Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Nancy Nolan | Styling: Tobi Fairley |
Recently named to the Salonnière 100, a list of America’s top 100 party hosts, Little Rock-based designer Tobi Fairley will be gracing the pages of At Home in Arkansas in a yearlong series where she will share hostess tips, theme inspiration, and loads of details on how you, too, can pull off a fête to remember. This month, she’s set the scene (and the table!) for a colorful brunch in honor of moms everywhere.
Find Your Mix
“For this celebration, the tableware is a total mix of high and low, flea market and fine china, and old and new,” Tobi says. Take for example the dinner plates, “Wedgewood White,” which were a part of her wedding registry and are paired with a feminine pink dessert set that Tobi received as a birthday gift from her dear friend and fellow designer Kathryn Greeley. The Fenton glasses with a polka dot motif were a flea market find, while the blue and white Chinoiserie placemats are from Ballard Designs.
Pick a Favorite Spot
The celebration’s hues complement the everyday palette of Tobi’s sunroom, a place she says is a favorite for its natural light and view of her home’s outdoor space—which features similar colors—just beyond the windows. She frequently uses this table as a secondary dining space or buffet during larger gatherings.
Opt for Self-Serve
Tobi set up a waffle and “Mom-osa” bar so guests could serve themselves and refresh their plates and glasses as desired. “Waffles are a thing in my family, and I just got a new waffle maker for my birthday, so this was the perfect opportunity to use it,” she says. Simple cards, which the designer printed at home, list the menu items and are housed in acrylic frames for a finishing touch.
Work With What You Have
“I can go into my own house and pull all of this—and there’s always a new combination,” Tobi says of her passion for collecting serving pieces and glassware. “It gives me the opportunity to be really creative, and everything I used is something I really love.”
QUICK TIP: Mix inexpensive glassware and crystal for an instant collection that will always coordinate.
Play Floral Favorites
Because it’s Mother’s Day, Tobi says she “indulged in everything feminine,” most notably a pink, white, and blue palette. Pink peonies are a favorite of Tobi’s, while her mother loves hydrangeas. The combination makes for beautiful and meaningful Mother’s Day bouquets.