Archive for the ‘What’s Inspiring TFID?’ Category

Inspiration from the High Point Traditional Home Showhouse

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I love showhouses – both designing for them and walking through them! At the recent High Point Market in High Point, NC, the Junior League of High Point and Traditional Home magazine sponsored an amazing showhouse right in the heart of the market.

The 2015 Showhouse, a circa-1912 Tudor Revival home, featured the theme “From High Point to the World.” And the designers did an amazing job showcasing modern design in an historic home! I was so inspired by many of the designs that I wanted to share them with you.


Lisa Mende Design

The kitchen by Lisa Mende was perfection! I loved the black cabinetry with brass hardware, the wallpapered ceiling, and the gorgeous subway tile. The wide-plank floor hints at the kitchen’s history, but it is modern all the way!

lisa breakfast

Lisa Mende Design

And Lisa carried black into her breakfast area, mixing it with lime and cobalt for a chic result. By the way, her chairs and banquette are by CR Laine, the amazing company who makes my Tobi Fairley Collection. But black wasn’t just in Lisa’s space, it was a theme in much of the house, with Libby Langdon using black and white for the master bedroom, and Christy Barbour using black in the bar with a gold-painted ceiling for some glam! I loved Libby’s stories of playing at the house when she was growing up – her family lived just down the street!


Libby Langdon

The Fromental wallpaper in the Madcap Cottage designed dining room was gorgeous – loved the pale pink! And the duo’s quirky design always gives me fun and inspiring moments like this one!


Madcap Cottage

Speaking of wallpaper, Kara Cox used Phillip Jeffries’ Mica wallpaper for an ultra-glam look in her dressing room for the showhouse! And the touches of mint were a great accent for the greys.


Kara Cox Interiors

You know I love color, and the spring-inspired blues in Traci Zeller’s design for the foyer were gorgeous! I think small-space design is the most difficult and she made it look like a breeze. The mirror also had me dreaming of new Greek key designs.


Traci Zeller Designs

Michelle Workman’s library offered a lot of inspiration, too, particularly in how she mixed her feminine sensibility into such a masculine room. Michelle also has a unique way of combining vintage and new fabrics with collected pieces and original art for a very sophisticated result.


Michelle Workman Interiors

The fun and modern Upstairs Art Haven in the carriage house designed by Holly Phillips was full of great ideas! I loved her mix of quirky modern art with traditional frames that had been given an update.


Holly Hollingsworth Phillips

It was an absolutely huge showhouse, with too many rooms to list here, so if you are in the area, go to see the showhouse before it closes on May 3.

parker kennedy

Parker Kennedy Living

You can see work from all of the other designers like the fabulous green guest room in the carriage house by Parker Kennedy Living. Here’s a fun shot from when they were installing the space. Oh, you know how I love green!

And you won’t want to miss the fabulous rooms by Cathy Austin, Margaret Fisher, Eric Ross, Mickey Sharpe, Jennifer Hutton, Lisa Sherry, Leslie Moore, Laura Covington, Alan Ferguson, Patti Allen/Stephanie James, Jack Fhillips, Sally Altizer, and Aida Saul.

I promise you will find a lot of fabulous inspiration for your next design project!



My 2013 Year in Review

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Wow! 2013 is over. Once again I have had an amazingly interesting and fabulously blessed year. And on this last day of 2013 before we pop the champagne, it’s time again to take a look back at some many of  my highlights and give thanks to all who helped me achieve these business successes and awesome personal moments. So settle in for a long read, the blessings are numerous and my gratitude immense!



My daughter and I were a little under the weather to start the year. That’s right we came down with a little “Bieber Fever”. 😉


But I soon recovered when my pillow collection hit the pages of Traditional Home and a sweet member of my Mastermind Consulting Group sent me some cookie replicas to celebrate! Thank you, Beth.



February started with a fabulous trip to New York and a speaking engagement for Traditional Home with my friends Philip Gorrivan, Gideon Mendleson, Anne Maxwell Foster from Tilton Fenwick, and Patrik Lonn to highlight our trip to Scotland from the year before. Thanks TH and my designer friends.


I returned home from the Big Apple to a feature in Coastal Living, my first time on their pages. How fun! Merci, Coastal Living.



March brought more publishing joy with my Instant Room feature for House Beautiful. Much appreciation to House Beautiful.


