Archive for the ‘Tobi’s Tips’ Category

Sunday Fun Day on Instagram!

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Did you know Sunday is the most active day on Instagram? Likely because people have more down time on Sunday to enjoy this beautiful and creative site. I sure do my fair share of posting on Instagram on Sunday and every other day of the week.


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If you are not following me on Instagram, you are missing out on a lot of gorgeous Interiors I am working on (like this fab pool and pool house), delicious food I am cooking, and my daily inspirations and motivations.

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So jump on the Instagram bandwagon and follow me there. You can find me on Instagram as @tobifairley. And be sure to leave me comments about your thoughts on my postings. I love the personal interactions I have in the comments on this FUN site!

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I can’t wait to hear from you each day. To me Instagram is like no other site because it’s spontaneous and often real time. So if you have always wished you could be my shadow as I live the life of a designer, blogger, world traveler, business coach (and even a cook and a mom)…Instagram is your chance!

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And be sure to say “Hi” if you are just starting to follow so I can say Hello to you too!

I’ll see you there! xo,

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Introducing Tobi TV: Adding WOW to your Entry

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Today we launch another ALL-NEW series from Tobi Fairley and Associates…Tobi TV.  SURPRISE!

That’s right, each Tuesday starting today, we will bring you video content with my latest Design Tips, Tricks and Trends. The videos will range from a fun series I shot in my last home just before we moved including today’s episode, to video direct from my design workroom at my studio where I make all the exciting design decisions for my clients, to other fun video collaborations with many of my creative friends.


So today, we’re talking How to add WOW to your entryway.

Next week we’ll delve to my design inspiration and possible selections for the entry in my new home and you’ll get to weigh in on your favorite ideas in my New House Diary post. But to whet your appetite for all things entry in the meantime, here’s how I spruced up my old one. It’s all about scale…

Remember this post with the before and after shots of my entry in all the glorious black and white?


Well in my Tobi TV segment today, I show you exactly how and why I decided to spruce things up.  So take a look at the video and tell me what you think.

Here’s a little recap of my top tips from today’s Tobi TV –say that fast 3 times! 🙂

1. Don’t forget the Entry should be WOW!–it sets the tone for what lies beyond. It’s like the invitation to a great party.

2. Scale is key…maximize the impact of your accessories by getting the scale just right. Not too small, but not too big either.

3. Add a POP of color. It makes a splash in a big way. Have fun with unique colors like Pink in an Entry way. It’s not your main room so you won’t grow tired of something a little more edgy. And you can never go wrong with a hint of blue (or a lot of it). It’s the most popular color amongst Americans and lots of other people too.

4. Vintage Finds and Fine Art make your space uniquely YOU! So make sure there are a few original pieces that reflect your personality and the others who inhabit the space.

There you have my Tobi’s Top Tips for a WOW entry. Leave me a comment and tell me what you think about Tobi TV and this video in particular. And if you want to make sure you know about ALL our new launches head over to our Tobi TV landing page and sign up in the bright pink box so you will be the first to know about all our BIG announcments this year!


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My 2014 Word of the Year

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I am so excited about 2014 that I can taste it. My excitement is real, palpable. I am serious about making this year AWESOME. I am certain it will be my biggest year yet. I have no doubt.

cb28ba73e3badcbec5a481f36a840201Did you hear that? I will MAKE this year awesome. Not “it will be” awesome. I will MAKE it that way. I am on a mission more than ever before.

I love picking a word of the Year each January as my intention…to set the tone–No, to define this year. It will happen. I put it out there and the Universe meets me. And it’s critical that I pick the right word that will define my attitude, my energy, and my approach to life for the next 12 months. It becomes part of who I am. It makes a difference when the going gets tough. It directs my self-talk.

The last two years have been BIG years for me in many ways. In 2012 with the word Discipline I got healthy mentally, physically, and financially.

