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Order by Design

Order by Design

black-eyed-susan_lamp_local-living-magazineThat urge to purge hits all of us occasionally. The trending towards minimalism and clean lines embraces this need, calling us all to re-examine what we live with. Having been a serious collector for many years hasn’t helped my “stash” shall we call it? Books, silver trays, monogramed silverware, cake plates, butter pats, and glass cloches just to name some of my favorites… I have too many. So, when the opportunity came my way to write about clutter free spaces, I had to turn a blind eye to the massive amounts of my favorite things that are sitting in piles, waiting to be sorted and placed in new homes. If you’ve been following my articles, you know that I have been in a long drawn out process of re-designing many of my personal spaces. Now the task of editing and incorporating my favorite things into my new chic look is challenging!

Let’s face it: the style now is to revel in clean, pure minimalism. But it doesn’t have to be boring. “X” may mark the spot, but so do triangles, circles and squares. Reinventing the modern lifestyle with geometry-inspired designs can provoke and captivate this look, leading to uncluttered and interesting personal design. And how do I work some of my favorite and cherished collections into the mix?

I’ve replaced many of my crystal dripped vintage chandeliers (28 to be exact) with modern drum shaded fixtures. I’m in love with the high gloss orange one I hung in the family room. There are still crystal accents, but they are modern bubbles, not multi-faceted 100 year old ones. Mirrors are style-infused and sizzling hot. They are cleaner and less carved-round sunbursts or glamorous mirrored frames around the mirror itself. Perhaps a high gloss lacquered one… navy you say?

And then there’s the art. Vibrant watercolors, exotic batiks and lots of navy and white. Clean, crisp stripes and chevron patterns call for a look of more order. The masses of personal photographs dotting multiple surfaces are passé. While there is always a place for generational photographs, they should be framed to be used as larger wall art and kept in more personal spaces such as bedrooms and hallways.

Even the style of our floral accents has changed to a more minimal attraction. I had a pang of sadness when I sold the massive and stunningly colorful center hall arrangement that had dressed my foyer library table for ten years. Consider using three of a kind, perhaps tall clear cylinders with dramatic orchids. Yes, it’s more towards the clean and exact.

Finding order in the new direction of interior design is simple with the right inspiration. Browse through your favorite publications and stroll through the most current retail design studios. You’ll be inspired and with a little help      from your trusted design professional, you will find your perfect mix.

It’s all about style. Clean, pure style. Now, what about those 20 cake plates? I’m pretty sure I can work them into my plan.

I like cake.

 

by Susan Taylor, Local Living Magazine

Near and Far

Near and Far

black-eyed-susan-suburban-life-mag_001During a recent design project at a client’s home in Charlotte, S.C., interior designer Susan Taylor used a color palette of coral and chartreuse that, to this day, “makes my heart sing,” she says. Such strong responses to her work have become all too common among an increasingly diverse list of clients, including those spread across the country and even farther afield.

Read more on Suburban Life’s website.

 

by Bob Craig, Suburban Life Magazine

Oomph! One Way or Another…

Oomph! One Way or Another…

black-eyed-susan_pink-dining-room_local-living-magazineThere’s been a change in the air in the last few years where interior style is concerned. That old world “European” charm with volumes of fabric and heavy passementarie trims, big rolled arms and oversized furniture pieces are just not stylish in today’s new rooms.
Trends start slowly and before you know it, they’ve become the new look that is coveted by those who like to keep up with the style curve.

Those of you who follow my work know that I’m not much of a rule follower and mainly march to the beat of my own drum, setting my own “Susan Rules” within the realm of fine design and good taste. There’s always room for breaking the norm. That said, here are several fresh approaches.

Taupe, greys and neutrals are all the rage. Calm walls and ceilings with punctuations of color. Think deep teal, orange or chartreuse pillows and rugs. Just on the cusp of the new look is bold color in pattern, fabric and wall covering. Pretty much opposites, these two trends both call my name. You may recall the lipstick pink high gloss walls of the Bucks County Designer House Dining Room from 2012. It was a showstopper and memorable! I still have women (and men!) stop in the store to ask about that room. The walls and ceiling were bolder than bold. A zebra patterned rug grounded all neutral upholstered chairs and table. It was all about contrast. And color!

