Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

2014 Year in Review

Posted by

2015 coming soonGosh, I can hardly believe that today is the day to take a look back at all I’ve accomplished this year. Since 2008, having a “Year in Review” has become my tradition here on the blog. That is SEVEN YEARS of celebrating my life, my accomplishments, and the joy my family and my job bring to me! I am a lucky woman because it seems like life gets better every year!

new year 2015 written in sand

And each year goes faster than ever. I’ve always heard that, but it’s really true, isn’t it? It’s like we just started January and before we know it, we are washing away that year and moving to the next. But I find it important to at least stop, if only for a day, to celebrate the memories and the blessings we experience with each passing year. And it’s great to be able to go back to these old blog posts of years past and see what joys they brought.

Today I have enjoyed my morning in my PJ’s, drinking coffee and looking back at 2013, which seems like a lifetime ago. And this afternoon preparing my list of accomplishments and highlights from 2014 definitely helped me go to a place of gratitude because of the many joys I’ve had in the last 12 months.

So first, let me say THANK YOU to all of you who have been a part of my extraordinary 2014. I had a goal of making 2014 Awesome and thanks to so many of you, it was more than that!

cb28ba73e3badcbec5a481f36a840201I have loved meeting many of you this year and bringing design into your homes and to your inboxes all year long.  And yes, I know this is the longest blog post ever, but it also gives me a chance to thank all the magazines, friends, designers, clients, and others who made my year spectacular! So if you can spare a few minutes (or an hour), I invite you to join me as I look back at the BIG moments from 2014 that are too good not to mention and remember today.

Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 9.40.10 AM (2)January 1, 2014, marked the launch of my new website on tobifairley.com. What a labor of love that was!

ActionAnd January also brought with it another tradition…deciding on my word of the year, which was Action. And boy did I take some major action in 2014!

FFF Invite Postcard Moov_Front_psI led an antiquing tour in Atlanta in sub-freezing weather (not your typical January in Atlanta). But I always welcome a reason to find new (and old) treasures for my clients and for me, even if it is literally 6 degrees and we are outside…in a tent…with no heat. Oh the glamorous life of a designer! Thanks Antique & Design Center of High Point for this opportunity.

DreamBizPart250x300-3-30-14

I launched my my first-ever telecourse that many of you joined me for to kick your New Year in gear. I hope it made a difference.

creativelive fashion photo

And I headed back to creativeLIVE with House Beautiful to bring design to the world at an accessible price.

creativelive

I even made it a mother-daughter trip with my mom in tow, and we celebrated my birthday a week early while we were there.

New House Diary

This year, I brought some exciting new series to the blog, including New House Diary – the journey of designing and remodeling my own home. Trust me, there is much more to do, so you will be seeing more of this in 2015 and hopefully (finally) some “reveals” of the place.

Tobi TV logo

tobitv1I also started Tobi TV. Video Blogging has been a goal of mine for a long time and so in 2014 I brought you dozens of new Tobi TV videos, with many more in the works for next year.

parma

The highlight of February was definitely my impromptu trip to Parma, Italy, thanks to the Antiques Diva. (Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, Toma!) A few days in Italy with my designer friends, Denise McGaha, Jon Call, and Mark Cutler and the fabulous Toma Clark Haines aka “the Antiques Diva” was inspirational and fabulous!

april publicity

And then March was a HUGE month for publicity…

IMG_5785

A lovely outdoor spread in At Home in Arkansas.

1509156_10152283513748044_328325108_n

bhgspreadA favorite project showed up in Better Homes and Gardens.

House Beautiful April color column

The color column in House Beautiful...

small space decorating

and I was still on Newsstands with the cover of the Spring Small Room Decorating Magazine.

