Archive for the ‘InBox Interiors’ Category

Redesigning for Lucy and Ricky – and Country Living

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Country Living magazine recently asked several interior designers to redecorate living rooms from classic television shows – and I got I Love Lucy! I was so excited to tackle Ricky and Lucy’s New York apartment!

The instructions were that we needed to reimagine the space in a more modern way, and in a way that would appeal to the Country Living reader. It was fun to look at the old photographs of the I Love Lucy set and to research a little about why the apartment was designed that way. I learned that the apartment was described as “modest,” because Ricky was just getting his start as a bandleader on the show. A fun fact was that the original living room didn’t have a window – that was added when Lucy and Ricky moved to a bigger apartment on the show because she was pregnant with Little Ricky.


I also found out some other interesting facts, like that the sets were designed in colors that worked best for contrast because the show was originally filmed in black and white. So the strange pink walls, navy sofa, and red drapes may not look like they coordinate that well in the color photo I worked from, but they definitely translated well on those old B&W TVs!

The other great part of this project is that we were treating it as if Ricky and Lucy ordered one of my Inbox Interiors designs. Inbox Interiors is my e-design service that allows a client to send me photos, room measurements, and inspiration ideas and then my team designs a room for them, and gives them all of the sources they need to recreate that design in their home! It’s for people who want that “Tobi Fairley look,” but for a smaller budget than what’s called for in my full-service design.

So in the Country Living feature, I provided all of the resources and specifications so that Ricky and Lucy (in this example) could make over their living room with a fresh and modern look!

TOBI FAIRLEY - Final Sketch Rendering copy

I gave them a graphic black-and-white design for the walls, which is a nod to the black-and-white show, and that contrast also gives the room a new sophistication. I also love the midcentury modern style of the original set, so you’ll see that in the sofa design, too. Another homage to the original I Love Lucy show is the polka dot pattern on the pillows, which was inspired by Lucy’s iconic dresses. No home today is complete without a desk for laptops and other technology, so we replaced the original piano with a desk. And of course if it’s my design there has to be color, so we brought in pops of coral to give this New York apartment a fresh update.

So what do you think of my redesign for the I Love Lucy living room? Note the before photo at the beginning of this post with Lucy, Ethel, and Ricky in the space. The transformation is pretty good on a small budget I think. And I had a blast creating it, and I hope you’ll go to Country Living’s site to see the other fun rooms from other interior designers. And if you’d like to find out how to get your own Inbox Interiors, just click here!

Happy weekend!









Project Reveal: An InBox Entry

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Hi Friends!

There’s nothing like a good before and after, right?! Today, I’m happy to share one of our latest InBox Interiors projects. Read on to see how this gorgeous space came together.

The homeowners who purchased this InBox Interiors design for their entry wanted it to look fresh and chic to welcome their guests. My team and I took their inspiration, found some fun, affordable pieces that matched their style and then designed a front entry that opens the door to to glamorous style.

The Inspiration

In the email consultation, the client had several images from some of my past projects they loved and wanted to see a similar style brought to life in their home. Here’s what we came up with…

The Design


And, as you saw above, here’s how it all came together…

You’ll notice that the homeowner chose to use a more neutral version of this wallpaper. Although our top pick was the aqua shown here, I think you’ll agree that the this neutral tan looks equally beautiful and works well with the final artwork selection they chose. That is another great feature of InBox Interiors. We will do all the legwork for you in making design selections; however, you always have the freedom to switch out products or choose the same product in a different colorway. It’s really all about completing a design that you can execute and that fits your style! Just look at the transformation…

Before and After

The Details

Do you have a space that could benefit from my team’s expert design advice and your own DIY know-how? Visit to learn more about how my e-design service can bring any room in your home to life.

Happy Decorating!

xo, Tobi


InBox Interiors Project Reveal

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As some of you may remember from a few months ago, I shared a sneak peak of a recently completed InBox Interiors design of a game room for three teen girls. Now, I’m delighted to share with you the complete before and after reveal!

It all started when one thoughtful mom from Plano, TX wanted to transform an empty upstairs media room into a hip hangout for her young teen daughters. The idea was to do an extreme makeover without the girls ever seeing it. The best part? The big reveal would be ready for them Christmas morning!! That’s what I call a special gift!

