Archive for the ‘Design Trends’ Category

Gift Guide: Living the Good Life

Posted by



Living the good life. Do you want to? Well it isn’t always about having lots of money and buying expensive things. It’s mostly about making memories, especially during this time of the year.

But yes, there are those of us who love fine things, myself included.  And sometimes it’s more about good taste than a high price tag, right?  So whether your budget allows for expensive splurges this Holiday season or you just want to look like it does, here’s my mix of High and Low priced lovely things that will have you and your loved ones living the good life.

And since it’s Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year, I bet you can get some deals on many of these fab finds today only. Good luck! (P.S. I have 2 more days of gift guides to help you finish your shopping before December has hardly started. So stay tuned for my last few favorites coming your way this week!)

Happy Shopping Darlings! xo,






  1. Valentino “Rock Stud” Pumps–A splurge for sure, these gorgeous red studded pumps from Valentino will have you looking like the Bell of the Ball this holiday or maybe like a rather fancy Mrs. Claus. Are these the perfect gift for YOU this year? Then your honey needs to be sent a link to purchase these hot little numbers to put under the tree. I’ll vouch for you that you’ve been a good girl! Don’t love the Red? Well don’t worry. These babies come in many colors so you can pick the one you love most.
  2. Beaded Pillow–this “Ritzy”-looking Rizzy Home beaded pillow only looks expensive. Add a few of these to your sofa to jazz things up a bit. Or gift these to your friends with a new home or your stylish college student for her bedroom. You’ll have them all looking glamorous in no time!
  3. Aerin Match Striker–I have a thing for gorgeous Match Strikers. And boy did Aerin Lauder ever make a fabulous brass one! Yes, it’s pricey but I’m ordering this beautiful piece for myself today. Merry Christmas to me! It’s so pretty it doubles as an accessory so it’s my favorite sort of piece, beautiful and functional all at the same time. This makes a great gift for those hard to buy for friends and family who live the good life and seem to have everything already.
  4. Manolo Blahnik Book–So maybe splurging on a pair of Manolo’s isn’t in your budget right now, but putting his gorgeous book on your coffee table just may be. This is a  gift that all those “Carrie Bradshaw’s” in your life will appreciate. So if you are a fashionista or an interiors enthusiast or have some of them on your list, this will be the perfectly pretty and inspiring gift to decorate their homes.
  5. Kate Spade “Money” Phone Cover–It’s all about the Money, Money, Money. Ok, so maybe you don’t have as much cold, hard cash as you wish this holiday, but not to worry. This adorable “Money” phone cover won’t break the bank. Designed by the creatives at Kate Spade, this glam little item will have you feeling like a million buck while you Cyber-shop on your iPhone. It is perfectly sized for a stocking stuffer too. And at this great price, maybe you should buy 2!
  6. Marabou Vest–What could be more glamorous and chichi than a Marabou Vest? Well thank goodness for Betsey Johnson because she came to the rescue with this adorable one! This piece is great for layering and if you don’t want black, no worries. It comes also comes in blush and gray. I think this gift will get squeals from those Fancy peeps on your list.
  7. Pointy Toe Leather Bootie–This gorgeous and classic leather bootie by Sam Edleman exudes style and sophistication. And though it looks top of the line, the price tag isn’t too bad. Yes, still an investment but one that will go with anything and everything for seasons to come and it looks MUCH more expensive than it really is. I think this is the perfect gift for those shoe-lovers on your list. And if you’re wondering, I’m a size 8. (wink!)
  8. Oversized Leopard Clutch–Ok, another Splurge item but Oh My! This gorgeous leopard clutch is dreamy. Forget Sugar Plums, I have visions of Leopard in my head and this zip top clutch with gold hardware makes my dreams super sweet! Do you have anyone on your list who would love to be “seeing spots” with this cutie under the tree?
  9. Nest Holiday Candle–Nest brings the Glam to candles. And they have the BEST scents! Looking lovely and high style in it’s gold packaging, I think the Nest Holiday Candle (Birchwood Pine Scent) is the perfect Hostess Gift or Stocking Stuffer. I can hardly wait for the holidays to roll around each year so I can light one of these lovelies and make my whole house smell like Christmas!
  10. Osis “Dust it” Hair Powder–Want to look like you stepped out of a high-dollar salon all season long? Well this product will do the trick. I love Dust it Powder to give my hair control and long-lasting hold while still looking soft. It’s like dry shampoo but better. Drop one of these in the stocking of all the ladies in your life. I see some glamorous hair in their future!
  11. Celine Havana Sunglasses–Celine brings us these gorgeous and totally chic sunglasses to help you and yours look like a star. The bold black frames are detailed with red edges and a beige interior for some added appeal and Hollywood Style.
  12. Parisian Bar Cart–A Bar Cart definitely makes the list of my favorite things! Seriously, what’s more glamorous than serving drinks from this black and brass beauty to all your Holiday guests? And the top Shelf doubles as a removable tray to make serving that much easier. Oh Santa Baby, I’ll have a martini, please! And pair it with this stylish bar cart from Serena and Lily if you don’t mind.
  13. Gold Caviar Serving Set–Dahling, if you’re serving Caviar at your next soiree, this Gold Imperial Caviar 4-piece hostess set by Marchesa is a MUST have. For those on your list who have a sophisticated palette, this would make the perfect gift.
  14. Red Tory Burch Tote–The slender handles and gold logo hardware keep this handy Tory tote looking chic. It’s a perfect carry on for all those Jet-setting friends and family of yours. So put this under the tree and they will think of you as they travel the world in the year ahead.
  15. Black Leather Gloves with Bow–The darling bow detail and soft leather make these gloves dreamy. I love the feminine styling and it will help your girly-girls look lovely and stay warm all at once.

