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A New Look Part II

A New Look Part II

Included in the new collection of life-friendly linen finishes for your living room is my new dining collection. Reclaimed, yet refined, this grayed down wood finish is the perfect compliment to an organic-ly chic room setting. Fabulous chairs with exceptional detail can bring #purestyle into your dining space. In a kitchen, or a casual dining room, this set will slip into an easy mix with neutral tones ,but also compliment a punch of color!

This photo gives a good view of the host and hostess chairs. A slipcover look presents a waterfall tailored skirt and a bonus of hidden casters! This chair will allow any hostess to quickly slide out from the table to refill an empty glass or refill the hot bread basket. Perfection.

Note the pleated detail on the back of the side chairs and the interest of the metal frame in a rich bronze finish. That little bit of soft gold/German bronze accent is really trending and can blend with other metals in your home.

Another piece of the dining room collection is this very interesting sideboard. The contrasting light outside casing brings a fresh look to the reclaimed trend. The same beautiful soft bronze hardware has been added to the front as handles. Inside; one drawer with a silver liner and 4 shelves. But don’t think of this console as stricktly a dining piece. It will work just as perfectly as a TV console, sofa table, or room divider. Versatile and stylish!

On the dining table, I used a favorite centerpiece vessel. 52″ long , this aluminum trough is versatile enough to fill with beautiful things from season to season. In this case, I laid a dramatic long phaleanopsis orchid flat in the tray and under-laid it with large botanical leaves. If you look closely at this one, you’ll see water droplets! Perfect! #ohsosusan

While studying the new collection of The Urban Loft, stop to look at the selection of Kitchen Papers! Great for entertaining this summer, a party, or a hostess gift. Chalkboard runners (and chalk pencils for a personal note!) , assorted place mats (the fern motif is a personal favorite), just to name a few. These runners and place-mats make any family dinner more fun and entertaining, spice up a neighborhood gathering, or delight anyone as a thank you gift. With solids, stripes, birthday themes, whimsical birds, or fanciful flowers, you’ll fall for these stylish options and their function. #imafan

So stop in and take it all in…the new dining collection, and the Kitchen Paper collection…it’s a match made in heaven you can really get into!

Bring on the parties and be the centerpiece of #purestyle!

A Fresh New Look!

A Fresh New Look!

After several weeks of high anticipation for our new Urban Loft inventory, and several long days of intense preparation and delivery, styling and detailing, it is ready to unveil!

Susan’s Urban Loft has been quite a success and our first three room settings unveiled last fall sold through with great demand. So….here is another curated collection for you to be inspired by and love just as much as the first! Stop by and take in every detail, imagine it in your home. It’s #purestyle.

You will find two flanking sofas with a contrasting one seated cushion in a delicious graphite gray velvet. Two small chrome-based ottomans flank the chrome trimmed coffee table. Oh. My.

This collection is paired with multiple pieces of striking rustic gray wood, detailed with chrome bands. Wow! Below is a closeup of the coffee table. Take a look at the great accessories on the table…I’m in love with them! Simple finishes, broad leaves and succulent detail complete the look.

All in all, it’s a lovely and inviting look, appealing and comfortable. My staff and I all agree we could just move in up here…a cozy reading nook with seating for a good crowd.

The room is complimented by a coordinating console table, affordably priced and chock full of style and a bit of glam.

For those of you who were familiar with the last room settings of The Urban Loft, you may recall these fabulous pendants, seemingly hanging from mid air…connected to the suspended and beautiful sycamore logs overhead…I was thrilled these still worked into the new plan! I am in love with the new collection of accessories as well! The combination of the circular motion, moss, and succulent detail is engaging and really perfect! It’s amazing how versatile white can be and it has become a staple on my purchasing list for “must haves.”

On the other side of the room you will find these fabulous new stag horn fern bushes. The glossy leaves and motion will fool any botanical expert and you will love them! The color…the shine…the impact is all there.

These new etageres have fabric backs, touch lighting and the boon of closed storage as well. Available in several finishes, these pair with the finish on the other case-goods in the collection and provide the perfect venue for the look of today’s accessory placement…a bit more simple in nature. The use of multiple pieces repeated on various shelves is about intention and #purestyle!

I’ll detail other rooms and collections of The Urban Loft in nights to come…come in and get inspired, take a tour of our newly designed space and talk to Susan in person. Bring and book and get cozy!

It’s all about #purestyle.

Accent Walls Make a Statement Part IV

Accent Walls Make a Statement Part IV

To continue on with Gallery Wall visions, there are just a few other ideas to consider.

