Posts Tagged ‘color’

New House Diary: The Kitchen Appliances

Posted by

New House Diary

I’m only two weeks from move-in day! I am so excited to soon be back in my house – and the room I can’t wait to get into is the kitchen. It is coming together even better than I imagined it could be! I’m ready to jump right in there and learn how to use everything including my new steam oven! Baking and cooking are stress relievers for me, and I’m in my happy place when I’m with my daughter creating fun and fabulous treats for the family.

So selecting appliances was like being a kid in a candy store for me! I’m lucky enough to be the brand ambassador for Thermador and I’ve learned a lot about their fabulous products and their company over the last year. When it came time to make my selections, I knew I would be purchasing Thermador without question. The hard part was deciding which of their products would be best for me.

Pro Series Range

For the range, I chose Thermador’s 48″ Professional Series Pro Range Grand Commercial Depth Range. The key for this great appliance for me was that it is duel fuel. I like to for my cooktop to be gas because the amazing Star Burners give me a lot of flexibility in the heat source, from an extra-low simmer to a quick and fast boil. But I love an electric oven because I find that I get a more even bake with it. For the range top, I also purchased the grill insert that switches out with the griddle for all the times that it’s not outdoor grilling weather. And I had a local metal worker create a custom hood with a Thermador ventilation insert and blower to perfectly vent my new commercial grade range no matter if I am using the star burners, griddle, or grill. It’s not only functional but gorgeous, too!  I can’t wait to show you the finished look!

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 9.12.24 AM

In addition to the 2 ovens under my range, I am also installing a steam oven in a wall cabinet. I’m so excited about the steam oven – it’s going to be perfect for everything from healthy steamed dishes to creating perfect crusty bread!


I also selected a 30-inch convection panel-front warming drawer for the island, and Thermador‘s new built-in MicroDrawer Microwave. I can fit a 13×9 pan into this fabulous microwave and it has 10 cooking modes. I love how it sits flush into my cabinetry and will give me even more space on my counters since I don’t have to have a freestanding microwave sitting out on them or taking up valuable upper cabinet space.


For refrigeration, I love the flexibility of Thermador’s Freedom Collection. It allows me to select refrigeration columns based on how my family eats and cooks. I use a lot of fresh ingredients and I wanted the fridge section to be bigger, so I chose the 30-inch Fresh Food Column, combined with a 24-inch Freezer Column. They’ll have panels that match the cabinetry in the kitchen, which I love for a seamless and chic look. And for our wine storage, I chose the 18-inch wine preservation column. All 3 of these pieces will fit perfectly in a row. I can’t decide if I am more excited about my refrigerator or wine column!

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 9.12.49 AM

In the island, I’ll also have Thermador’s brand new under-counter refrigerator drawers that will allow me to store drinks and other food in an easy-to-access place. Thankfully my project took a few months to complete and in that time period, Thermador launched their under-counter refrigeration. It was a category that I was reluctantly going to have to purchase from another vendor but Thermador came to my rescue just in the nick of time!


For quick clean up, I chose 2 of Thermador’s amazing Star Sapphire dishwashers, which will also have a panel front that matches the cabinetry. Yep, we use a lot of dishes and cookware when my family and I fix meals and I hate to have dishes in the sink. This dishwasher can do a full clean cycle in only 20 minutes, which is incredible! And with 2 of them running at once, we should never have a dirty dish for long. The Star Sapphire dishwasher also has the largest capacity for wine glasses that you can find out there today, a “time remaining” power beam, and a flexible third drawer that can be adjusted to fit whatever you need to clean.

Wow! Now you can see why I’m SO thrilled to be getting into this fabulous new kitchen with all of the hard-working appliances that I’ve chosen! I may go into a frenzy of baking for a few weeks, so keep your eye out for my kitchen creations on Instagram starting in May. And watch this space as I reveal more of my new house selections in the coming weeks. It will take me a couple of months to finish my decor but my kitchen will be hard at work even when all my interiors aren’t quite complete.

Happy cooking!







Top Tips for Hanging Art

Posted by

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 6.18.40 PM

In yesterday’s blog post, I talked about the importance of choosing the right art for your rooms, and today I want to talk about how you should hang that art. It can create an unbalanced look if your art is too high, or too low. So here are some general rules to keep in mind:

1. When selecting a frame, coordinate it with the art, not necessarily the room. Frames should complement the artwork and allow it to be the focal point, not overpower it.

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 9.05.23 AM


2. Framing and hanging a group, series, or collection can be difficult, but it makes a statement. When hanging the group, think of the collection as one large piece and place the center of it in the 60-66” eye-level range.

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 9.00.26 AM

3. When hanging art over furniture, keep them close together. A good rule of thumb, 6” or less between the art and the furniture. And in most cases, no more than 4” between art pieces in a pairing or grouping.

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 8.57.44 AM

4. Let the space dictate the art selection. Often, architecture can “frame” the artwork. If you have a small vertical space, select a vertical piece or stack 2-3 pieces vertically to emphasize the architecture. If the space lacks architectural interest, consider adding molding that frames your artwork and adds impact to the room.

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 9.03.49 AM

5. Mixing different types of media in the same room is important. Too many paintings is boring, but paintings combined with works on paper, or sculpture is fresh and exciting.

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 9.06.28 AM

But the #1 rule for hanging art? Measure twice! It will save you from patching, rehanging, and repainting. And if you are hanging something ambitious like a gallery wall, you can also create paper templates of your art and hang those on the wall to determine the best layout before you hammer in the first nail.

