Chatti Patti Talks Design with Tobi Fairley

Chatti Patti sits down to interview Tobi Fairley during High Point Furniture Market at CRLaine!

Blues and Greens designed by Tobi Fairley greet you in the CRLaine Showroom during this spring's HPMKT.

Blues and Greens designed by Tobi Fairley greet you in the CRLaine Showroom during this spring’s HPMKT.

Last month, I had the privilege of sitting down to talk with Tobi Fairley about the release of her new line of furnishings which debuted at High Point Furniture Market.  Presented by C.R. Laine Furniture and in their colorful showroom, Tobi’s vignettes took center stage to showcase her signature style of BRIGHT, BOLD AND TAILORED.  Watch as Tobi shares her inspiration on designing and developing a new line of furniture and see for yourself why she is renowned for such successful use of color in her designs.


Another lovely vignette by Tobi Fairley on display in the CRLaine Showroom during Spring 2015 High Point Furniture Market. BLUE is TRENDING!

Another lovely vignette by Tobi Fairley on display in the CRLaine Showroom during Spring 2015 High Point Furniture Market. BLUE is TRENDING!

Taking inspiration from a more Glamourous Era, Tobi re-defines pieces from the past and creates a current return to Grandeur.  Bold and soft tones alike blend prettily with the clean lines and fresh perspective. New twists on a Sheraton Sofa and an inviting chaise lounge and her new “neutral” of Blush Pink are well thought out as are the details of many of the other pieces on display. It’s all in the details!

The Hampton Chaise by Tobi Fairley Spotted by Patti Johnson, Official Style Spotter for High Point Furniture Market 2015

The Hampton Chaise by Tobi Fairley Spotted by Patti Johnson, Official Style Spotter for High Point Furniture Market 2015

Thank you for stopping by Chatti Patti Talks Design!

Photography: Erica Stringer

Identify #Antique Furnishings

The Dictionary defines Antique as:

“antique [ænˈtiːk] n

1. (Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Antiques)

a.  a decorative object, piece of furniture, or other work of art created in an earlier period, that is collected and valued for its beauty, workmanship, and age
b.  (as modifier) an antique shop
2. (Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Antiques) any object made in an earlier period
3. (Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Art Terms) the. the style of ancient art, esp Greek or Roman art, or an example of it”

In the Home Interiors, Design and Furniture world, antiques are most often classified by their age and characteristics, age being of 100 years or more. Items that are not that old are often considered  ‘Classics”. So, with that in mind, what makes wood furniture of 100 years old or more valuable? Primarily the origin, handcrafted or workmanship, the artisan or woodworker, the condition and the type of material, i.e. rare species of wood and of course, the finish.

Educating yourself with the world of antiques prior to venturing out and investing would be highly recommended! Good ways to do this is by visiting your local library where you should be able to find extensive information to read up on or even take a class at your local community college or just spend time at antique shows learning by speaking with the vendors. As a designer, I encourage my clients to invest in one or more antiques. Antique pieces can be  assimilated into almost any type of decor when done properly and scale and proportion are considered.

A basic and primary characteristic of a genuine antique furnishing would be dovetailed drawers; devoid of modern nails, and screws.

A drawer with only a few dovetail joints, with the ‘pins’ at the top and bottom being narrower than the dovetail (part in between) indicate a hand made joint as shown above.

Notice in this picture that the joints are all uniform in the drawer corner shown above depicting machine cut joinery.

In addition to the method of construction, the type of wood also makes a big difference when identifying authentic antique furnishings. Oak was broadly used prior to the 1700’s, however after 1700 and on; walnut and mahogany woods were commonly used. American antiques were commonly crafted from pine as it was very plentiful and equally easy to work with. Higher quality antique pieces were constructed with walnut, mahogany or even maple and cherry woods.  Genuine antiques are rarely perfectly cut due to the hand crafted nature whereas a reproduction will be precise and symmetrical as a result of  the process of machinery. If you were to investigate the wood closely and were able to determine the saw cuts, you can assume hand cut or circular saw cut which will help you date the item. Circular saws and machine cutting for furniture came along around 1860, making even a machine crafted piece an antique that still falls into the age category of being more than 100 years old. However, this serves to increase the demand for hand crafted pieces causing them to be more sought after and valuable!

I hope you enjoyed your little Antiques 101, check back soon for more on Antiques. If you have a question you would like answered, please submit it below!

Happy Hunting!


Decorating with Lamps!

Accessorizing with lamps and lighting can actually make or break the outcome of your space. Lighting is one of the most important components of good interior design, not singularly for the function(s) the lighting fixtures serve, but for the finishing touch they give to ‘create’ the ambience of the room. Yes, light can be ambient lighting, but the overall ambience of the room may very well hinge on the lighting that you select. Do not skimp here or ignore this important aspect of the room’s design. Did I mention the importance of it? Here, the focus is on table lamps and if you are a bit uncertain about what shape or style to select, call your designer, but in the meantime, take a look below.

Conventional in size, shape and style, the lamp below is what I would term a ‘true transitional’ lamp. It’s a little nondescript in my opinion, but will shed some light on your table so to speak and looks nice.

This lamp is very ‘organic’. This would look very out of place in room that is not organic! It looks like fossils to me and the burlap shade lends to the casualness of it. I can see this lamp atop a buffet in the foyer of a seafood restaurant.

A wonderful example of a ‘masculine’ style. Oftentimes designers have the task of decorating a bachelor’s residence or even a study. This is a younger version of a men’s study lamp.

Ahh, my favorite one so far. This lamp exudes class, distinction, originality and interest all at once! The black shade gives it an upscale look as does the golden tones in the body and in the stone base. I would buy this lamp. I would tell you it is for a traditional setting.

Modern and intersting. Lamps should always be interesting in my opinion. Instead of just a shiny column, it has a fish scale appearance and would look great in a multitude of settings. Somewhat modern and with it’s circular column could fit right into a contemporary setting.

Clean lines and a square shape make this a modern must have! Lots of texture in both the shade and body. An excellent addition for your room, could even be used in a transitional setting!

This lamp lends itself to a rustic environment, very casual, appears to have texture in both shade and body like the one above. Would look absolutely great in a room next to a leather sofa!

The soft glass body of this lamp allows you to place this in a contemporary space, yet the style remains classic.  Contemporary lamps will usually have more curves over a modern lamp which will tend to have straighter lines. This would work as an excellent bedroom table lamp as a pair on a dresser or next to the bed.

Be creative when selecting your lighting and vary the heights of your lamps. Make sure if a lamp is being used for reading that the lamp is tall enough to provide sufficient light for tasks, but the shade should be below eye level or glare from the light bulb will be blinding. This can be achieved either by the lamp height itself or the height of the table. You do not need to have matching lamps in a room, please! Just keep in mind the general design concept and the mood you are trying to capture!

Pictures via Currey & Company

Chatti Patti Talks Design!