Homes, Sweet Homes: Tony and Donna

6 Dec

Who was nice enough to show us around: Two amazing artists named Donna and Tony.

Gretchen (over at Eichlerific) was nice enough to send Tony and Donna our way. I’m really glad that she did because not only are they really kind-hearted, genuine people but they also have a fantastic home.

 What they told us about their home: They live in a 3 bedroom/ 2 bathroom custom Streng home. The best part is that structurally it was in close to original. We like that. :) 

 Where is the home located: Overbrook, Sacramento, California

When was the home built and when they moved in: The home was built in 1963 and they moved in 2001.

Why they chose this home: It was exactly what they wanted and the home was being sold at a reasonable price. Originally they wanted to live in a commercial space, but after living in a loft they changed their mind. Donna said they love greenery and once they stepped into their Streng, they knew it was the home for them.

Photos by Rose and Serene. There’s a slide show at the bottom of the gallery.

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What attracted you to MCM design?

Both of us were raised with MCM design. We both are very nostalgic about the period, the clean architecture, furnishings, landscape design and the 40’s through the 60’s aesthetic.

Favorite designers and biggest influences for your style?

We think style is very personal and individualistic. We are drawn to many different things for many different reasons. We would not say any designer has influenced our taste or style, we just know what we like and want when we see it.

How do you feel about reproductions?

Originals are much more desirable to us than reproductions. We like owning the real thing, not a knock off. A designer was or should be paid/had been paid for their original ideas and work. The craftsmanship is often of better quality and the original artist/designers heart was into their product when it was being produced. We do understand that cost is the major factor when buying a reproduction instead of an original.

Furniture wise, what do you think is something you should invest in?

Invest in? Get something because you love it, not for an investment.

Where are your favorite places to shop for home décor?

We go to art galleries, art exhibits, studio visits, museums and student shows all over the country/world. We love to discover new talent and are always searching for something new, inspiring and challenging that is fresh from established or emerging artists.

What are some of your best finds? From where?

I found 2 original drawings by a very famous artist in a collectible/antique/ second hand shop. You just need to know what to look for and be educated on what you are looking at.

Greatest achievement in your home? Biggest challenge?

We think our home reflects our own personalities. We share a passion for the architecture which showcases our individual style and acts as a backdrop to our collecting. We are very proud to have had our home featured in many magazines, a hard bound coffee table book, television, and papers. We have been asked to give tours to many groups and organizations, and enjoy seeing our home through the eyes of others seeing it for the first time. That is the greatest achievement of all is to see how people react so positively about our home and to get recognition for how it looks. Our home is a reflection of us and no one else. It is a happy place for ourselves and others.

Our biggest challenge is that we grew out of the space before even moving in. We have been creative with space relations such as storage and making our home work to our every advantage.

Future goals/ projects?

It seems like we are always coming up with new ideas for our home, studio and yards. The next project is to make a gallery space equipped with display areas and lighting for Tony’s art to be shown within the studio. We plan on relocating his kilns to a different area within the property and upgrading the electrical panel. We are also going to be working on some hard and soft landscaping for the front, back and side yards.

Do you have any home inspiration recommendations for our readers?

With MCM, it seems people have a tendency to collect, decorate, use the same color palettes as everyone else doing that same thing. Your home should reflect yourself. When people owned these houses years ago, they may have been a type of cookie cutter home on the exteriors, but inside everyone’s homes were different. French Provincial alongside a Danish Modern rocker that was next to a table with a lamp with a skirted shade on it. If you wear brown and love brown, paint with browns, decorate with browns. If you like Hawaiian, decorate in a Hawaiian theme, pieces from your travels or western, whatever you have a liking to. Don’t collect because you think it is “in” or because you heard it is in or is the new cool. Everything goes “out” and fads are just that …fads. Fad’s go out of style sooner than later and look dated. Choose what you like that reflects you and your interests and own personality. When visiting someone’s home it should be a reflection of the people that live in that home, not some one else. Don’t be afraid to be you. No one judges.

Thank you so much to Tony and Donna for letting the three of us take a peak at their wonderful home. It was so fun! <3

If you’re interested in having your home featured on the blog, shoot me an e-mail at:

7 Responses to “Homes, Sweet Homes: Tony and Donna”

  1. Rose December 6, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    I loved this home so much. Everything had a place and seemed to reflect who Tony and Donna where as people. Thanks guys so much for letting us into your house! :D

    • stephanie December 6, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

      I grew up in the house next door to Tony and Donna’s wonderful home. I spent many hours in their house when my parents good friends, Duncan and Lois lived in it. It was so different then of course but I love the new life they have given the house and wish them well.


      • Donna and Tony December 7, 2011 at 7:41 am #

        We miss your parents every day. I remember when they told me that when they were building the houses, and there were only the cement slabs on the ground, they put on some big band music on from a transistor radio and danced on the slabs together. They don’t make them like that anymore. We miss them. Love to you all.

  2. Alexis Genung December 6, 2011 at 11:39 pm #

    I love how there are so many different and interesting objects and works of art in your home, yet it is so clean, spacious and uncluttered!

    That is an artistic achievement in itself!

    Thanks, Tony and Donna for sharing your wonderful creation and insights as well!

    Alexis Genung

  3. Elaine Corn December 7, 2011 at 8:32 am #

    Fantastic piece, good answers, too. Where’s the TV? It should be a functioning Philco! Elaine Corn

  4. Serene December 7, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    WONDERFUL house, even better people inside. I love working on this blog :D

  5. Liz Kellar December 14, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

    had the opportunity to interview Tony and Donna when I worked on the Bee’s now-defunct Interiors section… totally fell in love with their beautiful house and amazing collection(s). I didn’t even need to look at the names on the post, I recognized the place immediately.

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