How does it work when you hire Black-eyed Susan?
“Susan Taylor started the design process by finding out who we are as a family. She sat down with me. She came over with her project manager and started asking questions. They wanted to know what I wanted to do, what budget I had in mind, what help I was looking for. They asked about our lifestyle and took some time to get to know us. Then they pulled together some ideas. My experience is Black-eyed Susan never pushes anything on you — but they have plenty of ideas! It’s a stretch for me, I don’t have a creative bone in my body. Susan and her team gave me a sense of how it would come together. They can tell when you might be uncomfortable with a design element rather than inspiring you to look past your own preconceived ideas.”
What makes Black-eyed Susan different?
“The magic happens at the point when Black-eyed Susan invites you to the design studio to present their ideas. By then, they have samples of fabrics and paint colors. They have pictures of furniture and the layout of the room. Susan and her team tell a story and paint a picture to give you an idea of how things come together. Then when they do the install, that just blows my mind. She really comes in with a magic wand. I’ve learned to just trust her. There have been times when I said, are you sure Susan? Once I read the dimensions of a chandelier and I told her, it’s going to be humongous! She told me it was my decision. I went with her plan, and of course it was perfect. Keep in mind, from one to ten my level of creativity doesn’t show up on the scale. What is amazing to me is that she can take what I am trying to envision from our conversations and make it even more incredible than I could have ever realized.”
What do you do if you can’t update the entire house at the same time?
“It started with a kitchen and a bathroom remodel. Once the bathroom looked great, then the master bedroom started looking a little shabby. After that, we had some water damage in the family room and I thought gee, this is the time for an update here. Then I looked at the living room and the dining room, and they were looking very dated. It didn’t happen all at once, but Black-eyed Susan was with me every step of the way! Before I knew it, they had tackled the whole house. Their designers are very forthcoming with how things will cost. They’ll say, I’d invest in this versus that. Budget is budget!”
What is it like to work with Black-eyed Susan?
“Black-eyed Susan is all about service. It was very easy to work with Susan and the rest of her team. I would always go to the project managers. I communicated everything through them and they kept all the records. When I met with Black-eyed Susan, it was always with a designer and her assistant. Susan is such a bubbly personality, she’s always professional and put together, and she’s a real workhorse. She hires great people and they work well together. They have the same mindset and work ethic. They are very current but they always have some fun, whimsical things to include in a room design.”
The Black-eyed Susan home store is in Bucks County. What if I have an interior design project somewhere else?
“When Susan and her team said they would travel, I thought okay, I’ll take you up on it. The house was in Michigan. They are very flexible, easy to work with, and willing to travel anywhere in the U.S. If I was in town, I’d meet them at the office to go over furniture and fabrics and colors. Then they’d fly out to measure and take care of the specifics. Black-eyed Susan was very thorough. I worked with them over months to figure out every detail. Once the house was renovated, they had ordered all the furniture, arranged for delivery, and they loaded up the vans with every last detail to finish off the house. It was a lot of fun!”
What happens if something goes wrong?
“With any kind of project, there are always issues that are going to come up. Things don’t always go perfectly. In one of our homes we did with Black-eyed Susan, the drapes turned out to be a little too long in a lot of areas. They had them redone and everything was resolved, it was nothing major. At our New York apartment, we had issues with some furniture a year after the installation. They took care of all of that and replaced everything. There was no issue, and Susan was very good about following up on it.”
Am I going to have to remodel everything again in a couple years?
“Black-eyed Susan falls in love with all the new colors coming out and they like trends, but at the end of the day you get an interior design that is going to last. I wanted a timeless look. I didn’t want to have to redo everything within 10 or 15 years! With every home I’ve done with Susan and her team, everything is homey and comfortable, but elegant. If I had to sell a property it would be easy to sell it.”
How does an interior design change the way you live?
“After working with Black-eyed Susan, we entertain more! The layout is more inviting for company and entertaining. The living room is fabulous, they updated it to add more seating. We have an indoor/outdoor patio that was completely redesigned and gives guests a lot more options for gathering. Now we have great seating and eating areas, it’s more functional. We also have focal points that draw your attention in every room.”
Paul & Mary Beth T.
Why did you decide to use Black-eyed Susan?
“At one point we had just redone our family room. We’ve always gone to the Black-eyed Susan home store and loved everything they had in there. We’ve also seen their work at designer houses. We used them for an accessory house call, and they made the room look so perfect and finished. We had found our designer!”
At what point is the right time in a house project to bring in an interior designer?
“We found a beach house and Susan literally came in and saw the house when we first bought it. She knew we were on a budget because we were going to rent it out, and Black-eyed Susan worked within our budget and absolutely transformed the house. We showed her a few things that I liked, we agreed upon furniture, and Susan really came in and put house together. It’s stunning, we get so many compliments on it. In the end, it’s too nice — we don’t rent it out! They did such a great job, they’re involved in every room we renovate now.”
What was different about working with Black-eyed Susan?
“There’s not going to be any room where we wouldn’t call Black-eyed Susan for advice. We just really like Susan, her team, and her store. She’s a great leader for the company and it shows. You feel that everyone is enthusiastic. They like to be current but at the same time, I think they makes choices where there is a classic element that has staying power. For the most part, I let them take the reins, but there are certain times when I have an opinion on whether I like something or not.”
What did working with Black-eyed Susan do for you?
“I know what I like, but I don’t always know how to put it together. For our living room, we bought furniture off the showroom floor and put it in the room. Black-eyed Susan came in and finished the room with accessories. It’s the same house, but it’s a lot prettier! It feels good when you walk in. It feels finished, and we didn’t know how to finish it.”
How did you get started with Black-eyed Susan?
“It started with curtains. Then I was going to get furniture for the dining room and I just wasn’t happy with the designers from different stores. At the same time, Susan and her team came out to my house and looked at everything and said, let’s have a plan. So they designed the dining room, they designed the bathroom, and it went from there!”
Can I afford to hire an interior designer?
“Susan and her team are used to dealing with these million dollar homes. My husband and I aren’t coming from that kind of background and getting a designer is a real treat. I realized I was already spending all this money on paint and it just wasn’t working. I would go out and get this paint, and it was not the right paint. One time it was pink and it looked like a nursery! It ended up being less money to go with Susan, rather than going back and picking up buckets of paint so many times. Or I’ll go through the aggravation of buying three different sets of curtains from different department stores. Have a designer is so much better! It’s not like I spend the kind of dollars other people do, but whenever I do spend on something I buy it from Black-eyed Susan because I know I’ll find a good deal.”
How does Black-eyed Susan bring your style and personality to life in the interior design process?
“Black-eyed Susan always sits down and talks to me about what direction we’re going in. And I’ve gone in a lot of directions! I started with the vintage cottage style. I had furniture that was left to me from my great aunt from 1920’s, and we had it painted cream. Susan had the old chairs painted the same color as the walls, and we had upholstery made to fit on the back of the chair. I’ve been with her a long time, and she always figures out what you like and what’s going to work for that room. I remember she would say “always have what you love.” Since then I’ve updated the living room from the cottage to the 70’s mod look. Now I think I’m going toward a rustic style with reclaimed woods. Black-eyed Susan is there every step of the way.”