A look back on 2017 finds me full of gratitude, and, I will admit….a bit exhausted! My heart is full from the support and confidence shown from staff and clients alike, the creative moxie shared between us and the opportunity to fill other’s dreams with the finest and best resources we partner with in the design world. It’s been a very successful and busy 2017! Here’s a short recap of the projects both my design and retail teams found satisfaction and joy working on this year.
We’ll share just a few photos with you from 2017! It’s been a great year of creativity and hard work.
This Bucks County sitting room came together to be a chic and cozy reading retreat.
The 1970’s architecture of this living room lent to a conversation pit of plush white chaise sofas, and a sitting area by the fireplace featuring hide rugs and midcentury leather chairs. So much style!
An eclectic aesthetic was the answer for this living room, combining vintage midcentury pieces with black and gold Asian influence. Art placement was the key for this client, who lived around the world and had a fantastic collection from China, Vietnam, and other locales.
Posh four bedroom New York City apartment that’s like siting on a cloud looking out onto the Hudson. To. Die. For. #purestyle for a stylish client! A year of fun design. Vanguard Furniture, Bernhardt Furniture and loads of chic. White+white+white= a favorite project!
Below is the man cave we designed for a music-loving executive that doubled as an entertainment space. Just look at those ceiling lines…we just didn’t even try to disguise them with this cool metallic Phillip Jeffries foil paper.
With a place to dive into his jazz practice, surrounded by the albums he loves, a sink-in leather Vanguard sectional and a crock Bernhardt otto to prop his feet on, this room is a destination every night!
This bar room was one to remember! It features a custom bar table from Philadelphia Salvage with a handknotted Jaipur rug.
There was an adjoining club room with designed with concrete, old wood, and metal, set off by Bucks County art. Velvet and taupe leather chairs were the perfect fit!
Teenager and Children’s Spaces
Hangout room for two cute gals! Navy velvet sectional with chaises and coral accents from Kravet Kate Spade. Custom painted contrast bands and chevron door! Pretty snazzy and comfy. Cool vibes.
Youth bedroom with Kravet Kate Spade…again! Crystorama chandelier and Moe’s nightstands. The palette of aqua and coral suited this Pinterest-savvy girl to a T!
And, one more Kate Spade inspiration for another youth bedroom. Soft pink just sends me! Black accents keep this room from being too juvenile and adds lasting style. Universal Furniture is so hip in this room!
Black-eyed Susan Design Studio
Of course, we also opened our new design studio for clients! It was a big project involving construction of a new wall and French doors, and the result is #purestyle. It’s a place for my design team to work with beauty all around! *sigh* We did this in a record 8 weeks and the move was an “all hands on deck” project! Check out this color palette of breathtaking pale pink and black. #bestdesignteamever
Love the trio of Chrystorama chandeliers in assorted sizes and the chrome accents.
This favorite quote sums up my approach to the work I love. Excuse the reflection and ponder a moment. It’s really the way I work. Along with a wee bit of fashion inspiration and that cherished photo of my oldest grandson, I can immerse myself in the creative life of interior design.
With only a few hours until the new year of 2018, my heart is full of gratitude for the work we have been engaged in this past year, for health and the strength to work hard that I pretend to keep with supplements as kratom capsules, for dedicated and talented design staff, for vendors who produce such inspiration, and for #purestyle.
Thank you to my followers and supporters and let’s spend more time together in the coming year, making more fabulous designs.
Happy New Year.
The guestroom is always a space to be remembered when decking the halls! Take a moment to welcome the season to all guests who appear during the holidays and spread a little Christmas cheer here! It so happens that my guest room enjoys a rather prominent spot in our home, just inside the front door. It’s a cozy and intimate spot and I designed it to be warm and welcoming in deep hues of amethyst with just a bit of glam.
Universal Furniture casegoods, Robin Bruce upholstered bed,
The sun was not my friend when I first took these photos, but I have some closeups and tight shots that should clarify the mood for you as we progress. One of the first things I did was add this totally appropriate pillow in cream wool felt with gold stitching, “Falalalala”. (One of my favorite hashtags…#falalalafabulous !
