Posts Tagged ‘New House Diary’

Before and After: Outdoor Oasis

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I’ve had an amazing response to my new pool and patio that’s featured in the June issue of Traditional Home! And since we’re starting a fabulous long holiday weekend today, I thought I’d show you the before shots of my home’s outdoor area and tell you a little about how I transformed it!

The existing pool and patio had an aggregate concrete surface and crumbling tile surround. It was way beyond time for a renovation, and I couldn’t wait to get rid of this old and battered concrete.

With the help of outdoor living expert David Munsey III of Better Lawns & Gardens, we resurfaced the patio with black-and-white Techo-Bloc Tux Pavers and the pool with black-and-white frost-proof tile from Daltile. The look speaks to my personal style and to the age of the house, which was built in 1968.

Here’s a shot I took of from the sunroom just as they were about to pull up all that concrete. I was so happy to see that old surface go!

As you can see in the before photo above, the sunroom of my house overlooks the outdoor area, so visual flow between indoors and out was especially important. I wanted to take colors and motifs from my interiors to the patio to make the decor look seamless and integrated.

For the outdoor decor, I wanted to have that 1960s glam vibe, like Palm Beach or the Beverly Hills Hotel. To enhance the cabana feel, I added a valance and draperies to the roof overhang.

And you know me, I have to have color! So I added energetic splashes of pink and green, as well as preppy stripes for extra kick. I furnished the patio with pieces from a line of Chinese Chippendale furniture that I designed for Woodbridge Furniture. And the Duralee fabric on the cushions feels like comfy terry cloth, which is great for a pool area!

To make gatherings even more memorable, there’s an outdoor music system, a pink flamingo float (named Frankie, after Frank Sinatra), and a giant chess set. I found chess pieces online that fit perfectly on the checkerboard tile. How fun is that? And I think Brooks Pools did an amazing job on our pool renovation.

Here’s the fabulous landscape designer David Munsey III enjoying my new patio with me – we may never go indoors!

So what do you think about this new outdoor space? Don’t you love being outside in the summer months? Let me know in the comments section below!







New House Diary: Wonderful Wallpaper

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New House Diary

It’s getting more fun by the day around here. I can’t wait to show you all the progress. Things are happening everywhere including in my yoga room, which I’m dying to use any day now.

Yes, yoga would be perfect right about now. I definitely need a little zen since I’m so busy with other people’s projects that I don’t have time to work on my own. Isn’t that the story of a designer’s life? But it is fun to come home each night to surprises that happen while I am away at the office. And thankfully this week they are GORGEOUS surprises.

My recent days have been full of wallpaper progress. If you know me at all, you know I am crazy about it. Just last week in my Tobi TV episode, you got a dose of why I love wallpaper so much. And trust me, there is a LOT of paper going in my house. Definitely more than the average home, for sure.

To keep you from waiting for ALL the pretty stuff when I can officially do the big reveal, here is a peek at 3 of the fabulous papers that have made their debut on our walls this week:


I never regret a Fret!


Oh Fromental, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways!


And a bit of Thibaut to make my daughters room sassy. I love how it looks with her frameless glass bathroom door – totally Turquoise.

Fun, right? Let me know what you think of all these pretty papers. And stay tuned because there will be much more in the way of wallpaper, upholstered walls, fabulous stair runners, gorgeous drapery and more happening at my house all summer long!



New House Diary: Hardware Happiness

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New House Diary

It’s all starting to seem real now that we are on week two of living in our remodeled home. And yes, subcontractors are still in and out daily, but now we are getting to the pretty stuff, so it’s worth the hassle!

Thankfully they are also adding a lot of function to the place. For example, our kitchen knobs were backordered for a week and it was so frustrating not being able to open our inset kitchen cabinets. You just don’t realize how often you open your cabinets until you can’t. Especially when your coffee pot is housed inside your new “coffee station” cabinet! But thankfully now they are installed and life is good again!


And on the topic of hardware, the kitchen isn’t the only place hardware is making me happy. Here’s a little peek at several spots that the hardware in my home is really jazzing the place up…




master cabinet


front door interior

Hope you enjoyed my little hardware party. It’s like jewelry for the home, and what gal doesn’t love some fab jewelry?


