Archive for the ‘Rugs’ Category

Nautically Nice

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With all of this warmer weather we’ve been having lately, I’m already dreaming of summer and can almost hear the ocean calling my name! It’s never to early to start scouting for some fresh updates for your home or wardrobe and get ready to ring in the season of sunshine and sandy beaches. These nautically inspiring finds will have you saying “anchors away!”

1. Catamaran Stripe Breton Red/Ivory Indoor/Outdoor Rug by Dash & Albert Rug Company  2. Chevron Oval Lamp by Jill Rosenwald Studio  3. Flavin Stripe Skirt by Marc by Marc Jacobs  4. Chambray Blue Stripe Pillow by Barclay Butera  5. Overboard Red Navy by Naughty Monkey  6. Katie Double Wrap by Marc by Marc Jacobs  7. Hilary Duffle from Scout by Bungalow  8. America’s Cup Napkin Set by Dabney Lee Home  9. Nautical Sailboat Invitation Set by Dots & Dahlias from Etsy  10. Antibes Chevron Navy Fabric by F. Schumacher  11. Rope Bin Collection in Cobalt by Serena & Lily  12. Rockabilly Pin Up Navy & White Stripe with White Anchor Nautical Sailor Hair Bow Clip by Lulu in the Sky from Etsy 13. Jacobson Stud Bangle by Marc by Marc Jacobs

Need more Nautical? Head on over to Pinterest and check out our Going Nautical board!

Tobi’s Top Ten Rugs

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Here is the latest installment of my monthly Tobi’s Top Ten.  The category this time…rugs! I get tons of emails in support of my Top Ten lists and I have had several requests for rugs.  So here they are! I often customize rugs for my projects but there are many companies making beautiful custom-quality carpets in all sizes and price ranges.  Here are some of my favorites! Hope you like them too!


1. Zig zag by West Elm

2. Pottery Barn’s Polka Dot is bold and fun!

3. Chainlink Rug by Windsor Smith for Kravet Rugs is reminiscent of the Hermes Chainlink. I love it!

4. I love this yellow Sellarsbrook rug from The Rug Company


5. Madeline Weinrib is one of my all time favorite rug designers!!! Her Black and White Emma is stunning!


6. Michael Smith’s Fancy Garden Rug has grand scale and can come in custom sizes!

7. New River Artisan’s Alexandria. This color palette would look great in my house!

8. The Rug Company’s Key Turquoise Rug is fantastic!

9. And the “Very Stoned Rug” in Blue by Madeline Weinrib really feeds my Greek Key addiction!

10. Holly Go Lightly by New River Artisans Rug ranks at the top of my recent favorites list! I don’t know if it is the Breakfast at Tiffany’s reference or the Fabulous design and color palette! It’s probably all three!

This Little Project went to Market

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It is always exciting to see the transformation that takes place with a home renovation project and nothing makes this more evident than seeing the “before” and “after” photos. I think remodeling is a testament to the true value of hiring professionals, whether they are designers, architects or other consultants.  There are so many choices of product and design available and professional consultants help bring all your ideas to fruition!

It was exactly this time of year in 2006 when I started one such renovation. I had the opportunity to reminisce about this project and others last week when I received some exciting news… … …

Last week I was approached with the amazing honor of being the featured designer in the High Point Furniture Market showroom of my favorite custom rug company, New River Artisans, for the upcoming Fall Show.  This is a huge compliment to my work, as New River has worked with many talented and nationally recognized designers from all over the country including the amazing Thomas Pheasant of Baker Furniture fame, Geoffrey Bradfield and many more. 

While I was reviewing many of my past projects, specificiallt ones where I had incorporated rugs from New River, I began reminiscing about one project in particular that I think was especially successful.  It is traditional and classic in its style but was redecorated in a fresh and clean way. When re-designing the interiors, I paid special attention to the colonial architectural style of the home that was built in the 1930’s.  Still I wanted to ensure that the home was a perfect compliment to the young family with 3 teenage daughters and would be a great atmosphere for entertaining friends and family.

Take a look and see if you agree that the renovation was a great success! And take special note of the gorgeous geometric patterned rug in the redesigned den, created for me by New River Artisans. I hope all of you visiting the New River Showroom at Fall Market will enjoy seeing this and other beautiful homes where I had the pleasure of using New Rivers’ amazing carpets!!

Here is the Family Room before:

And after!

Living Room before:

And after we turned it into a cozy den!!

There’s that beautiful New River Artisans Rug!!!

The Kitchen and Breakfast Room Before:

And after the renovation!!

Here is the Dining Room before we redecorated:

And after!

Master Bedroom before we began:

And after!

The small study attached to the Master Bedroom:

And the quaint retreat after!

It’s all there in Black and White.

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I love color! I have used bold shades of it in interior design for years. But there is just something so graphic and bold and handsome about black and white.  It is crisp and dramatic and I find that I gravitate towards it time and again.  Maybe it is the same excitement I get from using black and white in my wardrobe that translates into my interior design.  There is nothing more appealing than a starched white tailored shirt.  And black….do I even own anything to wear that is not black.  It is the comfort color. It makes you look slim and sleek and sophisticated!  And when you put these 2 colors together, it is just a combination that can’t be beat! It is timeless. It is glamorous. It is classic.

I think there is an art to making black and white comfortable in an interior application.  There is always the risk of it coming off too stark, or harsh, or cold.  So here are some tips for achieving drama and style without sacrificing comfort in your home

1. Layer in various tones of white with black so that the space is not too stark.  I would err on the side of off-white or cream in many instances. It still reads “black and white” but it is a little softer.
2.Integrate other colors as an accent.  Even if you want to keep the palette neutral, a little tan or charcoal can add depth to the palette and give it a little more interest than simply black and white. And if you are willing to go bold, pop in a bright yellow, hot pink, or apple green for an exciting twist!
3. Layer in pattern and texture.  Since you are primarily working with 2 colors, it is important that you have a variety of pattern and texture to make the space both visually interesting and also comfortable and soothing to the touch.  I prefer large-scale patterns in black and white to really play up the drama.  And contrary to popular believe, I think large patterns work exceptionally well in small spaces!
4. Mix in metallic finishes to add another “color” dimension to the space.  Both gold and silver work beautifully with black and white depending on the style you are trying to evoke.  Silver leaf, chrome, or nickel finishes would give a more contemporary feel where gold and gold leaf put a traditional spin on the black and white palette.
5. Incorporating a variety of stained and painted wood tones into the space can certainly add warmth and interest.  Again, depending on the style of the room, stained wood can be a fabulous addition.  Using it with a sleek finish can make the space feel new and fresh. Combining black and white with more rustic stained and painted finishes can work beautifully for a more traditional and casual result.

Here are some photos of my own home, where I have incorporated the black and white color palette. They are actually some of my favorite spots in the whole house!

I also used black and white as an accent in my previous home. It was a 1950’s ranch style so the mod look of black and white was a great compliment!!

And this last space is a guest bathroom in a client’s home. I love the geometric pattern and banded shower curtain:

Here are some beautiful black and white products currently on the market! These Madeline Weinrib Rugs and Pillows are some of my favorite black and white finds!


Barbara Barry does a beautiful job with black and white!! Her Bracelet Chair is a classic!!



And Suzanne Kasler’s New Collection for Hickory Chair has some beautiful Black and White pieces!!

So I hope these photos have inspired you to give black and white a try!! It may be just the perfect addition to your home!