Archive for the ‘The Traveling Designer’ Category

Last Day at the Beach

Posted by

10467965_911160465576751_1731956361_n So it’s our last day at the beach and early tomorrow we will make the 12 hour trek home. But boy have we had a great time. I was joined by my family last week and great friends this week. And after the wonderfully busy year I’ve had in 2014 so far it was a very welcome break. 10454000_677271755653891_716544297_n We had our fair share of sugar with friends. 927689_316120011879592_1966957139_n Enjoyed tomatoes and watermelon daily including this fab salad from Georges at Alys Beach. 10483455_1442461456004209_1013943301_n And spent plenty of time catching waves in the gorgeous Florida waters. So a big thank you for excusing me from the blog for a couple of weeks. I will get back to normal next week feeling relaxed and happy.

xo from Florida,

Tobi Signature






Hello From Sunny Florida!

Posted by


Hi Friends! I didn’t forget you. Actually I feel a bit lost while I am away from the blog and not in touch with you daily, but the last couple of weeks just got a little more hectic than usual. Life happens like that sometimes especially in the summer when my daughter is out of school. I’m sure it happens to you too. But today I am happy to report that I have landed safely in Florida and made my way to the Seaside/Watercolor area for an exciting 2 week stay.

beach 1

I have been vacationing in Florida for years but never stayed for two weeks at a time so I am very excited to see how it goes. I do have to make a quick jaunt up to NYC this week and will be making a fun announcement while I am there, so stay tuned for that.

Otherwise, I will be relaxing, replenishing and getting uber creative so I can hit the ground running for the second half of 2014 because I have a LOT on my plate for Fall that I will be telling you about soon.


I hope you are having (or planning to have soon) great summer vacations too. They are so important to our health and well-being. Especially for workaholics like me.

Happy Summer! xo,

Tobi Signature


Taking a Trip but Enjoying the Journey

Posted by


I am taking a short trip today to my parent’s lakehouse to enjoy family for this holiday weekend. And just this morning one of my daily email subscriptions I have spoken about to you before, en*theos, got me to thinking about journeys or more importantly our life’s journey.


The email included an article by Ran Zilca that referenced the Bhagavad Gita, the sacred Hindu script considered to be one of the most important texts in literature and philosophy and it also referenced the Tao Te Ching, written by Lao Tzu, the father of Taoism. Both of these works are familiar to me because they are often referenced in the practice of yoga and by my favorite spiritual thought leaders including Wayne Dyer. And it is actually on my “to do” list to read them both in their entirety–I guess you can say it’s on my bucket list.


And that brings me to the point I am trying to make here. We spend a lot of time thinking about our future. What we want to cross off our “bucket list” or even what we “should” be doing in this life. And we often get more preoccupied with the destination we are trying to get to rather than enjoying the journey. And sure, we have all heard “Enjoy the journey”, or “the journey IS the destination”. But I can’t say that it really sunk in for me until this morning. Here’s what what Ran said that gave me my Ah-ha!

(from the Bhagavad Gita)…
You have a right to your actions,
but never to your actions’ fruits.
Act for the action’s sake.
And do not be attached to inaction.
Self-possessed, resolute, act
without any thought of results,
open to success or failure.
This equanimity is yoga.
It’s hard to find text that encapsulates so much wisdom in so few words. Inner peace comes when your reward is simply being proactive, liberated from preoccupation with future results.  You just go on the road and enjoy the ride, leaving your comfort zone to face the challenges of being out there. When you do that, results follow, but perhaps not the way you’d expected. As Lao Tzu, the father of Taoism wrote in the Tao Te Ching:
the more we don’t desire something,
the greater the chance of getting it,
and all the more exciting.


So there it is…another epiphany for me. It’s not just about enjoying the journey while still keeping your eye on the ball of the destination. It is forgetting the destination completely and the reward itself is just taking the journey.


Talk about living in the present! Can you do that? Not sure that I can, but my heart and my gut sure want to try. Can you begin to practice creating your goals simply for the joy in the journey itself? Can you write a book because you really are fulfilled by writing, not because it will make you loads of money and bring you fame? Can you design a room even if it is never published because of the sheer joy and fulfillment of creating a successful and meaningful space? Can you get healthy and change your habits just to make yourself well and whole each day, not to fit into a certain dress or swimsuit or impress another person?


I recently read in The 4-hour Work Week this profound statement…

“Time without attention means nothing, so value attention over time.” 


It made me think of my daughter. And it made me realize that just being with her and not giving her my undivided attention (which I have done so many times) because I am working, or on my phone or iPad, is the same as not being with her at all. In fact, it is actually worse, because it reinforces to her that she is less important than all these electronics. Or she is less important than the person on the phone. And why would I ever want her to think anything is more valuable to me than she is? Yikes! What a gut check, right?


