Famous Pink Wall in Tonya's Living Room
A View of Tonya's Living Room
Do you ever feel like we live in a beige world with eggshell walls, cream carpets, off-white ceilings and stone-colored tile? Cream-colored interior design is common place, especially in Utah these days. However, Todd and I have found the antidote, a house you walk into that is filled with such unique combinations of color, local art and vintage treasures that you feel like you have crossed through the looking glass. This house is such a breath of fresh air that we had to bring it to artduh.com. Today we are talking about Todd’s sister, Tonya, her husband Steve and their three daughters, and their utterly unusual interior design.
Front Door and Hallway
Tonya’s favorite colors are pink, lime green and black, and she isn’t shy about using them in her decorating. A child of the 80’s, colors from the material decade appear in Tonya’s house at every turn. Tonya took the whole house from cream to crazy in just a few years. She never rests, continually painting, adding and refining the look of her house. Original art that Tonya has collected from friends, family and acquaintances over many years decorates nearly every surface. Walls, mantels and tables are dotted with Ben Behuinin’s pottery and paintings by Cassandra Barney, Todd Powelson and even hard-to-find work by Shawna Powelson.
Tonya's Kitchen Mural
In the kitchen and hallway leading downstairs, Tonya and Steve have painted murals right into the walls, done in bright colors with cartoony shapes and figures. The couple has also hosted several art parties, inviting friends and family to come and paint original art onto tiles that surround the perimeter of the kitchen, framed works and bathroom doors. According to Tonya, the only room that Steve decorated is his office, where every inch of the room is covered in action figures. The pair has also turned their family room into a Batcave, filling the room with Batmen, Batgirls, Jokers and maybe even a Robin or two. Tonya admits that she and Steve have more toys than any one else they know.
Vintage Chair Refurbished by Tonya
Tonya’s style of decorating is not for everyone. One brother can’t tolerate the circus environment, saying “I’ve got to leave, I can’t sit in this house. Its too much.” And her dad, who is a bit traditional, asks Tonya, “Why did you do this?” Tonya’s answer, “Because its mine.” Even the Relief Society Presidency has expressed the opinion that Tonya’s style is a bit over-the-top.
But as for us at artduh.com, we love Tonya’s house and we think it is a masterpiece. Located in the heart of Provo, the home is a local art treasure. Because I find Tonya’s interior design so inspiring, I asked her what advice she had for me to make my own home a work of art. Here’s what she said:
Tonya had artist friends paint the tiles that encircle her kitchen
“I decided a long time ago I don’t care what other people think is good design. I just do what makes me happy and color makes me happy,” says Tonya. “When you do things to conform to how everyone else decorates, it just rubs me wrong.”
In fact, this past year I even designed a hat just for Tonya in lime green, black and white. I blatantly copied her colors and style because I find her visual choices are so original. After all, isn’t imitation the most sincere form of flattery?