Designing a Kitchen that Works for You

Posted by

Tobi Fairley Kitchen 4

The one room of a house that people ask me about most is the kitchen. Kitchen design is a real art – and function is the most critical part of the equation. Having a kitchen that works for you is even more important at this time of year, when you have holiday dinners to plan and treats to prepare.

You really have to have a kitchen that fits your cooking style, and that can be different for each person. Some people like to entertain, but not necessarily create their own dishes. And still others would prefer to cook and bake all day long. To design a kitchen that’s perfect for YOU, here are a few of my favorite tips:

Function First. Too often people jump right into the color of the cabinets and the type of flooring without really considering the layout and function of the kitchen. You’ve probably heard about the “triangle” that’s suggested for efficient work spaces, and you do need to minimize the length between the stove, sink, and refrigerator so your kitchen really works for you. It’s a classic design layout for a reason!

Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 4.23.46 PM

Invest Wisely. Kitchens can be incredibly expensive depending on the materials and options that you choose. You should use your budget as wisely as possible to get the most for your money. I always advise my clients to invest in appliances first – they are the workhorses of the kitchen, so get the very best quality you can afford. My partner company Thermador, for example, has outstanding products that offer innovative ideas for real cooks. They are an investment but if you really are going to be using them daily, they are so worth it!


Cabinetry Counts. The second most important thing to invest in would be your cabinetry so it will stand up to the daily wear-and-tear that comes in a kitchen. One trick that I think is key for a functional kitchen is to be sure the cabinets go all the way up to the the ceiling. You want to take advantage of every square inch of storage, and having an open space between your cabinets and the ceiling does nothing for you but gather dust! A great step stool, or library ladder, will help you reach those top shelves.

Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 4.18.38 PM

Remember the Details. Too often, those little details can spell big trouble if you don’t consider them at the beginning of the design process. For example, where will you store the garbage cans? Where do you need extra outlets? You should also think about how you use your kitchen and what details would be key for you. You could have a storage drawer for baking essentials, counters near wall ovens for placing hot dishes right out of the oven, or even pull-out baskets for fruits and vegetables. Those details will make all the difference.