Then it was off to the Design Bloggers Conference in Los Angeles where I had fun with masks…


with George Clooney (a little joke for my DBC presentation)…


And joking around with Michael from Lamps Plus. Thanks Adam and the DBC and a big shout out to Lamps Plus!


March also brought a feature in HGTV Magazine. Cheers, HGTV! Thanks for the feature.


And a fabulous family vacation to Disney World including a Disney Cruise thanks to my mom and dad. My family rocks! Thanks for all you do for me.




April was equally exciting with the release of my friend Ronda Carman‘s book, Designers at Home which I am thrilled to be featured in. I even threw Ronda a soiree in Little Rock for her very first book signing. What fun! I’m very grateful to Ronda for including me in her fab book!


Here’s a peek at my profile in the book. So exciting!


And then some international press. What a surprise to find that my home was the photo of choice for British Homes and Gardens‘ feature on Designers at Home. Pinch me!


Here’s Ronda seeing the spread during her book signing. Thanks to our friends at Cobblestone & Vine for hosting the soiree with me and for my sweet friend Johnna for snagging the copy of BHG on her way across the pond.


Then April brought more excitement with me being part of Traditional Home‘s Tried. True. Trad. series. What an honor to be included with so many design greats! And thanks to Traditional Home and their fabulous makeup and hair team for making me look so good.


Oh and then the fun of traveling to Berlin for the Leaders of Design Council‘s annual summit. I love this pic with my friends Steve Rugo, Tish Mills, Frank Ponterio, and Frank Mariani.


Here’s a fabulous evening in an historic building in Berlin. Thanks Mark Cravotta for making me look good via candlelight!


And then a Saturday shopping trip to the Berlin Flea Market just before I flew home to celebrate my 11th wedding anniversary. Thanks to my hubby for putting up with me for so many years.



Well May was a BIG month for me behind the scenes at Tobi Fairley. That’s when I added the fabulous Cheminne Taylor-Smith to my already amazing team and boy is she a power house. Life took about 1000 steps in the right direction when Cheminne joined us. Thanks for taking the leap, Cheminne.


More press for Designers at Home including my dining room in Texas Home and Living.


Plus a day full of fun with my pal P. Allen Smith shooting loads of video at my house for his 3 TV shows. What laughs we had. Thanks Allen and team. I loved it.


I wrapped up the month on the Little Red River with friends. I don’t make enough time for my BFF’s so this was a long overdue and fabulously relaxing retreat.



June leapt into action with a visit from my friend Lisa Ferguson from Canada as she addressed my Mastermind Group. I can never get enough learning and collaborating with progressive thinkers like Lisa.


And then I was off to the beach for more R & R with my BFF’s. I guess I was making up for lost time.


Our daily walks on the beach and biking around Seaside, Florida got this girl rested and ready for the second half of 2013.



July made me a cover girl thanks to AY magazine. This great article about my weight loss and getting healthy was a lovely compliment. Thanks to AY and to Dr. Suzanne Yee for guiding me through her HCG program over the last 2 years. It’s nice looking better in my 40’s than I did in my 30’s.


And since I was looking so good, it was a great time to be feeling good too and nothing makes me feel better than giving back to those in need. So I was thrilled to do just that through a curated sale with Joss and Main benefitting the Dallas-based charity Dwell with Dignity. How gratifying it was to raise several thousand dollars for a worthy cause. Thanks to all of you who shopped my sale, to Joss and Main and to Dwell with Dignity for allowing me to be a part of their mission.


Lying by the pool in July was great while reading this gorgeous spread on my home in Arkansas Life Magazine. Thank you Arkansas Life and their parent company the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.


Plus July brought with it my Designer MBA course. It was just one of my many live events of 2013 including 3 Designer MBA sessions, 2 getting published sessions, 1 social media intensive and 2 Design from A to Z courses. I am truly grateful to all of you who invested in our events this year. It was a pleasure getting to know each and every one of you! And thanks to Team Tobi for helping me raise the bar on our events this year.



Well Summer was over but the celebrations weren’t, including another piece of international press with this exciting feature in Canadian House and Home. I’m a long time fan of this gorgeous design magazine and was so happy to be featured in it. Thanks H&H for including me. It was an honor.