TRH0414_CV1US_Page_1

And the BIGGIE…my April cover of Traditional Home Magazine and a 12-page spread hit newsstands and the internet. This was definitely one of the most exciting events of the year!

creativeliveday1

I also headed to my third creativeLIVE course with my family in tow in March. Thanks creativeLIVE and House Beautiful! These courses were a crazy amount of work but SO much fun!

road trip

wine country

You better believe we did a little Spring Break road trip to Wine Country (one of our favorite places in the world) for some convertible driving, Gott’s Hamburger eating, and Frank Family Wine buying fun!

hmagcover

And the publicity fun continued in April with international exposure of my own home on the cover of a Polish magazine.

decorate fearlessly

And in Susanna Salk’s latest design bible, Decorate Fearlessly. Thank you, Susanna. It is always a treat to be featured in your fabulous books!

sl april

Plus great little features in the April issue of Southern Living, talking about my favorite porch…

hgtv

and HGTV Magazine’s May issue with designer’s favorite value-priced fabric choices showed up this month.

wicked

More family travel was on the schedule in April when I took my mom and daughter to New York for a business trip and of course some fun. Wicked was on my daughter’s bucket list and she absolutely LOVED the show.

fun in nyc

And we got into a bit of other fun while in the Big Apple including a silly visit to Dylan’s Candy Store.

Lexington Home Brands

And April also brought the Spring High Point Market, where I gave a presentation with Krissa Rossbund (pictured above on the left), Sr. Design Editor at Traditional Home, on tips for getting published. It was the perfect complement to my April cover of their magazine.  This great event attended by dozens was all hosted by Lexington Home Brands in their stunning showroom. Lexington even generously gave away an all expenses paid trip to my Design A to Z course in Dallas to the lucky Laura Jens Sisino, shown with us here.  Thank you Lexington Home Brands for the fabulous breakfast and the opportunity!

master class

In May I was part of Traditional Home’s Master Class decorating series with 12 weeks of great design tips from Design “Masters.” It was an honor to be in this group!

10299866_1387179434903670_376223105_n

The summer was a blur this year with lots of ACTION that has resulted in several VERY exciting partnerships that we will be announcing in just a few weeks. But I did reserve a bit of time for hanging by my pool at my new home.

beach3
And I escaped to the beach for 2 WEEKS. Ahhhh!! The beach is my happy place, even when the storms roll in. It’s the only place I truly relax and in the midst of all my ACTION taking, I needed a break. Besides, it’s been a “bucket list” item of mine for years to take a two-week vacation with my family and I made it happen this year.

10467965_911160465576751_1731956361_n

We were also joined at the beach the second week by great friends. And I have already booked 2 weeks at the beach in 2015. Thanks to all these peeps for hanging with me when I don’t have much time to give them throughout the year!

chinese press

More international press came in June with a wonderful feature in a Chinese magazine.

lake

And July brought a great trip to the lake for the 4th of July.  A lot of family time was in order this summer for a mid year pick-me-up and it worked like a charm.

hamptons showhouse

Part of my busy summer included designing a room in the Traditional Home Hamptons Designer Showhouse with Duralee Fabrics.

Hampton's showhouse

Four trips to the Hamptons in two months is a rough life, right? But someone has to do it! :) A BIG Thank you to Duralee for being such a fabulous partner. Showhouses are expensive and labor-intensive and Duralee and its team was so fantastic to work with.

hampton showhouse friends

I have to say, it’s rough hanging out with my celebrity designer friends like Alexa, Phoebe, Jamie, and Libby in the Hamptons. Just kidding! It’s a dream and I am grateful for all these talented people in my life, too.

mario

And what fun visiting with the fabulous and very entertaining Mario Buatta who loved my room design with Duralee. What a compliment from a design icon.

At Home Cover

Then August rolled in with the cover of At Home in Arkansas, featuring one of my favorite client projects for a family with six kids.

disneyland

And I made my way to California with my daughter for business meetings, a fabulous tour of Thermador’s headquarters (Thanks Thermador!) and a whirlwind day in Disneyland. My nine-year-old and I walked 23,000 steps and enjoyed Big Thunder Mountain 8 times. My favorite parts of each year are when I can blend my work life with my personal one.

Image1b

In September I announced my exciting partnership and upcoming furniture collection with CR Laine. This is my first of 3 licensing deals that I agreed to this year and we will be announcing the others in just a few weeks with a few more in the works for 2015. This is where much of my action was focused for 2014 – negotiations and meetings. It was VERY exciting!

asid award

I was thrilled to win Gold (twice) at the South Central ASID awards in September and I was awarded a Silver, too.

oct th ann

Traditional Home also graciously included me in their 25th Anniversary issue which was a surprise!

dwell_w_dignity

dwell

In October I had the honor of being the honorary chairperson of the Dwell with Dignity Charity event, Thrift Studio, in Dallas. DWD is an AMAZING cause that helps impoverished and homeless families create beautiful and supportive environments that can help them get ahead in life or at least back on their feet.  I loved being able to bring awareness to this worthy cause. Thank you, Dwell With Dignity, for asking me.

