Archive for the ‘Spas’ Category

Arizona in Springtime

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Hi Friends,

Well, as promised, I am spending this week bringing you up to speed on all the exciting things I have been seeing and doing this spring. To kick off the recap of my many travels of late, let’s start with my trip to Scottsdale, Arizona in late March.

I was thrilled to be asked to be a keynote speaker at the Arizona Design Center for Spring Market. Even better that it fell right in the middle of my daughter’s spring break, so she and my mom (my two favorite traveling partners) could tag along.

We stayed a few days at one of my favorite resorts and spas, The Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain. You know it’s a good place when you check in on Foursquare and the tips/recommendations were left by none other than Tory Burch! And though I was there to give a talk to Arizona designers entitled “The Power of Using Social Media to Build your Design Brand,” I was on a mission to relax and enjoy some family time along the way.

The Arizona Design Center was great! The designers were so welcoming, including Sylvia Lorts, owner of the beautiful Alexander Sinclair showroom where I saw this gorgeous Greek key table. Sylvia is also part of the family who owns Lorts furniture.

After my talk and the lovely luncheon hosted by Sylvia and her team, I had a bit of time to venture into the Design Center’s great showrooms.

My daughter loved testing out this great “pod” from Dedon’s collection found in the Inside/Out showroom.

Here are just a few of my favorite finds from Alexander Sinclair, Ebanista, and Century Furniture.

You can see more of them on my “My Market Finds” Pinterest Board.

And we also found plenty of time for relaxing by the pool…

Going for hikes around the Sanctuary and on Camelback Mountain…

And getting services at the AMAZING Sanctuary Spa, doing yoga in their fitness center, and just having grandmother-mommy-daughter fun in the sun!

And many of our meals were experienced right on the Sanctuary premises either in their great Elements Restaurant or sitting around the pool wrapped in one of their signature lime and white striped towels. I am a HUGE fan of their Bento Boxes for lunch…so fresh and delicious!

Find more of my photos of our time at the Sanctuary on my Instagram feed #ArizonaSpring2012 or follow me, @tobifairley.

If you get the chance, you must visit both the Arizona Design Center and the Sanctuary Resort and Spa.  I definitely plan to visit them both again soon.

Stay tuned for more of my travels tomorrow when we head to Marrakech, Morocco!

xo, Tobi

Design Camp Session 2: Inspiration Boards and a Contest too!

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Design Summer Camp session 2 is all about what inspires you.  Campers will be taking the things they love and turning them into a stepping stone for a beautiful room.

Here are some things that inspire me…

White Peonies

Blogs (this image from Coco +Kelley)

Classic ornamentation

Other Designers creations

Bold, geometric fabrics

Pure, gorgeous color


DIY projects

Entertaining in Style

Now don’t you think these are the perfect pieces to inspire a beautiful room?

So here’s the fun part. I will be bringing my favorite inspiration boards from my Design Campers here to the blog later this week for a vote and the winning board gets a fabulous spa package from Ava Bella Day Spa. What a way to find some inspiration, Right?

And now for even more exciting news…You can be a winner too! Email your very own digital design inspiration board to us at by noon this Friday July 16th and I will select one of you to win free tuition to an upcoming Design Camp Weekend Session (travel and lodging not included).  This prize is valued at $500 but the design skills you will learn are priceless!  So get to work on your board today.

Images: Inspiration Board via House and Home  , Room from Coco +Kelley, Door knocker via Grant Gibson, Green leather chair from House and Home  , Pillows by Caitlin Creer, Fashion from, DIY project via Lonny Mag, and tablesetting from This is glamorous.

The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.-Henry Ward

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I love watching the Fine Living Network.  Some of my favorite shows on FLN are those by interior designer Sarah Richardson.  Her demeanor is so calm.  And I love the way that she finds inspiration for her work in nature and in life.  Each episode she selects a few items that are inspiration for her color palette and textures.  Things like, leaves, coffee beans, fresh flowers, twine and a multitude of other everyday items that many of us never even take the time to notice. Though I am sure Sarah experiences the same high stress that others in our creative industry do, she seems to have done a really good job of balancing her work and her life and she seems to take the time to find the beauty in the simple things.  She is an inspiration to me and I am sure many others that strive to find this same type of balance.

We, as Americans, spend a lot of time searching for balance. This especially holds true for women.  We are on this constant journey to find the perfect mix of work and family and that leaves very little time for ourselves.  I have to admit that I am no different.

