Posts Tagged ‘Dunes and Duchess’

New York City Holiday House with Traditional Home Magazine

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Hi Friends,

Thanks so much for your patience with my lack of blogging of late. I have been so busy with travel during September and October, that I just can’t seem to get to everything.

But I didn’t want to wait another minute to tell you about the amazing Showhouse that I am participating in with Traditional Home Magazine. It is in New York City on the upper East side (63rd and 5th Avenue to be exact) and it’s called Holiday House. I am so honored to have designed Traditional Home’s sponsored room and to be in a showhouse with the likes of Design Greats Eric Cohler, Charlotte Moss, Geoffrey Bradfield, Vincente Wolf and many more big names in the design industry.

The Opening Gala for Holiday House was last night and what a great party it was! Beginning today, the house is open for tours daily and believe me- it is one showhouse you won’t want to miss.

Holiday House is an interesting concept in which designers create rooms based on a holiday theme. Now not all the “holidays” are the traditional ones.  Mine, in fact, is called Spring Forward and it is in celebration of the time each Spring when we “Spring Forward”, but it is also a play on words as the room concept is built around being “Fashion Forward”.

In my space you will find all sorts of fashion references and couture detailing beginning with my classic color palette (for both fashion and interiors) of black and white inspired by the Phillip Jeffries wallcovering that graces my space and is magnified by these chic paintings by Kansas City artist Jane Booth. Oh, and did you notice my black and white Faux Bois fabric from my Tobi Fairley Home Collection?

Other details like grosgrain ribbon trim, applique and embroidery on the drapery panels, contrast welting on my channel-back banquettes, and the sexy curves of my Hickory Chair slipper chairs all bring to mind a feminine fashionista.

In fact all my gorgeous furniture is from Hickory Chair and what a pleasure it was to work with them once again on a successful show house!

And to top it all off, my delicate chandeliers from Canopy Designs and these TO DIE FOR vintage Murano Emerald lamps from Swank lighting are the “jewelry” of my design.

And for those of you who are a fan of Dunes and Duchess, you won’t want to miss how great their double sconces look flanking my fireplace. I think it is the best I have seen these beauties look yet (if I say so myself!) And don’t miss seeing my GORGEOUS black natural fiber Cortina rug from Merida Meridian. It’s Yummy!

I’d like to thank all these amazing vendors that worked with me including Holiday House sponsors’ Pratt and Lambert Paints and NDI.  And a big thank you to Mountjoy Custom Drapery, Michael Savoia, Personal Touch Movers, Freddy and Sandy from Creative Strategies, Traditional Home Magazine and the Holiday House staff and volunteers! We couldn’t have pulled this off without all these great partners.

So if you are in the New York area or will be between now and  November 18th, you MUST go see the Holiday House. And the best news is that it benefits such a great cause, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. This is a cause that is very close to my family because my husband’s mom died of breast cancer before I had the pleasure of knowing her. I also have a young friend (who is only 29 and a former member of my design team) who is currently fighting breast cancer. So PLEASE take the time to see this gorgeous designer showhouse and help this very important cause!

I look forward to hearing what you all think of my “Spring Forward” design. And I will be back soon with many more exciting blog posts because I have SO much to tell you that has been happening over the last few weeks and months.

Oh and speaking of exciting things…If you are in the New York area or will be there next week, please come have breakfast and hear me speak at Astra in the D & D building with Traditional Home and design celebs Philip Gorrivan, Patrik Lonn, Anne Foster Maxwell of Tilton Fenwick, Gideon Mendelson and blogger and author Ronda Carman of All the Best blog,along with the Scottish Textile Industry.

One of the things I haven’t had time to get you up to speed on is the FANTASTIC trip that I took with Traditional Home and these amazing designers to Scotland in June.  I will be bringing you an inside look at my trip to Scotland here on the blog very soon, but you won’t want to miss hearing all about our amazing experience touring Scottish Textile mills first hand on Tuesday, October 30th at 10am.

And as an added bonus, see the chairs each of us designed using Scottish Textiles and great frames from Edward Ferrell + Lewis Mittman. (Hint: Mine is both Scottish and perfect for Breast Cancer Awareness Month!! #thinkpinktartan)

So as you can see, New York is the place to be over the next week and I hope to see you there!!


Designer Mailbag Reveal with Dunes and Duchess!

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It’s time for another Designer Mailbag reveal! This month’s lucky winner is…drum roll, please…Betsy from Lake Forest, Illinois!!

Here’s a bit of what Betsy had to say in her entry letter:

Dear Tobi,

One of our favorite rooms and the most unique in our home is a conservatory that overlooks our backyard. Sadly I have been at a loss for how to decorate it and have just used a collection of things we already had and it looks tired and uninspiring! We want to be able to use this room as the heart of our summer entertaining as well as have a quiet place to sit and read and enjoy the view of the backyard. I am a huge fan of your work and would love to see what you’d envision for this space!

