Interior designer finds role in partnership with painter

Toska Tiemann, interior designer with Unique Painting, stands next to Stewart, her work van. She works with customers on color and transforming people’s living spaces.

LIBERTY— Toska Tiemann initially pursued a degree in secondary education, but changed her path and found a partnership with Chad Wek and his company Unique Painting more appealing.

“I started substitute teaching and coaching at the high school level and realized that was not my path. I went back to school at 29 to study interior design at (University of Central Missouri) in Warrensburg,” she said. “I have always had an interest in interior design.”

Tiemann has worked for Unique Painting as an interior designer for four years. The business offers color, design and staging consultations.

“I also make follow-up calls to our clients once they receive their estimates and monthly calls during exterior season once they are placed on our schedule.”

What would surprise people most to learn about your job?

“I know way more about paint than I ever thought I would. All paints or painters are not created equal, that’s for sureI embraced product education in a big way and found out that I was more interested than I anticipated,” Tiemann said.

What do you like best about your position or field in position?

“I really don’t consider what I do a job. It truly is my passion and I couldn’t be happier with my career. My favorite part about what I do, besides the people I work with, is helping people through color consultations,” she said. “I know and see color well and enjoy helping folks choose colors for their space. Choosing colors is not a random task, it takes some vision and more consideration that people realize. Seeing how paint can transform a space, whether it be interior or exterior, is extremely rewarding.”

Would 10-year-old you be surprised that you are in this field or position?

“No way! I used to rearrange my bedroom furniture all the time and steal knick-knacks from around our house to make my room look cool. There was always a big reveal where my mom would promptly ask for her stuff back or come looking for it later when she realized it was missing,” Tiemann explained.

What’s the most common question you get asked about what you do?

“Should I buy a sample? My answer, ‘yes.’ ... As the day progresses, color can appear different on the same wall. If you spend a lot of time in your kitchen from 1 to 3 p.m. and you don’t like how the sun makes the color appear at that time of day then you might want to choose a different color. For interior and exterior color selections, samples can be a real time and money saver.”

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

“The most challenging aspect of my job is merging styles for couples, helping them agree on color and concept,” she said. “I try to do all of my consults with both partners present if at all possible. We all see things differently, especially color, it generates emotion. Things need to be agreed upon or conceded upon completely. I, personally, would hate walking into a room in my home that I can’t stand the color or design style of each day.”

What advice would you give someone who is starting a job similar to yours?

“If you know you have an eye for design and color and people are always telling you you’re good at it, don’t doubt yourself, make it happen. There are so many design avenues you can go down, so many options. I chose this path out of passion, but initially I didn’t have the confidence to make my dream happen, which is why I went back to school at 29. I regret not having more years to spend doing what I love,” Tiemann said.

Southeast Editor Kellie Houx can be reached at or 389-6630.

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