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Susan’s Wednesday Night Magic!

Susan’s Wednesday Night Magic!

Those of you who follow my blog know about the magic of the Wednesday Night Late Shift…the newest and most interesting inventory is reviewed and we find new inspirations as we walk the showroom, looking for the perfect placement for each exciting addition. #purestyle

I’ve added more of my favorite realistic and tender ferns…so much motion, you’ll never guess they don’t need water! (Check that clever piece of art behind them as the spots are blown off that dalmation! Oh. My.

These fresh picked tulips will fool your local florist…the weepy, fresh feel will make them your favorite too….pink or fresh green. Just. Got. To. Have.

Crystals are popping up in all the right places…these beauties mounted to acrylic bases make beautiful accents for tabletop or bookcases, bathrooms, or hall consoles…Wow!

I had to add a little pink…(is there anything wrong with that?!)

Remember the trending black and white I reported from market…my order came in! Lots of new black and white pillows for your selection!

…more black…more white. more style.

Spheres are a great accent for any tray, bowl or dish. Add several to a container of succulents or place some in a pedestal dish…this color just sings the right #purestyle . Navy and gold…what could be better?

So…Thursday should be on your radar each week to browse Black-eyed Susan for the newest additions, and right after market, when my new orders are making an appearance is the perfect time. It’s really full of inspiring displays and new offerings!

Hope to see you! You won’t be disappointed.

Fresh ideas. Fresh inventory. Fresh color . #ohsosusan #purestyle #colorcrush

Make time for a Thursday visit!

Miss Barbara Gets Into #purestyle!

Miss Barbara Gets Into #purestyle!

Designing for the delightful Miss Barbara this week has been sheer heaven! Her mother has been one of our favorite clients and friend for many years, and after completing her fifth home in a series of locations, she added her mother’s cottage into the picture. 

Barbara, being a bright and entertaining 87 year old, has more entertaining stories of her youth and travels abroad than you can imagine! A genuine Southern belle, she landed back in the North Carolina mountains after years of exotic places, as well as U. S. locations. She delighted us for the past two days as we installed, primped, accessorized and dressed her new home. She gets along quite well and is looked in on by two devoted daughters, grandchildren and neighbors. She’s quite the woman of style!

This is the basic palette she agreed upon. Navy and turquoise! We incorporated her favorite collections from 87 years of life and came up with a stylish mix within her comfort zone! There was little she didn’t agree to, and Barbara kept up with our pace for two days with delight!

Two of these sweet smaller-scaled chairs in a turquoise print give way to additional seating for family and friends. We selected a painted frame for contrast and interest. Polka dots are part of the pattern play! Note the patterned carpet from Masland Carpet. We had just the right size bound for the cozy room.

Barbara’s collectibles and china found a place in her china display case (much like my old one!). With the overage from the last five homes from her daughter’s designs, we added this coveted framed art…sheet music! There are many musicians to be found in this family, and Barbara herself set the tone in her youth, playing the violin. We were thrilled to repurpose this favorite piece of art from the last home in Charleston we designed for her daughter. Books covered in sheet music, a lantern filled with assorted interests, black birds perching on the top edge…all make the room personal and inviting. 

Barbara spent a number of years in Africa with her first husband and has an extensive collection of ebony figures. I love the way they are silhouetted on the top shelf of the bookshelves. It’s a bit like Noah’s Ark up there! She was thrilled with the use of them and was excited we approved and found a home for them in such a prominent spot to be admired each day.

Her bedroom incorporated some hand-me-downs from a previous home of her daughter’s on Sullivan’s Island, S.C. Dresser and nightstands were snatched up, and a formerly used trunk was painted by our own paint specialist at Black-eyed Susan. Soft tones of plum and cream create a quiet retreat for Barbara. She approved custom pillows and bedding, a new rug, new lamps and a brand new upholstered bed in her favorite style. all delivered to make this room a favorite for her. (Design by Black-eyed Susan, pillow arrangement by Barbara!) She loves the little floral pillow we were able to eek out of a small discontinued fabric memo!

(Just another shot to show you the hand-painted trunk and window fabric.)

You can see that this little lady spared no stylish suggestions for fabric and patterns in designing this room! The portrait over the high boy chest is a personal favorite that I sold to her mother years ago for her home in downtown Historic Charleston! Musically themed, vintage inspired, and just the right colors! We were thrilled to rescue this piece of art from the “unused from the past designs” pile! And I love the bench cushion fabric!

Towards the end of the day, Barbara began pulling out treasures and she came across this Elgin watch face that belonged to her mother. In a small velvet case, I insisted that we display it on her nightstand and found the perfect soft lavender vintage hobnail plate to display it on. Perfection!

In a corner of the room, facing the large picture window, we placed another reclaimed chair and ottoman from a former home of her daughter’s. Recovered in the perfect stripe in the colors of the room, we created a cozy place for Barbara to read and put her feet up. (She was quite astounded when she discovered it was perfectly allowed to put her feet up – shoes and all – on such a fine piece of furniture!)

So here she is, Miss Barbara, woman of style and fine taste! With many gifts from her darling daughter and custom design by Black-eyed Susan just for her, she is perfectly content to sun in this room and enjoy the life of a gritty 87 year old with glee. 

