Amid the stark white, contemporary spaces of the extravagant home shared by three-time GRAMMY nominee Crowder and his wife Toni sits a piano that the couple bought for $200.
The contemporary Christian music artist (whose full name is David Crowder) has transformed the instrument into a piece of art. Within the yellow paint that now covers the once dilapidated piano is a smattering of eclectic items, from tape decks to trophies to bicycle handlebars, all brought together to form a piece of unique beauty.
"We love to find the beauty in things that some might not deem beautiful," Crowder, 50, says in an exclusive video with PEOPLE showing off his Atlanta abode. "It's a metaphor for the way we approach life and people."
It was this sentiment that, in 2014, brought the artist and his wife to the doorway of their eventual home: an eyesore in the middle of the upscale Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta that many a home shopper had passed by and had even been deemed one of the ugliest houses in the city.
But instinctively, the Crowders knew they couldn't pass it up.
"She likes projects," he jokes of Toni, an architect and interior designer whom he first met in high school. "That's just what she does."
The couple admits that up to that point, they had yet to find a space that felt like home. Toni spent much of her childhood moving from place to place, while Crowder had long gotten used to the comforts of home being found in a tour bus. Add that to the fact that Toni's job led her to always be on the lookout for her next project, and it's not hard to understand how they may have had trouble putting down real estate roots in the past.
But all of that changed once the pandemic hit.
"This place became our sanctuary," says Crowder, whose current album Milk & Honey includes his current single "In the House." "We were sort of forced into it due to the lockdown and such, but we really fell in love with just the usability of the space. The spaces that we enter shape our feelings and our thoughts."
The transformation of the Crowder home, now seen in its stunning and complete state in the PEOPLE-exclusive Hollywood at Home video above, actually began seven years ago.
"We walked in, and there was a marble logo on the floor and a double staircase, like they had in the movie Gone with the Wind," remembers Crowder of the home originally built in 1989. "It looked like a cruise ship or a movie set. But instantly, I could see Toni's wheels turning."
The creative couple had just finished a seven-year remodeling project in Texas at the time, and they note the last thing they needed was another project. But the low price of the home and all of its possibilities lured them in.
"It was a bigger project than I was expecting, definitely," Toni admits. "But honestly, it had a great layout and a lot of space. I kept telling my husband that we just needed to replace the surfaces."
Of course, that was quite the understatement.
"When you are working within contemporary and white, it can feel very stale," she explains. "I was wanting it to feel homey, so I did things like putting in neutral floors with the white oak, which gives it a very comforting feeling, along with so much light."
Within that neutral shell are several unforgettable pops of color and personality, created especially with the creator in mind.
"A lot of the people that come over and visit are in a similar creative industry," says Crowder. "So, what we love is having little hidden discoveries for them to find and things that are unexpected. I think humor in play is so significant to dismantling the fragility of our protective nature."
One of the biggest surprises can be found in the powder room off the kitchen.
"On the light switch, there are four buttons and they're not labeled what they are," Toni says with a laugh. "One is a light, one is a fan, and one actually plays Michael Jackson's song 'Man in the Mirror' when you press it. And then there is another button that has a reading from Christopher Walken. I love to sit outside the bathroom and be like, 'Wait 'til they see this.'"
The Crowder home has materialized into a sanctuary, both personally and professionally.
"When you're trying to create, it's such a vulnerable experience to be in a space that expands and lets you know that boundaries don't exist and the lines that we draw can be colored over," says Crowder of the completed space. "That part is very helpful in a space where you're trying to make stuff."
"We feel serenity here," adds Toni. "Even though we've added the fun and play, which was really important to us to have that aspect of it, it doesn't take itself seriously, just like we don't. I just want people to feel comfortable here."