An empty stairwell is the perfect place for a collection of like framed pieces…here, photographs have been selected, all in black and white. Again, unity in size, framing, and color, all three specifications make this work. Although we can’t see the entire wall, it’s a sure thing that this accent wall is filled from top to bottom. The view is appreciated from the top of the landing , as well as climbing the stairs. Great design, The impact would not be the same if we had chosen to use 4 or 6 pieces, It’s the whole collection that makes it interesting and gives it the powerful statement.

Here’s another vision I borrowed from Pinterest, This happens to be a favorite of mine as well…start collecting vintage window frames in similar sizes, or, mix them up in size. The original finishes remain as part of the personality. This is another design that works well in large empty wall spaces such as this double story stairwell. The interest of the window frames (glass removed) takes the place of exotic trims and become the architectural element needed for interest.

Careful placement and design will be important here, and a bit challenging. You’ll need a patient installer and a large level! It’s a great look and classic for a cottage style accent wall. Don’t be afraid to mix is up with a bit of a modern touch for a different slant.

You could consider painting more ornate frames all one color, using the Amy Howard Chalk Paint, as shown in one of the previous posts about Gallery Walls. All in all, this look is a personal favorite and adds charm and personality to many spaces.

The last area I will cover is the use of Gallery Design around a wall mounted TV. This is often an area of concern for my clients, It takes some careful planning to make sure the distraction level is low. The correct symmetry , minimal color. Use some personal artifacts, like the “F” and the oval street numbers. I love the clock without hands. The TV acts as a great placeholder to ground the rest of the design. I love a man who allows a bit of fresh greenery to overlap the tiniest corner of the screen!

Here is an example of a bit simpler design. Personal phrases (scripture in this case) has special significance to this family’s values. I love the addition of the three baskets to the right and the botanical prints to the left. In my opinion, there might be a bit too much in front of the TV for practicalities, but overall, it’s an interesting approach.

Accent walls should be as personal as you can dream. Any space you choose can work . Take some time to think where you want to apply one of these ideas and start designing! It will be rewarding, personal, and #purestyle !

As you have successes in your own Accent Wall, send me your photos! I’ll write a post around your ideas. There are generally several Gallery Walls worked into my retail visuals at Black-eyed Susan for sheer inspiration, or for purchasing the entire thing!

I’ll be thrilled to see your designs!


Gallery Walls Part III

Gallery Walls Part III

One of the most personal gallery wall themes is family! I’ve designed multiple family generational galleries in my career. When I look back and see how the children have grown up and see on social media documentation of college choices or marriages, I always think “that can’t be!”  It happens.

I recall a favorite project that involved flying a creative photographer in from Utah and the tender photos that were taken, selected and then framed for one of our favorite clients. I used multiple sizes of framed family shots to fill an large double story foyer and upstairs hall. I incorporated family collectibles, cherished objects, mirrors and some architectural findings in my design. We also decided on an all black and white pallet, which makes the photo gallery very cohesive, without jarring color changes to deal with.

One of the best hints for success is to begin with an experienced and fine photographer. When using large format printing, the resolution needs to be high. The generational wall below is a very good example of interesting composition, great size variation, and stylish layout. Note how the position and size of the selections follow the footprint of the stairway.

Don’t be afraid to crop your images in an unexpected and interesting way. That’s where a creative and good photographer will come into play. There are several absolute favorites I like to recommend in Bucks County. If you are interested in a recommendation, I’d be happy to pass along my contacts.

Here is another no fail formula…one matt color… one frame color…one size. This gallery below shows this formula in a perfect grid. I love using the entire wall. Note the footprint of the gallery covers most of the wall from top to bottom. Don’t be afraid to drop below the sofa sight line. Black and white photos work well in this case too. You really can’t go wrong. With some smaller images, even some high resolution cell shots can work here to create a personal and candid collection.

This next gallery is tied together with family photos, color (all spa-like blue), and the use of the family hobbies and favorite images. Consider travel photos, collections, meaningful phrases, and stylized art that reflects family memories. Assorted sized images are hung to form a perfectly aligned grid with even perimeters, which keeps a clean and tailored end result. I like it!

If you are a young professional, consider creating a gallery from significant milestones from childhood to your current timeline. Cropped images of favorite collections or hobbies can add interest, create intrigue and an unexpected interesting approach.


I find this image below to be a great example of an interesting family gallery wall.  Gold, white, meaningful objects, dates, numerals, childhood silhouettes, still keeping all images black and white…all add up to a unique, well laid out gallery. Contrasting against a dark charcoal wall, this is what I call a formula for success. Love!