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 11.10.33 AM

bistro

Next I headed to the Fall High Point Market and kicked off my partnership with CR Laine by revealing the new Bistro Cafe in their showroom that I designed, with gorgeous CR Laine furnishings and the help of Soicher Marin and their new removable wallpaper called Wall Couture. I couldn’t resist bringing my signature Kelly Green into the space.

IMG_3720
We even had a fun party in the newly designed Bistro for CR Laine’s top retailers to celebrate our impending launch! Thank you to CR Laine, Soicher Marin and the AMAZING CR Laine customers who were so kind and excited about my collection.

cl sl

I was honored to be a part of a fun talk with Southern Living and Coastal Living as they announced their new Designer Network. Thanks to both magazines for including me.

polish

polish magazine 2

Even more international features came in October with another spread in Poland…

r

r2

and also a gorgeous Russian feature.

mastermind events

October and November were also filled with my signature design courses – Design A-to-Z, Designer MBA, and also my Mastermind Fall Session. It was thrilling to have all my classes and my 3 Mastermind events this year filled with visits from design greats who are friends of mine like Alexa Hampton, Barry Dixon, Libby Langdon, Michelle Workman, Danielle Colding, Ron Woodson and Jaime Rummerfield, blogger extraordinaire Cassandra LaValle, Arteriors owner Mark Moussa, and many others, including my personal business advisors and attorney. A HUGE thank you to each and every one of these talents who joined me in making my Tobi Fairley courses better than ever this year! And a GIANT thank you also to our event sponsors Currey & Company, CR Laine, Studio Webware, Duralee, and Bernhardt Furniture.

real simple

I kicked off the holiday season by being included in Real Simple’s Holiday issue with my favorite paint colors.

In Master BedroomWe said goodbye to our sweet pup Harley this year, but had the joy of all her lovely memories and photos from the 14 years she was a part of our lives. What a precious member of our family she was.

Michigan

And then I rounded out the year with more design projects than ever. I’ve been doing presentation after presentation this December and even making chilly trips to Lake Michigan for a fun new-construction project in the works.  I can definitely say this is the busiest December of design work I have had in all my 15 years in business! So a HUGE thank you to my wonderful clients for the opportunity to create or transform their homes this year. It has been a joy working with you all.

Cr laine

Throw in all the fun I had selecting fabrics at the December Showtime Fabric Show in High Point for all my new CR Laine introductions that you will be seeing in the Spring, and December was jam-packed with design goodness.

So 2014 was truly all about ACTION. And lots of it. I haven’t even been able to announce or share it all with you yet. It was a “nose to the grindstone” sort of year for me. And you will continue to see many of the fruits of those labors revealed next year.  But I know it will have all been worth the work. I think there are those “head down” sort of years and then there are the years where you get to sit back and bask in all that you have done. I’m looking forward to the “basking” coming soon or better yet, the “sitting back”!

in one year

So here’s to 2014! It was a year of digging in my heels to take things to the next level. It was a year of hellos and good byes. It was full of blessings, too many to count.

Thank you

I want to say an enormous thank you to the countless editors and members of the media who have been so very kind to me this year including Traditional Home, Southern Living, House Beautiful, At Home in Arkansas, Better Homes and Gardens, HGTV Magazine, Real Simple, Small Rooms Magazine and the many international publications who included me this year. I don’t remember a year when I had any more press than this one and I owe a big debt of gratitude to all those who found my work and my ideas worthy of inclusion in their gorgeous publications.

Thank you to my Mastermind members, our consulting clients, and all those that attended our classes, courses and talks in 2014. It was a privilege to help you with your projects and your businesses!

And most importantly, I want to say thank you to my team at Tobi Fairley & Associates. I could never do any of this without your help and support. And THANK YOU to my family – especially my husband, my daughter, my mom, and my aunt who support me week-in and week-out to do all that I do on a daily basis. I have said it a million times, but it takes a whole lot of people to keep this one girl doing all that I do!

And though it seems impossible with this novel I have written, I am sure that I have forgotten someone who was part of my 2014. So to all of you that were a part of my year, thank you!!