This super mom’s Inbox Interiors design arrived near Thanksgiving, giving her just one month to implement the design and meet her Christmas deadline. She transformed the room behind padlocked doors to keep it a surprise for the family. Working as intently as one of Santa’s elves, she was able to complete the project and surprise her family for Christmas. Pretty amazing!

To show you how the transformation went down, I put together a few progression images — including the before pictures, the design idea and the end result. Solid, well-thought-out design plan + lots of DIY elbow grease = AMAZINGLY FUN SPACE!! Check it out…

The big reveal on Christmas morning! (Don’t you love the looks on their faces?!)

The girls enjoying their new hang out hot-spot with their super mom. No guesses who the cool kids on the block are now!

If you would like to know more about our InBox Interior’s service, check out our website here!


2011 Year in Review

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Every year I take a day at the end of December to celebrate all the exciting things that have happened in my life and career over the last 12 months.  Last year was so exciting that it seemed as if I just couldn’t top it.  But I also thought that the year before. And what’s exciting is that every year seems better and more blessed than the one that came before it.

So please take a journey with me across 2011 while I reminisce about the things that I am most grateful for this year.

January started off with a bang as I followed my beloved Razorbacks to the Sugar Bowl with my family. With my birthday thrown in this month and lots of resolutions and strategic planning, January seemed to fly by. My favorite thing that happened that month is I added sponsors to my blog and I was so thrilled with the vendors that came on board with us to showcase their products. A special thank-you goes out to everyone who advertised with us this year.

February was full of fun with the launch of my new Design Camp website and a trip to L.A. to be a keynote speaker, along with my friend, the great Jan Showers, at the inaugural Design Bloggers Conference.

In March, I took my consulting business to the next level and launched my very first Mastermind coaching group. It went so well we are just about to launch into year 2.

Then Luxe Magazine included me in their Winter issue which was amazing.

April was absolutely crazy with an invitation to the prestigious Design Leadership Summit with the World’s Top Designers in Copenhagen shown here with my friends Ronda, Phillip, and Rob and my new friends Malcolm, Tammy, Jay, Oliver, and Joel. Then I headed straight to a panel discussion at High Point Market, participating in “My Market” for the High Point Market Authority. 

April also meant doing a tabletop design for the second year in a row for Lenox Hill. This year I used my new fabrics and this great candlabra designed by my friend Stacy, for the New York City Charity the Lenox Hill Gala chaired by my friend Christopher .

This month as I continued my Design Time with Tobi Fairley segments for the second year, I launched my first-ever Room Rescue Contest.

Also in April was a beautiful feature in Southern Living of a kitchen project I designed.

My DIY design service InBox Interiors was featured in the inaugural issue of Trad Home, the hot new digitial magazine collaboration between Traditional Home and Lonny Magazine.

Nate Berkus was kind enough to include one of my projects on his show in April.  Thanks, Nate! And another great big thanks goes to one of my very favorite magazines, Canadian Home + Home, for naming me to their list of “Design Sites We Love“.  I love you to CH+H!!

May was definitely a highlight of the year as my home debuted in Traditional Home magazine.

In May I also attended Kravet’s first Blogfest 2011 which was fabulous by the way.

As a result I discovered that I was featured on 7 pages of House Beautiful’s new Blue Book.

May also was the month for lots of blog features including the great interview by HGTV Design Star winner Kim Myles, a feature with blogging great Emily A. Clark, and a fun rustic feature on Bubble and Squeak.

June marked the launch of my gig writing for Williams Sonoma’s Designer Marketplace. You can see all my articles with Williams Sonoma to date over here.

In July I had my very first (and very successful) One Kings Lane Tastemaker Tag Sale and a fun feature on the Huffington Post

I spoke at the Atlanta market to some fabulous designers and retailers. I then had dinner with HGTV designer Courtney Novogratz and all the ladies from America’s Mart which was great fun.

I designed a room in the prestigious Traditional Home Magazine Hampton Designer Showhouse with lots of gorgeous furniture from Hickory Chair, lovely fabrics from Schumacher, “killer” lamps from Swank Lighting, and artwork by Soicher Marin. A big thank-you to my sweet friend Lisa at Hamptontoes for her gorgeous feature of my showhouse space and all these great vendors who helped me bring my showhouse space to life.

August started off with a speaking engagment at the Las Vegas market for Luxe Magazine with my friend, NYC designer Amanda Nisbet and the fabulous designers of Brown Davis. Since President Clinton was also speaking at the market, our topic was Presidential Style.

