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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!

Susan’s Stylewatch Report #hpmkt2017 | Day 5: Black and White

Susan’s Stylewatch Report #hpmkt2017 | Day 5: Black and White

Our last day at market was another rain-filled day…gloomy, windy, cold, and nearly impossible to get from building to building without getting drenched! Whew! You really have to be a diehard buyer to persevere! But we’ll do just about anything to bring back style.

There were loads of examples of the black and white trend, and I edited a handful of my High Point Market photos to give you some inspiration! And even better, I just painted my foyer accent wall just inside the front door at Black-eyed Susan, I also want to give you guys a good recommendation on my new unu scooter which is a great transportation…you guessed it, black! Somehow, we get a step ahead before we see these trends becoming just that, trends! Stop in and see for yourself the bold beauty and neutral impact black can have. Walls, accessories, art…try some black in your own design!

This room uses black primarily in the art and the accent pillows. Everything else; walls, rug, upholster, table…stays white in contrast. I’m in love with it!

A little texture in solids really helps too. The bold black and white print makes for a strong contrast. I’m always saying that strong contrast can be as effective as strong color. Here you can see it for yourself.

This white organic table, carved like tree branches, sets the stage for the strength of the black lamp base. Perfect harmony…black and white. 

This room brings the drama of a black glass table into focus. Black is dramatic with all finishes in the gold or silver tones. Still, with a neutral sofa, the black table is the focal point by nature. A black wall behind the sofa puts the light sofa on stage.

Here you go, the black wall! Most of the time I saw a flat finish used. Silver metal table, but white accessories! Light sofa and light art…it’s a formula that really works!

Here’s an overall view of that same room. Wowza! Black. I’m really loving this strong color!

Walls and art play the black and white game perfectly here. Note the three white vases in perfect line. Black accessories on the coffee table…white books…you can’t see it, but even the chandelier shade was black! If there ever was a time you wanted to throw in a little color, say a hot pink or chartreuse green…well, that would work too! Ahhhhhh!

Another room with a black wall. Note the molding and wall are all painted black! A dark charcoal chair works nicely with the wall and of course, the white side table offers strong contrast and fabulous accent to the room. The floor is a bit blackened in the stain finish. Overall, a perfect formula for success!

This last example pretty much sums up the success of the black and white theme that every major showroom used! Black walls, black and white geometric art, black and white graphic pillows, white sofa, white table and dark if not black accents. A black printed menswear-ish chair fabric, and you have a fabulous room!

If you haven’t been to the store for a while, you can see my version of black and white with a grand Vanguard sectional that arrived just in time for my recent floor change! Black tweed sofa, black and white pillows, black and chrome accessories, fur rug…it’s a winner. I’m finding this color palette to be extremely versatile and strikingly bold all at the same time. 

If you’re starting a new room and gathering ideas, put this one in the forefront of your idea folder. Do a little searching on Pinterest and Instagram and you’re bound to see plenty of inspiration! I’m really pleased with the new look incorporated into Black-eyed Susan. Stop in and see for yourself!

(Susan’s front foyer at Black-eyed Susan!) #ohsosusan #purestyle #paintismymagicwand

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?



Rooms That Pop with Color  Part III

Rooms That Pop with Color Part III

In Part III, let’s start out with a pop of color (again, one that is tried and true in my book!) …chrome yellow. Try high gloss on your trim to make even more of a statement. The age of this windows is brought to life even more with strong color and the architecture becomes more prominent. The repetition of the selected color in the window sill accents completes the design. I’m a fan!

The next four rooms are examples of the addition of black as the accent. While black is actually the absence of color, black has the drama of strong contrast to add to your design. I’ve just painted two walls of my new design studio black and it is a great neutral for the subtle pastel I’ve chosen for the other walls…you’ll have to keep following to see the reveal! Now, back to these black examples…

Likely a loft apartment, note one wall is brick and the ceiling is reclaimed pine. The addition of this modern ceiling fixture in a black iron finish is hip and a piece of art, all at the same time. The painted exposed brick brings this formula of strong contrast into the design very successfully. Texture on the floor, on the bed with fur, and pattern in the pillows pulls everything together with pure style. I love the artful play on words with the framed phrase. A bedroom is always a great place to use this kind of art and it can be personal, meaningful, sentimental or motivating. The lack of color in the art also keeps this intentional lack of color (black) paramount in the design.

Note the same room below with the change of art. The metallic gold against a black canvas is chic and an interesting approach. Which one of these rooms do you like best? It’s educational to see how different the exact same room looks with the simple change of the art focus. The black contrast is a great tip to keep in mind for your next adventure!