In 2013 with Inspire as my word, I invested in building my team and my new multi-faceted Design and Consulting business in a way that allows me to inspire many people to be their best in their homes, their businesses and their lives. My new online presence that we launched this week brings all our efforts of 2013 together in one place so I can do the work I am called to do and can live my passion inspiring the world around me.

So now for 2014–(drum roll please) This year my word is … ACTION.


Here are some of my favorite definitions of Action:

1. The most vigorous, productive, or exciting activity in a particular field, area or group (Wants to be where the action is)

2. An act of will

3. Initiative, enterprise (A Man of Action)

4. Financial gain or an opportunity for financial gain (A piece of the action)

5. The way the body moves.

6. The accomplishment of a thing usually over a period of time, in stages or with the possibility of repetition

And action will take many of these forms for me this year…Massive Action at work, massive action moving my body for my health, and massive financial action just to name a few. Plus I’m hell bent on crossing things off my bucket list, spending more time with friends, and doing many of the things I have been putting off “until I have time”.  No more waiting. I’m taking ACTION!


I am a doer. My top strength from Strengthfinders 2.0 is Activator. The synopsis for the Activator personality says “You are impatient for ACTION. You constantly ask…When can we start?” So it’s not that I am trying to accomplish something that will be impossible this year, but rather I am LEANING IN to my top strength. This year I am taking it to the top, baby!


In my job as a consultant, I coach many talented and creative people who are certainly a success in their own right but that just aren’t experiencing the sort of flexible schedule and financial freedom that they dream of. And in almost every case, I find that they already have and know everything they would need to be living their dreams, there is one missing piece…ACTION.


There is something holding them back from taking action, often something they can’t even verbalize. Of course it is fear, but what does that mean? Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of knowing what they want but not how to get it, fear of what others will think, fear of taking risk, fear of not doing it perfectly, fear that they will regret it or that a better option will come along…there’s a litany of possible fears. It’s endless really.


But at the end of the day, there is just one solution. Taking Action. Not perfect action. Just action. And any action is better than inaction. Because at least if you do it wrong, you get feedback on what doesn’t work, right? You have to start before you’re ready. Take the leap. Don’t think, just do. None of us who take action and achieve big things have any more certainly than anyone else that what we are doing will work. And many times it doesn’t. We just trust our instincts, use our experience, and at some point we GO. And we have more successes than all those people who never even try.


So if I am so great at taking action then why do I need to focus on it more you ask? Well here’s why. Even though I make tons of things happen each year, I have never had a focus, or a mantra, or as my daughter would call it a “catch phrase” associated with action. I have never made it my mission to live my life to the fullest.


I have never made an extreme effort to totally eliminate procrastination , to stop saying I’m tired or I’m busy, and to wake up daily with an attitude that helps me attack the day with gusto. And that is where I am going this year. I want a different sort of zest for action and for life than I have ever had before. I will have a sense of urgency about my goals and my dreams. Urgency yes, but panic, No! This is about peace and happiness. About doing more of what makes me feel great and doing it right now.


And I don’t just mean about work. I want to take massive action with my family time, with my home renovation, with my hobbies like cooking and photography. I want to have gusto in all parts of my life and I think focusing on taking massive action obliterating procrastination will be fabulous, fun, and fulfilling.


If my normal way of life already looks like a success to me and most everyone else if I am already not a procrastinator 90% of the time, I am curious to see what massive action and zero procrastination looks like. Exciting stuff, huh?

I will do more cooking fun new recipes, more baking and giving it to neighbors, more painting with my daughter, hiking with my friends, starting that veggie garden I’ve been talking about, trying new types of exercise, traveling to places I’ve never been. It is really about this–“life is short, don’t waste a moment”.


Talk is cheap. 2014 is the time to stop talking and start doing.


Actions speak volumes and the person I am speaking to this year is me. My mental loop is saying “Come on Tobi, show me what you got!” and boy do I love a challenge.


So in a nut shell, here is what my life will look like in 2014…


What about you? What word will you choose to define your 2014 and why? I can’t wait to hear.