I’ve lived with color and have been known to spec unabashed hues in my design career of 20 years. I. Love. Color. So, when I decided to redesign the entire fi rst fl oor of my home last fall, I had in mind a signifi- cant change. I’m a collector of books, silver, plates and oh so much more. I love an organic mix (yet another trend) and wanted to mix the modern clean lines so in vogue today with the interest of my collections. It works, you know. But, I’ve had my challenges! I sold everything far too soon for comfortable living while this transformation was taking place…. (That old “Shoemaker’s Kid’s” theory is pretty accurate!) Last week, a mere four months after I started, I had the painting completed. Soft. Neutral stone colors… no punctuation−yet! My dearest friend is shocked! I’ve been her inspiration and director of color for a lifetime. She reminded me that I once said,”There is no room for beige.” Oh. Dear.

I’ve got a real challenge ahead, that of putting the personality back into the “beige”! I’m confident and rather anxious to take the time off to pull it all together and I’ll try to keep you posted. You can follow my blog for progress and I promise you some surprises along the way. I challenge you to take the plunge. Make a change. Visit your favorite design shops. Get inspired from Designer Show Houses, magazines and Pinterest. Consult a professional to affirm your direction. There is so much to choose from, sophisticated neutrals or all out color… or, a combination of the two! To quote His Lordship from Downton Abbey, “When you’re tired of style, you’re tired of life.” LL

*Sigh*

 

by Susan Taylor, Local Living Magazine

Finding Your Style

Finding Your Style

black-eyed-susan_orange-wall_local-living-magazineAsk your favorite designers where their ideas come from and the answer will be revealing. Street culture, foreign travel, nature and fashion are all key influences. I find additional inspiration with seasonal fabric and furniture launches. And that’s just the beginning. Design has undergone a mini revolution, with modern undertones in particular spilling over into every style.

Winter nesting can be the perfect time to make personal changes in your own décor. We live in a design-conscious age where interiors have caught up with fashion in the race for change. If it seems confusing to be bombarded with so many choices, the flip side is that there has never been so much design freedom. Finding inspiration is now one of the most enjoyable parts of defining your style.

Examine how you live, then tailor your interior accordingly. Consider first who lives at home. If it’s just you and a partner, then sleek and sophisticated can be perfect. But if there are children, a more practical style will be vital. You would be surprised how many interiors I have designed around pets! If you often have guests, or a home office, you may need two looks: flexible and casual for the living quarters yet chic and grown-up for your private zones. Consider how you like to live and run your home. Be honest. Consulting a professional should always be a consideration. Think of him or her as a personal trainer! You’ll get a different level of service and end result than going it on your own. However, your input and serious thought should definitely play into the planning.

A few rare individuals have a strong look that is their unmistakable personal stamp. Homes designed by a professional are permeated with one cohesive design thread, from furniture to accessories and finishes. That being said, ours homes will be a mix of varied looks and influences. Just as we amass a wardrobe of clothes to satisfy needs and tastes, it’s fun to combine different decorative styles that express your personal styles.

It can be hard to successfully combine a string of rooms reflecting a number of different styles. Try adding modern accents in bathrooms and kitchens, leaving the living spaces more transitional with touches of modernism. It is vital to pick one broad thread to draw everything together. This might be using identical flooring throughout. A tightly controlled palette of three colors or variations of the same color will bind styles together and be a unifying factor.

However good your “links” are from one style option to another, here’s a word of caution. It’s visually confusing to combine too many different influences. The results will be visually chaotic both for you and your guests.

Stylish looks for your home are no longer for just for the brave or the young. What’s more, there are enviable choices. So, start gathering inspiration and find your style.

 

by Susan Taylor, Local Living Magazine

Favorite Things

Favorite Things

suburban-life-magazine-black-eyed-susan-distinctive-styleBetter than “rain drops on roses and warm woolen mittens,” interior designer Susan Taylor’s favorite things include the color orange, family dinners and apartments in Paris. Taylor, a graduate of Brigham Young University in Utah, is the owner of Black-eyed Susan, a retail boutique and design studio in Buckingham. Black-eyed Susan offers full-service interior design, purchasing, custom furniture design, accessory calls, color consultations, window treatments and home styling. She consults with clients in their homes throughout the region—and around the world—but it is in the 100-year-old stone-and-timber building where her retail business is located, where Taylor demonstrates her style ideas through ever-changing displays that inspire and engage guests.

Suburban Life sat down with Taylor to discuss a few of her favorite things as they pertain to interior design and, well, life.

Read about it at Suburban Life Magazine.

by Sharon A. Shaw, Suburban Life Magazine

Designed for Life

Designed for Life

black-eyed-susan-suburban-life-magDesign has become a competitive sport on reality television, but for interior designer Susan Taylor it is still based on friendship, collaboration and trust. Taylor credits her late mother, whom she describes as a “style maven,” as her inspiration and an example of integrity and service—two principles that still guide her approach to business today…

Read more on the Suburban Life Website.

by Sharon A. Shaw, Suburban Life Magazine

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