Enjoy it for many years to come Barbara! We loved designing for you and all who visit your love filled home. 


Susan’s Stylewatch Report #hpmkt2017 | Day 3: It’s All About Gold!

Susan’s Stylewatch Report #hpmkt2017 | Day 3: It’s All About Gold!

Each market, there are trends that emerge quickly as we walk the halls. Certain color trends, finish trends, accessory trends…we identify these within the first few days and find them repeated again and again with different interpretations.

With this in mind, I’m here to say that the finish of the market is gold. Gold. Gold, and more gold! It’s not going anywhere. We have been seeing larger introductions each Market from all vendors. I documented several examples of gold finishes that I will share with you! Go for it. Gold is really in. #purestyle

I’m loving the gold metal accents on this new coffee table introduction. Those legs! Those bands! Love. 

I love the way this mirror floats, attached to the frame (satin gold!) with bands in the same finish. The wall color makes the floating mirror more dramatic. This satin brass is a very prevalent gold finish all through the Market. 

Even the smallest detail in furniture hardware can make a statement. Gold, of course!

The photo below captures both the coffee table, and a significant accessory. Did I say that gold has taken the top spot?!

How about a trio (or more) of hanging pendants in gold? Instead of one sizable pendant, try hanging a collage of the same pendant in assorted sizes and at different heights. Make sure to select your favorite in … yes, a gold finish!

This one is perhaps my favorite of the #makeminegold suggestions! This custom painted piece of art is a stylishly bold example of metallic gold set against white. Choose your size, and consider booking two together as shown below. Love. Love. Love.

As one final example, look at these vintage artifacts that have taken a place as accessories…you got it, GOLD. 

I’ve incorporated this trend into my new home in the last room I’m completing…look back to my Instagram post and the latest blog post on my guest room. It’s a pleasant departure from all the polished nickel used throughout my new designs. Don’t be afraid to mix metals…gold and polished nickel mix beautifully together and add a bit of unexpected beauty.

It’s all about gold. Take a step in the direction of the newest finish and step into #ohsosusan style.

Rooms That Pop with Color Part 4

Rooms That Pop with Color Part 4

In Part 4 of Rooms that Pop With Color, let’s study the value of contrast.  Below, we have vivid complimentary colors repeated in various places-walls, typography, teapot and books, and a bright, playful chair! Once again, the addition of my #ohsosusan favorite white comes into play. Brilliant!

The orange wall below pops against creamy white walls and keeps an otherwise quiet room filled with personality and style. White plays into the theme once again.

The power of strong contrast, in this case, turquoise, white, and black, presents a great background for this art collection. Don’t be afraid of some bright color! Small doses bring your look into play.

Take a look at this saturated color, gently pulled into a nearly neutral upper wall and ceiling. I love the ombre paint and here, you see how white plays such an important part in the success of the room. Remember my white + one color formula for success. It works every time. Perfection !

My last example takes two strong colors, both seen in the above rooms in different applications. Now, they are paired together with great success. And, once again, white is our pop of contrast! Orange and teal play well together here and create a purely happy room!

Don’t be afraid to express your own color dream! These rooms are memorable ones filled with personality and boldness. There is something about rooms with color that just makes my heart sing! Why not create a little tune of your own?



20 Rooms That Pop with Color Part II

20 Rooms That Pop with Color Part II

Continuing on with rooms that pop with color! This chartreuse sofa puts a smile on my face. The mid-century style speaks #purestyle. The deep teal wall is only made more intense by the contrast of white. I’ve often touted the many uses of white, and this is a great teaching photo. Be it the lamp, the table, the sculptures…it’s the magic ingredient in the formula. White can make any color become the star.

This small bathroom has been updated with bold wall color and ceiling and white accents almost everywhere else. Remember one of my formulas for success…white + one color. Here you see it done perfectly. Modern art and the modern random print on the shower curtain  keeps the room lively and fresh! But, the color is really the star of the show here. A hall or guest bathroom is the perfect place to experiment with something bold.


This room uses two strong complimentary colors against a fairly neutral wall to create the interest. If you’re a lover of color, this room could be just the one to come home to. While it uses two strong and vivid colors, no other accent colors are introduced, which keeps it pure and not overstated. It’s bold to be sure and not for everyone. I, for one, love love love it. #ohsosusan

Each one of these rooms has some tone of yellow/green/chartreuse. I guess you can see it’s a favorite in my book. A little more subtle below, the deep walls and light ceiling gives a cozy feel to this retreat. Texture and contrast complete the story.

This room features the pop of color on doors! I have been a big fan and encourager of painted doors my entire career. You can put a stake in the ground for strong color on your doors without comitting to the entire room. We’ll talk more about doors another post!  A classic Persian rug grounds the room, while navy and teal walls contrast boldly against the chrome yellow of the doors. Be a little adventuresome! You can always change the color of your doors quite easily.

Color adds personality to any room setting. Start saving inspiration photos of your favorite rooms from designers you follow, Pinterest, Instagram, or print magazines. You’ll begin to see that your eye seems to be drawn to a few main palettes that make your heart beat a little faster! *Sigh*

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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