Archive for the ‘Southern Living’ Category

How to Dream Big and in Color:Tobi’s 10 Tips for Embracing Color in 2013

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Do you aspire to really embrace COLOR this year? Are you finally ready to really make the leap towards using color fearlessly in your interior? Is your New Year’s Resolution for 2013 to get rid of your drab neutral spaces and give them life with “Pops of Color”?

Well if you said yes to any or all of these, I am definitely your go-to gal for how to use Bold, Dramatic Color in any space without Fear or Failure!

Just yesterday I started my day over at the KATV Channel 7 studio for my monthly Good Morning Arkansas’ Design Time with Tobi Fairley segment. Melinda and I were talking POPS of color in your home in the New Year and particularly bringing in Pantone’s Color of 2013…Emerald, with Style!

 I also mentioned my recent InBox Interiors feature in the December 2012 issue of Southern Living Magazine all about using pops of color (in this case pink and blue) to say WOW in your space! In case you missed the segment, I’ve included it here:

KATV – Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Little color punches in any room remind me of the really stand-out great moments in our daily lives. They are like the “sweet spots” or eye candy in your room, just like one great moment can really make your day! Not only are these color infusions simply stunning, they also make the larger picture much more interesting! And this idea of Moments of “Inspiration” in your Design are like Moments of Inspiration in life. In fact, if you’ve been following my resolutions posts so far this year, this idea ties back perfectly to my “Word of the Year” for 2013…Inspired! Why not live in an “Inspired Interior” every day of the year? And what better way to make it inspirational than with color?

So if you are scared to embrace color, even in small POPS, here are my Tobi’s Top 10 Tips for getting rid of the Fear and making your room Fab, Fun, and Full of Fearless Color!

1. Easing into a Soft Color: Well if you want to ease outside your comfort zone, and into your COLOR zone, selecting a soft color palette (instead of brights) might be more your style. And yes, paler hues are still color. Consider a soft blue, green, lavender or even pink. It will feel much like a neutral but it’s not. And you will be able to pat yourself on the back for joining the “color club”!

(Betsey Burnham)

(Tobi Fairley)

(House Beautiful)

(Barry Dixon)

2. Color is in the details: Even a true detail can serve as a pop of color. Books, Flowers, and Accessories alone can be just enough of a color infusion to make your space “Colorful Chic”. Even these yellow roses make this room read like its loaded with color!

(Tobi Fairley)


(Decor Pad)

(Amanda Nisbet)

3. Artwork Driving the Color Story: Artwork is always a great way to infuse a bold color in your space. To go for a museum look, keep the walls white and let the artwork be the star! And if you want to give the color a point of reference, mimic the artworks palette in a few sophisticated details. For you Fine Art Aficionados, don’t worry that this approach will look matchy…if used with restraint the coordinated elements will only add depth and interest.

(David Duncan Livingston)

(Christine d’Ornano)

(Amanda Nisbet)

(Elle Decor)

4. Black and White with a Pop of Color: A classic black and white palette is a bold and graphic base to support fun infusions of a vibrant hue. The great thing about using black and white as the “bones” of your space is that it is a truly timeless combination. And on the slim chance you tire of your color accents, it’s not to hard to change them out, recover them, or put them away for a while until you long for them again.

(Tobi Fairley)

(Grant Gibson)

(Tobi Fairley)

(Style at Home)

5. Color as a Neutral: Color Devoid of Contrast acts as a neutral. I was quoted saying this in House Beautiful back in March of 2010 and the concept still holds true. Layering shades of one color, a Monochromatic approach, makes for a soothing result. Either in soft shades for serenity, or rich shades for depth and comfort, a Monochromatic space is much more relaxing than it’s alternative…a room full of stark contrast.

(Tobi Fairley)

(Tobi Fairley)

(Tobi Fairley)

(David Collins)

(Todd Romano in Architectural Digest)

6. Going Bright!: And speaking of contrast, if you are ready to really embrace your inner Color Warrior, going bright will do the trick. Subscribing to the Go Bold or Go Home approach to color isn’t for the faint of heart but it can be very rewarding if you get it right. One fun option is using a variety of colors all in the same intensity (as these chairs radiating around the dining table). But you can also let a couple of the brights (Yellow and Blue) be the stars with a third color (green) as an accent all on a neutral base as evidenced by the stunning Amanda Nisbet room below. Are those yellow drapes gorgeous or what???