Then I rolled into September with more than I could keep up with including a great feature on eBay’s Inside Source called Fairley Fabulous, my first guest post on my friend P. Allen Smith’s new blog, and lots of travel.  But the big news for the month was my Cover and fabulous feature in the September issue of At Home in Arkansas.

And let me not forget the lovely spread in Southern Lady Magazine, and the thrill to win 3 Gold Awards and the coveted Ovation Award for the second year in a row at the ASID South Central Chapter conference.

October didn’t slow down a bit with a fabulous trip to Blackberry Farm in Tennessee with the Design Investors.

I had the privilege of helping my dear friend Kathryn Greeley launch her new book in New York at the fabulous Archivia Books and we had great friends join us at the signing like Michael and Thomas.

Then I headed to High Point Market for a panel discussion and a keynote address sponsored by ASID and the High Point Market Authority.

But especially exciting was my launch for the centennial celebration at Hickory Chair Furniture of my fabrics, pillows, and lighting. (photo courtesy of Hickory Chair and their Albert Sack Collection)

 And celebrating my launch with many friends like Barry Dixon was so special.

I was very excited to win the top spot as a High Point Market Style Spotter on Pinterest.

After months in the making, I launched my all new e-commerce site Tobi Fairley Home in October. And this month,  I started a regular guest spot on The Collected Room with Kathryn Greeley.

I also received some very exciting press in October including being the Elle Decor Design Registry Designer of the Day and this fabulous press on of my new fabric, pillows and lighting.

In November I launched my holiday pillows on Tobi Fairley Home.

InBox Interiors was featured on in a great article on e-Design Products.

Plus I launched my all-new, all-inclusive Design Camp A to Z which brought almost 40 campers from 13 states across the U.S. and even a camper from Canada plus a pink limousine.

December brought this amazing year to a close with another fantastic feature in Southern Living of one of my very favorite dining rooms. 

And At Home in Arkansas also gave me another great feature showcasing my mom’s holiday decor  which included a give-away for my new holiday pillow line.

In December, At Home also introduced my brand new monthly blog column Color Confidential:Top Tips from Tobi Fairley where I will be writing about color each and every month. Wow! Thanks At Home for all you do for me.

I also concluded another great year of column in print with AY Magazine this year and if the year wasn’t fabulous enough already, I just got two fab new Design projects that I can’t wait to reveal to you in 2012. What a way to end the year! It certainly seems like the economy even here in Arkansas is  finally opening up a bit. Now if that isn’t a Christmas wish come true, I don’t know what is!

Whew! And we sometimes think we aren’t getting anything done at the office.

So at the end of this very exciting year, I want to take another moment to thank once again all my sponsors, all the vendors, bloggers, and magazines that have featured me this year and each and every one of you, my faithful readers, who support my blog and all that I do.  I am continuously amazed at how many of you follow me and encourage my efforts so unconditionally.  There is no way I could ever thank you enough.

I look forward to a glorious 2012 with you all. I have so much in store that I can’t wait to share with you including my second One Kings Lane Tastemaker Tag sale coming in just a few weeks.

Happy New Year! xo, Tobi

InBox Highlights

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I wanted to give you a peek at one of my favorite InBox Interiors projects ever! You got a glimpse in the inaugural issue of TRADhome online magazine last month (If you missed it, check it out on pg. 60!) and in my previous blog post about the mention, but here’s a closer look at the process of creating this magnificent master bedroom plan.

This is the jumping off point for my team when designing an InBox project. The InBox team “decodes” what you’re looking for through the inspiration photos you send us. We collect the ones that best represent the intent of the project and display them in a collage in the begining of  the “Look Book.” Then with the turn of a page, you can see how to turn your inspiration into a reality!


These are just a few of the fabulous selections chosen that are available from online sources. We put together a shopping guide in the “Look Book” that includes all of the info you need to know to go shopping! Stores, prices, and other important notes are all right there to help keep you in line and stay on budget!



Rendered drawings by my InBox team show you how to put it all together.


You get your very own, personalized “Look Book” containing your concept, drawings, selections, shopping guide, installation notes and more, plus a swatchbook containing fabric and paint samples.

Voila! A design in a box arrives at your door to put a smile on your face and spruce up your space!

Visit the InBox Interiors website to find out more!