passion for what you do, you have to step away. Yep, you read that right. But if you try these 4 steps, I promise you’ll come back to work ready to take it on with new gusto!

  1. Go away. And I mean AWAY. One day could help, but for me to really unwind, it typically takes several days. If you don’t want to spend a ton of money, then at least check out of business mode. Go drive in the country with your windows down and breathe in the fresh air. Take a spin through a museum or a walk in the park. Plan a long weekend at the beach or the lake. Just get out of your office and turn your phone off. Studies show that if you don’t give yourself a break, you’ll never be as creative and effective as you need to be. You really need to recharge your batteries and you can only do that if you step away from your office.  And for me if there is a component of nature involved, my relaxation goes up tremendously!
  2. Breathe deep. You need to relax and get your mojo back, and one of the best ways to do that is through meditation and deep breathing. Don’t believe me? Well the American Medical Association is now talking about big benefits from deep breathing, like elevating your mood, releasing tension, bringing clarity to your thinking, and boosting your immune system. That’s perfect for burnout! Add in meditation to reduce stress and improve concentration and you have a winning combination. And I combine these with yin yoga so not only my mind feels relaxed, but my body feels better too!
  3. Treat yourself well. You are your company’s most important asset, so you should be treating yourself like gold. That means it is critical for you to take time out of your day to exercise – look at it as an investment in your long-term performance. But for you to get the best benefits, find the type of exercise you really like. If you dread it, you are unlikely to keep it up. Plus, you need to take in the right fuel to keep you running like a well-oiled machine. And we are all different with what foods work for our bodies. At the Institute of Integrative Nutrition where I have been trained as a health and wellness coach, they call this bio-individuality. It’s the idea that one person’s food is another person’s poison. So learn which foods and vitamins make you feel best and make them a priority. Taking care of yourself isn’t some new age mumbo-jumbo – a Forbes study showed that CEOs who took time out of their day to exercise and eat right were 30% more inspired and effective at work. So take care of YOU and your take care of your company.
  4. Rethink your priority. That’s right, just one. The idea of priorities (plural) is a somewhat recent change to this word that was made in the US in the 1940s. This word originally meant the ONE most important thing, because you really can’t focus on more than one thing at a time right? So what is your priority? I talked a few weeks ago about the fabulous book Essentialism. To find out what’s most important to you, write down everything you are doing as a function of your job and then really start thinking about what is critical and what is really nonessential. And I mean cut it down to the bone. Multitasking is a myth, so what do you really want to focus on? Getting that clarity, and ridding yourself of things that are holding you back or tying you down will truly make you free! Your passion won’t be pulled in 20 directions, and instead you will get fired up and ready to focus on that one thing that will make the biggest difference.

I’m in my sweet spot of really concentrating on these 4 core ideas right now – and it’s been paying off in a BIG way! I’m happier than I’ve ever been, and I am really feeling the fire again, but not for business as usual. It’s for a new and improved version of my business – one that feeds my family and my soul.

So what do you think? Where have you made changes this year to give you a better, more productive, and happier business and life? And if you haven’t made changes yet, what’s your plan? Let me know in the comments section below!

xo,

 

 

 

 

 

4 Ways to Survive the Holiday Chaos

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This time of year can be magical and special, but if you’re a small business owner like me, it can also be stressful, frustrating, and insane. Interior designers especially know what I mean because half of our clients want us to transform their homes into a showpiece in the 2 weeks before their guests arrive for Christmas.

It can be hard enough to balance your work and your personal life on the best of days, but it is incredibly hard to do during the holiday season when everyone wants something from you right now. What can you do? I have 4 ways for you to keep the crazy at a minimum so you can enjoy the best of the holiday season!

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1. Remember to say no. You can’t say yes to every client request and you shouldn’t say yes to every event or party that comes along, too. There’s only so many hours in the day, and only so much of YOU. Say no to the good to make room for the great! Choose wisely so you can give your very best to everything that you say YES to.

2. Buckle down early. Put your head down and focus on your work in the first two weeks of December, so you can really let go and enjoy yourself with family and friends during the weeks of Christmas and the New Year. You don’t want to be the one at the office on Christmas Eve, so keep your eye firmly on work so you can get all of the tasks on your list completed and checked off. If you aren’t an early planner, make it your goal next year to do your client gifts and cards in October so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute.

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3. Schedule some ME time. Find one hour here and there to get a massage, meditate, take a yoga class, anything to calm your mind and help you relax and recharge. It will make you better able to deal with clients and to enjoy your family!

4. Check out completely. On those days that you’re supposed to be off with your family, turn off your phone and be present with your family. The world won’t end if someone can’t get in touch with you. Take a deep breath and enjoy the season.

I hope these tips help you keep the magic of the season first and foremost as your goal! Let me know what you love about the holidays in the comments section below!

xo,

Tobi-Signature

 

 

 

 

 

Before and After: A Welcoming Living Space

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I think it’s a shame when people don’t use every single square inch of their homes. It’s so sad to see a formal dining room or living room just sitting there and rarely used. I’m all about function, so I want to create spaces for my clients that will work for how they live in their homes.

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That was the challenge when I designed this living room for my client – it was a formal space that they just never sat in. As you can see above, it wasn’t really a welcoming space for them. They had some great pieces, but the room was too formal and a few of the furnishings weren’t comfortable. But it was spacious, with a good sofa and stylish white end tables that I wanted to keep in the room.

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As you can see in the “after” photo above, I changed the scale of the art and brought in some sleeker pieces to edit down the “noise” in the space. The big piece of art was the jumping-off point for the palette in the room, which was cool and calming.

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The chairs before had pretty lines but that weren’t inviting. And I opted out of the tchotchkes in the built-ins in favor of stunning blue chinoiserie vases that you can see below.

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The two new chairs are much more comfortable! I also had a rug custom-made to fit the chamfered corners of the room.

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The other side of the room had a pair of chairs that were shapely, but just didn’t have the impact they needed to in this room because they weren’t the right scale.

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The taller wing chairs brought a better balance to the room, as well as a punch of gorgeous cobalt blue. I always love to have a lamp near seating to make it more functional, so I added one to make these great reading chairs.

The result is a room that welcomes the family into the space, and that makes a fabulous impression on guests – especially since this is the first room they see when they enter the house! So what do you think of the new look for this fabulous living room? Let me know in the comments section below!

xo,

Tobi-Signature

 

 

 

 

Come On, Get Happy!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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