Tobi Fairley Kitchen 3

Lighting! This is the one thing that people often don’t plan correctly in the beginning, and then have to try to correct later. Lighting is critical to a great functioning kitchen. Remember to think about where you need task lighting, how many overhead lights you want, and where you may also need under-the-counter lights and if you want any of these on a dimmer.

Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 4.17.27 PM

Investing in your kitchen is a wise decision! So use these tips and ideas to get the most out of your investment, and to give yourself a gorgeous and functional kitchen for years to come.








Perfect Partners: Black and White

Posted by

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 3.21.35 PM

One trend that ruled the hottest fashion runways in September was the classic combo of black and white. You can’t even really call it a trend – it’s a timeless partnership between two perfect colors! You can see that in the Valentino window on Fifth Avenue – designed just for Fashion Week – that showcased the duo in bold graphic patterns, above.

Marissa Webb

Marissa Webb

Designers also played with other classic combos, like leather and lace, and hard and soft textiles, creating unique looks.

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton

You know I love a timeless motif, so you if you were at the High Point Market last week, you saw my use of the black-and-white pairing for my brand new collection for Woodbridge, and in my upholstered line with CR Laine. I used it in this sophisticated design I did for CR Laine – it’s my Olivia chair and it features my exclusive logo motif in black against the white upholstery.


These perfect partners work well with my design aesthetic of bright, bold, and tailored, especially when they also highlight my favorite details, like the Greek key pattern on my Denise table for Woodbridge – it’s stunning in sleek black with a detail outline in white.


So what do you think about black and white? Isn’t it great how it can be both timeless and daring at the same time? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!



Ottomans, Benches, and Stools

Posted by

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 2.58.11 PM

There is a category of furnishings that doesn’t get enough credit for pulling a room together – and that’s ottomans, benches, and stools! These little pieces are often lumped into an “accent” or “occasional” category, but they actually help finish a room.

L8080_57_0415The Beverly Bench from my CR Laine collection

And they’re functional workhorses, too! They’re perfect for propping up your feet as you read or watch TV, they create the just-right extra seat for guests or family, and they can even work as a cocktail or side table.

After 1

A few of my favorite designs include storage, too, for tucking away pillows or a throw. I love the best-of-both worlds approach I took with an ottoman and table combination above. What do you think? And the little Lena bench below can serve any purpose, from a great footstool to a comfy seat for one!

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 5.51.47 PM

The Lena bench from my collection with CR Laine

Ottomans, benches, and stools work in absolutely any room in the house, whether it’s around a kids’ table in a playroom, to a seat at the foot of the bed, to a great little entry greeter!

Where do you use these fabulous functional items? Let me know in the comments section below!



Bold and Beautiful Banquettes

Posted by

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 2.51.28 PM

I am a huge fan of a banquette – you know those built-in booth/bench/sofa things. Yes, those! And banquettes are multipurpose pieces that are definitely in vogue today, popping up in just about every room in the house. In some ways they make us nostalgic, reminding us of our grandmother’s kitchen, or maybe a favorite meal in a diner.


There are so many great functional reasons to use a banquette, too! For example, they can add extra storage in the kitchen or dining area.

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 2.52.32 PM

They also provide a lot of extra seating, and give you a great way to repurpose space that might not otherwise be as functional.

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 2.53.18 PM

It isn’t just casual spaces that can use a gorgeous banquette! I loved creating the super-glam version above, with tufting that went right up to the ceiling.


Or how about this high-fashion version in stark white with nailhead trim on the base? I loved how it looks against the black-and-white floor and the rich blue on the doors and wallpaper!

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 2.52.07 PM

Banquettes are great in other living areas, too, like in the reading nook I created for a client above. It was a great way to take advantage of the space next to the fireplace instead of just using another boring old cabinet.

Do you love banquettes as much as I do? Which one of the banquettes I designed above is your favorite? Where would you use one in your home? Let me know in the comments section below!