You know that spring is just around the corner when designers are counting down the days to Press Day for the Bucks County Designer House. It seems quite simply impossible that the lacquered lipstick pink dining room I created for last year’s house is a thing of the past and the finishing touches for this year’s house are nigh at hand.
The process begins when local designers are asked to view the home, select their first, second and third choices, and then submitting the best design idea to support their choices; there is a lot that goes into making your selection. Sometimes it’s about the size of the room. How many windows are there to dress? Are the fl oors in good or bad shape? Is it a pass through room, or a prominent room? Can you get furniture through the doors? Are there steps to maneuver? Lots of thinking, measuring and visualizing.
I’ll just say that it doesn’t always go like you wish! There have been times that I’ve been asked to design a room that I immediately thought was the “worst room in the house” upon first look. Other times I’ve been overwhelmed by the assignment. Each time I accept a position on the design team the thought process begins, design ideas abound and the work is charted.
This year, my assignment is a tiny 8×10 room that is a pass through between the master bedroom and the baby nursery. Not much light… one outlet… plaster needing repair. Quite a challenge. The one thing that I was drawn to was a ceiling formerly wallpapered with vintage sheet music. This too, was in need of signifi cant repair. This was my inspiration! My mind was instantly fi lled with organic natural collections… cloched objects, nests, branches and bird motifs. Reclaimed furniture and burlap fabric are in my design plan. Once I had this vision, the rest of the work began.
For months, purchases from 20 vendors have been coming into the stockroom at Black-eyed Susan. If you could just hear the words of my staff, “Really, Susan, all this is going to fi t in that tiny room?” I would simply nod and ask them to set it aside for my special purpose. Lighting, containers, lanterns, collector’s boxes, books, wood chips, exotic mosses, all things organic in nature. I even found the perfect linen chair with an outside contrast fabric in burlap!
Suddenly, my room was taking on its personality. I chose a dramatic color for the walls, a fabulously gray neutral for the trim and reworked the ceiling, keeping the vintage music! Yes, my tiny 8×10 room is suddenly spectacular. Inspiring. Engaging.
At the end of several days of thoughtful, creative work and lots of help from my talented staff, I think pretty much what I do every year… “I think this might be my favorite room ever.”
Come see the magic.
by Susan Taylor, Local Living Magazine