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Color Tips from Designer Tobi Fairley
Little Rock, Arkansas-based Tobi Fairley employs color with confidence
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At Traditional Home, Tobi Fairley is one of our go-to girls for color: She deploys it with such confidence and flair that we predict one day she’ll be like Cher or Oprah—one of those women for whom one name says it all. Her unique combination of degrees in interior design and accounting, enhanced by an MBA from the prestigious Sam M. Walton College of Business, help her pair a competitive edge with a creative approach.
From picking the perfect paint to making storage look chic, Tobi inevitably comes up with good-looking, common-sense solutions to homeowners’ problems. The designer’s venture Tobi Fairley Home includes a collection of fabrics, pillows, and lighting in her signature style – bright, bold, and tailored.
Pay a Complement
Complementary colors are situated directly across the color wheel from each other, and visually are perfect pairs. I love to use complementary colors, like oranges and blues, for a pleasing pop of brightness in a room.
The Jewel Box Effect
When a space is small, using color—especially in a dramatic pattern—can make an amazing impact! This is called the Jewel Box Effect, and it’s great for powder rooms, closets, or entries.
If you have fears about using color, then start with a neutral background on your walls and major pieces of upholstery. Then layer in colors with pillows, rugs, lamps, window treatments, and other pieces of upholstery.
Wrap It Up
To create a soothing and calm oasis, use varying shades and hues of the same color to wrap a room in layers of that color. I love to do this with blues, greys, and greens.
Find Your Inspiration
Start with a color inspiration piece like a vase, a fabric, a rug, or a collectible to set the tones of the room.
Make a Statement
Make a statement with color as a pattern. Painting stripes on the walls, the ceiling, or the floor can add a lot of “wow.”
That Magic Number
If you want a balanced mix of color, determine 3-5 colors that work together and build on that scheme, remembering to allow one of the colors to be dominant.
I love to pair color with texture; it adds depth and interest.
Linking palettes from room to room makes your house flow. Carry at least one color from each room to the next for a cohesive project.
Go Bold in the Home
If you go bold with paint, tone down the furnishings, trim, and accessories.
Can't get enough? Check out this dinner party hosted by Tobi Fairley.