Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Relax to Recharge Your Creativity

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Hello, again! It’s Ashley, here, and I’m bringing you Tobi’s reflections on the importance of vacations in our lives. And, today, we’re talking about creativity and how it really hinges on relaxation.

What this concept instantly calls to mind, for me, is the fact that every single time Tobi goes to her massage appointment with her health coach and trainer, Julianne (of whom she has spoken SO highly here on the blog), she comes back with a brand new list of priorities!

We joke about it, but what’s fundamentally different about what comes to her on the massage table is that these are her BIG ideas, the exciting and innovative ideas that have now become her vision for her business.

It just goes to show that, as Arianna Huffington and Peter Diamandis have pointed out, relaxation and time outside of your stress zone are KEY sources of fuel for your creativity.

And if–as an entrepreneur, a creative, a parent, or ANY role–you always stay in the stress zone, then you’re not able to fully access the part of your mind that brings you creative ideas or solutions.

So when you take time away for R&R, you tap into peace and openness that lets the really good stuff in. Admittedly, most of us can’t stay in that kind of creative, receptive state all the time. Life happens. We have to buy groceries. We have to keep track of our schedules and our families’ schedules. We have to pay the bills.

Tobi knows that. Life happens to her, too. All the time. And she has often said that the more success she sees in her business, the more crazy and harried her daily life becomes. And she wants to keep that success, so she just has to find a way to accept it as her normal–to actually enjoy it by staying in the present as much as possible–but find time to recharge her creativity through relaxation.

And, she says, if you’ll notice, the most high-powered businesspeople are not trying to get rid of stress. Stress is part of their lives because they are charging full-speed toward their goals every day. BUT! These are also the people who take a full month off each year OR who take one week off each month OR who take a one-year sabbatical every five years.

Here’s the key: they plan these recharge times into their very busy schedules, before all of the rest of life and work goes on the calendar. And then they protect them. Even if for right now you’re only able to take one vacation each year; protect it, plan for it, and envision building more relaxation time into your schedule in years to come. And don’t forget little self-care “vacations” too, like a weekly massage or daily meditation or whatever little one-hour mental and emotional free-time you’re into.

This understanding of where our creativity comes from is also changing the way Tobi designs and even changing her designs themselves! Her design inspiration these days is all about creating homes that are gorgeous, yes, but not for gorgeousness’ sake. She is envisioning fabulous interiors that create a supportive and nurturing environment for people to relax and to develop the disciplines of self-care: building those daily “vacations” into their lives.

Is your “big” vacation (or vacations!) on your calendar already? Have you planned the little recharge moments throughout your weeks and months that are going to keep your creativity and inspiration flowing?

Until tomorrow,


p.s. If you enjoyed the inspirational photos of relaxation destinations in this post, check out more of them on Tobi’s “Destinations” pinboard on Pinterest. Just click here! And for even more relaxation inspiration, see her “Zen” pinboard too!

Dreaming of Paris

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Several of my friends are in Paris for the Maison + Objet Interior Design Show as we speak.

So as I drink my coffee this morning if I close my eyes I can dream I’m there too, enjoying it with a chocolate croissant in a French Cafe.

Here are a few other dreamy images of Paris to help our imaginations.

Hoping I’ll be at Maison when it happens again in the Fall. Want to join me?

Happy Dreaming! xo,

p.s. Speaking of dreams, I’ll be bringing you a look at my Big Dreams for 2013 in the next few days. What are you dreaming of this year? I’d love to hear yours too.

Holiday Inspiration from DIFFA Dining By Design at Masin’s in Bellevue, Washington

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So yesterday I gave you a peek into my lobby re-design for Masin’s Furniture and Design for the Fall DIFFA Dining by Design Northeast Event.

Today I am bringing you a look at my table design for the DIFFA Event. Though this decor would work anytime of year, I think all the red could be great inspiration for your Holiday Tabletop.

Being that DIFFA stands for Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, I thought it would be fun to incorporate the red ribbon that is symbolic of the fight against AIDS into my design.

