Posts Tagged ‘color’

Before and After: Soft and Relaxing Living Room

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It’s Before and After Friday and today we’re looking at a living room remodel that is soft and relaxing. This busy house is for a blended family of 6 kids, and with all the hustle and bustle that goes on under this roof, it’s nice to have at least one space that is toned-down and a bit more quiet.

Living Room Before (3)

This project included a large addition, but this formal living space is part of the original home. It’s the first space you enter from the front porch (which is now covered and wraps around the house) and there is really no entryway or foyer in this home. The client wanted “pretty and soft” for this room. I often say, “the entry sets the tone for the whole home” and for this home that means this space has to be up to that challenge.  Though this household will often be busy and chaotic, that doesn’t mean that there can’t be some calm amongst the chaos. We even took inspiration from their love of the beach (which is their favorite place to relax and escape their busy life) when making fabric, color, and materials selections for this room.

So here is the blank slate before the remodel started.  The wall to the right has now opened up to a new hallway.

Living Room Before (2)

And here is the soft and subtle after. Soft doesn’t mean we can’t have color. The tones of blue here bring to mind sea and sky, accented with hints of pink for a bit of freshness. We kept the original front door for the charm and contrast it brings to the room.


Here is the view towards what is now the new dining room and a wraparound porch beyond…

Living Room Before (4)

I don’t have an official after of this corner of the space, but here’s an “installation shot” that will help you get perspective of how these rooms work together. Decisions on the accessories were being made at this point and the coral lamp didn’t make the final cut. This photo also shows us a glimpse of the Art Deco chandelier the client brought with her, befitting the age of the original part of this home.

crestwood before 1
And here is what the new dining room looks like that flows seamlessly from this soft living room design to something coordinated but a bit more dramatic.

crestwood dining

A look at the living room fireplace wall before. There is now a large opening on the left to access the addition.

Living Room Before

And a vignette of this pretty wall with fresh cut forsythia vines waiting to bloom for Spring, plus a better look at that fab antique chandelier!


And here is a tiny glimpse of what I did in the new hallway to transition my soft color palette to the newly remodeled upstairs kids’ zone.

crestwood stair

I hope you loved this sweet before and after. These colors have me wishing for Spring!

Happy Friday!


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New House Diary: Dining Room Inspiration

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New House Diary
It’s Thursday so that means it’s time for New House Diary. We have covered the details of the living room from top to bottom and I am thrilled with where it’s heading. Let’s move on to one of my other favorite rooms in the house…the dining room.


If you recall, I am moving the dining room to what the previous owner had as a large office/study. It will seat more people and be more functional. But more on that in another post soon. Today let’s look at a few of my favorite dining rooms for inspiration.

inverness dining

First of all, I am planning on re-using my existing dining chairs from my last dining room. I just love them! And although I hate to get rid of the crewel, I am ready for a new look. So these will be recovered for the new space. I often use the same classic shapes, forms, patterns, and colors in my work but the combination, application, and architecture make these go-to items look completely different.

I don’t plan to abandon my favorite signature details in my own home so lets look at how I have used similar things in a variety of inspiring dining rooms with remarkably different results. A few of these favorite ideas will likely show up in my own home.

Penthouse dining

This dining room I did for a client’s penthouse is going viral on Pinterest, Houzz, and Instagram at this very moment and it’s featured in the current Winter 2015 Rue Magazine color issue. The thing I love about it as inspiration for my new dining room is the wallpaper. I am interested in using a bold floral in my own home, but for all 4 walls instead of just one as I did here. I also love the pop of yellow in this chic space. And I am thinking about pairing yellow with PINK!

crestwood dining

Here’s another big floral dining room that I designed and there’s that yellow popping up again. This time it’s a little more golden. And mixed with chocolate brown, rich turquoise, and more traditional furnishings, it’s a far cry from the space above. Isn’t it interesting that I can use the same colors and some signature details like large floral prints over and over, but depending on the colors and the patterns they look nothing alike?

southern traditional dining

And here is another bold wallpaper in one of my dining room designs. This time it’s geometric. Recognize those chairs?  They are the same chairs that I have in my own home but looking TOTALLY different in the polka dot. I don’t use the same furniture pieces too often for clients, but when they are the perfect piece, then why not?!?! And these chartreuse drapes have a lot in common with the yellow ones above but certainly more of an acidic tone. Here’s a lavender ceiling that is akin to the pinky-lavender one in the penthouse above. But both are SO different.  One simple and traditional, the other glamorous and dramatic.

So don’t be surprised to see some yellow and pink in my new dining room. What I pair it with may surprise you, though! And a large floral wallpaper is a definite yes! Now to decide which one. I have a few in mind so stay tuned…




New House Diary: The Living Room Color Palette

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New House Diary

Well, it’s been a little while but we are back to my tour through the new house and back in the living room. But we haven’t quite finished the decisions in here.

Today let’s talk about the color palette in the living room. Here’s a hint.

color palette kuler

But first I have to tell you I am leaning towards keeping the walls intact in this room, not an open plan. Thanks for all your input on that. I see the pros and cons of both! And I will have things more open in my kitchen/breakfast/sunroom thanks to the passthrough - I am definitely leaving that or I wouldn’t have any natural light in my centrally-located kitchen. But in this space, like many of you, I am enjoying the cozy atmosphere with the fireplace and my built-ins. And since my room is so large – about 15 feet wide – and runs the full length of the south end of my house, I think it’s roomy enough to not to open it all up.

