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My New Digs Progress Report

My New Digs Progress Report

With each trip to our new home in North Carolina, more editing is completed, a few more backorders have arrived, and it begins to feel more like home. I partnered with Bernhardt for the most part in the great room, for chairs, sofas and tables. This trip, I was able to replace the mis-sized art with the oversized pieces (40×60) on either side of the fireplace. This abstract art brings the accent color of hot pink into focus, along with some navy, white and citrus colors. After searching several major markets for the perfect art, I took this custom piece and had one framed in the opposite direction, giving the impression of a coordinating pair. It’s a great trick.

I also decided on the final mix of pillows, including hot pink linen, white tibetan lamb and a fabulous dip-dyed ombre pink and white. The sofas are extra long (106″) and a bit deep for my almost 5′ stature, so loads of pillows give the comfort I need. I love the exaggerated profile of the two wing chairs, and the profile is what greats guests as they enter the room. The 10×14 rug gives comfort to the room. White, soft and striated with gray threads, it is the perfect contrast to the 7″ hand scraped chocolate/gray floors that run throughout the first floor.

It’s beginning to feel a lot like home. *sigh*


Over the last few trips, I’ve tried several different mantle designs. While I am often retained to design mantle-scapes, this one presented its own set of challenges: 1. Wide screen TV;  2. Very important (!) sound bar;  3. Only 8″ or so for height.

The design I finalized on is this one: The theme of white vessels, assorted sizes. I arranged them with some unpredictability in depth, clustered some, and then added single stem blooms of my contrast color. hot pink, as well as a few simple stems of greenery. As a last layer, I added tiny mercury vases with succulents. I. Love. Succulents. I’m pleased with the end result on all accounts!

In this shot, you can also take in one if my favorite pendants, Robert Abbey’s Penelope. I choose the high gloss white paper shade with an interior liner of chrome finished paper. It’s a keeper. Eventually, I plan to have the room painted in a high gloss white lacquer. I’m still looking for the right painter to do the job.


Here’s just another shot, showing the Penelope pendant, along with one of my preferred fabric choices from Kravet Fabrics. I used a 2″ highly polished nickle rod with beautiful rings to hang these panels with a unique top pleat. Next visit, I should have window screens installed that will allow the view, yet protect from sun glare and give UV protection. I’ll keep you posted!


In this screen shot from my phone camera, you can see that I am making progress in the master bedroom! I’ve decided on this metallic grasscloth for an accent wall behind the bed. The mirrors will be hung once the paper is installed. I’m a complete convert to my phone, the Samsung Galaxy Note 5. I can annotate on a screen shot to make notes for future use, for contractor notes, or to help with any market search for myself or a client! I’m a big fan. Here, I have recorded the size of the back wall so that my skilled paper hanger in Bucks County will be able to quote roll counts for me to order.


We hung this large-scale favorite piece of art this trip! Soft gray/blues, and a street scene that reminds us of some of our favorite European trips. It’s soothing and commanding at the same time. Love.

You’ll also note another Robert Abbey favorite, the largest Bling chandelier. Three tiers and close to 36″ in diameter, this beauty took Sneelock more than a day to dress in lead crystals! The Bling comes in assorted finishes and sizes, including a flush mount. It works in powder rooms, master bathroom, hallways…many places!


I’m really in love with my acrylic legged Tibetan lamb bench too! It adds texture, glamour and function to the room.


After several months of sourcing a third fabric for a pillow for the master bedroom bedding ensemble. I used several high end Schumacher beauties (above) and have reveled in the luxury of the fabrics, never sorrowing over the expense! I’ve finally found the winner. This textured, open weave, metallic accented choice will complete the bedding. Can’t wait.


My last High Market yielded this rare pale gray hide rug. I love the size and subtle shading. Here’s a “Susan Tip”: Always try to find an angled placement for hides. Unexpected, classic, hip. And that’s how we design!


I’ve had this authentic French bergere chair for many years. I loved it in my last master bathroom, and it fits perfectly in the large master bath of our new home as well. But, the leopard fur doesn’t do justice to the carrara marble coloring of the countertops and floor. I’ve decided to paint it with our new Paint Couture Paint, in high gloss white or maybe even silver.

If you look closely on the tub, you’ll see a fabulously chic Pindler fabric, white with metallic silver animal print. I’ve had this on my “want to use” list for a year, and I think this is the perfect application for it! I’m excited to proceed, and, I’ve demonstrated once again in the following photo, the use of my Samsung Galaxy Note 5 android phone. I’ve taken the measurements that will be sent to my upholsterer to make quoting yardage from afar a piece of cake!