With that in mind, I created centerpieces by filling clear cylinders with bolts of red ribbon and then filled an inner cylinder with white tulips.

Since there would not be actual guests dining at my table, I created a more symbolic concept that was meant to have a deeper meaning and reference to the fight against AIDS. Because AIDS affects everyone, my place cards were for “Mom”, “Dad”, “Brother”, “Sister”, “Me”, and “You” with a red grosgrain detail through each.

And instead of real menu cards since there was no real menu, I decided to include “Recipes for Life” with quotes on giving back and loving one another like “the purpose of life is a life of purpose” and “no one can do everything, but everyone can do something” and “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”.

And inside my favor boxes at each place, guess what I included? Nothing…that’s right, each box was empty but it represented an intangible–Life. This was to represent the “Gift of Life” and that by giving to DIFFA, lives can be saved and specifically in the Seattle area the lives of children affected by AIDS are being saved.  With the money raised at this and previous DIFFA Northeast events, children of AIDS victims who have very ill parents or no parents to give them food, clothing, and shelter have been cared for and their lives have truly been saved. So the gift of life is not just for those suffering from the disease, but the many children of those suffering that are the innocent victims of this horrible disease.  As a mom, that was probably the best part of this whole event for me.  I felt so happy knowing that through my work, children were being cared for and their lives being improved.

The event was such a success this year thanks to the many designers who created tablescapes and to Masin’s who hosted this event for the 8th year in a row.

And the gala party was fabulously fun and glamorous, probably why it was called “DIFFA Glam”.  Here’s a pic from the DIFFA Glam red carpet with Dave Masin (far left), and other supporters of this great even that include Kathryn Greeley, Mindy Lockard and John Stevens.

If you haven’t been to Masin’s Furniture and Design and you live in or near or will be visiting the Seattle/Bellevue areas, please stop in and say  “Hello” to the generous Masin family.  You might even find a great Christmas gift for yourself or a family member and supporting this third generation family-owned furniture and design business will help the Masin’s continue to support great causes like DIFFA for another year.

And if you are moved by this post, maybe you want to give a donation to DIFFA as a Christmas gift in honor of those in your life that you love that already have everything they could possibly need. They might just prefer you use your money to help others instead. It’s a great cause!

Happy Giving!! xo,

Masins Furniture and Design in Seattle

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I think several of you got some peeks at the work I did for Masins Furniture and Design just outside of Seattle in the gorgeous town of Bellevue, Washington back in September. You may have seen some of the other great blog posts like this one about the event. But with all my travels I haven’t had time to really show you what I accomplished and how the redesign of the Masins’ showroom came together for the DIFFA Dining by Design.

I was very honored to have been invited by the AMAZING Masin’s family to bring my signature colorful design style to the Northwest corner of the U. S. where design is typically more Greige (now don’t get me wrong, I love Greige!). But how much fun it was to truly transform this furniture and design showroom from colors that were a bit drab to a palette that I think was FAB!

Working with great sponsors like Hickory Chair made my space come together beautifully.

Don’t you love the horizontal stripes in navy? One of my signature uses of paint, this technique never gets old to me.

We created my Rothesay lantern in a smaller size that many of you have been asking for and painted it a bright coral red for this event.

I loved introducing my Tobi Fairley Home pillows, fabrics and lanterns into the space and all to rave reviews.


Here’s what the space looked like before I started so you can see the difference…


And now it’s blue and beautiful!

Check back tomorrow where I show you my table design for the DIFFA Dining by Design event and how it worked with my lobby design for maximum impact. I think some of these fun tabletop ideas would be great additions to your holiday decor!

See you then! Xo, Tobi

P.S.  If you LOVE my Coral, Navy and Mint color palette at Masins, you may be inspired to create a hip color palette of your own for my Olioboard and Benjamin Moore 2013 Color Trends Contest. You can win one of 4 tickets to my upcoming design camps and Benjamin Moore paint too!  Go here to create your board and enter to win.