Wow! What a year. So what was 2014 like for you? Please leave me a comment so I can celebrate your successes with you, too!

cheers to the new year

I wish you a VERY Happy New Year ahead, full of prosperity and joy. And I will see you back very soon as the new year is my favorite time each year. Oh, how I love intentions and resolutions and a fresh start and the all-exciting job of selecting my word for 2015!

the best

Join me here in 2015 for more design, travel, and inspiration. Cheers!

xo,

Tobi Signature

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Motivational Monday: Get Lost

Posted by

795b3d785811e3387db58b1505a61ad6

Things move so fast. We all feel pulled in a million directions every single day, especially on Monday. Sometimes we just need a break from the news, from electronics, from life.  So why not find a beautiful place and get lost–if only for a little while? It’ll all be there when you get back.

69f9936aeb09740a9d91a45fccffe210

I think this beautiful place will will do the trick. What do you think? If you could “get lost” today, where would you go?

Happy Monday! xo,

Tobi Signature

Soulful Sunday: Food for the Soul

Posted by

7df1587eaa30f3302103f86eb7fd81df

Today I am back from Italy and have landed in Atlanta for the 4th Annual Design Bloggers Conference where I will be speaking later this week.

e3b9c2c616846374a1a193678438d45d

The last few days were spent being inspired by gorgeous antiques and eating delicious Italian cuisine. It was food for my body and my soul. And today, after a little R & R, I will be excited to connect with friends and colleagues and discuss the future of blogging and social media. As you well know, my blog has been a great source of “food” for both my business and personal life for over 6 years now. It’s exciting to think about how it will look and function in the coming months and years. Change is on the horizon for blogs for sure, but I have no doubt mine will still be a source of “soul food” for me for years to come.

Happy Sunday! I hope it includes something that fills your soul today.

xo,

Tobi Signature

Italian Inspiration

Posted by

59919e64599da6a54277a552d7db47cd

We interrupt this regularly scheduled Motivational Monday to bring you a post about inspiration.

As a designer, I need to regularly fill up my creative well and there is no better way than through travel. A change of surroundings not only gives me a different perspective, it gives me a chance to discover new ideas and inspiration for my designs, whether it’s through color, architecture, flavors, or awe-inspiring sights!

PREVIEW_MIF_A13_dsc_1309

After back-to-back photo shoots and a non-stop work schedule, I need a break to recharge my creative batteries. And I am SO excited that tomorrow I’m heading to bella Italia to go to Mercanteinfiera, Italy’s largest antique fair! I’m attending this amazing show in Parma with The Antiques Diva for a special whirlwind tour, filled with gorgeous vintage finds.

PREVIEW_MIF_A13_dsc_1644

And I’ll be on this fab trip with a few other talented designers that you may know–Los Angeles designer Mark Cutler, Dallas designer Denise McGaha, and Jon Call of Mr. Call Designs in New York City. If you would like to see what is inspiring me and my designer friends, be sure to follow my Instagram feed with @tobifairley!

7b98cb8ba9ccc4f9f1034536f668a669

I plan to soak in the colors, patterns, and stunning art on display (and I’m sure I’ll sample a bit of the pasta, parmesan, and prosciutto, too!). I know I’ll come back refreshed, renewed, and recharged – ready to take on new creative challenges!

95478ab91be73adcda0a014f610ce045

To see these photos including this Parmesan factory, visit my Pinterest board called Destinations.

I’ve got to get my suitcase packed so ciao for now!

xo,

Tobi Signature

Taking a Trip but Enjoying the Journey

Posted by

673db9becc068460573c14dfcb1ecf01

I am taking a short trip today to my parent’s lakehouse to enjoy family for this holiday weekend. And just this morning one of my daily email subscriptions I have spoken about to you before, en*theos, got me to thinking about journeys or more importantly our life’s journey.

ea3add520da07022d9c1aa72923a55b7

The email included an article by Ran Zilca that referenced the Bhagavad Gita, the sacred Hindu script considered to be one of the most important texts in literature and philosophy and it also referenced the Tao Te Ching, written by Lao Tzu, the father of Taoism. Both of these works are familiar to me because they are often referenced in the practice of yoga and by my favorite spiritual thought leaders including Wayne Dyer. And it is actually on my “to do” list to read them both in their entirety–I guess you can say it’s on my bucket list.

ec3c5318d0faa575952d51357edb11f5

And that brings me to the point I am trying to make here. We spend a lot of time thinking about our future. What we want to cross off our “bucket list” or even what we “should” be doing in this life. And we often get more preoccupied with the destination we are trying to get to rather than enjoying the journey. And sure, we have all heard “Enjoy the journey”, or “the journey IS the destination”. But I can’t say that it really sunk in for me until this morning. Here’s what what Ran said that gave me my Ah-ha!

