Friday, May 27, 2011

Why I Love Creating Personal Environments

A little heart to heart:  As an interior designer, I am so constantly moved by different environments--how I feel in the space, how I feel leaving the space, how I feel the space could be improved, etc.  We see shows on TV about hoarders, and how their living spaces became a refuge or hideaway from the world but actually are more disastrous and unhealthy than helpful.  In my profile whether on my website or my blog, I have stated how I believe we are all strongly affected by our environments, whether we are aware of it or not.  Each environment, like most everything else in life, is subjective and relative in the degree of change desired, as well as to the needs of the individual.  For example, the hoarders environments' on TV are improved just by having all of the junk and garbage removed, and the place cleaned.  It doesn't matter that the fabrics are dated and do not match.  On the other spectrum, a space that may look beautiful, but perhaps is outdated or "just not right" will still give the homeowner a renewed sense of energy, positivity, and personal ownership by being updated and/or remodeled.  This is the fulfilling need for this individual.  Each example is a huge and important step for how that occupant feels when entering and spending time in that space.  Its a long spectrum from one end to the other, but all of it so important for each homeowner.

I get more joy out of seeing my clients thrilled at their new space than I do out of redoing my own home, funny as that may sound.  I know deep down how it feels to have a new and renewed space, and I want to share that uplifting feeling in the best way I can.  I love what I do, and fortunately I get to do what I love.  What brought this to my mind was that recently, my cousin, who is a couple years older than me has been going through horrible medical issues starting all the way back to last November when out of the blue, as a healthy adult, he had an aneurysm burst near his heart, and shortly after entering the hospital, a few small strokes occurred.  Since then, its been a process of two steps forward and one step back.  He has been in and out of hospitals, numerous surgeries, as well as a couple different assisted living spaces.  As soon as everything seems to be working, something else starts not working.  Recently, he moved into an assisted living space that does not feel like just another wing of the hospital or the step prior to a nursing home, but is actually a delightful place to be.  My parents live not far from him, and my mother has been helping him out as the rest of his family does not live in the vicinity. She is noticing a dramatic change in his recovery.  She said the new space has made such a positive change, it's amazing.  Immediately I thought about why I do what I do.  I am not a medical person nor a therapist, so I can not directly help someone to be lifted from their physical or mental anguish, but I can indirectly help people to have an environment that feels right for them, and helps to support them to become the person they want to be by giving them a safe and positive environment in which to rejuvenate their energy.

I hope you will look at your space as not just a place to eat, sleep, and store your personal items, but as a space that can be utilized as a positive mood improving place in which to reenergize your soul.