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p.s. Speaking of taking action, another of my goals as been to get more of my consulting out to the world at a great value. And so starting January 30th, I’m taking action and doing just that with my first ever Tobi’s Teleseries which is the most affordable course of this caliber that I have ever offered. And this course isn’t just for designers–it’s for designers, creatives, small business owners, really anyone who wants to skyrocket their business this year.

If you are ready to take massive action this year and want my tips and techniques that have helped me stop procrastinating and build a business and a life I love, join me for my 6 week teleseries Build Your Dream Business. To get more information and to sign up, go here.

I hope you’ll join me in building your dream Business in 2014. This time next year, you could be celebrating BIG Business Actions and Success and experiencing financial freedom like never before.

Design Tips with P. Allen Smith

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I spent the day recording a little “Tobi TV” with design tips for my amazing friend P. Allen Smith‘s television show. Or I should say shows…he has several.


If you don’t know my talented friend Allen, you should. He is one of America’s top gardening and landscaping experts. Plus he’s an author of several fantastic books, is a great cook, has a knack for decorating and is just an all-around talented guy.

And I am thrilled to once again be appearing on several episodes with him starting this September bringing my top interior design tips to his viewers across the nation.


Today we recorded segments on everything from hot design trends, to fun with paint, to showcasing your collections and heritage pieces. We pretty much covered it all!


It was an action packed day including wardrobe changes, camera crews, script ad-libbing  and photo styling. Plus we threw in a bit of horsing around to keep things fun.


So stay tuned for air dates for these fun and informative segments with P. Allen Smith on all things design.

And if you want to learn my top design tips, techniques and secrets for creating gorgeous and functional interiors in a work-shop, hands-on environment, join me in person for my signature event–Design from A to Z. Learn more about it and all of my FAB events for this Fall right here. We have an amazing line-up and can’t wait for you to join in the Design fun.


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Photostyling Before and After (and After): My Family Room

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IMG_1316Well my daughter successfully started the third grade today. Hard to believe she’s growing up so fast! Thanks for allowing me a day off yesterday while I got her ready. These moments are priceless.


Now I am back and excited to continue the photostyling tour through my home. Today’s stop…the Family Room (photos by Nancy Nolan).

Many of you have seen a few iterations of this space. And like my bedroom, it has an after and an “after” after.


Here is how this space looks now after sprucing it up for Ronda’s great book, Designers At Home.


Typically I think of my photostyling as editing a space. This time, it was about leaving my personality and favorite creature comforts in the space because Ronda’s book was all about living a well-lived life in my own home. So what do I surround myself with to make me most happy?

Well certainly design books. Lots and lots of them. And of course fresh flowers. Tulips are in my top 3 favorite varietals. And who could cozy up without my pups near by. There’s my sweet Harley again (a couple of photos above) cuddled up in the wing chair.

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This image has been making the rounds internationally, recently featured in Canadian House and Home.


And British Homes and Gardens–there’s Ronda showing it off. How exciting!

IMG_1303The sofa seating area isn’t the only part of the room that I livened up. I also gave a punch of color to my bookcases.


Inspired by my favorite orange gourd lamps, I thought the white books needed a bit of pizazz!

Here is how this space looked in the Traditional Home spread in 2011 (photos by Werner Straube).

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Family Room book case

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And here it is back in 2007 when it was featured in At Home in Arkansas sans all the orange.





So what do you think? Stacks of design books or no books? Orange lamps or white ones? All white bookshelves, or a punch of citrus to spice them up? Which photos are your favorites. I really do want to know.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you love. Now I’m off to help with some third grade homework.


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p.s. Did you hear my BIG announcement about the all-new Tobi’s Think Tank during High Point Market? Yep, that’s right–I am bringing a fast and furious version of my acclaimed Designer MBA course to High Point so you can get priceless business of design education while you are there for market. After years of requests, it’s the first time I am taking one of my fab events on the road. Want to know more about it? Check out all the details here and get signed up–there are fewer than 10 spots left.