Posts Tagged ‘color’

New House Diary: Inspiration for My Living Room

Posted by

New House Diary

With yesterday’s Which Would You Choose post, I finally moved into the all-important living room for my new house. So it’s the perfect time to show you my inspiration for that room.

One thing I love to do in my projects is to make sure that every person living in the space has a say in the design – after all, it’s their home, too! That’s no different in my own house, and I’m thinking carefully about my decisions so that my husband and my daughter will be as happy and comfortable in the rooms as I am!

In the living room, I’d like to use that idea of balance and showcase a mix of masculine and feminine details. I’ve been so inspired by runway looks, and what has been catching my eye recently is a classic herringbone pattern and the new big floral designs that are coming for spring. You know I love to mix patterns, so this is a great place to balance a menswear-inspired fabric with a gorgeous (and more feminine) floral.


(John Elliott & Co.)

I also still love grey as a neutral - it has such a calming quality and it’s the perfect background for pops of color. And the colors I’m thinking of are moodier hues, like dark blue and cobalt.


(Designer Ulyana Sergeenko)

I’ve seen these deeper and muddier colors becoming more and more popular in Europe – and I think they add a lot of interest and drama to a room. This little vignette from New England Home captures a bit of that inspiration for me.


Here are a few more fabulous rooms that are inspiring me and my living room design:

Phoebe Howard

(Phoebe Howard’s room in House Beautiful)

plum furniture

(Plum Furniture)

blue chair

(from An Afternoon With…)

So what do you think of my inspiration shots for my living room? Next week we’ll look at the floorplan – how it is right now, and what I plan to change. And coming up soon, we’ll also have to talk about the paneling that is currently in the living room – yikes!

Thanks for joining me on this journey!









Before and After: Kitchen and Family Room

Posted by

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 2.38.50 PM

We’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen on my blog in the last week or two, haven’t we? There is nothing I love more than a good kitchen renovation, and this week’s featured project was one of my favorites!

It’s Halloween and I thought a peak at the before of this space might give you a scare! It’s certainly scary when you imagine a family of 8 using this space. As you can see below in the before shot, this tiny little space would never have worked for such a big family. Eek! I took their existing kitchen and, with the help of Carolyn Lindsey of Yeary Lindsey Architects and Contractor Scott Greenwood, we expanded it into a large family room. You can see the work in progress below. The overhead beam and columns (you’ll see them in a moment) are where the back wall of the house used to be. 

Kitchen Before (1)



In the after photo below, it’s more clear how we opened up the kitchen to the larger great room behind it. The turquoise cabinets and matching backsplash coordinate with the rest of the open-concept room. In a large area I like to wrap the space in one color which makes it then work as a neutral. This space may have looked busier with white cabinets because the contrast would cause the eye to stop. This blue wall of lovely cabinetry makes for a seamless transition across the space that’s easy on the eye and this sea-inspired color is easy on the blood pressure with 6 kids in the house.

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 2.38.50 PM

To give you more insight, we took out the back wall (on the left of this image below) and expanded beyond what was a super-small kitchen and breakfast area. That’s how we creating the large family room.

Kitchen Before (4)

In the family room’s mid-construction photo, you can see the beginnings of the fireplace, wet bar, and the bookshelves. This was designed to be the focal point of this great gathering space.


The after shot below, looking towards that same set of bookshelves, really showcases the color in this room. The shades of blue offer a serene look, and was inspired by this family’s time spent on or near the water. The home has to work for 8 people–five girls and three guys, so I really wanted it to appeal to all of them, and blue really is everyone’s favorite color.

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 2.44.14 PM

As for functionality, I wanted an open plan that would allow each member of the family to be included in meal prep, entertaining, dinner time, and so many more activities. As you can imagine, this small peninsula just was not enough room for everyone.

Kitchen Before

You can see the beginnings of a more spacious gathering area in this photo.


Isn’t it amazing what a transformation color and pattern can make? This after shot really shows that this is an all-inclusive space for a great blended family!

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 2.48.33 PM

Let me know what you think of the transformation of this kitchen! Oh, and Happy Halloween! Be safe everyone and I’ll see you for another “Spooky” before and after transformation soon.









Tobi TV: Kids Rooms with Kick

Posted by


It’s almost Halloween, so this week is all about the kiddos. But I love making every day all about the kids in their own spaces by creating kids’ rooms with “kick,” lots of bright colors and fun! After all, your little ones are special every day, not just on holidays. So you’re stimulating little minds with these spaces, while also giving them rooms that will spark their imaginations and allow them to dream!

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 11.44.47 AM

In my daughter’s most recent bedroom, I used her favorite color at the time. It’s important to give kids a lot of input into what their room looks like, so they really feel at home there. I also gave her a daybed that she could use both for lounging and sleeping, and of course we set up a desk for her homework. In our new home, her room is on its way to something more grown-up with brighter colors and hints of her favorite color now…BLUE!

