Top 10: Tobi Fairley’s Essentials for the Southern Home

August 15, 2012 | By | Comments (11)
Tobi Fairley

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



    幸福の科学幹部  もっとも大切なのは宇宙人とユダヤ人ということですね。  日本が韓国に近寄らないで欲しいと思うのは当然のことです。
    もう一度眼科で確認した方がいいかな。 こえええええええええええええええええええええええええええええ

    June 28, 2014 at 2:03 am
  2. Franki

    Excuse me…”Traditional Home” “Southern Living” “At Home in Arkansas” Designer’s Show Homes, etc., etc. Qualifiations noted. franki

    February 24, 2013 at 9:11 pm
  3. CharlotteinRichmondVirginia

    I can hardly bear Tobi Farley. I heard her speak in Richmond this past Autumn. Dreadful and so tacky. Please have more qualified people in the magazine.

    February 24, 2013 at 8:26 pm
  4. Goa Flowers

    My dear, I love the post, but the photo of you with cell phone is a keeper! If that doesn’t say, “I love plants!” I am not sure what does? Soapwort~I’ve seen it’s thuggish ways in a friend’s garden~She can’t seem to get rid of it!

    August 20, 2012 at 5:53 am
  5. Stephanie Lowder

    Tobi Fairley is extraordinary! Fresh, bright, fun, and so very educated and knowledgeable about design, Thanks, Southern LIving and The Daily South.

    August 17, 2012 at 1:10 pm
  6. Camille Moore

    11th Essential: Freshly brewed sweet tea in the ‘fridge at all times!

    August 17, 2012 at 9:56 am
  7. Franki

    The club soda!! Regular orange juice for breakfast..add club soda at lunch and it’s a party!! franki

    August 17, 2012 at 8:12 am
  8. Nikki L

    Your mama’s sterling silver (or your own if she’s stll hanging on to it). No southern home is complete without a dozen place settings of Towle’s Old Master or Wallace Grand Baroque. And not to forget the coin silver tea service. If I walk into a dining room and don’t see either, I know I’m surrounded by transplants from Ohio or some such place.

    August 17, 2012 at 6:40 am
  9. A Good Southern Read | Tobi Fairley

    […] Read the Full Post Now! […]

    August 16, 2012 at 6:00 am
  10. mommabear12

    After years of reading SL I am now moving to NC. Having a Grandmother from Kentucky has prepared me! During a recent visit I learned where to get my hair cut and what are the best stores to shop in. All this in just one visit to the local Talbot’s. Thanks ladies at Talbot’s of Chapel Hill! You are making it just a bit easier to leave the beautiful north and family. I think you should put silver on the list.

    August 15, 2012 at 3:05 pm
  11. TheDixieDish

    How does sweet tea not make the list?

    August 15, 2012 at 1:43 pm

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