Tobi Signature







New House Diary: Dining Room Color Palette

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New House Diary

I am now less than a month from moving back into our house after all the renovations! After months of design, construction, and selections, the day will soon be here. I am pinching myself just thinking about it.

And as much as I would like to show you every single detail as soon as we move in, I won’t be able to do that. That may surprise many of you who’ve taken this New House journey with me, but when you’re a designer doing your own home, you want to eventually have that house published and if things go according to plans, you’ll see the big reveal before long in a glossy, colorful spread!

But that’s not the only reason I can’t show you the big reveal just yet. The main reason is because though the construction phase will soon be finished, that doesn’t mean that the design is complete. Next comes possibly my favorite part – the furnishings, drapery, and decorating. Plus some tweaks that can only come together once I am living in and really understanding how our newly redesigned home will work for us.

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S0 not to worry, I’ll still be able to show you design updates and “teasers” from my home like the one above for quite some time. And get ready, they are about to get really fun! Most of the “pretty” stuff will be happening in these last 30 days to the structure and with the decorating. Yes, settle in friends, we still have a few months on this journey before my masterpiece is complete!

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But for now, let’s take a peek at how the dining room is coming along. Here’s the updated view from the entry into that space. And that ceiling gives you a big color hint. That lovely pink on the ceiling is the fabulous paint from C2 called Belle’s Nose, from my friend Barry Dixon’s collection! Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s going to give the room a lovely glow.

But don’t start thinking this room is going to be too sweet. In typical Tobi style, there will soon be fabulous bold floral wallpaper in the dining room in richer shades of pink, yellow and charcoal gray. It’s a fashion-forward color scheme that is sophisticated and chic! And my beautiful new Jan Showers canary yellow lamps, will be the perfect POP in the space.

My husband isn’t quite sure what to think of the pink ceiling yet, but I certainly am – I love it! What do you think about the use of pink in the home and in particular the dining room? Does my color choice surprise you? Let me know in the comments section below!







New House Diary: The Laundry

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New House Diary

Sometimes in a home renovation – especially with an older home – you have to get a little creative to design a floorplan that really works for you. For example, one of the most important things to me was that I have a bigger kitchen. It’s where I spend a lot of time with family and friends, especially when I’m cooking with my daughter. To get that bigger footprint, a few sacrifices and tweaks had to be made. And the thing for me that was most affected was the laundry room.

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The laundry room in the old floorplan was in the general area of the powder room and wet bar, circled above. And it had to go so I could have the kitchen of my dreams – that was the priority! So where to place the new laundry room? Well, one day it came to me when I went into the garage. There was an original bank of shelving that ran all the way down one wall of the garage, with plenty of space to work and walk around, even with two cars in the garage. Those cabinets also shared a wall with the master bathroom, and was right outside the door to the mudroom, so I realized this could be the new laundry area!

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New cabinetry will make this area look fabulous again, and there’s plenty of room for my washer and dryer, as well as a sink, hanging rods, pull-out bins, and storage – really everything that I need or want in a laundry room!

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I also realized that the footprint of this area left some open space on an adjacent wall that would be perfect for another area that was on my wish list – a wrapping station! I am one of those people who loves to give gifts, especially if they are unexpected, and I also really enjoy wrapping those gifts in gorgeous papers, ribbons, and trims. So this new wrapping station will be used a lot!

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And the counter space and shelves above will be my planting and potting area perfect for my love of container gardening. There’s also plenty of room for a second refrigerator – a must-have for my family with all of our entertaining indoors and outdoors by the pool. Our garage has a quirky but charming feature of having a second smaller garage door on the back side that opens up to the pool area, so our garage is a great command central for all our pool-side entertaining and with the great breeze that blows through it when both doors are open, it’s cool and comfy and a great place shady place for seating and dining for parties and events.

Bor even more function, we can also have a broom closet with storage for cleaning supplies on the far end of the built-in- freeing up even more storage space in my kitchen for baking and cooking items.

So what do you think about my creative use of space? Which room would get the square footage priority in your home? Let me know in the comments section below!