Posts Tagged ‘books’

Tobi TV: Top 3 Tips for Using Books as Decor

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


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.


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.


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

10 Steps to the Perfect Guest Room

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I love to entertain overnight guests – and I’ve enjoyed planning the guest bedroom in my new house during my renovation! By summer my guest room will be ready for visitors. And there are so many ways to really make your guests feel comfortable and cared for, so today I’m going to give you my 10 best tips for a hotel-worthy guest room.

1. The absolutely most important thing in a guest bedroom is the bed, of course. Too many people just plop their oldest mattress in this room like an afterthought. But it’s important to have a really good mattress for your guests, too, so give them a fabulous night’s sleep when they’re staying with you! If you can’t buy a brand new fancy mattress for this space, try adding padded or down-covered mattress pads, foam mattress covers, or even feather beds to make your guests extra comfortable when staying the night.

2. Linens are also critical. You don’t have to have Egyptian cotton, or some particular thread count, but you should buy the best you can get for your budget. There are several high thread count (and very soft) sheet sets at Target. My favorite sheets are actually by SDH and made of Italian Wood Fiber (called Cellulose). It’s softer than silk, but isn’t slippery.

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3. Pillows are very important, especially to me. The pillows definitely make or break a hotel or sleeping experience in my opinion. So you want to have a selection on the bed and maybe some options on a shelf in the closet. I am a down pillow gal myself, but some people are allergic to down or even down blends, so have several types on hand. And it’s good to offer soft and firm options, like the best boutique hotels! You don’t want your guests having neck and back pain all weekend long.

4. Having a bench at the end of the bed, or a stool in the room, is a great touch. It works like a luggage rack, giving guests a place to set their bags, and it’s great when they need to sit down when putting on their shoes.

5. I also like to have a chair in the guest bedroom, if space allows. Guests may want to read or just relax before bed without getting in the bed – so give them a great upholstered chair for their room.

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6. A cozy blanket or throw is a great addition for your guest room – they can use it on the bed if they need extra warmth, or they can wrap up in it while reading in the chair. Make them feel cozy and at home! If you want to go the extra mile, you might consider a down comforter, too. Some people prefer the weight of a duvet when getting cozy.

7. A guest room also needs great light control. First I love natural light in a bedroom, so if your home has great windows that’s a big bonus! But you’ll want window treatments with blackout lining so the natural light doesn’t keep guests awake or wake them too early. And be sure there is a working overhead lighting fixture (preferably on a dimmer) for when guests need brighter light – like to tell if their socks are black or blue. But also layer in several lamps in the space for ambient lighting in the evening. I like to have bedside lamps or swing-arm lamps for those who want to read in bed, and also a lamp beside the chair or on a chest is a great and functional addition. Oh, and don’t forget a nightlight so guests can see if they get up during the night.

8. A stack of magazines and books is a nice touch for a guest room. Give your guests great reading material for the evenings, or for down time during their visit.

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9. Fresh flowers are one of the nicest ways to say “welcome” to your guests! This is really essential to a guest room in my house because they are pretty and they smell great.

10. A final perfect touch if you have the space is a coffee station and plenty of water – either in bottles or a carafe. Some guests may rise much earlier than you do, so this is a great way to let them start their day whenever they like without having to head down to the kitchen in their PJs! And I always include a few snacks in case they get hungry. You know a good Southern hostess never lets a guest go hungry.

So try these ideas to make your guest room work like a fabulous boutique hotel. And you can even take it further like providing the code to your wi-fi, adding a fabulous smelling candle and matches, including a basket of essentials like fluffy towels or a robe, and you might include a few necessities in case they forgot them like an extra toothbrush, deodorant, or a disposable razor. I love going the extra mile to make those staying in my home feel loved!

So what do you do in your home to welcome guests? Let me know in the comments section below!







