Susan Taylor
project files

a chic living room color palette

Living with a soft, yet dramatic color can change your mood. I had the approval of this visionary homeowner to lead off with something different. No gray. No beige. Taking this room from the last dramatic update a good 15 years ago was a challenge, and one I was really ready to take on! Leading with this textured eggplant fabric put drama into the palette. Thinking a bit outside the box with wrapping the room in a grayed-down amethyst wall color created a most soothing retreat.

Working with the existing plantation shutters, I selected side panels with lovely satin nickel hardware and a ripple fold header—a fresh, modern approach. Note the accessory appointments in the deep window sill. The depth provided the perfect place for oversized collector’s pieces with the same underlying hues as the room’s color story. In my view, perfect placement is paramount and always plays an important role in a completed room design. Those finishing touches are as important as any element in the room!


A closeup here shows the very subtle, darker welt on this extra-long 4 seat sofa. When a room can handle this size, it’s a fabulous look. Combining the depth and the length, it really allows two to stretch out for a movie or weekend nap! The drapery panels and accent pillows sing the same melody in counterpart and lead the eye to the side chests with capiz shell drawer fronts. Drapery hardware, door knockers and sofa nail heads remain harmonious in silver tones. This photograph captures the beautiful texture and hand of the sofa fabric. Cozy. Comfortable. Delightful. And, my #purestyle signature!


So many things to note in this photo!  Note the perfect symmetry:

  • 2 side chests
  • 2 lamps (one right positioned, one left positioned)
  • 2 oversized coffee tables
  • 2 chairs (check those out below)
  • 2 drapery panels (1 pair)
  • 2 ottomans provide additional seating, balance … and an occasional place to put your feet up!

Objects for the deep window sill behind the sofa become a focal point in this view of the room, too. The collection was hand selected specifically for this room and curated from several of my favorite vendors. Color, form and finishes all play against the softness of the room hues. I can’t stop talking about it!


Give me a room where I can use two coffee tables together and I’m in heaven! These fabulous Vanguard pieces have recently been retired, and I was thrilled to snag the last two. Polished nickel and a rare exotic wood with a high polish makes a real statement here. I love the open shelving that gives a place for additional artful decor. Take note of the custom-designed extended media console to the right in a companion finish, offering up storage, function and style. This piece met the client’s must-have list for substantial storage as well as space for beautiful accessories.


Mantels are such important focal points, and this one certainly was. While today’s accessories are more simplified, drama and scale are important. Here, I used a custom upholstered leather mirror (we can do any size!) with nail heads on the outside lead edge. An interesting sculpture in the form of a table clock (also a requested element from the homeowners) is large enough to be the perfect balance.  Large “logs” of natural selenite add organic beauty and to the left, I selected a square glass vessel filled with purple gemstones to continue the lovely amethyst color choice. Reflecting in the mirror is a lovely sculptural ceiling fan, yet another request from the homeowner.


Here are the two comfy swivel chairs, married with a narrow (but #ohsosusan) acrylic drink table between them. Note the exotic wood trim on the arm caps. And what room can’t be more stylish with a bit of leopard? These tailored chairs offer comfort and function, swiveling to watch the large wall-mounted TV.


This closeup of the chairs shows a peek of that unique narrow acrylic table. A repeat of the sofa pillow fabric ties everything together. A nice closeup of the arms show the detailed wood accent— it makes these chairs a step above.


A rear staircase is a great place for impact, yet it’s so often difficult to design! A collection of molten discs, along with three branch sculptures in cast nickel, allowed me to design an arrangement that follows the site line of the banister and becomes a real wall of art. Reflection, placement and scale all play into the perfect placement here. I couldn’t have been happier! This was one of the most difficult views to photograph, even by the finest efforts of Gil Stose Photography. Study it to see the intentional overlap and design. Love.

My customer was a delight to please and so willingly loved my direction. It was a true delight to design and complete this project, down to the tiniest detail. I really do have the most lovely clients who indulge my creative moxie and make my work my passion. *sigh*