Yours sincerely, Betsy S.; Lake Forest, IL

Thanks so much for your entry Betsy! Let’s take a look at your space…

BEFORE: Sunroom

Since you mention that this room looks out in to your backyard, I think using a similar “natural” color scheme of blue and greens will make it feel like two spaces that flow together. This palette can also help to freshen up this much loved sunroom that you refer to as “tired and uninspiring.”

AFTER: Inspiration Rendering for Updates

Pretty dramatic change, right??

One of the easiest (and often most affordable!) ways to update a room is by painting it. You can inject new life into this room simply by painting the brick walls with Sherwin Williams Alabaster 7008. While you’re at it, go ahead and paint the end table in the same color to coordinate.

Then, add a pop of fresh color to the neutral background by painting your coffee table in Sherwin Williams Meander Blue 6484. Isn’t that a fabulous color? It reminds me of a wide open sky!

Next, I would continue this theme with an indoor/outdoor rug in a similar color scheme. This “Sidebar” rug from Dash and Albert is a great fit!

To refresh your sofa add a few Regatta Wave Pillows from my home collection.

I also love the idea of hanging a mirror on the back wall to pull the space together and offer a focal point. Try this Currey & Company EOS Mirror from Candelabra.

Naturally, you’ll need a few accessories for your newly painted coffee table. I suggest bringing in a bit of the beach with a large shell (Oly Studio Lombok Ornament from Candelabra). If the beach is not your thing, you can always add a sculpture that’s reflective or your style or perhaps another place you love.

I also always like to accessorize a coffee table with my favorite stack of books to complement the room in theme content and color! Go to, browse their thousands of coffee table book titles and find the stack that’s right for you and your new space!

FINALLY, the big surprise for you is from this month’s sponsor, Dunes and Duchess. It’s a must-have finishing touch for this new space —  a fabulous Turned Lamp!!!

I know this lamp is going to look great with your room’s new palette and will give you extra light for lounging and reading books at night!

Special thanks to Dunes and Duchess for sponsoring this month’s Designer Mailbag and for giving Betsy this gorgeous lamp to get her makeover moving!

Stay tuned for our next Designer Mailbag call for submissions!
xo, Tobi

My Gift to You…Designer Mailbag Call for Submissions!

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Happy Mother’s Day to all you lovely ladies out there!
I hope your day is off to a good start. I couldn’t let this special holiday pass without giving you a treat. After all, being a mom is one of the most important (and sometimes trying!) jobs out there.

So, as you may have guessed my gift to you is this month’s Designer Mailbag Call for Submissions. If you have a room that could use a refresh, I’m here to help!!

Last month, I helped Annie from Chicago update her loft’s entry/dining area. She wanted fresh accessories and some ideas for incorporating the furniture she already had in place. This sketch shows a few of the ideas I had for the space, including some pretty fabulous lamps from Modern Chic Home.

Read the full story on Annie’s Designer Mailbag update here.

Best of all, this month we have another fabulous sponsor — Dunes & Duchess!!

If you aren’t familiar with this line, you should be! Just look at all these gorgeous lamps and candelabras.

I love that many of their pieces have a cottage or beachy-like feel to them. Read more about Dunes & Duchess in this recent Sunday Showcase where I featured some of their latest products. I can’t wait to use some of these in one of your rooms.

Ok, now for the entry guidelines…Here’s what you need to do to enter:

  1. Snap a few pics of your space that’s in need of a few cosmetic updates. Be sure to take the pics from a few different angles.
  2. Write a brief note about any particular areas you want to address or any problems that keep the room from working for you.
  3. Send all of this to me at no later than midnight on Sunday, May 20th.
  4. Cross your fingers for good luck!

Happy Mother’s Day!
xo, Tobi


Sunday Showcase: Dunes and Duchess

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Lately I’ve been fortunate enough to soak up some sun and relaxation! I got to spend a few days poolside with my family on a recent trip to Arizona and another fun day at the river when I returned to Arkansas. The combo reminded me of all the things I love about the sun and water…and a great line that celebrates this type of lifestyle with beautiful pieces.

Dunes and Duchess is the brainchild of photographer Michael Partenio and stylist Stacy Kunstel and I must say they are a talented duo!


So many of these designs remind me of a beachside cottage! It’s truly this pair’s expertise and I’m loving these fresh new pieces that are just out for spring and summer…

Where can you find Dunes & Duchess? Retailers around the nation carry the line, including Barneys. See the full list at You can also send purchase inquiries to

Hope you’re soaking up some sun this weekend!



Sunday Showcase: Dunes & Duchess

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 Photographer Michael and stylist & editor Stacey joined creative forces and became Dunes and Duchess in 2010, and continue designing uniquely creative accents for the home.

This gorgeous candelabra demands attention with it’s depth and dimension. What a great way to add a statement piece to your tablescape while adding some light! Plus, it’s available in multiple colors!

I absolutley LOVE these aqua pieces! The fresh light color simply highlights the beautiful lines of these designs.


These handsome double sconces are a must have!

Dunes and Duchess candelabra in Paris.

Through their products and photographs, it’s evident that these two artists are romantics at heart! For more creations by Dunes and Duchess, visit their website and blog.