Posts Tagged ‘Entertaining’

Tobi TV: Clean Scene

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I love to cook and I love to entertain – but what I’m not as enthusiastic about is cleaning up after a party or a big meal! However, I do have a few solutions that I turn to in my interior designs to help keep the kitchen organized and to make clean up a breeze!


For example, as you can see in the photo above, I like to include a lot of storage in the kitchens I design. It helps with organization and it gives you a place to quickly stow clutter when guests drop by!

It’s also a great idea to keep plenty of towels on hand for spills and quick clean up – so I added bars for extra towels in this kitchen.


But my best tip for keeping the kitchen super-spotless during parties and cooking sessions is to include two dishwashers in the design – yes, two! One can run while the other hides dirty dishes out of the way until it’s full, making the kitchen look clean at all times!

I love to design open-plan kitchens, so it’s also important to have a quiet dishwasher that won’t disrupt conversations with friends or family. And as Thermador’s brand ambassador, I can tell you that they have one of the quietest on the market. The Star-Sapphire Dishwasher is so quiet it offers a Time Remaining PowerBeam that shines the cycle time remaining on the floor. Otherwise, you might not know it’s even on!

Let’s take a look at this video I recently did in a client’s kitchen that shows you how amazing that Thermador dishwasher really is:

Wow! Can you believe that a dishwasher could complete a cycle in 20 minutes? Now that’s a quick clean up.

So let’s review my tips for designing a kitchen that keeps things neat and tidy:

1. Include lots of storage so your kitchen can always look organized and spotless.

2. Consider little details like extra towel bars to keep cleaning items close at hand.

3. Dual dishwashers are a lifesaver if you like to entertain or if you cook a lot. They make cleaning a breeze!

What are your favorite tips for keeping your kitchen clean? Let me know in the comments section below!








Tobi TV: Take a Seat

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Have you ever had a party and run out of enough seats for your guests? I’m always wishing for that one extra seat! So what’s a hostess to do?

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I like to use furniture that serves more than one purpose – like an ottoman that also works as a coffee table. That really helps your guests to make themselves comfortable in your home anytime. Let’s take a look at a few more of those multifunctional pieces:

See how those little things – like an extra seat – can mean a lot? Let’s recap what we saw:

1. Think about using a great leather bench. They can work at the end of a bed, or in a hallway. And they definitely provide a great place for guests to perch!

2. For CR Laine, I designed small ottomans that fit right under a table. That way they’re out of the way when they aren’t needed, but are easily pulled out for extra seats or surfaces at a party.

3. I also love my little bench ottomans, called Lena. They are a bit like a bench, a bit like an ottoman, and a whole lot of stylish seating!

So remember that the perfect party always includes making your guests comfortable with that great extra seat!








Brand Ambassador for Thermador

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I am SO excited to announce that I am now brand ambassador for Thermador, the American luxury kitchen appliance brand that provides real innovations for real cooks! I have been a fan of Thermador for a long time – I grew up enjoying delicious meals my mom prepared on her Thermador range, and I am so excited to be able to talk about their amazing products for both designers and consumers!


I will be providing great new ideas and trends on several of the company’s channels, like its blog and newsletters. We’ll be talking about kitchen design, how to personalize your kitchen so it functions for YOU, how to choose the right appliances, and so much more. You know how I love to cook, so of course there will also be recipes!


The Thermador team is top-notch and really devoted to creating the best tools for people who really do love to cook, bake, and entertain, and the company has some cutting-edge and innovative designs that I can’t wait to show you!

My first blog post for Thermador goes up later today on, and it will show you how much fun I had cooking with my mom and my daughter at Thermador’s Experience & Design Center in California! It was an amazing day, and I definitely got some great ideas for the appliances I’m purchasing for my brand new kitchen – which we start renovating in 3 weeks. EEK!

Let me know what kitchen topics are the hottest for you right now – and I’ll get cooking on great new tips and ideas with Thermador!









Tobi TV: Clever Kitchens

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In a kitchen, you don’t need a ton of space to make it work for you. In fact, I like to design smaller kitchens to really test my ability to create a fabulous, functional space.

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Because the kitchen is usually the centerpiece of the home, it always becomes a gathering space, doesn’t it? And there are plenty of ways that you can entertain your friends and family in the kitchen without feeling like you’ve run out of room. Let’s look at the great kitchen of one of my favorite clients for a few tips. It’s not a small kitchen, but it’s not huge either and we really packed a lot of great function and detail in this room. Take a look:

Don’t you just love that space? I do! Let’s recap those tips for the kitchen.

1. A custom-built island can be the perfect multi-functional item for prepping, serving, and gathering, even homework!

2. Try panel-front appliances instead of stainless steel or other materials. It looks just like your cabinetry and makes your kitchen look larger.

3. Punch up your neutral kitchen with color, whether from a great range with red knobs or a fabulous green island with a cafe counter top!

Those tips put the fun in functional! How would you create your perfect cooking space? Tell me what you think and leave a comment below!







New House Diary: Dining Room Color Palette

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New House Diary

As promised, I am back with the design of my own home. It’s getting very real and I am starting the demolition of this place in just about 6 weeks. So it’s time to really start to dig into my favorite part of the design process (color, pattern, and fabric) for the rooms we haven’t touched on yet. Today I thought I would give you all a sneak peak of my dining room color palette.

I was inspired by some of the colors in my CR Laine showroom debut last month, like the softness of this blush against the bright pop of chartreuse. I love the soft pink with the acidity of the green. But I want to tweak this color combo just a bit in my own home by using rose and yellow!

CR Laine Showroom Inspiration

I think my dining room should be bright and fun, but still sophisticated, like these amazing yellow lamps from Jan Showers. I will be using these in my dining room for sure! I purchased them a while back and have been waiting to build a room around them. Sort of like that Kohler plumbing commercial where the lady asks to build an entire house around one fabulous faucet. Remember?

Jan Showers Lamps

I am going softer in some areas of my home but for the dining room, I’m thinking those fun pops of color I love would look great mixed with a fabulous floral wallpaper! What do you think? I’m excited about the bold yellow in my Riverside Penthouse pictured here, but my yellow will be a bit more lemon mixed with a rosy-pink. And my wallpaper…well it will be more contrasting than this space with a light background. So it may be inspired by this project of mine below but the result will be very different.

Riverside Penthouse Inspiration

Isn’t it great to be inspired by other’s homes but be able to pull inspiration and ideas to create something that is totally YOU?!? It’s especially fun to be designing for my own house. I don’t get to do it very often and I can already imagine myself entertaining in my newly remodeled dining room by Christmas.

I’ll be back next week with more ideas, but for now I need your help deciding how to use these fabulous colors of yellow and pink! Could you embrace pink in your life? What would others in your family think? Leave me a comment and let me know if you are bold enough to have a little pink in your home. Or maybe a lot of it!