This last example is just pure drama. Start white trim contrasts with the black walls and ceiling of an already stunning hallway. The deep espresso tones of the high gloss floor keeps the strong contrast of the black walls balanced and beautiful. I find myself thinking of all kinds of places I could use black!

The black wall below is a great example of the use of black as a backdrop to an interesting wall collage. The white horn rack, white matts, white document…and then the addition of the green repeated in the botanical prints (and note the pressed fern used directly on the wall!) makes for a fine presentation. I love this!

And so, for the most part, this post has used the strong contrast an drama of black to inspire your design thoughts. Keep your eyes open and you are bound to see more and more rooms, accent walls, or restaurants using this stylish formula. Black! #purestyle #ohsosusan



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*

20 Rooms That Pop With Color! Part I

20 Rooms That Pop With Color! Part I

Paint is my magic wand. That has been one of my key “Susan Tips” since my career began, over 25 years ago! I’m going to post 5 rooms that sing with color for the next few nights. I’ll give you examples of contrasting color, accent color, complimentary color, loads of color, a bit of color…unexpected color…you name it, you will be inspired by color! Hopefully, you’ll want to find a way to add a little (or a lot!) of color to your room. It’s pure magic.

This first room is a strong statement of complimentary colors. Chartreuse and teal is the palette. Wow! The print is in the art, everything else is basically solid and strong, strong, strong. White trim and white drapery rods! Unexpected on the rods, but I like it! The white trim is tied together with white accents in accessories. You know how I feel about white! The rug is a softer version of the strong tones of the room. Nice.

This next room is a great example of the use of an accent wall. This method of introducing color into your room has become more popular again. Gray is the basic neutral, used in the carpet and the sofas. One brilliant accent wall in orange. It’s just plain happy.

I’ve noted black being used as wall color in stunning designs! Black. My followers know I’m a strong proponent of ceilings being painted the same color as the walls…but in this case, I totally agree with the contrast of this white ceiling. While black is the absence of color, it does make for a striking amount of drama. It’s all about contrast in this case. It’s moody, strong, and fabulous! Of course, I love the use of the brushed gold faucet too. If you stop by my new design studio when it is completed, you’ll see the use of black as a wall color!  Can’t wait. I love this room. Black might be a bit outside the box for your style, but put it in the back of your #stylebox file and you might just find a time to use it.

Here we have the strongest accent color on the ceiling! Navy gloss just steals the show here. Stark white walls and citron green draperies and roman shades just make this room speak the language of color. While this room is eclectic in the furnishings, the deep value of the navy against the bright pops of green (not to mention that fabulous ceiling fixture’!) make this room memorable. #colorcrush

The last room for tonight has some similar color themes to a few of the other rooms, but in this case, it’s all about pattern + color. The scale of the large flowers, along with the vibrant color choice keeps this room from being juvenile, and in fact, rather chic! It’s a rather interesting and bold choice of color for the baseboards too. White would also be great, but I like the fact that this designer is not afraid to make a statement.

The images for this series of blog posts were all found on Pinterest. Loads of ideas, and you will find so many choices…some exciting and fabulous….some not to take too seriously. You’ll find a theme of color stories in the next few nights as well.

So, that’s my first 5. Stay tuned for the next 5 and make a file of your favorites!

Create A Cozy Bedroom in 5 Steps

Create A Cozy Bedroom in 5 Steps

Design a cozy bedroom in five steps! We share how-to’s from a recent installation so you can follow along.

1. Pattern 

This cozy retreat was created for a lucky 8-year-old girl with the intent for her to grow with the the room for years to come! (Her dad’s hope is the room will make it through college!) We first selected a color palette, largely developed around these fabulous new Kate Spade by Kravet fabrics. Sooooo inspiring!

2. Color

A lively but soft aqua paint color was the perfect backdrop for the white washable bedding and cozy fur pillows. One of my design signatures has always been painted ceilings. Especially when dealing with an 8 foot ceiling on the second floor…it wraps the room in color and takes away any ceiling site line. I seldom vary from this popular paint tip!

3. Bedding and Drapery 

The fabrics gave easy thought to the entire palette of coral, white, and aqua with splashes of black contrast. They are youthful enough to please this cute gal, yet sophisticated enough to not be juvenile. Springing into create mode was easy enough with these selections! Having the throw be completely washable makes using white sensible even for a youth design.

