Posts Tagged ‘Turquoise’

Before and After: Lighten Up

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I love to transform my clients’ homes into gorgeous spaces that function for the way they live – and you know I love to bring a little color in at the same time! The Meadow View project, in particular, was a lot of fun because we reworked the floor plan to get rid of small and outdated rooms to make way for living spaces that really do work for my clients.


In the “before” photo above, you see the smaller living room before we incorporated a porch on the back of the house and moved the fireplace from the exterior wall to an interior one, allowing for more windows across the back of the house. With the porch on the outside of this space and a fireplace in the middle of the wall, there just wasn’t enough natural light coming in. This made the room really dark and the dated paneling on the walls in this room helped add to a more dreary feeling.

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I have worked with this family a long time, from my early days in design actually. And this family isn’t afraid of color at all. But they have three sons that are now grown and mostly out of the house, and the family needed updated rooms that are lighter and brighter. They needed spaces that are more open plan, perfect for entertaining at family gatherings and holidays.

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As you can see in the “after” photo above, enlarging the space by taking in the previous porch, adding new windows with transoms, moving the fireplace and freshening up the walls and ceiling with new moldings and paint really transformed this space. You would swear the ceilings are taller, too, but they are still just 8 feet. Amazing, right?  Giving the walls a gorgeous soft neutral tone and then layering in pops of red and turquoise for great added color was just the right amount of freshness this room needed.

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Of course we didn’t forget the large-screen TV and plenty of seating, making this room perfect for football days with their three adult sons and guests. By reworking the layout of the home, we were able to design rooms that make sense for these clients, and that give them a lot of comfort and style!

Don’t you just love a fun “before and after”? I’ll be showing you more of these in the coming months – some of them will be even more dramatic than this one! And let me know in the comments below what was the most surprising to you about this family room transformation!









Which Would You Choose: Ottoman vs. Coffee Table

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We’ve made so many decisions about my living room layout, and now I’m starting to focus on the furnishings. One thing that I really am torn between is whether to use an upholstered ottoman or a coffee table in the center of my furniture. An ottoman like the one above is multifunctional, and you know how I like it when one thing serves many purposes!

I can set my books on top, along with a tray to hold flowers or accessories, and it’s also a comfortable spot to rest your feet after a long day. And, depending on the cover you choose, it can add color and pattern to the room, which is fabulous! But it can be a little unstable for whatever you place on top.

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Sometimes a coffee table is a better option. It doesn’t “bounce” the other items when you rest your feet or your drink on top, and there can be more surface area overall for books. I have a lot of books, as you can see! Another thing I like about a coffee table is that it’s more classic by design and can stay central to the room even when the upholstery or wall color changes.

I’m also very fond of this coffee table from my previous house! It was designed and built by my husband’s grandfather, which means a lot to both of us, and I am asked about the resource for that table ALL the time!

So which would YOU choose, an ottoman or a coffee table? Which one better fits the function of your living space? Leave me your choice, and why, in the comments section below!

Thanks, and Happy Wednesday!








Tobi TV: Let Your Artwork Inspire You

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I love original artwork! I collect a lot of original art, and I love to use it when I’m designing homes for clients – it actually often inspires my designs. One-of-a-kind pieces really add personality that can’t be recreated in another house or room.

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The key to using original art in your home’s decor is to let it inspire the rest of the room, and to allow the art to be the focal point. It really will give you space that is all your own and is full of personality.

So let’s take a look at some of my top tips for using original art to inspire you:

I’m feeling inspired already! Here is a quick recap of those top tips:

1. In a neutral room, use a brightly colored painting to add that pop! You don’t want to match to the painting, but do use the colors in the art to inspire the palette for the rest of the room.

2. Choose art that has sentimental value for you, or that reminds you of a special moment or person in your life. It will add meaning and emotion to your room!

3. If you have a piece of art that’s by a famous artist, like the painting in my client’s home by Dale Chihuly, hang it front-and-center so it can be enjoyed by your family and your guests.

