This BYU illustration grad has covered nearly every inch of her home in art.
“No surface is safe,” says Lynde Madsen Mott (BFA ’97). Indeed, in the Mott family home it is hard to find a wall, floor, window, or countertop that doesn’t bear the illustration grad’s artistic touch. And outside the Pleasant Grove, Utah, home, their camper trailer, ’68 VW bus, and even the chicken coop all have received the Mott makeover.
When Lynde and her husband, Randy L. Mott (BM ’98, MM ’09), built the home 13 years ago, it presented a blank canvas that she couldn’t resist filling. She describes the collection of figure paintings (Jane Austen, Mormon, and Queen Esther, among others), historical murals (including a panorama of Nauvoo), decoupage countertops and frames, stained glass, quilts, and painted patterns on walls and floors as “myself turned inside out.”
For Mott, it’s about “continually feasting” on—and adding to—the abundance of the world around her. “Maybe that,” she muses, “is the theme of the house—taking full advantage of the environment available.”
Take a 360° Tour
In the videos below, drag the image to maneuver your view around rooms of the Mott home. In the first video, Lynde Mott will be your guide. In the others, it’s a self-guided tour. Press pause if you’d like to explore a room a little longer.
The Nauvoo Room, a Kitchen, and a Library of Strong Women
• In the Nauvoo era, pioneer women would hoist quilting projects to the ceiling when they weren’t working on them. The difference here: the decorative side is facing down instead of up. Mott calls the 1850 quilt “just a dissertation of early 19th-century fabrics.”
• Unable to afford Persian rugs, early Saints would paint colorful imitations on old sailing linens and tack them to the floor. Mott followed their lead but painted directly on the floorboards.
• The Nauvoo Room also features an authentic, 175-year-old Gorman bench, also called a bishop’s bench, “because bishops hosted a lot of people,” says Mott. The bench—like an early futon—folds out into an extra bed.
• Much of the stained glass in the kitchen and throughout Mott’s home was created by Provo’s Gomm Stained Glass, done on trade for her painting work.
• Mott fell in love with magnolias—the flower painted onto the library floor—when living in Louisiana as a child. “When they’re in bloom and fragrant, they just make you swoon,” she says.
• To give her Queen Esther a look at once elegant and humble, Mott painted a crown of flowers in her hair. “Not a gaudy, worldly, bejeweled crown, but a natural crown, the lotus blossom,” she says.
Lynde Mott’s Studio
• Mott’s studio is both a place for painting and a painted work itself, from the stenciled floors to enormous flowers and bees on the walls.
• The work on the easel is a self-portrait of sorts, a bird’s-eye view of herself and her sisters arranging flowers.
• Here as in other rooms, Mott extensively utilizes decoupage—or glued-on collages of ephemera preserved under a transparent finish.
• Above the bed is a painting of the New Testament’s Mary and Martha, depicting “the tension that flows between opposites,” says Mott. “There’s duty in life, but there’s also beauty to appreciate.”
• When designing a room for her son, she took inspiration from a Christmas card he had found.
• Mott intended the bed posts, adorned with branches and sugar-pine cones, to echo the aspens on the walls.
Garage and VW Bus
• Mott says she didn’t have to purchase any of the paint for her garage—neighbors just drop off leftover paint from their projects, figuring that she’ll have a use for it.
• Labeled with the Mott-family motto “Rejoice Evermore,” their ’68 VW bus has been exhaustively decorated inside and out. Mott says she was going for a shabby-chic with her decoupage in the bus’s interior design.
• Mott says she drew inspiration from the masters while decorating this upstairs room. The angels she borrowed from Raphael, and she felt a little like Michelangelo as she stood on a scaffold to paint stars on the vaulted ceiling.
• Mirrored Latin scripts on the walls translate as “A Sound Mind” and “A Sound Body.”
• This room features the Mott household’s single solitary closet (where she keeps historical costuming for models). When they built the home, Mott opted to leave closets out of the rooms, so as to open up rooms more. The family keeps clothing and other items in armoires and dressers instead.
• Mott’s panoramic seaside scene is based on, and extends out of, the framed print that hangs on the wall above the toilet.