Let’s take a closer look at some of the details…
I saved most of the gold themed of my Christmas collection for this room, as it is the place I have my gold accents in the furniture, lighting and accents. Gold is trending in a big way, and I love using this room to share in the warmth of this finish. It is rich with the dark wood finishes and sets the tone for the moody hues I selected.
I popped some gold tipped tinsel trees in existing containers and added an icy succulent into the everyday mix.If you look closely, you will see that there is a small space just under the glass top of the night stand. I slipped a narrow tray with the sentiment “JOY” written in gold under the glass. Perfect size and perfectly placed Christmas detail!
On the long dresser, I collaged a few favorite things just under a dramatic piece of art in the colors of the room. On one side of the chest, I added some precious little gilded acorn ornaments into a Kate Spade accent bubble bowl and leaned a framed vintage ornament behind it. So darling.
Here’s a little bit better view of the acorn ornaments…and I love this little stag block print too!
Often, side tables are a great place to use smaller accents of interest. On the opposite side, I placed a coordinating elongated tray “MERRY” under the glass (last season’s BES curated Holiday) and the trio of white ceramic trees accented in gold from this year’s BES curated Holiday collection. Perfection. More snowy succulents and another small framed vintage ornament. Leaning and propping these small pieces of art prevents unnecessary holes in your walls for seasonal art, and they still get admired and loved!
As a last minute accent, just an hour before guests arrived, I decided to add a smaller but favorite everygreen wreath to the mirror over the bed. Assorted sizes of suction cups for the weight needed does the trick here, Since my soon expected guests are my son and grandson, I decided to forgo any delightful ribbons!
And lastly, I’ll share with you my freshly installed barn doors, compliments of my son in law, Timm Tanner. My Christmas gift in the making for months, they were installed yesterday, just in time for our annual celebration and crepe soiree! Again , I used the satin brass of the bedroom to set the tone for the dramatic and rich color I selected for the doors (SW Stunning Shade). I designed the look with the mirrored panels and Timm so expertly carried out the vision. I love the drama of the mirror in the front hall, along with the deep amethyst hue and functionality of the doors. They are sheer heaven and I couldn’t be happier. It was really a significant labor of love.
I hope this bit of my Christmas tour has inspired you to leave no room untrimmed and find the joy in using your favorite collections as I have. There’s still a bit more to come and I’ll continue my tour tomorrow, don’t forget to check the JoovyZoom360UltralightJogging stroller by the way, it helped me to maintain my baby girl in the same place while I did the decorations!
Even the smallest room of of the home deserves a touch of Christmas cheer! In my case, that would be the powder room. Friends who visit will enjoy the unexpected touch and find a thrill with your addition!
This round mirror set against the drama of a wall of poured glass tile is the perfect setting for a lush garland composed of several mixes of greens. You might see the Norfolk Pine I topped it off with and love it as much as I do! Narrow hot pink velvet ribbon dangles with several glass ornaments. (I’ll bet you’re beginning to see my love of these tiny treasures, and you can order your own custom colors to match your decor each January prior to my winter Market!) www.besusan.com
I replaced spring or fall flowers (each season they change) for these snowy ferns, and frosty succulents just for the Holiday season and wow, I do love them!
I can hardly resist finding an art ledge to line up a collection of tiny bottle brush trees…tie my hands, if you must! These white ones are the perfect little accent for the gray and white theme of this room.
So, don’t leave your powder room out of the picture! Find places to add your favorite little accents and it will soon become one of your (and likely visitor’s) favorite rooms to love!
Christmas decor needn’t be limited to the family shared spaces! I truly enjoy the small touches I add to my master suite, including the master bath, bedroom and dressing room. My husband and I (and occasionally two granddaughters) are the ones who enjoy it, but our master suite is a real retreat and it is worthy of a few touches to bring the Christmas spirit into this loved space.
The master bedroom design incorportes soft neutrals, metallic grasscloth wallcovering (somehow it looks pixelated in this photo!), very subtle grayed-blue (SW Conservative Gray) and white accents with pops of polished nickle in the furniture and light fixtures.