No too long ago, I had the enlightening revelation with help from my friend and business consultant Mary who has been in the interior design business for over 30 years. She helped me understand that this “so-called” balance we are all looking for does not have to necessarily be divided in equal parts, as long as the sum of the parts is 100.  So striving for 50% work and 50% family is not only unnecessary, it is almost impossible to achieve. At different times in our lives, the scales will tip to either one side or the other. And that is ok. I also came to the realization that it is not only ok but can even be healthy to embrace my passion and love for work and that I should allow myself to be free of guilt while spending my time focused on my business which also happens to be my hobby.  Mary also helped me realize that I have a creative gift and talent and that I should take advantage of this while I have the energy and the desire to use it, because I might not always have that option.

Another amazing woman, my yoga teacher Holly, has had a great effect on my work-life balance and certainly my stress level. Just being in her presence calms me and centers me. She recently helped me realize something very important about my journey towards balance.  She helped me to understand that this balance that we are “searching” for is something that we already have. It is always present, we just don’t take the time to realize it and to enjoy it. We don’t find peace and beauty in the simple things in life…those very things that Sarah Richardson uses to create her inspired interiors.

Last weekend I had the most wonderful opportunity to reflect on these profound ideas from my advisors and mentors while spending time with 30 other fantastic women from around the country, communing with nature, embracing our similarities and differences, and nurturing ourselves. We spent 3 glorious days at Lake Ouachita just outside of Hot Springs, Arkansas chatting in front of roaring fires, getting pampered at the Turtle Cove Spa, eating delicious organic meals, practicing yoga with views of the Lake and hiking through the Ouachita National Park. We even hugged a couple of trees…no kidding!!

The weekend was all about balance.  And I am happy to say that it was a great success!!  I feel more balanced and at peace than I have in a long, long time.  And the really exciting part for me is that I not only feel rested and relaxed, I was completely inspired by the environment to be creative, in a way that I have not been in a really long time.  I felt like a child again getting out in the woods on the hike, and with my IPOD providing the background music, I was transported into a euphoric state where I could absorb the colors and textures of the forest, the lake, the sky; where I could study the shadows and the streams of sunlight through the trees. I smelled the fresh scents of the moss and the creeks and I saw the falling leaves and heard them crunch under our feet.  It was a true delight to all the senses and I cannot wait to translate all of these experiences into designs for my clients’ homes.

During the retreat we had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Stephen Altschulers, author of The Mindful Hiker.  Stephen has spent a lifetime falling in love with walking, and he taught us all how to become one with nature as we were hiking on the beautiful Lake Ouachita Vista Trail.  Thanks to Stephen, I will never look at a tree the same way again…and I will probably even have the urge to give it a little squeeze!  He helped us truly see all the beauty that lies around us each and every day that we are too busy to stop and notice. 



And to top off what was otherwise a perfect weekend, my spa experiences at Turtle Cove were some of the best that I have ever had.  Featured in many magazines including Day Spa Magazine in the June 2007 issue praising their outdoor and seasonal spa services, Turtle Cove was named in the top five spas in the country for catering to women because of their annual Women in Balance Retreat  by Healing Lifestyles and  I had the pleasure of having a custom massage in an outdoor pavilion that overlooks the lake.  It was a delight to the senses, because I not only had the pleasure of touch, but I was able to feel the cool and crisp wind on my skin, and hear the rustle of the leaves, the crickets chirping, the birds singing…talk about relaxation!!!  And if that were not enough, I followed that up with a seasonal treat, the pumpkin skin renewal facial complete with a pumpkin and yam enzyme peel, a chamomile toner, finished with a pumpkin latte and chocolate mask. All organic, these products felt wonderful and smelled good enough to eat!!

So a thank you is in order for all those that helped remind me this weekend of my place of peace.  That helped me remember that what I have been searching for was always right before my eyes…and my ears, and nose and skin.  And that it truly is important to stop and smell the roses, or in this case the yam and pumpkin facial.  I appreciate the opportunity to take this inspiration back to my family, my office, and my clients.    It will be these experiences and the love I found in my many new friendships that were developed over the weekend that will inspire me and my work over the coming weeks and months. I have already planned more hikes with my new found friends and I am planning to re-visit the spa in the winter for their winter quince facial and again in February for the champagne pedicure and fireside hot stone massage. I think this retreat may really have changed my life for the better long term.  I think this newly rediscovered love of nature and nurture is something I can carry with me for the rest of my life.

And in the tradition of Sarah Richardson I plan to use nature and life as cues for my color palettes and textures in my interior design.  Look for the following themes coming soon in my projects to a magazine near you! Peace be with you all and may you have the opportunity if only for a moment to find balance in your life!!!