4. If you’re a collector, edit your art so that pieces will complement each other, and will complement the rest of your decor.

What art or items do you collect? And how can they inspire your home’s design? I hope these tips have you looking at your art in a new way and seeing how each piece can inspire a room’s decor! Please let me know in the comments below how you’re using art in your home!









Tobi TV: Fresh Traditional Design

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I did a presentation this week at the High Point Market with Southern Living magazine, and executive editor Jessica Thuston pointed out something that I’ve also been noticing: Traditional design is coming on stronger each season! But it is a more current and fresh traditional look, with new colors and tweaked patterns.

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In this week’s episode of Tobi TV, I’ll show you how traditional style is finding a new life in interior design, from updated damasks, to brighter colorways, to new scales.

So if you want to bring this fresher approach to traditional design into your home, let’s recap my tips:

1. Overscaled patterns. Nothing is more traditional than a damask pattern in a classic color like navy. But if you overscale that pattern, it gives the design a whole new life.

2. Tradition with a twist. If you take a traditional looks like a claw-foot chair, add a twist like lemon yellow leather to give you a fresh take on a classic design.

3. Add a “wow” factor. If you live in an historic home, or a home that features traditional architecture and design, avoid a stuffy formal look by adding a “wow” factor like bold wallpaper or an unexpected color.

4. Keep it classic. Floral patterns and traditional designs are timeless looks. Consider lighter colors and simpler patterns to give them a current update.

As you can see, if you love traditional style then you are in luck – it’s always IN style! Share this video and the tips with your friends and family who love Traditional Decor! And let me know how you are decorating with classic looks and patterns!

I’ll see you next time on Tobi TV!









Before and After Photostyling: My Kitchen

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When photographing my kitchen for Ronda’s book last year, the focus was on my personal collections and those little details that make my home more, well…me. So styling the built-in hutch in my kitchen with my collections of cake plates, jadeite, milk glass and china was where we turned our attention.


Most of you have seen my kitchen before and I always tend to bring in hits of green, both lime and kelly. But I have to say the shots including my turquoise pieces and hints of orange pulled from my “Monkey Business” china pattern freshen the whole palette up a bit.


Here’s another shot of the way the kitchen typically looks.  All bright white and simple. It’s one of my favorite rooms of my home, ironic I know since I am known for such color.

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And here is the way Traditional Home shot it for my feature in 2011. Very simple with sunflowers and a little summer time watermelon for fun.

Whichever look you prefer, here are my top 3 Tobi’s Tips for decorating and styling your kitchen…

1. Use what you have and have what you use. Here’s what I mean, I think the most beautiful decor in the kitchen are the things that really function for you. Large bowls to hold your fruit, baskets where you keep the bread, giant glass canisters for pasta or rice. Too many chotchkies don’t make sense in a kitchen. You need lots of room for cooking and prep-work and they just clutter it all up and gather dust.

2. For photography and even just for a comfortable and relaxing kitchen for everyday use, the simpler the kitchen, often the better. That’s why I love panel-front kitchen appliances. They are a seamless extension of the cabinetry so they don’t break up the space or stick out like a sore thumb.

3. Layer the lighting–Like in the bedroom or any room where you have multiple functions for both relaxing and work, a combination of lighting makes all the difference. For photography, it all depends on the photographer. You can see in the Traditional Home shots, the lights are turned on. With my other shots (all by Nancy Nolan by the way) the lights are off and we are shooting with natural lighting. But either way, with a variety of lighting you are prepared whether cooking, chopping, cleaning, or photographing the space. So think about layering in multiple lighting sources from overhead lighting, accent lights or pendants, under-counter lighting and even lighting in the cabinetry. I think you will love the outcome of layers and different types and wattages in each source.


So there you have my kitchen shots…what do you think? I am partial to these new shots at the moment and I just love how that French antique turquoise tea towel hanging on the chair speaks to the blue milk glass footed bowl and my vintage cake plates for a freshness this room hasn’t seen before.

Tell me which shots you love the most. I’d love to know your thoughts.

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