Designer Spotlight: Tonya Stark

Tonya Stark


If you’re looking for Tonya Stark at Chestnut Hall, chances are you’ll find her in the fabric room. “I get my creative juices flowing with textiles! I’ve never met a fabric I didn’t like.”  Tonya’s philosophy is, there are no unflattering patterns, colors or textures, only less attractive ways to pull them together.  That being said, she believes the best way to accomplish eye catching beauty in a room is to start with math!  “I try to help clients realize that as boring as it may seem, the best way to achieve flawless flow and pleasing proportion is for me to come out and measure their space and draw the room to scale.  This allows us to select the exact dimensions, making all the difference in where we position pieces for flow and comfort. It’s as pertinent as the finish, frame and upholstery of the furniture. The design process starts with a tape measure and ends with a tape trim.”


Tonyas background and education in classical studies is reflected in her attention to form when creating a space with proportion, achieved in balance, but not necessarily symmetry. She chooses items based on their weight in the room, not if they match identically. The idea is to use the golden ratio which is naturally visually pleasing.  Tonya describes her style as New O-classical.  Its a mix of Neoclassical and traditional New Orleans woven through with time worn Southern antique reproductions and family memorabilia. I believe a well decorated home should reflect the personal interests and lifestyle of the homeowner when they are at their most daring and colorful in life.  A room should have soul. It should invite you to come in and curl up in that club chair or dance around the well placed sofa and not be afraid to collapse on it at the end of the song.  Throw in an exciting and unexpected piece.  Design a room with perfect formality and then take out an element or two and replace them with an opposite aesthetic for a captivating mood.”


Im surrounded by inspiration everyday in my co-workers.  Chestnut Hall attracts talent and Im humbled to work alongside the best.”  

In a nutshell (Chestnut shell, that is) she sums up her design theory by advising; use your wedding China daily, appreciate a well made bed, and set a table under the stars with chargers, crystal and the good silver. Decorating is about the quality of life you want to achieve and what better way to do it than with fine furniture.

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