Family gallery walls are a great way to lend creativity and personality to your living space. These collections will become lifetime memories for you and all who are included in your selected photos. It’s equally exciting to collect your images as it is to create your final design. Start visualizing, sorting, shooting, and templating! Then share your completed design with me. I’ll be waiting.


Accent Walls Make a Statement Part II

Accent Walls Make a Statement Part II

One deciding factor for your accent wall design could be color. Color unifies a grouping in a very strong statement. Let’s look a several examples of unifying your accent wall using color.

This basically neutral room comes alive with the addition of these two bold pieces of art. Two images, one color. Size, strong contrast and color all add to the success of this selection. It’s a winning formula!

The image below uses similar colors between art pieces to tie one to the other. A palette of blue hues, with the addition of chartreuse-y yellows, builds interest and pulls the pieces of the puzzle together as an interesting grouping. The placement is interesting and a bit unexpected! Repeated colors give a strong tie to the collection.


In this case, using one unifying color — bold chrome yellow — makes a collection of vintage frames spotlighting children’s art important. Even high gloss chrome yellow! #purestyle #colorcrush. Love.


In the recent design of my Urban Loft showroom at Black-eyed Susan, I did something similar with a favorite collection of vintage Old Master’s frames, using our Amy Howard chalk paint and assorted waxes. Leaned, layered and grouped together, these beauties are some of my personal favorites.

Find a common factor to tie your wall decor collection together. For these examples, COLOR sings the language of #purestyle. Get your own mojo going with a color to make your room pop!

Accent Walls Make a Statement!

Accent Walls Make a Statement!

Gallery walls are a personal statement that often defines the family dynamics, or the moxie of a single professional. It’s a broad subject, so I’d like to take this week to talk about several directions your gallery wall could be presented. When I speak of a gallery wall, it could just be one large statement piece or an entire wall of collectibles and tender memories.

Once again, gallery walls are all about perfect placement! Gather your collection and begin to play with the arrangement somewhere where you can lay it out , using the same parameters that you will be using for your installation. When you are happy with the layout (loads of examples and do’s and don’ts to follow!) , take a photo with your phone and print it. Take exact measurements of your margins, and you will have a legend for a pattern.

This is an example you may have seen on my Instagram page Besusanstyle. I laid out my arrangement once I knew the available space above a bed. I played considerably with the design for that perfect placement. Take time with this. You want something balanced, yet unexpected.  Perfect.

Then, I took my measurements (I love my Samsung Note cell phone for this!) It looks like my photo cropped some of my measurements, but you will want the total width and total height. Then take measurements that will mean something to you when you begin to take one, then another item away. Each item that leaves the floor for hanging with make your pattern more important. This formula of pattern making really works. While this tutorial doesn’t apply to tonight’s post, it will make sense and be useful in the posts to come.

Whether your gallery wall comprises of one piece, two pieces, or an entire collage of objects and art, this legend will be necessary in the success of your end result and perfection!

Let’s start our series with the use of quotes, phrases and poetry. I love them all. While there can be some overused phrases at your favorite home store, you have the possibility to make this kind of art as meaningful and personal as your design mind can dream.

Some of your personal designs will be the simple placement of a single statement piece. Quotes and phrases are very stylish presently. Choose your font carefully for the exact statement and personality that appeals to you and speaks the language of your style!

Below is an example of vinyl lettering. Select a favorite quote or phrase and you can find multiple options on Etsy or Pinterest to have it printed in a select font and color. The size of your font will be determined by the footprint of the space you have selected. Don’t be afraid to take up a 60″ space as the example below shows. A little drama in your sizing will make it unique and totally yours.

Over-sized framed hand written thoughts are a great way to add an intimate and personal space for a family theme or a personal mantra. Something inspiring, humorous, or a reminder for success can all be options. Find a friend who has a great handwriting if you need help! A child’s writing could be appropriate for certain choices. Make sure that you select a writing implement with a bold enough stroke. Use matt board, foam chore or even glass to write on. Be creative in every way from your medium to the thought expressed. These can easily be changed along with your progress or motivation.

Quotes are tender and meaningful. Frame them in a vintage frame, a modern one from your favorite big box store…or a re-purposed one from something you aren’t using. Print it on an over-sized printer, or make your own computer file and have an office supply store print it for you on a large format printer. The possibilities are limitless!

An entire paragraph from a favorite children’s book, or a single quote from one of your favorite poets…find your dream and use it as significant art.

Put some time into your selection to make the most impact and enjoy the journey! Children’s rooms….home office….mudroom…kitchen…great room…foyer-there isn’t a bad option in the bunch. Have fun with your own creation!




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