Get set for holidays at WSU fair

The topic for one of the seminars at the holiday fair at Weber State University is home decor.
Tausha Hoyt photo
Story by Amy Nicholson
(Standard-Examiner correspondent)
Tue, Nov 8, 2011
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The annual holiday fair at Weber State University will help get those holiday creative juices flowing.

The event — presented by the Standard-Examiner, the Utah State University Extension Service and Weber State — will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in the Shepherd Union Building on campus.

This year’s event includes more than 80 vendor booths, selling everything from handmade gifts to jewelry, cards, decorations, soaps and candles. There are also five seminars taking place every hour, on the hour, beginning at 11 a.m.

Cami Roberts, event coordinator for the Standard-Examiner, said vendor participation has increased from years past, and there are more than twice as many vendor booths over last year.

“We wanted to offer a lot of vendors and variety to attract more attendees,” Roberts said.

The five seminar topics include home décor, chocolate dipping, holiday cookie decorating, producing perfect pies, easy candy-making secrets, and ideas for neighbor gifts.

Marci Toyn and Tausha Hoyt, North Ogden residents and mother-daughter owners of Sassy Style Redesign, will share tips and tricks for making a house feel like a home.

Hoyt, who is also a monthly contributor to KSL Channel 5’s “Studio 5” decorating and design segment, said the business naturally evolved five years ago — after they had been decorating homes for friends and family members for years.

According to Hoyt, her fascination with home décor began when she was young and saw her mother frequently rearranging the furniture to create new looks in their home. During the holidays, things got even more creative. Hoyt said her mom would decorate to the extreme.

“The whole house would be transformed — even the bathroom,” she said.

All in the family

Toyn said she was raised by a creative mother: “Creative blood runs through my veins.”

While raising her children, Toyn didn’t think she could spend a lot of money buying new décor, so she resorted to moving the furniture around to change things up.

Now, she and her daughter show others how to rearrange furniture and add accents such as pillows, throws, rugs, lamps and window treatments to soften a space and make it feel warm and inviting.

“Most of the time, people know what look they want, they just don’t know how to get there,” Toyn said.

That’s where she and Hoyt step in.

They meet with clients for “idea sessions,” in which they look at the customer’s home and work with things they already own. Both Hoyt and Toyn said people often think they need to buy a lot of new things, when they really just need another pair of eyes looking around and telling them how to use their old things in new ways.

Besides shopping for clients or advising them on what to buy, they also swap things out from different areas of the home, consult on paint colors, use old decorations in new ways, and bring out treasures for display.

“We really like to incorporate their stuff. It’s memories for them and they love it,” Toyn said.

A happy home

For example, one customer owned a music stand that was sentimental, and they showed her how to use it as a backdrop to hang a pretty wreath. Another customer had an antique rocking horse stashed away in storage and they made it the centerpiece in a room.

They also worked with a woman who had saved the doorknobs from her grandmother’s home because they were special to her — but she kept them in a box. Hoyt and Toyn glued the doorknobs to a frame so they would be creatively displayed where the woman could enjoy them.

“Your home should make you happy,” Hoyt said of their reasoning behind using people’s treasures as home décor.

The duo also likes to think outside the box, especially in the area of repurposing items.

For example, Toyn turned an old high-backed bar stool into an end table. She also purchased an old dining table and gave it a makeover by beating it with a chain. She said people love the finished product and often ask her about these unique pieces, but she tells them they are one of a kind.

Hoyt has turned a twin headboard into a sofa table and decorated Christmas trees with old books or clocks.

Often, Hoyt and Toyn save their clients money when they shop for them.

“I love the D.I. and thrift stores” Hoyt said. “We find lots of unique treasures.”

They have worked with budgets ranging from $200 to $20,000.

“Most people find they don’t need to invest as much money as they think,” Toyn said.

Old stuff new again

The two women help guide their clients to creating a different look without dumping thousands of dollars into buying new furniture. Clients often tell them, “I can’t believe you made my old stuff look so good.”

Hoyt and Toyn explained that decorating is more then just designs and colors. It’s lighting, textures and how things are displayed too.

For example, one of their most frequently employed tips is to hang curtains several inches above the top of window frames to elongate the space and make the room appear bigger.

On Saturday, Hoyt and Toyn will share nine tips on how to make your home a cozy refuge on a budget. Some of these include ideas for repurposing old furniture, painting techniques, how to select textures, and adding easy accents to transform a space and make it more comfortable.

The pair said they enjoy what they do and find it very fulfilling to help others. Neither of them recognized her true talent until a few years ago.

“I used to think everyone was like this, but I’m learning they are not,” Toyn said. “When I move into a new house, everything is decorated before I go to bed.”

For more information about the holiday fair, call Cami Roberts or Jennifer Thorpe at 801-625-4559. For more information about Sassy Style Redesign, visit

Seminar schedule

11 a.m. — “Cozy Couture,” Sassy Style Redesign

Noon — “It’s Not Just Chocolate, It’s My Life,” Ruth Kendrick

1 p.m. — “Holiday Cookie Decorating,” Taryn Wood

2 p.m. — “Perfect Pies,” Brenda Hopkin, Lion House head baker

3 p.m. — “Fabulous Fakes and Neighborhood Gifts,” Carol Earl


What: 2011 Holiday Fest

When: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday

Where: Shepherd Union Building, Weber State University, 3848 Harrison Blvd., Ogden

Tickets: $5, at the door; two-for-one coupons in the Standard-Examiner

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