Sitting down for a chat with Tobi Fairley


Traditional Home Magazine predicts “Tobi will be like Cher or Oprah- of those women for whom one name says it all”. Selected as one of Traditional Home’s Top 20 Young Designers in America, Tobi Fairley has a signature look that is fresh and simple combining colorful, large-scale prints with classic furniture styles for a beautiful and functional result.

Today we feature our interview with Tobi and how she uses Olioboard as a tool for her design business.

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your business.
I’m a businesswoman in a creative field who loves to find innovative solutions for my clients, whether I’m designing their home or coaching them about transforming their business. My interior design work is (for me) all about exciting fabric pairings and fearless use of color and pattern. My consulting work is motivated by my desire to inspire people to ditch their self-defeating ways of thinking and living in order to embrace the potential we all hold to achieve the things we truly want in life.

2. What’s your preferred way to start a new project? How do you typically get inspired and creative in the early stages?
A gorgeous fabric with a great color palette and an interesting pattern is usually my starting point, but not always. My sources of inspiration are VERY diverse, and thanks to Pinterest I no longer live buried in magazine clippings! Travel and music are other very vital sources of inspiration for me!

3. Prior to Olioboard, how did you present design direction ideas to your clients?
My design team was mostly creating digital presentation images in Microsoft Power Point, and if we needed a perspective drawing or elevation we used AutoCAD or did a hand rendering. These are tools we still use, but Olioboard presents us with another great tool that is perfect in certain situations.

4. Can you name 3 ways in which Olioboard has become a useful tool for your interior design business?
We use Olioboard to give a client an idea of the mood we’ve envisioned for a space by making a digital inspiration board. We use Olioboard to create a perspective image of a design and then trace over that image to create a more precise and gorgeous hand rendering for our clients. I’ve also encouraged designers I’m coaching who might not yet have a full portfolio of professional photos to use Olioboard designs to demonstrate their skill to prospective clients.

5. How have your clients reacted to Olioboard as a presentation tool?
They love it! It looks fresh and dynamic, and of course they love the accessibility.

6. In addition to the Olioboard Pro Plan (which includes a color scheme tool, text tool and budget tool), what features or improvements would make your life as a designer easier?
Olioboard is already such great tool to use! The only thing I might add is a measuring feature. You can usually eyeball the sizes but sometimes a measuring tool can be useful. It could help bring the drawings closer to “scale.”

7. What are three time saving / creative tips you would give to designers and members just starting to use Olioboard?
First, Add the Olioboard button “Add to Olioboard” to your bookmark bar! It is the best! You can upload images to Olioboard in an instant. And the best part is it adds the URL, price, etc. all in one click! Second, arrange your items into sets to keep you organized! Instead of always scrolling through all of your items, you can search by the sets. And lastly, if you are using Olioboard as a guideline to trace for presentation, don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t worry about cropping images or color palettes because when you trace you can add in the color you want and ignore the background of items if it isn’t needed. It’s a major time-saver!

Win a chance to attend one of Tobi’s design camps!
Be sure to stay tuned for exciting upcoming contests on Olioboard where you will have the chance to win passes to Tobi’s new design camps. She is a wealth of knowledge on all things design and in these camps she shares her lessons and experiences to help you take your design business to the next level.

Keep checking in for this amazing opportunity!