Designer Tobi Fairley gives this entry a bold and colorful makeover, via mail order.
1 of 12Photo: Laurey W. Glenn
First Impression Foyer
Southern Living Executive Editor Rachel Hardage Barrett knew she wanted to update the entry of her Birmingham home to greet holiday guests, but with just weeks to go before Christmas, she didn't have much time. After reading about e-design services on a few blogs, she called on Arkansas interior designer Tobi Fairley and her InBox Interiors service to help devise a plan. Tobi's proposal, wrapped in a chic orange box and delivered to her door, was exactly what Rachel ordered—a personality-filled room that's durable and makes a style statement just inside the front door.
Problem: All-white walls and neutral furnishings lacked energy.
Solution: The blue tones of the paints, fabrics, and stair runner provide welcoming color.
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What's Inside the Box
Rachel got Tobi's look through the designer's flat-fee InBox Interiors service. Here's how it works.
First, Rachel specified a budget and submitted a profile to the design team, outlining her goals for the space. She included favorite design images and tear sheets, along with digital photos of her room and spatial measurements. A few weeks later, a bound book (including a floor plan, color renderings, shopping lists from online sources, instructions, and a flip-book of fabric and paint swatches) arrived at her front door perfectly wrapped. Once she opened her orange box, it was like Paint-By-Numbers for decorating. Rachel did the legwork and implemented the design using her own fabricators. Designs start at $1,350. For more information, visit inboxinteriors.com.
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Sky Blue Walls
"I wanted this room to feel welcoming and calming," says Rachel. Tobi chose Marlboro Blue by Benjamin Moore to insert instant character into the neutral space.
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The entry's woodwork got a striking upgrade when the interior doors were covered in an unexpected, saturated shade of navy. "It's a simple way to bring an older home up to speed," says Tobi.
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Updated Light Fixture
A metal lantern sprayed with navy paint (the same color as the doors) gives a preppy and timeless look. "It's a classic form executed in a fresh way," Tobi says.
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To provide a pretty visual greeting yet still permit easy traffic flow, Tobi skirted a central octagonal table. The floor-length, pleated table skirt lends the space softness, while an acrylic tray gives Rachel an easy drop zone for keys and mail.
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Bright Hits of Secondary Color
The fuchsia fabric of the X-benches warms up surrounding blue hues. "Contrasting color in small doses has maximum impact," says Tobi.
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Custom Painted Ceiling Border
A 3-inch band of blue outlining the ceiling draws the eye upward and lends interest without overpowering the space. And it's easier than it looks! Just use painter's tape to mark each side of the border.
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Cotton Stair Runners
In lieu of cut carpet, cotton runners by Dash & Albert Rug Company (pieced together) create pattern underfoot. The kaleidoscope of sea-glass hues loosens formality and balances the walls' strong blue color.
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Navy Tape Trim
Tape trim added to Rachel's white settee gives a refreshed look, while patterned pillows grab attention. "I love to wrap major pieces in a neutral fabric and then add a pop of color and pattern," says Tobi.
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One-of-a-Kind Wall Art
A collection of framed book covers inspires colorful conversation. "My husband, Brian, and I combed our bookshelves for jackets with personal significance," says Rachel.