One easy thing you can do is add a seasonal pillow or two just to cheer up the room for the Holidays! The one I selected is an oversized lumbar with a field of snowy trees. It happened to be the perfect hues of the room and I replaced several of my custom pillows for this one just for a month!
Bernhardt queen bed and night stands, porcelain flower sculptures over the bed, custom Schumacher fabrics and Tom Felicia for Kravet draperies. Fabulous Fur throw. Voila! #purestyle
I added a favorite sparkly white wreath to this fabulous Caracole floor mirror with a simple suction cup and garnished it with a dressmaker’s gray satin ribbon. Then, I added these glittery ornaments in several diameters to the frame work of my Robert Abbey Bling chandelier, tied on with a delightful sheer gray ribbon. After surveying the look, I decided to add several glamourous snowflakes. For a little bit of additional comfort and style, I threw a small Tibetan lamb throw over my ottoman. It’s #ohsosusan for comfort and cozy movie watching!
Bernhardt wing chairs and ottoman, Robert Abbey chandelier, Caracole floor mirror, Harp and Finial Art
Atop this silver leaf and white dresser by Belle Meade, I gathered my collection of aqua and silver miniature tinsel and bottle brush trees. I was so happy to find a home for these favorites in our new home! This favorite large footed vessel was filled with oversized hand blown pale, pale blue Polish glass ornaments and a few of my favorite small accent ornaments were sprinkled in. So pleasing! I can never get tired the the multiple uses for these darlings.
On top of this coordinating Belle Meade jewelry cabinet I placed a cherished blue reproduction mache house that lights and brings true joy to me, along with the last of my aqua table top trees to create a little Christmas story.
A miniature tinsel tree holds the remaining small hand blown glass ornaments in this color story. Beautiful and so inviting.
Belle Meade jewelry chest with mirrored frame and inside doors, vintage reproduction mache house with bottle brush trees Tom Felicia for Kravet drapery panels
I really encourage you not to forget your master bathroom! (Especially if it’s a spa retreat like this one!)
Hanging in the center panel of the plantation shutters is a cherished sugared holly wreath, tied with a single narrow velvet ribbon in olive green and adorned with the accent color of the room; hot pink! (more of my favorite small hand blown Polish ornaments, #obviously). I threw a handful of hot pink ornaments into the glam bubble bowl to bring in the Christmas spirit.
Below is closeup of the bubble bowl, normally filled with white coral sculptures and hot pink orchid blooms. No need to remove these, just make room for some Christmas companions!
The last touch was a snowy bough to the bold phalaenopsis orchid . It turned my everyday beauty into a Holiday beauty!
I hope this little tour of my master suite has inspired you to add some Holiday charm to your personal spaces…not just banisters and great room mantles. And there’s still a few more rooms we will discuss…powder rooms, guest room and kitchens!
Today I’m taking you into the dining room and open areas surrounding it. With an open concept floorplan, it’s more important than ever to marry your spaces together when telling your story, and that goes for Christmas decor as well!
This 52″ lantern from Visual Comfort is long enough and has enough open space to allow me to hang an assortment of ornaments from the support frame.It’s still airy enough to allow for conversation and important enough to make a statement over the extended dining table with seating for 10.
Down the center of the table, I seasonally change my centerpiece and use these oversized, dramatic glass hurricane vessels with chrome banded tops. I’ve filled the bottom with some metallic gravel-like fillers, and dropped in several favorite accents ornaments and metallic pinecones for additional flair. I carry assorted sizes and colors of decorative stones in my retail store, Black-eyed Susan, and we use them generously throughout the visual displays to inspire you how to use them. Additional votives in assorted sizes are dotted down the table and when the whole thing is lighted, it’s quite magical!
A dramatic open staircase separates the dining area from another hall leading to the Master Suite, and is visible from the entire length of the main floor living space. I’ve used some favorite and realistic garlands, minimally embellished, on the banisters. This allows an unusually tall storage cupboard to act almost like a mantle. I decided this year to display a collection of white penguins and ceramic trees in monochromatic style. I’ve spoken often about the impact of white, and here is a perfect example!
