Interiorssneak peeks

In Arizona, Cultivating a Timeless Look

by Shannon Grant

How does one cultivate timeless style when it comes to a home? Personally, I vacillate between eagerly falling in love with current trends to cherishing key pieces in my home that have endeared themselves to me over the years. I sometimes wonder how new, trendier pieces will fit in down the road, even though it shouldn’t matter if what you love falls in and out of style. Either way, it is interesting to observe what happens over the passage of time.

It’s exciting to see a home decorated so that it possesses a very distinct look, yet feels inexplicably timeless, whether it is 1955 or 2015. Bonnie Flynt has one of these homes. When we first got in touch, Bonnie’s daughter, Crystal, said something about her mom’s home that really stuck with me: “What I love about her style is that it’s not trendy. She’s always done her houses in this way — lots of old things, things from her days as a kid finding arrowheads, beads, and other things on the ranch.”

Bonnie has lived in this particular space in Tucson, AZ for 16 years and it’s true that the objects that fill it feel like they’ve been there much longer. Growing up on a ranch in California instilled in Bonnie a deep appreciation for nature, things made by hand and American Indian art. She’s spent her life collecting these things that inspire her and loves to display them throughout her home. Bonnie says that though her home is small, she wants her space to feel lived-in, cozy and — as I see it — discoverable. Mixed in with her collection of vintage objects are some modern elements, usually by way of vintage-looking pieces from John Derian or Don Carney. This blend of old and new is set against a backdrop of mostly white walls on the interior, and desert plant life on the exterior. The overall effect is a welcoming home, one that echoes the sensibilities of Bon Boutique, a shop she runs with Crystal. Their similar stylistic interests inform the aesthetic of the shop, which sells a mix of home, garden, clothing and accessories. By staying true to what she’s always loved, while embracing the new, Bonnie has honed a timeless style expressed through both her work and her home. -Shannon

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The Living Room: With rugs as beautiful as these, why only keep them on the floor? Draping another one of these Navajo rugs over the couch makes the room extra cozy. On the wall is a collection of small antique pictures mixed with John Derian, Patch NYC and Don Carney artwork. Bonnie always has books stacked on the tables, saying she likes them to be accessible.
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While it’s apparent that Bonnie has an affinity for collecting an abundance of objects, be it textiles, art or various artifacts, she says she likes to create order. “I have a lot on my mantel, but not a lot surrounding it. I have two different Navajos that play off each other in the room. I think this works against my white walls. I think people feel comfortable in my house and that's really important to me.”
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The mantel above the fireplace is chock full of treasures. There is a cast of a bear print made by Bonnie’s mom on the ranch where she grew up, a collection of circular stone balls collected by her son and some skookum dolls. The fireplace is flanked by firewood and sage bundles on one side and old newspapers on the other. There is something about this fireplace area that feels mysterious and captivating. I must not be the only one who thinks that, as Bonnie says that this is her grandson's favorite spot. “When my daughter's family comes over for dinner, he goes and silently lays in front of the fireplace, watching it, for the longest time.” 
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This is the other side of the living room. There are two old chairs flanking an old mission desk under a picture window. Bonnie loves having many windows in the living room area, and says it is fun at parties when people are both inside and out. “There are sometimes glimpses of people dancing inside through the large window…that always makes me happy.” 
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The Dining Room: Bonnie has been collecting Batea plates for a long time. These ornate and colorful plates pop in an otherwise minimally decorated room. Bonnie says that this minimal approach keeps the space clean, yet interesting. She has added countless mementos to this chandelier over the years: glass birds, paper maché made by friends, vintage plastic hearts and garlands; giving visibility to treasured mementos. 
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Bathroom detail: Bonnie says, “I like to keep my jewelry out…I like to look at it. In fact, this is really jewelry for the wall, I don't wear it. I always have the same three pieces on.”
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This small guest room has matching twin beds. The beds are from an old inn in Bonnie’s hometown. Both beds have Hudson Bay blankets, a vintage classic, and old horse paintings above them.
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Bonnie spends a lot of time reading in the sun room. This light-filled room is where she keeps some of her old photography, as well as inspiration pictures and books, family albums, and keepsakes. 
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Another view of the sunroom, where we can see that minimal approach again. The colorful Navajo rug and red chair pop against the white-washed room.
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Another view of the sunroom, which has room for a bed. She found all the colorful textiles from various flea markets and the picture is a photo of her aunt on her horse.
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A view of Bonnie's bedroom: Textural yet minimal. The bed cover is linen, from Bon Boutique, and the shams are vintage ticking.
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A desert oasis. This is Bonnie's backyard. She added this cement patio and planted all the cacti and trees.
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Bonnie made this stone walkway with her son.
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The garage is used as storage for Bonnie and Crystal's store, Bon Boutique. Bonnie added the horseshoes and antlers to the doors and painted them a crisp white.
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The front entrance.
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  • What a charming and cozy home! I love all the collections that have room to breathe with the air and white walls. The mantlepiece was the only discondart note…for me and my eye. It seemed a bit overweight, perhaps a new years diet to whittle it to fewer pieces?
    Would love to live in a place like this.

  • Beautiful. I love how Designsponge showcases such different homes, many, like this one, with so much character. I enjoy chic images of the hundred-and-fifth sleek warehouse remodeling as much as the next girl, but seeing a place like this is so much more inspiring. Love how you keep it real!

  • I’m exactly the same I love certain books and magazines to be accessible to visitors. It sparks interest and I enjoy sharing with people. x

  • I love the spare style but it still looks comfortable and homey. If anyone is in Tucson, they should go straight away to Bon…a beautiful store!! Thanks for the share!

  • Something special about this home, so charming and inviting. I get bored with so many carefully curated/trendy looks and they all tend to look the same. This home has warmth.

  • Just beautiful, Bonnie! I appreciate a home that honors its geography, and this house does Southwestern in the perfect way. It’s tasteful, lovely, and not at all cliche. Plus–the back yard! I would live there in a sleeping bag for sure.

  • The arrangement of the batea plates is stiking and the navajo rugs are really beautiful. In fact there is nothing I don’t love about this wonderful abode!. If I were closer I would visit your shop tout suite!