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 11.53.00 AM

It’s key to combine function, style, and creativity in a child’s room, so here are some tips that will help you create that perfect space:

Let’s recap those tips that will help you give your kids’ rooms a “kick”:

1. Use accessories that not only provide color, but also sneak in a little educational value! Use maps, globes, and charts to bring in bold color and bright ideas.

2. Create an art station with a magnetic chalkboard. Offer bins of chalk, magnetic letters and poetry, as well as fun stencils to spark that creativity!

3. Design “zones” in the room, for sleeping, lounging, homework, and play. Give your child “ownership” of their room with places for them to hang out with friends, to study, or to just dream!

4. Function is all-important in a kid’s room, so consider how you’re using each square foot of space. You can fit beds into dormer windows to create more room, or use multifunctional pieces of furniture that can serve more than one purpose. And no matter what – don’t forget lots of storage!

Use these tips to kick your kids’ rooms up a notch! And let me know what ideas you love to use in your children’s spaces. Also, be sure to share this video with your friends who have kids, too!

Happy Decorating with your Kiddos and Happy Halloween Week, Y’all!









New House Diary: Breakfast Room Color Palette

Posted by

New House Diary

We’re moving into the breakfast room for New House Diary, and while we’ve discussed the table and whether there will be a banquette or a TV in the room, we haven’t really talked about my favorite design element: Color!

Last fall, I taught a course on color for House Beautiful and creativeLIVE and we really dug deep into this topic. Color has a huge impact on your mood and emotions, it can even impact your metabolism! So this is a key room for a color discussion.

Yellow is a fun color for a breakfast room! It’s cheery and bright, and it has the added bonus of energizing you and giving you a better metabolism, which is perfect for a morning area, right? The only downside is that people tend to lose their temper more in a yellow room, and we don’t want that!

Margie Bromilow

(Design by Margie Bromilow)

Blue is one of my favorite colors, and it has a calming influence. Studies show it lowers blood pressure and relaxes you, which is a great way to start the day! Blue is also a social color, it makes people interact and it is the most-loved color for the majority of us. So blue is definitely in the running. It is certain to show up in some other places in this home, so maybe the Breakfast Room, too.

Virginia McDonald

(Design by Virginia McDonald)

Green would be an interesting choice! It’s the most restful color for the eye, which is perfect for those “just woke up” eyes. And it also promotes togetherness and serenity – both good qualities in a gathering room like this one. But I haven’t really been planning for any green in this home, even though it’s sort of my signature color.

Jen Langston Interiors

(Design by Jen Langston Interiors)

I could consider a little vitamin C with pops of bright orange in the breakfast room – it’s definitely an energizing color that stimulates excitement and fun! So there is another great color to consider.

Jay Jeffers

(Design by Jay Jeffers)

Or maybe I need to mix some of these great colors for another unique Tobi Fairley combination. With all of these great colors to choose from, I know can’t go wrong! Tell me your opinion below for what color best suits this Color Girl! I can’t wait to unveil the finished room for you!










House Beautiful Color:The Perfect Shade for Every Room

Posted by

hbx-color-book-mdn-1Who knew that House Beautiful came out with a fabulous book on color? It hit bookstores on October 1, 2013 while I was having a crazy busy travel schedule and didn’t get the news.


But even more exciting for me than just owning this gorgeous volume on color with amazing how to’s for incorporating all colors into your home in a big way or as accents, is the fact that when I opened the book I found two of my rooms featured inside. One a gorgeous and shiny double page spread right at the front.


There are so many things to love about this book like the inclusion of many of the best paint colors featured in House Beautiful’s monthly column on paint from top designers. The book is broken into sections by color and runs the gamut from blue to green to yellow and red and even pink and purple. And there’s a fun feature with each color way incorporating products and helping you pair colors well together.

So be sure not to miss this fun new book on color. And I’ll be back tomorrow with a list of my other favorite books that make the perfect Holiday gift.

Happy Reading! xo,

Tobi Signature


P.S. Want more on color from House Beautiful and Me? You may have seen mention in the latest issue of HB of this cool resource. Consider buying my How to Use Color in Home Design course where I partnered with House Beautiful Magazine and CreativeLIVE to bring you an in-depth, 3 day course full of everything you need to know to add color to your home with success. You can buy it here on sale for $99.00 (regularly $149.00) as all CreativeLIVE courses are on sale through New Year’s for their holiday special.

P.P.S Plus I’m teaching 2 more courses with CreativeLIVE and House Beautiful in January on What’s your Home Design Personality, all about finding your design style, and in March Function Driven Interior Design, which is all about making your space, big or small, really work for you! So you can sign up to watch those courses for free when they run live or you can go ahead and buy all 3 of my courses with House Beautiful for your virtual library during the CreativeLIVE Holiday sale for a bundled price of $249.00 (regularly $297.00). Plus you can even apply to be in my studio audience live in San Francisco for the January and March courses. So Join me in San Francisco for some design fun. Hope to see you there!