Twin mirrors are the perfect place to hang twin white snowy wreaths with a simple gray ribbon. Ribbon doesn’t have to be red or green…use the colors of your home’s decor to get a designer like feel for your banister, accent details and even wrapping.
p.s. The trees are sold out already this year, but when I left last Saturday, we still had penguins!
On the mirrored sideboard accenting the stairwell, I’ve used similar colors, white being the star. You will see the addition of the hot pink accents carefully tucked into the large glass rectangular vase as well as within the foliage of a bright orchid plant. Why not?! I also took a second look and hung a few of my favorite glass ornaments from the sparkly branches within my vase arrangement.
Just a little closeup of the details mentioned above on the sideboard. (I couldn’t resist the inspiration this bold hot pink lamp offers for coordinating accents for my Holiday decor!
There’s more to come with some kitchen ideas, guest room and master suite accents, so come back for more over the next few days. Take a brake from your Christmas merriment and finish the tour with me!
After nearly 3 weeks of non stop intense Christmas setups and making merry for my personal home and clients alike, I’m finally getting to the task of sharing some of my favorite inspirations with you!
The Season started with decking the halls at my Charlotte, NC home just before Thanksgiving and ended with 10 complete home installations in Bucks County. Each year, my elf team and I arrive at our destination armed with every possible creative tool, a keen designer looking bluetooth speaker for Holiday tunes and enough energy to get us on the path to a personal, custom Christmas story for each home. It’s truly a team effort and in some homes, the homeowners get involved as part of the creative team! It really is #themostwonderfultimeoftheyear .
I’ll start with my home! Even though we don’t spend much time there yet, we will be there for a week or so during The Holidays and I always think the effort is worth the reward of warmth and the glow of my rather extensive Christmas collections! I’m not going to lie though, during the 5-6 day set up process, at times I wonder…so just press on, or you can hire the Black-eyed Susan merriment team!
Taking inspiration from my great room accent colors (navy and hot pink) i decked my tree with ornaments from oversized navy, white, hot pink, and a good sprinkling of glitter! Glitter is the secret to making any tree pop! I have a great collection of glass birds in white and blue hues and this year, I made it seem like a large flock of birds landed in the very top of the tree. So darn cute! The trend of ribbon in trees is not as fashion forward these days, but I wound some flexible white curly willow branches into the mix and it is a great place to dangle smaller accent ornaments from to give additional interest and motion.
Luckily, during the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, I had some time to wrap a few gifts for under the tree. I love coordinating my wrapping paper colors with the tree decor and collect beautiful papers as I find them early in the season. You will note that there are a few pink accents in the bibliotheque as well. No need to go half way! Carry your theme throughout
The family room is white…yes, I said white! I know, it’s quite a departure from my usually normal lively color! I did select one wall to paint a deep high gloss navy, which ties nicely into the navy over-dyed rug I selected for the dining room which is a completely open concept room. My accent color is hot pink, using it in pillows, art (as seen below) and small accents as found! During the holiday season, I have incorporated my collection of Christmas items (tinsel trees, Santa and smaller accent Polish glass ornaments) on consoles and my coffee table.
These darling white flocked bristle trees have found a home atop my oversized, striking art pieces and I giggle every time I glance at them. I love this! One of the tips I offer for Christmas decor placement is to try to incorporate them into objects (i.e. lantern) that are everyday things to avoid having to find homes for these items when you place your Christmas things out. I did replace my everyday greens and botanical leaves with pine sprays and flocked picks, and another tip is to place your everyday items in the storage bin you took the Christmas things out of! That makes for easy replacement when the holiday comes down.
For the Christmas season, I removed my normal hot pink pillows from the great room and replaced them with metallic silver and white seasonal pillows! You will see little accents of the hot pink ornaments under the table and dropped in vessels here and there to complete the story.
There’s the beginning of the tour and I promise a few more in the next few days to add to your Christmas inspiration and encourage you to file away ideas for another year. I love being inspired by other designer’s ideas and sometimes we take you to a creative vision beyond what you would think of yourself.
So stay tuned and tomorrow I’ll continue the ” Susan tour” with more inspirations and my personal favorites!
Falalalafabulous, and then some!