Another place I made progress was in the master hall. Although I have family photos framed in the original old world style (some vintage ones too!), they will bring joy to me each time I pass. Never mind these boys are nearly grown men now.

I suggest laying your grouping out on a nearby floor. Use masking tape or a tape measure like I did to identify your limitations in space. Now begin to play. Sometimes symmetry is pleasing; sometimes something a bit unexpected and unique is better. As you begin to play, you’ll settle on the right thing that makes you happy for the space. If you aren’t a convert to my phone by now, take a photo on your phone, print it and record the measurements. Then, it is ready for your installer to begin. If the installer is you, you’ll be happy about the prep work too! Sometimes, I have to leave a project and come back to it later. At any rate, these notes are invaluable to complete the project.



I’ve Instagrammed this wall of my silver platter collection previously, but this is an example of change and revolution of design. I had hung a favorite portrait of my daughter here the first go around. I decided this time to use her in another generational photo gallery, and additionally, I was having trouble finding the perfect placement for this important and tender favorite. I’m liking the change so far…we’ll see if it becomes permanent.


THIS is the project I will tackle next! Ok, I love the small hide rug. Love. I installed that simple and horrid pedestal sink as a temporary measure to enable me time to design and ponder. I’ve got some ideas…floating vanity….tiled accent wall…and a favorite lucite radial mirror.

You’ll have to stay tuned for that one! Come see the magic. I won’t disappoint.

Atlanta Market Report, Day 2

Atlanta Market Report, Day 2

Fresh color did not did not disappoint today! While I and my design staff have been designing with stunning coral color pallets for months, it is always great to see the trend we have proposed and used at the forefront of market trends.


This fabulously bright combination of fabrics designed by Dana Gibson for Stroheim Fabrics drew us into the first showroom of the day. Florals, graphics and the contrast of clean white is both classic and striking. A guest becroom would be a delightful retreat when dressed in this trending color. A personal favorite accent wall could be considered in Sherwin Williams Ardent Coral.


Custom monograms in several font selections personalize this matlisse coverlet…a single letter or a trio, perfect!


Consider navy, perhaps high gloss (!) as an accent wall. Coral + navy + white—Love! Pair this color combination together with crisp banding against white and you are heading for pure style.

Lastly, this graphic and bold coral rug on a dark and rich stained random plank floor will draw any guest in, or perhaps you, the homeowner, for a quiet cozy place to read.


Go for it. Black-eyed Susan has your design vision at our fingertips.

Atlanta Market Report, Day 1

Atlanta Market Report, Day 1


The first stop of the day inspired Linda and I for several bedroom projects that are on our design docket. Fabulous Stroheim fabrics + custom monograms = pure BES style .  Washable matelasses can be ordered with countless colors of contrast  bands. So many choices and custom colors. This coral is a standout for sure and don;t be surprised to see this making an appearance on my sales floor…(or, my new guest room!).

Market begins with fresh energy and lots of shoe choices!

These are the ones that were packed in my suitcase. I guess you can tell by the lighting what kind of working conditions we have in our room…it’s a bit of a challenge, but we are up for the week of searching out the best of the market.

And so we’re off and running!



High Point Market style: Picture this Nursery Room

High Point Market style: Picture this Nursery Room

My day of fabulous finds began early as we visited several of my favorite inspirational showrooms. There is always an air of anticipation on the first day of market! Stylish designers abound as the doors are opened to entice all in, each vendor vowing to outdo their neighbor with the best finds and more alluring trends.

Along with placing orders for fabulous new inventory for my retail store, Black-eyed Susan, the list for special design projects and darling clients is long and detailed. Today, in our search for the finishing touches for the new bedroom for the cutest ever two-year-old twins, we came across some oh-so-cute options! I thought I would share a few…

This changing table and mirror just about stole my heart for a new baby room! A bit of modern, almost midcentury modernism with a polished reclaimed look. The removable changing tray prepares the chest for another age and keeps the nursery oh so stylish! I’m in love.


And here’s the matching crib! It has the power to be transformed into a twin bed when needed! I think I this just might be the most stylish, adorable nursery/toddler element to room design that has been introduced at market ever! I’m definitely ready for another nursery design project. I hope you will call me…grandchildren need cool rooms too!


Just look at this bedding and drool….I can’t stand it! It was an “Oh So Susan” find for sure!


A closeup reveals more detail…


Last of all, here is a glimpse at what happens a few years down the road…



Sweet dreams, dear one. Babies. Need. Style.

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