Archive for the ‘Designer Mailbag’ Category

Designer Mailbag Reveal with Morris Antiques!

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There’s nothing like the holiday season to get you in the mood for a giveaway. So I’m excited to say that today we are ready to reveal the winner and our design solution for our current Designer Mailbag giveaway!

And the winner is…Kimberley Smith of Signal Mountain, TN! Congrats, Kimberley!

Here’s a bit of what Kimberley had to say about the design challenge she’s facing:

Tobi,  Please help.  We have a great home on Signal Mountain, TN.  We have furnished the entire house except our Master Bedroom.  The room has great bones but we are stumped on function and layout.  The fireplace lends this room to a cozy retreat but as you can see, we are far from that.  We would be so grateful for your help.

Kim’s predicament really spoke to me because–as you know by now–I’m in the midst of a self care revival, and your very own Master Bedroom should be your haven, your little cocoon of comfort in the world. So I guess Kim needs a functional, beautiful solution ASAP! Let’s get to work.

Kim’s “before” photos:

I think Kim’s right. This room has lots of potential, but it’s not very warm and inviting in its current state. Now, have a look at what I have envisioned for the fireplace area of the room, since she thought it could be cozied-up:

What did I do?

  • First, the TV in the corner wasn’t doing it for me, so I propose that the mantel be lowered to accommodate a flat-screen television for optimal bed viewing.
  • I thought a change of wall color was in order, so we took it from the deep sage (almost olive, really) tone to a serene blue. This color is by Sherwin Williams and is called Watery (SW 6478). For the trim color, I chose Creamy (SW 7012).

  • I added striped drapes to make the room have a more complete look and to fill the room with the texture and color offered by this  F. Schumacher striped fabric (Malibu Stripe). The upholstered chairs draw in a complimentary fabric with a more medium-scale pattern (you know how I LOVE geometrics!).

  • The tall chest of drawers has been swapped with a lower, longer one, to maximize the use of the space and offer an opportunity to showcase a lovely piece of original artwork. This cabinet is from Burke Decor and the artwork is from Horchow.


  •  I flanked the fireplace with sketch prints from Soicher Marin and added an imitation flower arrangment from NDI and, of course, some pretty books as acessories. 

  • To provide a dynamic and multi-use element that would work with all of the deep-toned wood already present in the room, we chose these lovely nesting tables from Morris Antiques.

A BIG thank you to our giveaway sponsor, Morris Antiques! They are a fantastic resource for everything from 19th century antiques to contemporary vintage pieces. French, English, Chippendale, Victorian, or just plain retro — they have it all and I’m sure they will have just the piece to update your room! Visit them at their website and, if you love to get antique inspiration in your news feed, go “like” them on Facebook!

I hope this inspires you to see your own master bedroom with fresh eyes! The most important part of decorating your own home is making it a place you–and those closest to you–love to be!





p. s. If you have an eye for design, why not go enter the 2013 Color Trend Design Contest on Olioboard, a dynamic mood board and room design site that also allows you to connect with other design lovers and see what they’re working on and what products they’re loving right now! The winners of the contest will win a FREE ticket to one of my Camp Tobi Fairley signature events and Benjamin Moore Paint Prize Packs! So, what’s not to love? Good luck!

Designer Mailbag: Call for Submissions!!

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Yay!! It’s one of my favorite days because I get to announce another Designer Mailbag feature! And…that means you get another opportunity to submit a room in need of a refresh. Sounds like a win/win to me!

In case you aren’t familiar, Designer Mailbag is your chance to get exclusive design advice from me, and even receive a gift from one of our fabulous sponsors. It’s good stuff, so trust me you won’t want to miss out!

Our last winner received this fabulous design complete with a chic aqua lamp from Dunes & Duchess.

Today I am looking for submissions for a room that will be revealed in a post next month. All you have to do to sign up is send us a picture and a brief description of your design dilemma. If you’re selected, I will send you a sketch with a design solution and suggest a few items that can help you solve your dilemma. And, as I said one of our generous sponsors will even give you a free piece that we’ve preselected and used in the design to help get the ball rolling for you.

This month’s sponsor is Morris Antiques. They are a fantastic resource for everything from 19th century antiques to contemporary vintage pieces. French, English, Chippendale, Victorian, or just plain retro — they have it all and I’m sure they will have just the piece to update your room!

TO ENTER: Please send all entries to with “Designer Mailbag” in the subject line. All entries must be received by Friday, September 7.

I can’t wait to hear from you!

Good luck!!
xo, Tobi

P.S. Want to visit Morris Antiques on a tour with a true expert? Sign up for Kathyrn Greeley’s 2nd Annual Central Arkansas Antique Tour taking place November 10. Get all the details and register today!

Designer Mailbag Reveal with Dunes and Duchess!

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It’s time for another Designer Mailbag reveal! This month’s lucky winner is…drum roll, please…Betsy from Lake Forest, Illinois!!

