Diverse Design
Tonya Comer Interiors creates distinct interiors regardless of design style
by Karen Appold

Ask Tonya Comer’s clients about her designs and they’ll tell you to expect the unexpected. Whether traditional or contemporary, residential or commercial, Tonya Comer Interiors brings a unique perspective and impressive talent to each project.

Comer loves to bring architecture, texture and understated elegance into her interiors. “My clients’ design preferences dictate my direction,” she says, “but then I work intently to create knock-your-socks-off interiors that exceed anything they could have imagined. It is not uncommon for my clients to say, ‘I never would have thought to do that, but I love it!’”

Comer recently moved to Center City Philadelphia from the Washington, D.C., area. “I brought back to my home state of Pennsylvania a flexible approach to design and a broad scope,” she says. “These characteristics have served my design business well in the transient and extremely diverse Washington, D.C., marketplace. Now I am in the Philadelphia market area. This area is laced with artists. The creative energy here is infectious. It inspires me everyday to continue making magic in my interiors.”

Here, Comer takes us inside two of her favorite redesigns—one traditional and one contemporary.

Country Chic Living Room

In a project that has garnered Comer many awards, the client contacted Comer to assist with decorating her living room. The homeowner knew that she wanted to add a red coffer ceiling and that she preferred to replace the damaged parquet floor with a plank floor.

Because the client frequently entertains large groups, Comer wanted to accommodate as much seating in this room as possible. Most importantly, though, Comer wanted to create a room that appealed to the client’s love of nature, but wasn’t so overtly country that it would dissatisfy the husband’s love of leather and studs.

The concept includes two sitting areas—one cozy seating space near the fireplace and a secondary set of chairs around a large ottoman. The homeowners now have plenty of space to entertain guests, and the furniture is reconfigurable to accommodate their varied entertaining needs.

The rich color palette featured raspberry red, sunny yellow and grassy green. The bold colors are combined with natural elements to create a dramatic yet elegant look, which Comer calls “country chic.”

The coffer ceiling, the selection of the square rugs and the furniture arrangement combine to de-emphasize the rectangular shape of the room. The window treatment is mounted at the ceiling to exaggerate the room’s 9-and-1/2-foot ceilings.

A constant in nature is geometry. So, the repetition of the geometric patterns in the room is no coincidence. The square pattern of the coffered ceiling is repeated in several areas throughout the space, including the fabrics for the window treatments, side chairs and accent pillows. The scale of the fabrics is varied to create visual interest.

Other geometrics such as rectangles, diagonals, circles and triangles are used in moderate doses for balance. Also evident in the design are organic elements such as botanicals, equines and dragonflies, and a mix of organic materials like wood, metal and glass. These natural elements are deliberately included in the room in order to bring the outdoors in.

Contemporary Home Office

In one of her favorite contemporary projects, Comer worked on multiple rooms at once in a condo. The client’s only design direction was to create a livable, contemporary design.

“I viewed the home office as the place to up the ante on style and design,” Comer says. “The room’s petite and irregular shape made it a likely candidate for a big look.” Comer went to the drawing board to create an amazing room that included a contemporary paneled wall treatment, a bubble water feature with LED lights and richly textured wallpaper.

The contemporary paneled walls are both elegant and practical. One of the paneled walls serves to conceal a built-in storage unit that Comer designed. This storage unit provides much needed space for books and office supplies, and it conceals audio-video equipment for the entire condo. The panels were created with espresso-painted mahogany wood panels, stainless steel reveals and decorative metal standoffs.

The light-changing wall is a colorful bubble wall water feature. The water feature is two-sided and is installed in a shared wall with the foyer, creating a bold statement when you enter the condo from the front door. The water feature is trimmed with mahogany wood to coordinate with the woodwork used on the paneled wall. The water feature has ambient mood and color effects.

Comer used neutral-colored, linen-look textured wallpaper to juxtapose the elegant finish of the paneled walls. The subtle vertical texture of the wallpaper accentuates the linear elements in the room.

Together, all of these architectural enhancements elicit a jawdropping reaction from all who enter the condo.

Call Tonya Comer Interiors at 215-667-8464 or e-mail info@tonyacomer.com. Visit TonyaComer.com for more information.

Karen Appold is a freelance writer from Royersford. (WriteNowServices.com).