Sensible Hue SWI have also just about decided that the walls will be painted panels (not the ’60s paneling that currently exists – that baby’s coming down), but the traditional rail style of paneling painted in a lighter gray with gray beams on  the ceiling (the existing beams look great, so painting them is an option). I love this Sherwin Williams color: Sensible Hue. It’s in the running!

I am definitely covering the brick of the fireplace with paneling and putting a slab on the hearth. I love the brick but I want this room a bit more formal. For now I still have brick floors in the sunroom that we haven’t even talked about yet, so there is a chance that all the brick won’t go away.

living room floorplan

I am going with 2 sofas here instead of a sectional, but don’t worry, I do think a sectional will show up in another room. And I am keeping my existing swivels chairs with ottomans. My hubby isn’t getting a recliner but he gets a 65″ TV – let’s call it a compromise. Ha! I use the existing chairs (sitting in one now, actually), daily so I am not giving them up for a recliner that really isn’t my style.

I seem to be making decisions in this space left and right! Can you tell I am motivated to actually make this stuff start REALLY moving this year? It helps that I have been hanging out in fabulous penthouses and new construction projects for clients and then returning home to my dated abode.

blue doors

So what about the living room color palette, you ask? Well I am leaning towards my favorite color right now…cobalt! Yesterday I was shooting video for Tobi TV in the Riverside Penthouse, and I just never seem to tire of these suede doors.

donny osmond

And last week when I was a presenter in Dallas for the annual ARTS Awards, I wore this fabulous cobalt dress (and yes that’s Donny Osmond). It’s made from stretch jersey that feels like neoprene. You don’t even hem it, you just cut it off – so cool and high-tech! And it’s washable (seriously) and packable. I’m sure you could sleep in it and it wouldn’t even wrinkle. I love it so much, I’m thinking about just wearing this baby around the house. (kidding…sort of)


But no matter how many other colors I use in my home and my clients’ homes, I still always seem to come back to shades of blue. I’m sure there is a reason it’s the most popular color in the world. Seriously, studies show it is the favorite color in America and around the world. But you better believe that when I do cobalt, it won’t be the same ole cobalt I’ve done before. It won’t be crazy and modern like this space I did for the Penthouse that I absolutely adore. But the color will still be ELECTRIC! And I think I will love it just as much.

Pantone Universe

I LOVE this Pantone chip called Universe. But I’m thinking fabrics that are a little more “Tobi.” A tad bit more traditional, but not too much. I’m thinking something more like this floral. Oh how I love Designer’s Guild Fabrics!

designers guild

And paired with soft grays and menswear patterns, it could be fabulous! Don’t you think?

So now you can start to envision what the living room will look like. I’m ready. Let’s do this. But do leave me a comment and let me know what you would do. I’ve gotten accustomed to your feedback and ideas. It’s so much fun! Thanks for sharing.

See you soon!


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Tobi TV: Playful Play Spaces

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Tobi-TV-logo-600x332It’s Christmas week, and if you have kids, you know that you’re about to have a load of new toys that will all need a place to live in your home, right? I love creating playful play areas for my clients with kids! Whether I’m using bright colors, whimsical patterns, or personal touches, we always have fun designing rooms for imagination and play!

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 1.15.12 PM

Play areas are really where you can turn things up a notch when it comes to bright and cheerful looks that will spark creativity and activity! So let’s look at my top tips for designing those spaces:

Doesn’t that look like fun?! Let’s recap these tips for designing play spaces:

1. Create zones for play, like one for video games, a table and chairs for board games, a place for snacking, and even areas for reading or relaxing. Use every bit of space in the room to maximize function!

2. Use color and pattern – it creates lots of fun and lots of energy for the most play and creativity!

3. Think about performance fabrics in a playroom. Being able to wipe them clean with little effort will give you peace of mind!

4. Personalize the space with your own children’s art, with photos of them, or perhaps with art created of each one of them, like the fun silhouettes I designed of my client’s children.

I hope you’ll “play around” with these tips, and create a few of your own, for the best and most fun play room for your home! Let’s get creative for the holidays!









Tobi TV: Using Color with Confidence

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Today we’re talking COLOR – it’s my signature and what I’m known for! I love using bold hues in my home and in my clients’ homes, but I know some people are nervous about using color.

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 5.25.33 PM

So this week on Tobi TV, let’s look at some of my favorite colorful projects and then I’ll give you my best tips for using color with success! Let’s get started:

Those were colorful rooms, right? You can have the same result with color if you follow these tips:

1. Use a neutral background, like in my green living room. Although you see a lot of my signature kelly green in that room, if you look closely you’ll notice that the walls and major pieces are actually neutrals and the color is layered in. I also added some nice blue tones to balance the room.

2. Consider using varying shades of one color to saturate a room, like the many hues of blue I used in my client’s family room. That tone-on-tone approach creates a restful room with a lot of color.

3. Add your favorite punch of color to a room by painting pieces, like chairs or side tables or frames. You can select the perfect color for your room without having to search high and low for an item in that color.

4. Paint the back wall of bookshelves to add an unexpected bit of color, and consider using accessories on those shelves that are all in a single color.

5. Don’t forget about color in the outdoor spaces! You can use bold hues like coral and turquoise to create a sophisticated outdoor room.

I hope these tips will give you the confidence to go bold with color! It’s my favorite way to give a home a lot of personality! Let me know in the comments below how you like to color your world!