And speaking of happy…nothing made me more happy than an evening of hot Kundalini Yoga and Heart Therapy in Chicago with one of my favorite guru’s, Mastin Kipp, author of The Daily Love. Can you tell we did a bit of sweating? Thanks for a life-changing session, Mastin.


And since seeing one of my favorite teachers for the month just wasn’t enough, I headed to Dallas the very next week to see my all-time favorite, Oprah Winfrey, and the phenomenal Bishop T.D. Jakes for 2 episodes of Life Class. It got even more exciting when my tweet and I made the big screen when the show aired. I always said I was going to be on Oprah. (LOL) Thanks Oprah and OWN network!


But the glamour of being a “TV Star” with Oprah couldn’t last long because I returned home to the big job of packing. We sold our house and were moving in just 3 weeks. Thanks to my real estate agent Brandy.




My 5 year blog anniversary came and went this month and I forgot to even mention it. Wow, 5 whole years…what a labor of love.

And my home wasn’t the only news with regard to moving. In September I announced that we were not moving, but rather moving and shaking by expanding my business as we opened a second location of my design and consulting firm in the BIG D. YAY for Dallas! Thanks Linda and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette for mentioning my big move.


And in September as Fall was approaching, we hosted our Mastermind members with some all new and exciting features for their live events including guest speakers like Beth Greene from Kravet, Stephen Carlson an amazing licensing expert, a fabulous excursion to the Clinton Museum to see the Oscar de la Renta exhibit and…


A glorious field trip to Moss Mountain Farm, the awe-inspiring farm of P. Allen Smith for our deluxe members. Moss Mountain is complete with stunning views of the Arkansas River, a Greek Revival Farm House, Heritage breed chickens, vegetable and rose gardens and sweeping views across pastures with 300 year old oak trees. None of us wanted to leave. Thanks to Beth, Stephen, the Clinton Museum and Allen and his amazing team! And thanks to my super-successful Mastermind Members. It is a privilege to help grow your businesses.


P. Allen put me to work the next week to repay the favor, shooting tons of design clips and tips for upcoming episodes of his show this year and in 2014. I was happy to oblige! Thanks to his production team for making this easy and fun!


It was now time to move to my new house. She’s a beauty with great bones but needs tons of work. I’ll be bringing you inside the design process with me on the blog in 2014. Stay tuned. Thanks to my family and friends that helped with the big move!


And Thanks Luxe Magazine for the blurb on our new Dallas office that month too.



Thanks to HGTV Magazine for another stint in your “what color is that” feature. October made a great month for the orange tones of my Energy House project.

hgtv oct

And unbeknownst to me, my work also came out in a gorgeous new book by House Beautiful magazine in October called Color. I’m very grateful to HB for the glossy double-spread and another glam shot of a tufted banquette I designed.


Another trip to High Point Market meant the Style Spotters Rewind event. I was the original Style Spotter Winner a few years back, so it was fun to have another turn. Thanks to the High Point Market Authority for including me and to the other Style Spotters for their friendship.


And when in Rome  High Point, I launched my first ever Tobi’s Think Tank event, a 1-day whirlwind version of my Designer MBA event, to a sold out group of 15. Thanks to each of you who took the leap!


Arkansas Life made me and my friends at CR Laine look great with this fun trends feature. Thanks again to AL and to my friends at CR Laine for the amazing design and furniture inspiration!


I came home with a Silver and a Gold Award from the ASID South Central Chapter Conference. Thanks to the judges.


And I headed west to San Francisco for a grueling but fabulously fun 21 hours of teaching Design, with my How to Use Color in Home Design with CreativeLIVE sponsored by House Beautiful Magazine. WOW, what hospitality from the CL team. They could give us Southerners a run for our money. And thanks again to House Beautiful. We’ve had a fab year together, huh?


Decor Magazine from the parent company of Traditional Home gave me a gorgeous 4-page spread and fantastic write-up in their Fall/Winter issue. I am so grateful for the feature.





The Design Leadership Summit was fabulous in New York City and included a gorgeous night at Lincoln Center here with my designer friends Rob Passal and Mary Douglas Drysdale and Rob’s partner Tony.


And included inspiring talks by Andy Spade, Oscar de la Renta, Tyler Florence, and the brilliant Arianna Huffington just to name a few. Thanks to the DLN for the outstanding conference!


