PaperCity Magazine

February 2015 - Houston

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A R T D I R E C T I O N M I C H E L L E A V I Ñ A . P H O T O G R A P H Y C A S E Y D U N N . HOW LICHEN AND LE CORBUSIER CONVERGE IN A MEMORIAL-AREA HOME. REBECCA SHERMAN STUDIES THE DICHOTOMY AT WORK. INTERIOR DESIGN LUCINDA LOYA. W hen I ask Tonya Riner to tell me about her house, she doesn't start with the dazzling 18th-century French baroque settee, upholstered in smoky Pollack mohair, angled just so in the living room. There's no mention until much later of the fine R & Y Augousti shagreen table and vanity, the custom sofas or the glamorous Donghia sheer wool wall coverings and Kravet velvets. Instead, she cuts straight to the heart and talks about her collection of lichen. "I'm a forager. I recently read The Forest Unseen, and I learned about how lichen was formed and how that correlates with humanity. I get inspired by something like a book, and then I'm never the same," she says of biologist David George Haskell's beautifully composed meditations on a patch of old-growth forest in Tennessee. "I'm always on the hunt for lichen now." Tonya's overflowing collection has been pared down to 10 stellar examples, many found while riding her bike through the Memorial neighborhood where she and husband Wade built their two-story home in 2012. In pale greens and grays, the delicate lichen blooms like flowers, showcased on a low tray table next to the gilt settee along with an intricate birdcage made from twigs and heart-shaped natural objects — leaves and a worn sand dollar — found by sons Pierson, 13, and Oliver, 11. I wasn't expecting Tonya Riner to be a naturalist. Here's what I knew going in: At 42, she makes her living in the world of fashion, as a makeup artist with Page Parkes for the past 25 years; she's also a principal in Beauty for Real, the cosmetics company she co- founded in 2012 with Miami-based makeup artist Leslie Munsell. She pens a column on the website Feminine Collective, crammed with useful makeup FLORA AND FAUNA -beyond- In Tonya Riner's study, an inspiration wall includes the Vogue tear sheet that inspired the house's color palette, as well as notes from friends, quotes and a photo of a Steve Perry impersonator her friends brought to her birthday party, along with a poem by Edgar Lee Masters. Horn chair was a Round Top find, reupholstered in Kravet velvet.

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