So what are your best tips for hanging art? Let me know in the comments section below!







Tobi TV: Being Smart with Your Art

Posted by

Tobi-TV-logo-600x332I love working with art, especially original art. A great piece of art inspires designs for my interiors and adds personality.


This week, we are talking about being smart with your art. Today I’m going to tell you how to use a variety of artwork to create a unique interior and not break the bank in the process. Let’s go!

Now you can see why I love to use great art, right? Let’s recap those tips one more time:

1. Use a mix of media to make things most interesting in your space. Pair paintings with prints, with original works on paper, and even sculpture. It’s like a stock portfolio – the more diverse the better.

2. Be sure to bring in things that have meaning, even if they aren’t expensive. This could be your children’s artwork, something that belonged to a loved one, or a piece you picked up in your travels that reminds you of a special place and a special moment.

3. Buy original and buy the best you can afford at any given time. So when you are young maybe you buy “up and coming” artists, and possibly later in life you can invest in something considered more valuable. Each piece will bring equal value to your collection as far as making it unique, no matter how much it costs.

4. Don’t be afraid to mix in some “decorator art.” Mass-produced pieces can still be lovely and interesting. It’s all about the mix, and as long as you pair them with other more unique things made with different materials or techniques, your art collection will be stunning!

Are there artists you love to collect? And how do you use art in your home? Tell me in the comments section below!







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

Run Your Own Race

Posted by


Business is hard. I’ve owned my own business for 17 years this month and I definitely couldn’t have made it this far without the help of a few key people including my business coach. And whether you call it a mentor, a coach, or a consultant, I am a firm believer that small business owners (and probably all business owners for that matter) need help from someone who can guide them through the difficulty of running a business, or at the very least to be a sounding board for ideas and issues that come with owning your own company. I’ve had a business coach for years, and I honestly can’t imagine that there will ever come a day when I would be in business without one!

It makes all the difference to have someone help you take a step back from the daily issues and concerns of your business and get some perspective. We often need to define a new path when things aren’t working the way we expected them to. Or we need a support system to give us a boost when we’re feeling worn out or worse, burned out. And I love bouncing ideas off of my coach and to have him say: “That’s great, but what about…” It helps me open my mind to other possible solutions I hadn’t envisioned and to focus on new revenue channels and ideas. Plus he keeps me on track when I have too many great ideas and want to try them all at once. Yes friends, I coach other people in business, and even a business coach needs a business coach.


But here’s the thing – you only get out of business coaching what YOU put into it. Advice and guidance are great, but the coach isn’t actually going to do the work for you. That’s YOUR job. Trust me, there are plenty of times when I wished someone else would make the hard decisions for me, or would take the “not fun stuff” off my plate. But that’s not what a coach is there for.

You can have a lot of people cheering you on, or coaching from the sidelines, but this race is really YOURS to run. We all have to remember that. If you aren’t willing to put in the hours and hard work that it takes to run your business, certainly no one else is going to do it for you.


You are the one that has to buckle down and get your finances under control, work on business development, market your services and products, and decide on your company’s branding and direction. Yes, others can give you their opinions and ideas, but they can’t – and shouldn’t – be the ones making the decisions.

It is really really hard work to build a successful business. And working with coaches and mentors can help lift some of the stress that comes with it. But ultimately, reaching your goals and your business potential is your responsibility. If you want fame and fortune or even just fulfillment and financial freedom, you need to make it priority and really commit to doing the work.

So get your business in great shape and commit to running the very best race you can! Plus find that perfect mentor or coach to guide you and cheer you on all the way to the finish line! If you do that, I know you will be a winner in every sense of the word.

And remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Good luck!







PS – If you’re interested in private coaching with me, I would love to help you develop a gameplan for your business today! Learn more here!

Before and After: An Organized Kitchen

Posted by

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 9.09.38 AM

The kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in the house, especially if you have young kids. It’s the dumping ground for mail and backpacks, the central cooking and eating center, the gathering spot, and often a major spill zone.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 9.07.26 AM

One of my favorite kitchen renovations was definitely that hub for a young family. The kitchen was too small and didn’t have enough storage so, like most homes, it was cluttered and sometimes chaotic. It was also dated, with old light fixtures and cabinetry.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 9.09.50 AM

My number-one goal for the space was to lighten it up and to make it really function for this family, with lots of storage and seating areas. First we expanded the footprint of the kitchen, giving it much-needed extra space by taking in the back porch.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 9.07.58 AM

I also lightened everything up, allowing the natural light to flood in, and giving the kitchen a beautiful palette that is inspired by the seashore (a favorite destination for the family).

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 9.10.12 AM

I expanded the windows, making them wider to allow even more light into the room. And I gave the ceiling the illusion of more height by adding the beams and painting the whole thing a gorgeous white.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 9.07.48 AM

I also rearranged the footprint so each appliance was in a more functional zone, all within easy reach of a central cooking spot for the person preparing the meal.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 9.10.24 AM

Adding a ton more storage was the real key! The cabinets go straight up to the ceiling, taking advantage of every square inch and helping to eliminate the clutter that can accumulate in the kitchen.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 9.10.02 AM

Those baskets tucked into the island give the kids a place to drop their papers, bags, and toys so they won’t be dumped on the counter. It’s a great way to hide the clutter when guests come over, too.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 9.10.44 AM

And I also added a built-in banquette in the breakfast area that has storage under the seat, making this a super-organized and high-functioning kitchen for a busy family.

What do you think of this kitchen makeover? Do you have enough storage in your kitchen? Let me know in the comments section below!