Although the photo doesn’t demonstrate it, these drapery panels are a shimmery white linen with a bit of a metallic thread. Topped with this coral Kate Spade trim…a double row of dots, the effect was perfection and glamour all at the same time. What is it about polka dots, anyway?!

4. Lighting 

We selected white lacquer bedside tables and a coordinating cool dresser, added this matte silver Libby Langdon pendant, and found the perfect wall sculptures from my store, Black-eyed Susan, to complete the look. White ceramic lamps in a hip octagon shape added a youthful degree of style.

5. Accessories

Often, when in the final stages of installation, something new comes in the store to make our vision sheer perfection, and the Tibetan Lamb throw in mint above was just that! That’s the beauty of having a fabulously current retail store to back you! Wow. Perfection.

This is a view of the bathroom accessories as I was making my pattern template for hanging. She has her own bathroom off the bedroom and we blended them together to make a suite of exciting design.

So, go for it! Select your pattern, make a statement with color, choose bedding and drapery and add the accents to complete your own personal look. But then again, you could always leave that to us! We’re full of ideas all day long.

14 Home Designs Trends to Know, Part 1

14 Home Designs Trends to Know, Part 1

Trending reports are always on my radar! Here is a two-part series with the top 14 of my own design trends to watch for this spring. This post will detail the first seven trends. Continue reading here for the rest!

Trend #1: Performance Fabrics

The trend of performance fabrics is pretty basic, but not to be overlooked. Pay attention, incorporate several of them in your next redesign or new design. Your room will sing with #purestyle!

Performance fabrics make using light (even close to white) upholstery a real option for often-used seating. Be it dining or family room, all of the sudden it’s perfectly sensible! Crypton is the newest introduction. Found in solids, textures and patterns, this newest introduction is the answer to pets, grandchildren and teen hangout areas! They are soft and pretty, found in a wide range of colors. Oh, happy day!

Just another place you may want to try these performance fabrics…the master bedroom at our house is a movie, snack and drink kind of place. It’s the perfect answer!

Trend #2:  Mixed Metals

These beautiful vessels are just one way of showing this strong trend. Mixing metals with leg finishes, lighting choices, accessories, lamps and mirrors makes perfect sense. Don’t limit yourself with all silver or all gold…find your perfect mix!

Trend #3: White Always Works!

One of my favorite formulas has long been, “white plus one color always works.” Any palette welcomes the bright contrast of white as a striking and bold accent. I find myself buying a larger mix of white accessories for my store, Black-eyed Susan, than most…I can use it with any vignette. White plays off of bold color, or black equally well. White is fresh and clean. White is classic. It’s a perfect formula for success.

Trend #4: Pink Rules

Whether it’s in accents such as these stunning peonies, or the happy cherry blossoms below, or a pale pink wall covering or painted wall…it’s all about pink! Any color of pink. PINK! And it doesn’t have to be a girl’s room to sing this color! We are using it in living rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms…it’s a HOT trend for sure. *sigh* Love. It.

Trend #5:  Tile An Accent Wall

Accent walls are perfectly stylish again, and who doesn’t love an entire wall of tile? Horizontal, vertical, subway, mosaics, mirrored, mixed metals … there’s plenty for the taking. Big box home decor stores and fine tile stores alike offer a plentiful selection with more choices than you may want! Master bathrooms, powder rooms, water closets, art niches … I can find multiple places to design using these beautiful tile accents.

Here’s a few favorites I’ve used in some recent projects:

I’m pretty much hooked. I think you will be too.

Trend #6:  Add a Pop of Color

Maybe it’s a brightly colored accent lamp…orchid plant…

… or bright contrast towels in the master bathroom. A bright pop of color brings personality and your unique stamp to a room. Don’t be afraid to add pops of color…remember the “white plus one color” rule? Here, it works perfectly, and if  you decide orange or chartreuse is the right “pop”, well, what’s wrong with that?!

I recently helped a friend add these bright pillows (in teal) to a basically neutral room for the summer. We added a pretty coral as a contrast welt for even more fun. Color just make me happy. Change it up a bit for different seasons and take it all in. I recommend it! I’m well known for color. Try it and I think you’ll be a believer. #colorcrush

Trend #7: Go For Quartz

THE most popular medium currently trending for kitchens and bathrooms alike is quartz. Easy maintenance, keen copycats for Carrara Marble, stain resistant…all the best reasons to use quartz. Subtle veining to shimmery accents, light to dark, quartz is taking center stage. Try mitering the edge of your island to create the look of a double thickness. You’ll find it a bit more expensive than granite, but well worth the look and function. Go for it.

Most of our favorite granite yards are stocking slabs of quartz for you to choose from right on site. It’s a win-win.

