Archive for the ‘New House Diary’ Category

New House Diary: Wonderful Wallpaper

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New House Diary

It’s getting more fun by the day around here. I can’t wait to show you all the progress. Things are happening everywhere including in my yoga room, which I’m dying to use any day now.

Yes, yoga would be perfect right about now. I definitely need a little zen since I’m so busy with other people’s projects that I don’t have time to work on my own. Isn’t that the story of a designer’s life? But it is fun to come home each night to surprises that happen while I am away at the office. And thankfully this week they are GORGEOUS surprises.

My recent days have been full of wallpaper progress. If you know me at all, you know I am crazy about it. Just last week in my Tobi TV episode, you got a dose of why I love wallpaper so much. And trust me, there is a LOT of paper going in my house. Definitely more than the average home, for sure.

To keep you from waiting for ALL the pretty stuff when I can officially do the big reveal, here is a peek at 3 of the fabulous papers that have made their debut on our walls this week:


I never regret a Fret!


Oh Fromental, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways!


And a bit of Thibaut to make my daughters room sassy. I love how it looks with her frameless glass bathroom door – totally Turquoise.

Fun, right? Let me know what you think of all these pretty papers. And stay tuned because there will be much more in the way of wallpaper, upholstered walls, fabulous stair runners, gorgeous drapery and more happening at my house all summer long!



New House Diary: Hardware Happiness

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New House Diary

It’s all starting to seem real now that we are on week two of living in our remodeled home. And yes, subcontractors are still in and out daily, but now we are getting to the pretty stuff, so it’s worth the hassle!

Thankfully they are also adding a lot of function to the place. For example, our kitchen knobs were backordered for a week and it was so frustrating not being able to open our inset kitchen cabinets. You just don’t realize how often you open your cabinets until you can’t. Especially when your coffee pot is housed inside your new “coffee station” cabinet! But thankfully now they are installed and life is good again!


And on the topic of hardware, the kitchen isn’t the only place hardware is making me happy. Here’s a little peek at several spots that the hardware in my home is really jazzing the place up…




master cabinet


front door interior

Hope you enjoyed my little hardware party. It’s like jewelry for the home, and what gal doesn’t love some fab jewelry?


Tobi Signature







New House Diary: The Home Stretch

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New House Diary

As designers, we always try to have the best communication with our clients, especially when we’re close to move-in day. Because despite all the organization, lists, and hard work, there are always a million little details that have to be in place before a job is finished. And sometimes those details can make you crazy. I had to remember that last week as we hit the home stretch for my own new home’s remodel – because last week was move-in day for me, as you can see by the tower of boxes that was built in my dining room!


This week, I’m absolutely thrilled to be in my house, even with a punch list to complete and kinks to be worked out! But last week, just as on any job like this, there were a million little things that had me running and had my phone pinging constantly with questions. That’s just the nature of a big job like this. Here are a few of the details that came up:

1. Should the master bathroom shower digital interface be just on the interior of the shower, or one on the interior and exterior? Yep…this important plumbing decision was delayed due to receiving the wrong interface to begin with but we had wired pulled in both areas, so two interfaces or one?

2. One of the master bathroom sinks went missing in the warehouse, so we had to track down a new one. Again, last minute plumbing issue that one would hope would have been done weeks ahead of move-in, but you know how things don’t always go as planned.

3. Finding all the mounting brackets and supply elbows for the plumbing. Who knew there could be so many bits and pieces?

4. One of the kitchen pendants was missing a glass diffuser for the last minute hanging of light fixtures and another diffuser was broken in shipping for my daughter’s closet.

5. Which rooms needed custom-colored outlets/switch plates, which ones needed regular white, and finally which ones needed acrylic when the walls have wallpaper. I had told electrician and contractor previously I would deal with this after move-in because I just couldn’t take one more decision a few weeks ago.

6. The wrong shower door hardware was shipped for the guest bath and a shower door pull color had been overlooked. Polished nickel was the answer but until mid-week, I didn’t know this was a question. Ha!

7. And then finding the specific outlets that I wanted in some rooms – the kind that include USB ports (these are so handy).


And there were a lot more questions too! Sounds silly, but those things have to be decided, and sometimes on the fly! And as much as we would like all these things all complete and tidied up weeks before move-in, that is often not realistic. I had a whole new appreciation for my clients pushing me to get moved into their home because I was so ready to get out of my temporary condo living.

And I am traveling this week to teach my Designer MBA course in Atlanta, so last week was really the only time I could take a full week and get moved out of our condo and into the house and all unpacked and organized. So I moved in with the house “ready or not” which had me making more last minute construction decisions than I would have liked, but it all worked out.

Add to that trying to coordinate the movers, get my daughter to school and back, keep the dog from running out the door with all the subcontractors coming in, and getting the house all unpacked and livable. Whew! Many of you can imagine the sometimes-controlled chaos we went through last week.

BUT  the good news is – I’m in my new house!! I’ll be sharing a lot of sneak peeks on Instagram over the coming weeks, and I’ll keep sharing some of my selections here with you, too. I can’t wait to share the complete house with you, but that will have to wait for a special publication that will be out after Christmas. I know, it’s hard to wait. But as I learned last week, it is SO worth it!







