Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Nancy Nolan |
As we continue our “Entertaining with Tobi Fairley” series, the designer invites us into her resort-worthy backyard for a colorful, tropics-inspired pool party. With flamingos and fruit in abundance, she and her daughter, Ellison, prepare to host a group of school friends for a summer bash featuring snacks and games galore—and, of course, plenty of pool time.
Pool with Punch
With inspiration from old Hollywood, Dorothy Draper, and iconic sites such as The Beverly Hills Hotel, Tobi created a backyard oasis that reflects her style and complements both the architecture and interiors of her home. A palette of black, white, and pink with accents of green—in both the accessories and the landscape—brings the space to life. During the area’s renovation, she updated the pool with a hexagonal tile and installed pavers on the terrace, two features that coordinate with the palette and add a geometric element to the design. The outdoor furniture is from Tobi’s “Carlyle” collection for Woodbridge.
“I wanted this party to be all about having fun! School’s out, and you can stop being so buttoned-up.”
– Tobi Fairley
Made in the Shade
Tobi carried the theme—and the snacks—to side tables near the chaise lounges. Pink lemonade (yes, it matches her outdoor color scheme!) is accented with lemon slices for a refreshing poolside beverage, while a trio of salty snacks offers a counterpart to the drink’s sweetness.
“I wanted this party to be all about having fun. School’s out, and you can stop being so buttoned-up—and even give yourself a cheat day in terms of the food,” Tobi says. For the menu, she served “the ultimate snack bar with a lot of irresistible foods.” Confections included white cupcakes with pink icing and flamingo toppers along with a variety of icing-decorated cookies. Tobi transformed cake doughnuts into “pineapples” with the help of glittering party picks, while watermelon cut into wedge-shaped slices and placed on skewers offers a fresh, easy-to-eat option.
Tip: Bring containers from your pantry or kitchen counter outdoors for an easy way to serve and cover snacks. Also, decorating with uncut or unpeeled fresh fruit gives you the option to slice it and serve during the party or enjoy later.
“Because I have a teenager, I know you need an activity or two to keep them engaged, or you’ll look up and they are all on their phones,” Tobi laughs. While a poolside, giant chess set (seen at left) offers thoughtful entertainment, this game of “flamingo fling”—a take on traditional ring toss—is pure fun.