These are just a few of my favorite style trends happening in my designs of late….but don’t worry, there are always more just around the corner! Or maybe you should worry, actually. Trends. It’s really hard to be current for too long…but it sure is fun trying.

Big Blooms!

Big Blooms!

There’s no one who is more of a succulent fan than myself! About five years ago, succulents came into the design radar for me. Fabulous, right?! I’m not even tired of them….but, I have been keeping my eye open the last few markets for that “next big thing” — the “next succulent,” if you will.

Don’t misunderstand, I am still in love with succulents, and find myself mixing them with just about everything in my accessory calls and when I put the finishing details into completed projects. But this is what I’ve been bringing in the last few weeks and they have been flying out the door just about as fast as they arrive!

Flowers made of a foam-like substance…bright white or spectacular colors like orange, coral and vibrant pink. Oh. My. These beauties make my heart sing!                                              2016-05-12-11-02-36-2


Shown here is our large 50″ tray brimming with pink magnolias, local cuts of sycamore logs and dramatic white magnolia-like blooms. These are just spectacular! Think dining room centerpiece, foyer drama, or island statement.


Here’s a closeup of some spikey orange tinies…they come four on a stem, and I cut them short to creative individuals that I could dress these tiny vessels in. Perfect for those difficult spaces beneath your wall mounted TV above the mantle. That’s a tough request I often am faced with for client’s family rooms. I think I’ve got one answer!


Just another shot of the same darlings! Love.


John, my retail manager, put this dramatic statement together during our last “late shift” night…Wednesday nights are the nights we create magic in the store, revealing new arrivals, fresh ideas and inspirations for new color palettes. Furniture, art, and mirrors are shuffled around to create a whole new look. Thursdays should definitely be your go-to day to come in and be lifted and delighted! And John or myself will be around to help fill your centerpiece and accent needs.


The next three images are some of the same types of statement flowers that I’ve used in my new North Carolina home. I find white to be a strong contrast and naturally, perfect with any color palette. I loaded the same long tray I mentioned in the first photo with mossy spheres, succulents, bulbs, log cuts and fern fronds. Then I popped just a handful of the large white blooms (heads only), to put that pop into it. I’m loving it. Organic, lively, striking. It’s just the ticket I was looking for!


This striking bloom had me at the color! I’ve added hot pink into my gray and white mix, along with a little high gloss navy. (You can see that hot pink coral/lucite statement in the background). Combined with one of our large botanical leaves, this oversized bloom just pops out of the top of a favorite bamboo vessel. Pure style!


On the coffee table, I have accented an oversized foam succulent (!) with several of the same white heads cut from their stems to rest atop this organic-inspired, delightful metal bowl, sculptural in nature. Use vessels that can be re-invented during different seasons…fall, holiday, spring. I often have classes in the evenings to show how this is done. Watch our event listings for this!

I love the contrast between the lively lime green and the brilliant white!

All in all, I’m in love with these new additions to the world of succulents! Assorted colors, heights, sizes, and styles. Come in and see for yourself. I think you’ll fall in love.

I Just Can’t Get Enough! Spring is Here

I Just Can’t Get Enough! Spring is Here



These tiny hand blown vases imported from Poland are the perfect accents to scatter on an accent table, master bathroom, or kitchen sill. 6 assorted sizes, each delicately made to hold the tiniest of my secret succulents!


Who wouldn’t delight in these tiny dwarf tulip bouquets?! Yellow is the happiest color! And that sheep sculpture is just calling my name. Add the trophy cup, and I call it an instant winner. What’s not to love?


When I saw these slender white vases with contrast silver linings, I knew they would speak my language of style perfectly. Yellow spring daffodils will make you think your first grader raided the flower beds! Use these in multiples for the most impact. To give to a friend or keep for your own treasure!


I’m pretty much in love with this giant succulent. This new medium for artificial flowers is interesting and arresting. Very stylized and fresh! Come see my array of colors…pink, white and green. They are incredibily versatile and new. Note to self….”get mine before they are gone”.


These bright pink and orange spray roses command attention in front of this fun peice of art…bold colors and a rooster…sure to make anyone’s kitchen the center of attention. These will make a beautiful accent for the powder room, guest room,or hall table .


These favorites in mass really take my breath away! Group them together for the most impact and combine varieties of my miniatures together for the glory of spring. Ahhhhhh!

So much to see. So much to love. It’s all here for the first takers! Get in on the fun.

Spring really is here…at least at Black-eyed Susan! I hope to see you soon.

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