So I think all these ideas come full-circle for me today. It is not just about enjoying the journey. It is about being 100% present in the journey knowing all the while that if nothing comes from the journey but the journey itself, it was more fulfilling than any future result we could ever imagine and strive for. And if valuing those on the journey with you by giving them time AND attention is your only success, then what a blessed life you have had. It’s like the Tao Te Ching says…The more we don’t desire something, the greater the chance of getting it and all the more exciting.


Will you enjoy the ride? Will you leave the “baggage” of your past and your future and just live for today giving both time AND attention to the people and the moments that are most important to you?


Remember my resolution for this year to “Collect Moments, Not Things”. Well things are the destination and the moments are the journey.

Wishing you a safe and happy weekend with family and friends and hoping you enjoy the ride!


Tobi Signature


And for those of you design-lovers here are a few AMAZING rooms that leave the “baggage” as gorgeous elements of design and not limiting beliefs that hold us back. Enjoy…









p.s. To see all these great room images and travel inspired photos visit my Pinterest Boards called Destinations and Trunk Love. And while you are there, feel free to daydream about all the amazing places you want to travel and visit in this life, simply because the journey would fill your soul! Bon Voyage.

A Road Map to Summer

Posted by

What’s the ultimate way to get to know someone? A road trip, of course! I mean you can learn A LOT about a person when you spend a few hours together in a car — everything from what’s on their iPod (Glee, Katy Perry & Adele) to how they take their coffee (with creamer, thank you!).

This past week Country Living came out with their list of 50 Things To Do This Summer in 50 States. While I may not be able to get to all of them in the next three months, I can guarantee you this is a list I’ll be saving, pinning on my travel boards and going back to for years to come. I mean, how could I resist a caramel factory in Colorado or a Lobstermen’s co-op in Maine??

I think one of the reasons the list is so juicy is because it comes straight from the mouths of local residents in each of the states. Who better to tell you where to shop, eat or sleep than a local, right? Speaking of locals, I was honored to be selected as the Arkansas representative for this list. If you’re wondering what I selected, click here to see what I like to do on warm summer days in central Arkansas.

Want to see who’s headed where? Follow the Twitter stream #50states for your own virtual tour of the U.S.

Happy Trails!
xo, Tobi


High Point Highlights

Posted by

Hello Friends!
Welcome to day three of my travel journal. If you were here on Monday and Tuesday, you know I had the chance to recap my adventures at the Arizona Design Center and the Design Leadership Summit in Marrakech.

Today I want to share a few highlights from my trip to High Point Market last month. First of all, I just love High Point’s tag line — “The Next Six Days That Matter.” Isn’t that great?!? And in many ways it couldn’t be more spot on. High Point is one of the most inspirational experiences both because I get to see new products and because it’s a great opportunity to catch up with other people in the design industry. I get to see all my designer friends (like my friend Phoebe Howard above with her new Collection for Sherrill Furniture), my favorite vendor executives and creatives, and lot of the top Magazine Editors.  High Point has really become as much social as a shopping destination.

You may remember that while I was in Marrakech my good friend Cheminne Taylor-Smith, who is the VP of Marketing at High Point, visited the blog to share her insights on what would be hot at market this year. Wow– was she spot on or what? Take a look back at her post and see what you think…

As I mentioned, while I was in North Carolina I once again had the opportunity to be a Style Spotter at market. I shared all my favorite finds and trends like this gorgeous Orange Lillian August Chair on this Style Spotters Pinterest board. Here are a few of my top finds…

Isn’t this Chevron wall art by Selamat Designs cool?


I adore this fabulous Teal side table from Hickory Chair. You know I’m a color gal!

This turned bed from the “hot off the presses” Phoebe and Jim Howard’s new collection with Sherrill is absolutely dreamy…

And of course, I was thrilled to once again have my fabrics in the Hickory Chair Showroom along with my pillows and lighting from the Tobi Fairley Home Collection.

I was so honored to be the reigning style spotter this market and I couldn’t be happier that my sweet friend and fellow designer Traci Zeller took home the trophy this year!! She spotted this gorgeous new Thomas Pheasant side table from Baker…isn’t it fab?!? Congrats Traci, I love passing the torch to you!  Go check out her Style Spotter board to see what Traci thinks will be trending in 2012.

In addition to my 24 style spotter picks, I curated about 100 more great finds from market that you won’t want to miss including this great green spool chair from C.R. Laine. You can find them all, along with my finds from other recent markets on my Pinterest board “My Market Finds!”

Stay tuned for some of my favorite picks from the KBIS/Visions Conference in Chicago coming tomorrow, and I’ll even share a bit about my 10th anniversary trip that I squeezed in with my hubby while visiting Chicago.

xo, Tobi