Southern Living was so kind with a spotlight on my holiday decor in their special Holiday Issue. A giant hug to Southern Living for this beautiful feature!


My lovely friend Pam threw me an exquisite party in her gorgeous new home in Dallas to welcome me to the Dallas design community. Thank you Pammie! The party was perfect. And thank you to the many Dallas designers, editors and friends that made me feel so welcome.




And December didn’t disappoint with features on Rue Daily (thanks Crystal!)…


A mention in House Beautiful about our next 2 CreativeLIVE courses (merci!)…


A visit by the chic Alex Papachristidis and Scott Nelson to my Getting Published Event. Thank you both for the grueling 13 hour trip through fog and ice to get there. And thanks to the other superstar presenters that were part of our event!!! (Sandy from Rizzoli, Chip and Tiffany from At Home in Arkansas, Nancy Nolan, Beth and Michelle from Domino, Cassandra Lavalle, Crystal from Rue, and Krissa from Traditional Home!)


My fourth One Kings Lane Tastemaker Tag Sale was great. Thanks OKL!


The launch of my Bamboo Trellis fabric for Lamps Plus and their new Designer Lighting Series was super exciting. Thanks to Ivette and the Lamps Plus team!


A feature of my Holiday House New York Room in the December issue of Traditional Home was thrilling. Thank you Ann, Krissa and the TH team.

And finally a surprise cover of Small Room Decorating for their Winter 2014 issue. Who knew? Thanks to Harris Publications for this and to my photographer extra-ordinaire, Nancy Nolan for making my work look so gorgeous!


Whew! We made it. I can’t actually believe you hung on to read it all. But with so many people to thank and be grateful for, I just couldn’t bear to leave any of these events out. And there are so many, many more people who I need to thank that were a big part of my events, my photo shoots, my speaking engagements and my life in 2013 including our event sponsors (some of who I have already mentioned above) CR Laine, Kravet, Bernhardt, The Gilded Stag, Olioboard, The Editor at Large, Joss and Main, Madcap Cottage, LaPlates, Bear Hill Interiors and Lamps Plus. And to all of you who I haven’t mentioned here but that made my 2013 great, you know who you are and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do. I wish I could name every single one of you.

And now to you, my blog readers. I love being able to revisit all these fond memories, so a special thanks to each of you for indulging me today. And thank you for your 5 years of dedication to this little blog. You are the reason I keep writing it and for that I am eternally grateful.

Here’s wishing you the Happiest and most Prosperous year ever in 2014.

Much love to you!


Tobi Signature








Grateful for the Opportunity to share my Love of Color

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Good Morning Friends,

First let me say THANK YOU so very much for all your amazing feedback on my blog posts of late. I am so thrilled that you all have been inspired by my honesty about the transition I am going through, my candor about my weight loss journey and that so many of you have actually picked up the phone and scheduled health consults with my coach Julianne or have attended Yin Yoga at MeridiYin’z here in Little Rock. I had no idea that my posts would bring such blessings to those that have blessed and invested in me, but that is such a HUGE bonus that I can help them in return. So I truly appreciate you believing in and contacting these amazing women.

Second, thank you, thank you for the many, many kind comments, Twitter replies, Facebook comments and personal emails that you have sent over the last couple of weeks.  Your words mean so much to me and your love and support is what keeps me writing this blog day in and day out. I just can’t express to you how much it means to for you to take the time to send me a few kinds words of love and encouragement. I am so grateful.

Now, let’s talk about what else I am grateful for for…

I am grateful that I have a job that I can go to each and every day (or even work from home while my daughter is out of school this week) that allows me to be creative with color and pattern. A job that allows me to bring function and beauty into the lives of so many.  A job that helps me make people’s experiences and memories even better than they would have been before.

I am one of the lucky ones. I do what I love. Everyday. And though I am in a place of transition with my life’s work and I am shifting the way my business looks a bit to make sure that I am only working for those who are truly inspired by my own life and my personal philosophy and that inspire me in return, the basis for all that I do is still the same…gorgeous, comfortable and nurturing interiors that create a backdrop where life can unfold and important moments can be lived and loved.

Today I am not only thankful for my amazing clients and also other platforms that allow me to bring my expertise to the world. I am thankful that At Home in Arkansas allows me to answer readers questions in my color confidential column, inspiring readers to use color in unexpected ways. I loved sharing my latest post on bringing unique color into your holiday decor.