Love these ideas? Shop my picks for making your guest room extra special…



Tobi TV: Those Little Details

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Good interior design is really in the details – no matter how small! What may seem to some like a tiny part of the room can help give your design personality and flair. Paying attention to detail can take your home from good to amazing!

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So what details should you keep in mind for your interiors? I like to have a combination of furnishings with great details as well as those perfect accessories. Take a look at these elements I used in my new collection for CR Laine:

See how something small can make a BIG impact? Let’s review those ideas:

1) Details like an acrylic foot on a sofa or chaise can add that perfect piece of jewelry to a dressed-up design!

2) When you’re looking at furnishings for your home, notice design elements like a greek key carving along the base of a chair or bench. Those give your room a subtle sophistication.

3) I love fretwork – both on furnishings and in room designs. Look for open-work that’s bold and beautiful!

4) I’ve been covering books in paper for years to add color and interest to a room, but think about spray painting old books to really give a unique touch to your shelves!

5) Nailhead trim is another fantastic design detail on furnishings – I like to use different patterns like starbursts.

6) A gold leaf border around a table’s top is a great way to add some shine to your design!

So remember, it really IS all about they details! They make all the difference!








Which Would You Choose: Covered Books or Book Jackets?

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134 This week, I would like to give you a choice about something in YOUR home! Usually on Wednesdays I ask you to help me make up my mind on a design detail for my new house – which hopefully will be ready to unveil some time in the new year!

But this week, I’m curious about which you would choose in your own home: books that are covered to coordinate with the decor of the room, or leaving books in their usual book jackets. I already know which one I will choose for my living room, but I also know it’s a controversial choice.


I prefer to design my bookshelves as part of the overall composition of the space – so covering the books is not a trend for me, it’s something I like to do to keep the design continuity going in the room! I do get that it isn’t a look for everyone. Many people like to pull books off the shelves to read them at a moment’s notice, and that’s harder to do when you can’t see the titles of any of the books!


But I like to keep the books that I want to read – and I am a BIG reader – closer at hand. So when we get to another room in my house you’ll see that there I’ll have all of my books uncovered. In the living room for my new house, though, I want the space to be sleek, serene, restful. So in this room, I’m probably going to have many books on the shelves covered in white paper to keep that mood.

So what would YOU choose in your own home? I would love to “uncover” both sides of this question! Let me know in the comments below!









What’s Inspiring TFID?: Books

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It’s time for another edition of “What’s Inspiring TFID?”.  I asked the staff at Tobi Fairley Interior Design to tell me what books are currently inspiring them.  Here’s what they told me:

Brooke, VP of Sales & Marketing

“I’m inspired by designer Kathryn Greeley’s new book, The Collected Tabletop.  Her table settings are inspiring!”


Brittany, Designer


“I can’t wait to see the inspiring interiors in Martyn Lawrence-Bullard’s upcoming book Live, Love & Decorate.  He’s bananas!”


Ashley, Jr. Designer

“I get so much inspiration from Kelly Wearstler’s Modern Glamour.  She’s fabulous.” 


Kathryn, Jr. Designer

“The photography in Slim Aarons’ La Dolce Vita is inspiring my dreams of future travel.”


Margaret, Office Manager

 “In My Passion for Design by Barbra Streisand, I’m especially inspired by the vintage streetscape of rooms Barbra has created in her basement!”


Bart, Warehouse Manager

“This fall I’m headed to Biloxi, Mississippi, for the Fall Muster Festival.  In preparation I’m getting inspired by various Civil War history books.  On a design note, Beauvoir: A Walk Through History, takes a look at the home the historic home of Jefferson Davis.


Landon, Designer

“As the resident Anglophile here at TFID, one is taking a very brief holiday across the channel to join ‘it’ Brit girl Kathryn Ireland for a bit of French inspiration with Summers in France.”



The ever-chic Mary McDonald is the still holding my attention with her amazing book Mary McDonald: The Allure of Style.

What book is inspiring you right now?