PaperCity Magazine

February 2015 - Houston

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FEBRUARY | PAGE 40 | 2015 Portraits of Tonya's sons Pierson and Oliver hang in the master bath. Victoria + Albert tub. Over-scaled chevron-patterned limestone floors from Ann Sacks. massive glass and iron windows, the architecture is the perfect foil for Tonya's antiques. "The contrast was intentional," she says. "If the lines of the house are clean, the pieces inside have a better chance to shine. It also saves you from living on the set of a Jane Austen adaptation." Editing worked wonders, too. Loya says, "A no- clutter approach makes things look fresh and current," while custom pieces such as the master bed and living-room sofas add a bespoke touch, and floating draperies in the entry and living room "feel very boutique hotel and current." The house's striking putty, nude and gunmetal color palette started with a Dior editorial that Tonya tore out of Vogue. "It showed a girl against a charcoal-gray background, wearing a nude jacket over a gray dress and wearing camel boots," Tonya recalls. "I gave it to Lucinda and said, 'This is what I want my whole house to look like.'" That image is now a part of Tonya's inspiration wall in her study, along with cherished notes from friends, quotes and poetry. The master bedroom's dark gray walls, rendered in Benjamin Moore Affinity in Flint, became the launching point for the rest of the house. "I designed the bed and curtains in the darker, richer tones pulled from the editorial," says Loya. "Tonya's study needed to be a calm place, so we used the softer, more feminine shades from the palette. That's when I suggested we do it in all nude hues [the walls are bathed in Benjamin Moore Affinity in Serendipity]. Tonya loved the idea, and we believe it to be the prettiest room — and our favorite in the house!" There are some truly knock-'em-dead pieces, including a trio of antique doors purchased from a Houston family's warehouse of dismantled French châteaux — but Tonya is happiest when there's a personal connection. She hinged the doors together, added a mirror and had them hung in the dining room. Then she made them her own: "When I was 12, I gave my grandma a diary. She wrote in it every day that year and gave it back to me," she recalls. "Then I used a china marker to write my favorite entries from the diary on the door's mirror." The resulting Cy Twombly scrawl transforms the antique into art. In the master bedroom, Lucinda grouped Tonya's favorite vintage mirrors found over the years at Round Top above an R&Y Augousti shagreen vanity "so that it's the first thing I see when I walk into the room," Tonya says. "It's very personal. What's so great about Lucinda is that she has this really intense glamorous side, but she's also incredibly practical. She knows how to make what's important to me work in my house." Loya also gently nudges her friend towards a more modern way of designing. "Less lichen, more clean lines!" Tonya says. "I understand the importance of needing a mix, but we love what we love; we are drawn to what we are drawn to. Lucinda and I have never butted heads about it." Instead, they joke about their decorating differences. "Lucinda will hold up a stick I found and say, 'I'm sure this twig means something to you …' or I'll show her the most amazing hornet's nest I just bought, and she'll say, 'It's gorgeous, but I'm sure it had a bug in it, so don't get it anywhere near me.'" They laugh. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I can't help but wonder: When your client is also your best friend, can't things get tricky? Says Loya: "With our incredible history, Tonya and I have a clear understanding of each other, but I would say it's our great deal of respect toward one another that keeps us connected. We usually see eye to eye and share a solid base of trust. We also believe in each other's wild ideas and have a blast realizing them together." To shop the look of this home and more like it, go to

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