TikToker Mik Zazon's German Village Home is a Warm, Green Paradise

TikTok influencer Mik Zazon renovates her home near Parsons Avenue.

Laurie Allen
Mik Zazon with her dog, Blue

In a house that is four times older than she is, a young blogger and entrepreneur is chronicling her life at the edge of historic German Village.

In her mid-20s, Mikayla Zazon has ticked off an impressive number of achievements: motivational speaker and writer, health and fitness coach, brand ambassador and TikTok influencer with 1.2 million followers. She also happens to be a homeowner. The Central Ohio native is channeling some of her formidable energy into redefining a century-old home near the up-and-coming Parsons Avenue corridor.

Mikayla, or Mik, as she is known publicly, has openly shared her struggles with mental illness, body image and multiple eating disorders, even appearing on the Today show to talk about them. She says her home allows her a safe and nurturing place to feel comfortable in her own skin, a key premise of her message to others. “I never felt like I could be myself in public,” she says. “I want spaces that inspire and relax me.”

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When she purchased the home more than a year ago, one of her initial goals was to colorize it. The previous décor was farmhouse style “and everything was white and black,” she says. “I knew immediately I wanted to add pops of color, because that’s what makes me happy.”

Zazon says adding hues of green, gold and burgundy has had therapeutic value in allowing her to express her true nature. “I felt like the house could be colorful like I feel I am,” she says.

She removed white shiplap from the walls and painted them Navajo White, a warmer shade from Sherwin Williams. She chose Billiard Green paint from Ikea for the kitchen cabinets and placed brass chairs with burgundy seats at the dining table. Her penchant for warm gold and brass tones is evident throughout the home, from a kitchen toaster and cabinet hardware to a plant mister and watering can upstairs.

For bold contrast, she chose energy-efficient windows with black frames to replace the previous leaky ones and has partnered with Café Appliances to have all kitchen appliances painted matte black.

The living room contains a mix of both new and thrift pieces. Forest-green wing chairs sit on each side of the fireplace, and a wall is covered in framed art Zazon acquired at thrift stores and through Facebook Marketplace. A new beveled glass front door and a leaded glass rear door fill the space with light.

Just beyond the rear door, Mik and a friend have transformed what was “basically a dirt pile” into a calming backyard with a deck, two seating areas and plenty of grass for her dog, Blue, a two-year-old mini Bernedoodle. The former apartment dweller says maintaining the lawn has tried her patience at times. “I feel like I’m a middle-aged dad sitting out here with my arms crossed, going, ‘grubs!’ ” she laughs.

Matthew Coultrip served as the landscape designer for the overall backyard plan. A friend of Zazon’s who was featured in a Columbus Monthly Style Q&A in November, Coultrip took the lead on design and layout, as well as plant and furniture selection.

Related:Matt Coultrip Goes from Designing Storefronts to Designing Outdoor Spaces

Vertical hornbeams anchored by square mulch beds of gray river rock frame the yard with a clean, sophisticated look. Zazon plans to train the plants as topiaries as they grow taller. Horizontal black fencing on one side of the yard provides contrast and depth. A room-sized pergola seating area with a grand overhead light fixture is a perfect place for friends to gather in a cozy yet modern setting. The entire backyard space is healing and calming. “As someone with mental illness, I truly value my outdoor time,” she says.

Indoors, Zazon transformed her attic into a living and working place that ignites her creativity and playful spirit. She works on giant jigsaw puzzles and “crafty things” in the room that accommodates a large sofa, a television and a stationary bike, despite its low, sloped ceilings. Her modeling backdrops are in her second-floor office, where she works on a multitude of projects that include partnering with health and lifestyle brands.

The Dublin Jerome High School graduate (who also attended Worthington Christian High School) dropped out of college because learning disabilities and other issues made it too difficult. She’s fashioned her career on the premise of self-acceptance and uses her multiple platforms to share uplifting messages about fitness, nutrition and loving your body at any size.

For her first home, Zazon purposefully chose the Parsons Avenue area, located at the current Columbus epicenter of urban renewal and gentrification. She enjoys the energy young couples and families bring to the scene as they make the neighborhood their home.

Some projects, including basement waterproofing, packed an economic rather than visual punch. But, like the window replacement, they also needed to be done. With all that she’s accomplished in the first year, Zazon is setting aside a major overhaul of the front yard until spring.

“Basically, I’m going to rip everything up,” she says. She’ll then start with a clean canvas on which she will continue to color her world.

This story is from the Spring/Summer 2022 issue of Home & Garden.