(Amanda Nisbet)

(Tobi Fairley)

7. Layering Colors: A more Traditional Approach, layering a variety of shades, hues, and intensities along with a slew of neutrals as the base, is most people’s approach to embracing Color. And who says Traditional has to be boring, Miles Redd certainly doesn’t think so!

(Miles Redd)

(Scot Meacham Wood)

(Hutton Wilkinson)

(Todd Romano)

8. Pops of a Single Hue in a Variety of Shades: A Monochromatic approach to your accent color can have great impact but still feel clean and fresh. For a purist approach to this concept, don’t even bring in small accents in a contrasting color. If you pick a hue, commit to it and don’t waiver for the best results.

(Tobi Fairley)

(Tobi Fairley)

9. Color on the Wall: If you are feeling extra Feisty, bring your color to the walls. Not for the faint of heart, color on the walls is a commitment for sure, but is still pretty easy on the pocket book. For the most sophisticated result with color on the wall, let the walls play the lead here and the furniture a supporting role.

(Tobi Fairley)

(Eric Cohler)

(Jamie Drake)

(Rob Passal)

(Katie Ridder)

10.Color mixed with Natural Elements: Bold colors suddenly become easier on the eye when toned down with great textures and natural elements. It’s like a gorgeous flower blossom in a forest…that bright spot in a sea of handsome.

(Denise McGaha)

I hope my Ten Tips for Embracing Color inspire you to make your home full of little (or BIG) color surprises this year; and I hope it helps you see how the extra-special moments of our lives (so many of them come during the holidays) are not only exciting in themselves, they also make every second of our lives better just because they happened.

Here’s wishing that “Color Happens” for you in 2013. Happy Decorating!





p. s. Need a few “pops” in your life? Here are a few options from Tobi Fairley Interior Design and Business Solutions that just might help…

*Want a POP of business motivation delivered to you, directly to your inbox weekly all year long? Yes? Then you’re ready to join me for Tobi Fairley E-Coaching!

*Want to really give your business a JOLT? Join me for my new Designer MBA Camp or my Year-Long Mastermind Mentoring Program.

*Want to add COLOR to your space like on the pages of Southern Living’s December Issue but afraid to go it alone? Check out my InBox Interiors Service and we’ll hold your hand as you DIY your space with Bold hues!

Here’s wishing you all the Perfect POPS in 2013 to make your Design and Business Dreams Come True!!

Tobi Fairley’s InBox Interiors in Southern Living’s December Issue!!

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December is here and it’s starting off with a BANG! I am more than THRILLED to be in the latest issue of Southern Living with a several page spread featuring my InBox Interiors service.

In this fun article, my team and I created an InBox Design for a Southern Living employee and they executed it beautifully in her entry. The before and afters are pretty dramatic!

They even included a few holiday decorations to make it festive for the season! And my Tobi Fairley Home Athens Fabric makes and appearance as a detail on the table skirt.

So hurry out to get a copy so you can see all the awesome design ideas and details we came up with for the makeover. You’ll be so happy you did because it’s just an all-around great issue full of Holiday ideas and recipes.

And if you want to redo a room in your home, our InBox Interiors Service makes a PERFECT Holiday Gift. Visit our InBox Interiors Website here to get more info or make a purchase today!

Wishing you a GREAT week and a Happy Holiday Season! xo,


Southern Living 100 Makeover Ideas!

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Have you seen the latest Southern Living special edition?? I just got this one last week and was thrilled to see a full summer’s worth of fabulous projects from designers like Phoebe Howard, Eddie Ross and Kevin Walsh.

I especially loved the DIY features — including how to make a lamp from an urn and how to create etchings on glass (there’s an awesome Greek key pattern they feature)!! Some of them are even easy enough that you might get your kids to lend a hand.


I was also thrilled to have two of my previously published projects included in this special edition!

You can get your own copy of 100 Makeover Ideas on newsstands now.

Happy Reading!

xo, Tobi


A Seersucker Luncheon with Southern Living

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If you’re from the South, you know that the minute the Easter eggs are hidden and Memorial Day plans are made, the seersucker comes out! I love this lightweight summer fabric and thought it was the perfect inspiration for a cheer-filled luncheon. Here’s how I used it to pull together a casual, yet refined look for the May issue of Southern Living.

Don’t miss the rest of this fabulous issue, which has some great advice from my friend Phoebe Howard, a feature on some of the South’s top young designers and, of course, some divine recipes!!

Happy Reading!