Susan Taylor
project files

beach house master suite

The beach house master suite … hold on, ’cause it’s a beauty!

In the design process, I was inspired by several things—first, several market trips. We see this palette often in furniture, accessories, bedding and accent pillows, and yes, art. Then I came upon several fabrics that were favorites, never used in projects. My retail store, as well as our custom design projects, are well known for leading edge style, usually ahead of the trends. Sometimes, we’re just enough ahead that it takes some time for a trend to catch on! As far as retail goes, I get to choose what I showcase and design a room around, but the same doesn’t go for our custom design projects.

You can imagine how delighted I was to make the decision to use a palette I have a personal love for, and obviously still a market trend. It was the perfect chance to indulge my creative moxie because in this case, I really only had to please me! My husband was on board … just take a look at what the end result was. I couldn’t be happier.

Here’s a quick glance at the overall look, with a palette of creamy white, ballet pink, and a bit of gray.

  • Upholstered bed: gray tweed (yes, it’s performance fabric!)
  • Pillows: soft pink, gray, a teeny bit of strong contrast black
  • Case goods: soft white with stone accents
  • Lamps: white
  • Accessories: white and beautiful pinks
  • Rug: gray and white (another performance fabric pick)



When designing a luxury rental, it’s a challenge to combine beauty and practicality. That, however, is paramount for sensibility! All bedding except the for accent pillows is washable. Even the wallcovering is vinyl. The bedside tables are stone top. Rug, performance synthetics. Headboard, performance fabric. I’m pleased with the mix and the practicality.

Take a look at the high transom windows here … pink coral sculpture accents mixed with white, large-scaled starfish. It’s a striking focal point when entering the room. Love. Small details like the gray legs on the upholstered bed say #ohsosusanstyle.



A medium-sized mirror, framed in a woven, coastal-feeling frame, was used over each of the bedside tables, mostly for an art effect. How it reflects the beautiful wavy white glass lamps is a plus. We also chose this wall for a wallpaper accent. Vinyl grasscloth in a subtle coloration adds another layer of beach-flavored style. Sometimes, long distance design throws an installation problem into the mix and in this case, we were short paper to hang the wall horizontally! After a bit of time calculating and re-calculating (you know the rule, “measure twice, cut once”), we figured out we could hang it horizontally and have enough, so once again, plans changed and we ended up with success! It’s a subtle but impressive addition.


Each room boasts an oversized TV for vacation binge watching for each guest. While not all art is coastal, I incorporated some coastal themed art into each room. After all, when you’re on a beach vacation getaway, you want to feel near the water. Note this collection of sophisticated tone on tone shells above the TV. This space calls for something to complete it, and the art choice is subtle, neutral and not distracting for screen watching. A little pouf ottoman adds a place to perch and put shoes on. The wall color, Sherwin Williams Worldly Gray, is the tying color throughout the home.



Here’s a closer look at a few accents below the TV on the dresser. These long and low vessels with a pink enameled interior proved an excellent choice. Filled with selenite spheres and a perfect pink, drapey succulent, they fill a needed space without hindering TV viewing. This challenge is often presented in designs, when viewing must not be distracted with taller accents. This is the perfect solution!



This favorite oversized art found a home in the master suite. Here, vaulted walls give the height needed for this piece, well over 60″ square. Mostly neutral in soft grays, that splash of pink has always called my name. I had this piece in mind from the conception of the home design, but only decided to use it in the master suite during installation. Encouraged by my stylish friend, Linda, I saw it in a different light and made the switch from the stairwell to this spot. When you have someone you can trust in design decisions, a professional or a friend, it’s a great collaboration and results in a winning plan. In this case, she brought both to the table! I really like the drama and new placement.

Note the small-scaled desk used here as well. Useable for a vanity, or a laptop computer for checking in with the office, it’s a space that is well used. The small pink velvet desk chair is perfect. With a hip small desk lamp and a pink and black floral accent, this area is complete!



The challenge for this master bathroom was mirror placement. Mirror placement begins with the position and measurement of the sink. A mirror should always be centered over the sink for practicality. (Does anyone recall the collage of vintage mirrors I designed for one of my New Hope master bathrooms?! I loved it, and each sink had the appropriate height mirror for the user, yet the overall wall was a work of art.) I guess that was an unusual approach … here, the transom windows above compounded the design problem.

So, this was my solution! Using measurements from the foreman during long distance construction, I was able to formulate this design using three mirrors of the same size. Perfection. One for each sink user and one for style! Using the gold hardware as my guide, I selected these satin gold, deep-framed mirrors with a soft edge and was pleased with the end result. Even hanging them perfectly was a challenge, and Fred didn’t disappoint.

The modern art to the left of the vanity is a personal favorite. Even though I had a set of four I intended to use somewhere in the master, I couldn’t resist this one as a single here. Watch for the rest to show up in my retail store! You win.



Although the shower is a good size, the room is not, so we decided on a barn door-style sliding shower door. It’s a great solution for a smaller space, still allowing for a generous shower. Two tiny potted succulents with white and gold accents add a little detail to an otherwise unused surface.



Trending in art for several years is the incorporation of lots of shine, and sometimes, glass glitter. This art was chosen first for color, but also for the soft horizon-like feel. The colors, obviously take the palette from the master bedroom all the way through the suite.

This room is certainly a favorite and it was so fun to design using a color I’ve yearned to incorporate, but haven’t had the joy of using for a client yet! Pink. I think it is soft and beautiful but not too feminine for others to love. *Sigh*