(from the Bhagavad Gita)…
You have a right to your actions,
but never to your actions’ fruits.
Act for the action’s sake.
And do not be attached to inaction.
Self-possessed, resolute, act
without any thought of results,
open to success or failure.
This equanimity is yoga.
It’s hard to find text that encapsulates so much wisdom in so few words. Inner peace comes when your reward is simply being proactive, liberated from preoccupation with future results.  You just go on the road and enjoy the ride, leaving your comfort zone to face the challenges of being out there. When you do that, results follow, but perhaps not the way you’d expected. As Lao Tzu, the father of Taoism wrote in the Tao Te Ching:
the more we don’t desire something,
the greater the chance of getting it,
and all the more exciting.

4bfea996447fdc166b7e34cb7e853da6

So there it is…another epiphany for me. It’s not just about enjoying the journey while still keeping your eye on the ball of the destination. It is forgetting the destination completely and the reward itself is just taking the journey.

1d0b10b57fea71983507d968399d7b0c

Talk about living in the present! Can you do that? Not sure that I can, but my heart and my gut sure want to try. Can you begin to practice creating your goals simply for the joy in the journey itself? Can you write a book because you really are fulfilled by writing, not because it will make you loads of money and bring you fame? Can you design a room even if it is never published because of the sheer joy and fulfillment of creating a successful and meaningful space? Can you get healthy and change your habits just to make yourself well and whole each day, not to fit into a certain dress or swimsuit or impress another person?

5c7520e36c897bccded1299cfdd8eee8

I recently read in The 4-hour Work Week this profound statement…

“Time without attention means nothing, so value attention over time.” 

ad96fa3138506b0d8610eeff133a3e32

It made me think of my daughter. And it made me realize that just being with her and not giving her my undivided attention (which I have done so many times) because I am working, or on my phone or iPad, is the same as not being with her at all. In fact, it is actually worse, because it reinforces to her that she is less important than all these electronics. Or she is less important than the person on the phone. And why would I ever want her to think anything is more valuable to me than she is? Yikes! What a gut check, right?

5a01beed33a1d320a2615e0fc07ff5bd

So I think all these ideas come full-circle for me today. It is not just about enjoying the journey. It is about being 100% present in the journey knowing all the while that if nothing comes from the journey but the journey itself, it was more fulfilling than any future result we could ever imagine and strive for. And if valuing those on the journey with you by giving them time AND attention is your only success, then what a blessed life you have had. It’s like the Tao Te Ching says…The more we don’t desire something, the greater the chance of getting it and all the more exciting.

30caac22647678ac2089c10b408df263

Will you enjoy the ride? Will you leave the “baggage” of your past and your future and just live for today giving both time AND attention to the people and the moments that are most important to you?

collect-moments-not-things-L-btSWbu

Remember my resolution for this year to “Collect Moments, Not Things”. Well things are the destination and the moments are the journey.

Wishing you a safe and happy weekend with family and friends and hoping you enjoy the ride!

xo,

Tobi Signature

 

And for those of you design-lovers here are a few AMAZING rooms that leave the “baggage” as gorgeous elements of design and not limiting beliefs that hold us back. Enjoy…

f301cdeda2f55e0d8f1e0516ca36742e

493c8159b6e55447dd6be8d8c37159dd

cd0594f5e24a0a04c66714a60538b1c7

31338d0a2ce6a669f86e5e7968ae1683

0b9c7141b677829bfe76802ce540515d

e0a76cf6d9c240c12961f12a89881737

ff4da82e0f135274d45b808804640817-1

66d5b1e3c79e6cee8ecfee56bf85ff30-1

p.s. To see all these great room images and travel inspired photos visit my Pinterest Boards called Destinations and Trunk Love. And while you are there, feel free to daydream about all the amazing places you want to travel and visit in this life, simply because the journey would fill your soul! Bon Voyage.