Caroline McKenzie

 

Photo by Laurey W. Glenn

Arkansas interior designer Tobi Fairley has a serious flair for the fabulous. Tobi's signature look infuses classic Southern style with bright colors and graphic pattern.

That stellar aesthetic has launched a fittingly fab product line, Tobi Fairley Home, complete with fabric, pillows and lighting and has also made her one of the most sought designers in the coutnry.

So much so that people flock to her design camps --that's right, home decor boot camps for novices and pros alike--where eager pupils gather in Tobi's Little Rock design studio for three-days of sifting through paint swatches, pouring over fabrics and sketching out floor plans all under Tobi's expert tutelage. (Sign me up, please!)

 

Photo by Laurey W. Glenn

For those of us who can’t be there this fall to hear her pointers in person, Tobi has rounded-up her Top 10 Essentials for the Southern Home. Here’s her list:

1. KitchenAid Stand Mixer "Anyone from the South knows the kitchen is the heart of the home, and more importantly where all the goodies are made! I couldn’t live without a stand mixer to whip up cake batters or cookie dough. Plus, I love the fun colors."

2. Custom Monogram "Whether you use it on dinner napkins, bed linens or a shower curtain, a Southern girl’s monogram is sacred.  A custom designed monogram--I'm a fan of the work of Allison Banks in Birmingham--ensures that your family name and everything you’ve plastered it on will last for generations to come."

3. Recipe Cards "It may seem a bit old-fashioned, but I love to have these on hand for gatherings or to attach to homemade goodies. After all, it’s a huge compliment to be asked for your recipe. Etsy is a great source for recipe cards."

4. Favors from Local Shops "You never know when you might have a surprise guest drop by or be invited to a spur-of-the-moment party. I always like to have a few hostess/guest gifts on hand. I especially like to give things from my favorite local shops or places I have traveled, like soaps and scrubs from Hazelwood a company in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Waynesville, North Carolina"

5. A Deviled Egg Tray "Every Southern home needs a deviled egg tray. How else would you transport your eggs to the church potluck or your 4th of July picnic? I like the clean modern version from West Elm."

6. Ice Cream Maker "Again, your kitchen is not complete unless you can make homemade ice cream.  I love the fun aqua version from Nostalgia Electrics."

7. Classic Vases "Fresh flowers make a home. I love to cut blooms from my yard, bring them in and arrange them in a simple vase that really puts their beauty on display."

8. Heirlooms (or soon-to-be Heirlooms) "Quality never goes out of style. Whether it’s a piece of antique furniture your grandmother purchased decades ago or a new piece you just discovered--like a dining chair from North Carolina's Hickory Chair-- the appeal is timeless."

9. Colorful Plates "In a busy household, there’s not always time for fine china on a daily basis. The fun patterns in LaPlates' dishwasher-safe plates brighten my day and my daughter loves them, too!"

10. Club Soda "Every Southern household needs a supply of club soda. You can whip up a cocktail for your neighbors or take stains out of your dirty laundry! Now that’s versatile!"

Related Links: Get to Know Tobi Fairley Dress Up a Summer Table Real-Life Redo: Plain to Pretty Dining Room Dream Kitchen Fit for a Crowd

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