Here’s a bit of what Betsy had to say in her entry letter:

Dear Tobi,

One of our favorite rooms and the most unique in our home is a conservatory that overlooks our backyard. Sadly I have been at a loss for how to decorate it and have just used a collection of things we already had and it looks tired and uninspiring! We want to be able to use this room as the heart of our summer entertaining as well as have a quiet place to sit and read and enjoy the view of the backyard. I am a huge fan of your work and would love to see what you’d envision for this space!

Yours sincerely, Betsy S.; Lake Forest, IL

Thanks so much for your entry Betsy! Let’s take a look at your space…

BEFORE: Sunroom

Since you mention that this room looks out in to your backyard, I think using a similar “natural” color scheme of blue and greens will make it feel like two spaces that flow together. This palette can also help to freshen up this much loved sunroom that you refer to as “tired and uninspiring.”

AFTER: Inspiration Rendering for Updates

Pretty dramatic change, right??

One of the easiest (and often most affordable!) ways to update a room is by painting it. You can inject new life into this room simply by painting the brick walls with Sherwin Williams Alabaster 7008. While you’re at it, go ahead and paint the end table in the same color to coordinate.

Then, add a pop of fresh color to the neutral background by painting your coffee table in Sherwin Williams Meander Blue 6484. Isn’t that a fabulous color? It reminds me of a wide open sky!

Next, I would continue this theme with an indoor/outdoor rug in a similar color scheme. This “Sidebar” rug from Dash and Albert is a great fit!

To refresh your sofa add a few Regatta Wave Pillows from my home collection.

I also love the idea of hanging a mirror on the back wall to pull the space together and offer a focal point. Try this Currey & Company EOS Mirror from Candelabra.

Naturally, you’ll need a few accessories for your newly painted coffee table. I suggest bringing in a bit of the beach with a large shell (Oly Studio Lombok Ornament from Candelabra). If the beach is not your thing, you can always add a sculpture that’s reflective or your style or perhaps another place you love.

I also always like to accessorize a coffee table with my favorite stack of books to complement the room in theme content and color! Go to, browse their thousands of coffee table book titles and find the stack that’s right for you and your new space!

FINALLY, the big surprise for you is from this month’s sponsor, Dunes and Duchess. It’s a must-have finishing touch for this new space —  a fabulous Turned Lamp!!!

I know this lamp is going to look great with your room’s new palette and will give you extra light for lounging and reading books at night!

Special thanks to Dunes and Duchess for sponsoring this month’s Designer Mailbag and for giving Betsy this gorgeous lamp to get her makeover moving!

Stay tuned for our next Designer Mailbag call for submissions!
xo, Tobi

Ask Tobi: Finding a Rug to Complement the Room

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This question came to me as a follow up to my most recent Designer Mailbag reveal with Modern Chic Home. You can read that full post here, but check out this sketch to get an idea of what Kim is referring to below in her question…

Q: I would LOVE to see what rug you might suggest with that style and room layout? You do amazing things with rugs Tobi. They always make me smile!     -Kim H.

A: Hi Kim! First, thank you for your sweet complement! This is a great question and there are actually quite a few options I could see working in this room. Here are a few of my favorites:

#1 – Indigo Charing Cross Rug from Serena & Lily

#2 – Trimaran Stripe Navy & Ivory Indoor/Outdoor Rug from Dash & Albert

#3 – Navy & Cobalt Feather Rug from Serena & Lily

Who knows maybe our lucky reader, Annie, will even decide to add one of these to her design scheme! Thanks again for the great question.

xo, Tobi


My Gift to You…Designer Mailbag Call for Submissions!

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Happy Mother’s Day to all you lovely ladies out there!
I hope your day is off to a good start. I couldn’t let this special holiday pass without giving you a treat. After all, being a mom is one of the most important (and sometimes trying!) jobs out there.

So, as you may have guessed my gift to you is this month’s Designer Mailbag Call for Submissions. If you have a room that could use a refresh, I’m here to help!!

Last month, I helped Annie from Chicago update her loft’s entry/dining area. She wanted fresh accessories and some ideas for incorporating the furniture she already had in place. This sketch shows a few of the ideas I had for the space, including some pretty fabulous lamps from Modern Chic Home.

Read the full story on Annie’s Designer Mailbag update here.

Best of all, this month we have another fabulous sponsor — Dunes & Duchess!!

If you aren’t familiar with this line, you should be! Just look at all these gorgeous lamps and candelabras.

I love that many of their pieces have a cottage or beachy-like feel to them. Read more about Dunes & Duchess in this recent Sunday Showcase where I featured some of their latest products. I can’t wait to use some of these in one of your rooms.

Ok, now for the entry guidelines…Here’s what you need to do to enter:

  1. Snap a few pics of your space that’s in need of a few cosmetic updates. Be sure to take the pics from a few different angles.
  2. Write a brief note about any particular areas you want to address or any problems that keep the room from working for you.
  3. Send all of this to me at no later than midnight on Sunday, May 20th.
  4. Cross your fingers for good luck!

Happy Mother’s Day!
xo, Tobi