Rochester hair stylist, artist and design aficionado, Toni Coleman, gives us a peek inside her dream home and the life she has beautifully crafted for herself and her family in the Flower City.
Beautiful from the Inside Out
Born and raised in Rochester, art has been a part of Toni’s life for as long as she can remember. She expresses her creativity through her career as a hair stylist and also infuses her passion for design into all that she touches. Whether it is perfecting a client’s hair, cooking a flavorful dinner, or designing each room of her eclectic mid-century modern home in Brighton, Toni makes everything (and everyone) she touches more beautiful from the inside out.
Coleman has been a hair stylist for more than 20 years with the goal of making her clients’ days brighter, reminding them of the beauty they have inside themselves. She applies this mentality to all that she does with a gracious heart and appreciation for the connection she has to others. When her business was halted due to the pandemic, she chose to focus on what she could control and was inspired by what she could create. Embracing the extra time, she turned to other things that brought her joy such as gardening, cooking, and tackling projects at home.
With fewer trips to the grocery store and less travel in her schedule, she looked to what she had in her house and surprised herself with what she could make! She went room by room, upgrading her 1950s home which was a bit dated when she and her family first purchased it 7 years ago. Coleman welcomed the challenge as it allowed her to put her own touch on her home and add to the unique structure that was already in place. “I don’t like vanilla box houses. I fell in love with this one because it had great bones that were quirky and unique,” she recalls.
Curated & Collected
Mostly drawn to unique objects to create a look that is curated and collected, she enjoys taking her designs in the opposite direction of whatever is currently trending. She views her home and work as a canvas, drawing inspiration from all areas of her life, “I am an artist, always changing and evolving and tweaking things to make them my own.”
Take for instance the dark, moody style she applied to her master suite. “I wanted to create a Zen vibe that was reminiscent of various places I’ve traveled to around the world and try to evoke that same feeling.” She has constantly refined and grown her own style over time, while coming to appreciate the imperfection of combining old and new elements – specifically referencing the influence from friends who had family heirlooms and how that inspired her to find a new appreciation for antique and vintage finds.
“I feel a deep connection to these items as I think about the history behind the people who made them, how special they are and how their work crosses across cultures.” She reminds us that, “something doesn’t have to be simple or basic to be timeless. Even if it is extraordinarily unique or worn, that is timeless because it is one-of-a-kind. You can’t recreate that.”
The Story of Who We Are
Her focus on detail and quality stretches into the finishes she chooses, often selecting real stone and wood over manufactured materials. This inspired her recent kitchen remodel where she took the whole space down to its bones, choosing a beautiful Italian leathered marble countertop to anchor the space.
“Some people are hesitant to choose materials like this because they don’t want them to get stained or damaged, but it’s OK with me if it gets weathered because that will be a memory of the moment and who you were with. When we look back, that will be the story of who we are and what we do – the timeless memories of friends gathering around.”
This thoughtful approach weaves meaning into each space in her home – sometimes purposeful and other times as a happy accident. In her bathroom, she hung a collection of old, primitive masks. It wasn’t until later that she came to reflect on their significance. “We wear many faces, and our bathroom is the place where we paint them, get ready and start our day, which is just like putting on a mask. At the end of the day, it is where we come to relax and unwind, to soak in our tub and release from the day, taking the mask off. This space is the many faces of Toni and is a true haven for me.”
Grounded in her faith and spirituality, the only thing more beautiful than her designs is her refreshing take on life, so grateful for all that she has learned from the women who came before her and eager to give back to those she crosses paths with. She refers to herself as an extrovert who loves people and has a magnet in her heart to connect with people and share stories and talents. She refers to these relationships as “God threads” – amazing people that come to her and sew threads into her life.
The pandemic didn’t pause Toni Coleman’s sense of adventure, but instead amplified her connection to herself and her community. As a proud Rochesterian, she loves searching for and finding new artists and businesses in our local community. She is constantly surprised by the amazing people she meets and the stories she hears that transport her to another world.
Now that things are beginning to open back up and warm weather is here, she is looking forward to connecting with more people in the community and coming together again with family and friends to laugh and create new memories.
Toni’s Beach Vacay Backyard Vibes
"Tropical locations invoke my soul but I love living in Upstate NY. I believe in creating the life that you wish for, so I decided to just make my backyard my oasis. Investing in quality patio furniture covers is key. Mixing vintage and antique pieces with new modern elements is my favorite. It’s my favorite place to get centered and recharged."
Follow @tcoleman9587 on Instagram for more recipes & inspiration!