We're shining light on Tonya Olsen for this week’s designer spotlight! Tonya is the owner of her interior design company, The Olsen Home. The Olsen Home offers purposeful design that manifests the soul of your space, while bringing out the best in you and how you live. We hope you enjoy getting to know Tonya in the below interview!
What is your favorite part about being a designer?
There are so many things I love about being a designer! First and foremost, it’s who I am. I cannot separate my gift and ability from who I am as a person. That being said, I am grateful that I can channel that part of myself into creating and bringing to life a three-dimensional vision for my clients. I love watching the evolution of an idea turn into reality. I enjoy collaborating with my clients. I never approach interior design as a “my way or the highway” mentality. I love hearing and seeing what my clients like and then helping them expand their vision. My projects rarely look the same in the end from where the initial idea started.
Who or what would you cite as your most important influence?
Many people and experiences have influenced me throughout my life. I continue to be inspired almost on a daily basis by different designers, artists, writers and in general, nature. When I was young, my mom was very supportive of letting me experiment with interior design. She noticed my creative ability and allowed me to make interior design choices that probably weren’t normal for a child. As I got older, my high school art teacher encouraged my creativity by letting me choose independent projects to work on outside of the regular class assignments. Being recognized and encouraged while I was young laid the foundation for the confidence I developed to be an interior designer.
Can you tell us about your personal brand?
I don’t try to convey or present myself as something I’m not. What you see is what you get. I feel that I’m very approachable and down-to-earth with my clients. I think that part of my personality reflects in each space I design. I also don’t have a certain “look.” The spaces I design are reflective of each clients’ taste, style and personality.
What is your favorite color palette to work with?
Personally, I prefer neutral colors. I like clean, simple palettes. I like to use muted colors with interesting pops of unexpected color mixed in. I like the basis of my interior design selections to serve as a blank canvas so that I can incorporate color, change decor, and allow the space to evolve over time.
If you could travel back, what advice would you give yourself as you start this career?
I would have told myself to start sooner! I spent many years thinking I couldn’t make a living as an interior designer. I’m not sure where I got that idea from? Part of me always felt like I had to have a practical job with a practical paycheck. It wasn’t until I was in my early thirties that I decided to go back to school and get my master’s degree in interior design. Once I graduated, my career took off. I opened a design firm, a retail store and began taking on clients all over the country. I have never looked back.
What do you like most about DesignerInc?
I like that DesignerInc helps me source products. I am extremely busy and don’t have a lot of spare time to spend looking for certain items. As any interior designer knows, it can be very time consuming to look for a single item. I love that I can contact DesignerInc with a general concept of what I’m looking for and they present me with multiple choices to choose from.