Have a fabulous holiday weekend!
~~~Best, Susan~~~ Registered & Protected

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Hey all!!  Yes, once again it is a dreary, rainy day, blah, blah, blah~~in all senses of the word!  Lately, my family and I have been watching the new AMC show, The Killing, which is fabulous by the way, but not my point.  It is based in Seattle, and of course, it's ALWAYS raining there!  We are all covered up in blankets as we watch it.  I've also observed how the people in the show aren't bugged at all by the rain, which is probably a Seattle thing, huh?  They rarely have umbrellas, maybe a hood, and the rain just falls all over them and they are constantly wet, as if its the norm, which it probably is of course, but its just a weird feeling to imagine being wet all of the time...walking in and out of buildings and cars as if it's not raining...Anyhoo, now I'm sidetracked...onto more colorful visuals!

On a cheerful note, ♬♪♫, a few weeks back, I read about a New York artist, Mark Gleberzon, on the blog Design Milk.  Design Milk is one of my favorite blogs, and I make sure I check out the findings at each new post.  They showcase the most unique and interesting design finds I've ever seen~~products, art, architecture, interiors, fashion, technology, etc.  Check it out!  As I was saying, one of Mark's chair paintings from the Architectural Digest Home Show was profiled.  I absolutely love this painting~ both the image and the words!!!

From this article, Mark said:

“I realized over time that just as a chair is a supportive structure, my parents have been more than ‘supportive’ of my being an artist. My chair paintings are thus my most personal series of work. This particular painting has been further enhanced with the lyrics to the song ‘A House Is Not A Home,’ a classic written by Hal David with music by Burt Bacharach and most popularly sung by Dusty Springfield, Dionne Warwick and Luther Vandross."

I don't know what it is about this painting I so love...the chair? the colors? the words? their meanings? the large all caps simple script? the layering? the depth?...  Okay, maybe its all of that, but I really hope I get to own one of these some day.  I decided to check out Mark's other art, and I love it also!  Below are some more examples I adore from the Chair Series, as well as the Landscapes, Cityscapes, and Whimsy Series.  See Mark's website here.  I also know he is a super nice guy to work with, and his prices are reasonable as I've been working with him to get a piece into a client's home.

Tulip and Sunflower, 36" x 48, acrylic on canvas 


I truly hope you check out his site.  Trust me, you will have a very pleasant aesthetic day if you do~~a daily vital requirement in my book!  STAY DRY~~ Registered & Protected

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hugo Living Room

The sun is shining, and as Martha says, "It's a good thing!"  About a month ago, I wrote a post on an Arts and Crafts styled home where I am redoing the living room and parts of the dining room.  Our goal was to take Arts and Crafts one step further, to use the philosophy of the era but not the actual A&C styled furniture.  As Barry Darr Dixon, one of my all time favorite interior designers once said, you need to "take it out of itself".  He was referring to exactly what my goal was--to reference the feel of an era without using the tangibles from it.  I never get sick of looking at his environments!  They are like looking into a wonderful piece of art that has so many layers, and each time you look at it, you see something new.

I have made quite a bit of progress, and thought I would share updates on the living room.  Soon it will all be coming together, ***the best part!!***, and then I can show you some awesome pics, but for now--bits and pieces:

I know you all have fabulous memories, correct?  No lack of empty files in that little hideaway, but just in case you are having an off day, let me refresh your memory.

The layout:  plan view below...

The Inspiration for color:  fireplace tiles below...

The coffee table:  my wonderful find of an early 19th century Turkish copper tray being built into a 54" round coffee table of reclaimed, dark stained wood below...

And now... The new additions!

The sofa:  I have a fabulous sofa with simple, square lines.  The frame is in a dark brown leather with large antiqued brass nailheads and the cushions in a warm, dark grey faux mohair below...

The slipcovered chair:  This chair is an updated, contemporary version of a traditional wing chair.  It swivels, so during parties, the occupant can talk to people in the window bench, OR, when you need a relief, or a fresh conversation, you can spin around and talk to people on the sofa, or totally zone out and watch TV!  I absolutely love how I've complemented the more formal wing chair style with a casual linen slipcover.  Fabric and chair style below...

So sorry for the blurriness of the chair pics, but I was having a bugger of a time with the chair image.  

The patterned chair:  This chair has a more rounded style, and again swivels.  The dweller of this chair has oodles of entertainment options.  They can swivel to peer out at the wonderful lakeside, spin and talk to someone in the kitchen, spin and talk to someone on the couch, or again zone out to the tube.  Fabric and chair style below...

The side tables:  The homeowner has a couple of wonderful Stickley side tables I want to reuse.  They will be an awesome transition piece between the Arts/Crafts architecture and our more casual, earthy style.  See below...

The window seat:  On the opposite side of the fireplace from the TV cabinet was an open space, perfect for some type of built in.  Hello, window seat!  The back wall of the window seat will be upholstered in a semi tufted style in a fabulous cinnamon color, and the bench seat cushion in a cinnamon/grey trellis style.  See fabrics below...

Accessories:  Today I found some wonderful floor lamps, large worn grey lanterns, and made her a super tall dogwood & moss arrangement in a black metal galvanized container for her mantel.  The ceilings are super high!  See below...

Meanwhile my client found some incredible fabric for accent pillows and made the most wonderful pillows--the colors and patterns are perfect for the room!

 What do you think?  Getting excited?  I am.  I absolutely love it when it all starts coming together.  Can't wait to show you the rest as it unfolds!

☞☞☞☞☞ Susan ☜☜☜☜☜ Registered & Protected

Monday, May 2, 2011

Deviled Eggs!

Aren't these yummy looking?  “Deviled” Eggs with Sweet pickle-egg mousse & pencil asparagus tips.  What caught my eye?  The color and shape proportions--nice balance!

via The Peak of Chic blog

Have a scrumptious day!!  Susan Registered & Protected