New House Diary: Floor It

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New House Diary

By the time you read this, I should be back into my new house because yesterday was moving day! It’s been so much fun to watch the last few details get nailed down and put into place as we hit the home stretch over the last few days. I have never seen so many hard-working people helping me get this house ready and pull off my move.

One thing in my house that is a serious workhorse this week (and will be for years to come) – but rarely gets the glory – is all of the lovely flooring. We have traipsed dozens of boxes, appliances, sofas and more across them already and they are just getting started supporting all our activities in our newly remodeled home.

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The beautiful black-and-white Emser Tile in my entry literally made me jump up and down – it’s just that pretty! It’s called Times Square so it reminds me of my favorite city and I just love this classic look. It’s clean and sophisticated, and it will really make a statement for guests as they enter my house. ProSource has been a fabulous sourcing partner to help me find the perfect look for each room and they have the best vendors who have been such a joy to work with!

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If you’ve been paying attention to this regular column of mine, you may have also seen a  hint of what the floors in my kitchen and wet bar just might be, too!

IMG_6489A little like another of my favorite places, this floor is reminiscent of a Paris Bistro. And though it looks like marble, it’s glass. This cool new product from Daltile looks great and doesn’t show anything, especially dirt and lint. I LOVE it!

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And upstairs in the guest bath, these grey marble hexagon tiles from Speartek give the room a soft glow. It’s another classic look that really makes an impact, even if it isn’t the first thing you’ll notice in this room.

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There are so many pretties on the floors of this house, I can’t decide my favorite, but in the running is definitely the fabulous Daltile mosaic floor in the master bathroom! Don’t you just love that classic Greek key motif around the border?! It is such a stunning design and turned out even better than I imagined!

IMG_6494And don’t forget all the gorgeous AND eco-friendly wood floors from Shaw in a warm color called “Wheat Penny.”  They cover a lot of my home. With our allergies, pets, and kids, I definitely wanted the old, dirty carpet that came with the house out of there and sleek and beautiful hardwoods in its place. Now just walking up my stairs and seeing hardwoods span the length of the house and into my yoga room makes me feel more calm and relaxed. Namaste Shaw Flooring!

So what do you think about my new floors so far? Do you like the classic look of black and white that runs through much of the house? Give me your comments in the section below!







New House Diary: Selections for Fixtures

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New House Diary

Ready or not, I am moving into my house in just 4 days! This has been an amazing process and I can’t wait to get into the new spaces and really enjoy how they function now! Plus it will now be time to really dig into the interior design for my house since we have the “bones” of the house just like we want them. For many of my clients, I finish both of these phases at once, but for my own project, I decided to take the construction and interiors phases separately. It was the only way I could stay sane while running my busy design and consulting businesses AND remodeling while taking care of my family and myself. Whew!

So stay tuned for more inside scoops on how I’m decorating the new home. I expect to complete most of it this summer so I can photograph it all this fall. But this week, before the decorating begins, I want to talk more about the fundamental selections that make my new house function so well – like the hardware and fixtures.

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As you can see from the photo above, they may not look as “sexy” as the fabrics and paint colors, but things like a great tub can really make your house into a fabulous home. I’m actually test-driving my new Kohler VibrAcoustic above, and when I tell you how cool it is, you’ll understand why my smile is so big! This tub uses sound vibration technology that moves the water with sound waves, which can also be combined with airjets for massage. You can even stream your own music through the water with Bluetooth. Isn’t that amazing? Talk about a “Calgon moment” – this tub is going to help me get rid of all my stress from the day. And I especially love a tub that is deep like this one at 22″ because it’s perfect for soaking away stress!

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I also chose Kohler’s Artifacts series for the fixtures on the tub. I love their sleek look, which will really complement the decor in the master bathroom. I also used these fixtures for the master bath’s sinks.

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In the kitchen, I really wanted an apron-front sink, and I found the perfect one with Kohler’s Dickinson design. It’s enameled cast iron and it’s 8 inches deep, so it will really be perfect for the cooking and cleaning up that we’ll be doing in my fab new kitchen. I have always had a double bowl sink in my previous homes, but have admired single-bowl versions in friend’s homes and in magazines. Now that I will have 2 dishwashers and no need to pile up one side of the sink with excess dirty dishes (which makes me crazy anyway!), why not go for the lovely single-bowl option? I will let you know very soon how I like it.

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To accommodate all those pots and pans, I wanted a high gooseneck spout for my faucet in the kitchen and Kohler’s Parq was my first choice! I really like the chic design and (spoiler alert!) chose it in the polished nickel to complement other design selections in the kitchen .

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Another fun fixture selection that I’m excited about is Kohler’s Poise entertainment sink for my wet bar. It’s a stainless steel sink that has a cutting board that fits right over it! This will be perfect for cutting limes, lemons, breads, cheese, and anything else we need when we have friends and family over.

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And in the powder room, we’ll actually have Kohler’s San Souci toilet, which works with just the wave of your hand! Isn’t that cool?  I love this option because it keeps germs at bay for my family and our guests because no one has to touch a handle for flushing the toilet. This is every mom’s dream, especially since this is the bath we use for all our guests visiting our backyard and swimming pool!

Technology has come a long way for the home, and these fixtures are so important for how your home functions for you and your family. Plumbing fixtures may not be the first thing that guests notice when they come into your home, but they make ALL the difference in working for the way you live!

Let me know what you think about these fixture selections in the comments section below, and tell me what types of sinks and hardware you prefer for your home!