And I am grateful that for more than 2 years, I have been bringing design ideas to the masses with my monthly Design Time with Tobi Fairley spots on KATV like this one I did yesterday.

KATV – Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

I’m grateful to publications like Traditional Home who allow me to bring my designs to the world through their magazine and blog pages and their showhouses.

I am grateful to clients who are also friends that want to share my vision and my color sensibilities to everyone they know through their projects. And one such project is the amazing Chancellor Hotel in Fayetteville, Arkansas that I recently completed.

Over the next few days, I will be bringing you a look at the luxury suites I did for the Chancellor which is appropriate because I am especially grateful for this new amazing project this week as I will be staying there Thanksgiving night and the following one with my family while we watch our beloved Razorbacks take on the LSU Tigers in a fun Thanksgiving tradition.

So I hope you enjoy the introductory post below on the Chancellor Hotel and that you have fun following along with me over the next couple of days to see what I designed there.

And be sure to tune in over the weekend as I take you on my “tour of Scotland” with Traditional Home Magazine and Textiles Scotland. Because I will be sharing my gratitude for the opportunity to travel the country and the world thanks to my amazing job and you won’t want to miss those posts too.

Thank you again for your love and support–for reading this little blog of mine during your busy weeks like this one as you prepare to be with friends and family. And I hope you find inspiration here for color and for life that will help you nurture and love those in you love including yourself!

xo, Tobi

P.S. Want to nurture yourself with cash? Be sure to visit the Layla Grayce and Olioboard Express Your Style Contest! I’m judging the “Design Your Dream Dining Room” category, and I’ll select the top designs to win cash prizes! So, go and enter! Go and get inspired! Just GO!



Express Your Style with Layla Grayce! Design Your Dream Dining Room

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I’ll be bringing you the BIG reveal I’ve promised a little bit later…

But I also want to be sure to tell you about an exciting virtual design opportunity! Whether you’re a professional designer or just a design lover, if design is a passion of yours, you should definitely try your hand at creating your dream home! These days there are LOTS of fun ways to go from inspiration to room design vision!

I’ve been asked to judge an Olioboard contest for Layla Grayce–Design Your Dream Dining Room–and I can’t wait to see what all of you creative minds come up with! It’s part of their great series called “Express Your Style,” and there’s already been lots of showstopping room designs in the series. Want to see the winners so far?

Design Your Dream Bedroom: Judged by Crystal Gentilello of Rue

Sleeping on a Cloud by Cre8


Design Your Dream Living Room: Judged by Jonanthan Adler

Concrete diggs by ModDesignGuru


Design Your Dream Nursery: Judged by Molly Sims

Duc Duc Goose by Laura


See what fun these contests are? What an inspiring way to think about creating a home that expresses your style, functions for your lifestyle, and makes you feel perfectly comfortable.

Dining Rooms are fun to design, because they are the place where you’ll really roll out the red carpet for your guests. You can showcase your favorite serving pieces, linens, and tabletop decor and–at the same time–bring all the VIPs in your life closer together.

So I want you to go Design Your Dream Dining Room over at they Layla Grayce website! And enjoy browsing the other great ideas others have posted.




Virginia is for Lovers!

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Today, I’m in Richmond for the IFDA Day of Design, hosted by the Virginia chapter of the International Furnishings and Design Association. I’m honored to be the keynote speaker for the event!

It will be held at the site of the 2012 Richmond Symphony Designer Show House, Pinifer Park.

It’s built in the type of architecture referred to as Queen Anne, which makes me think of lovely cabriole table, desk, bench, and chair legs! What a graceful shape! Want to see some favorites of mine?

I liked this table enough to choose it for my own Master Bedroom!

And this ornate, traditional bench is freshened-up with the bright, patterned fabric.

And you’re familiar with my D-I-Y desk, but have you checked out the legs on it?! So pretty!

This coffee table cuts a gorgeous silhouette don’t you think?

And how about these cabriole inspiration posts from Pinterest:





I’ll be back in the Natural State soon, but for now….I’m a lover…a cabriole lover 😉





p.s. You can learn more about mixing furniture style and incorpating traditional pieces in bold new ways at my Design A to Z camp! Learn more at!