Susan Taylor
from susan

NYC Park Avenue Living Spaces

I’d love to give you a personal tour of one of my favorite projects that was recently completed!  A two year design project took me to Park Avenue, NYC, and it easily became my heart’s desire to see it to perfection. *sigh* One of the most darling husband and wife client/friend teams came to me years after I had designed multiple areas of their Bucks County home.

This pre-war building had such good bones and  a premium address close to Central Park. Oh, yes. Dream on!  I stepped in a beautiful, yet somewhat drab 2 bedroom apartment with an abundance of medium cherry paneled walls. (I knew our before shots would be of use, so enjoy…)

First impressions! 11 floors up and our desgin muscles start flexing to get started! This is the finished elevator landing…

Each owner has a private foyer and elevator foyer. Our client’s requests for this area included a fresh, neutral color and I’m not gonna lie, I can really get on board with the #ohsosusan black doors! On the initial punch list was a unique bench with some storage , a rug, art and chandelier. This ceiling flushmounted fixture in black metal is both hip, functional and perfection here.

This narrow, iron ballustered staircase turned into quite a challenge for the last state of installation when three trusted Black-eyed Susan team members carried a 200 lb etagier up 11 flights. Oh. Yes. Each assending staircase belongs to the next homeowner, thus the red wallcovering belongs to Apt. 12!

A last minute request for a floor mirror led me to suggesting one of my favorite and unique full length favorites.

A closer inspection of the custom designed bench reveals storage for pet supplies, hats, and packages waiting to be picked up. Naturally, a performance fabric was specified… think wet and sometimes muddy paws from walks through Central Park! This landing bench is truly Chelsea and Cooper approved! Note the original Pre-war ironwork that lends #purestyle to the very first approach of this beautiful home. Now, let’s see the finished project!


Interspersed throughout, I’ll pop in a before photo shot from a cell phone…transformations tell the story, and these shots are always the reminder of what a transformation is possible.

Above is the dining room as it was furnished when the new owner purchased the property.  Below is the finished dining room table!

Existing kitchen when purchased.

You can see the cupboards housing dishes in both the before (above) and after (below) even though they are from different angles!

Basically, everything in this lovely home was custom ordered. The best result that insures perfection will always be possible when a project allows for such, allowing style to reign and speak the language of the client’s vision.

Shown here, bar stools, again in our perfect satin gold custom finish. Note the pin tuck details of this stylish profile.


Former window view of Park Avenue!

I changed the living room from a sea of paneled walls and built-ins to this creamy, dreamy, monochromatic, chic room, punctuated with strong contrast in accessories and art. This striking change is so pleasing! No need to be afraid of adding this pallet into your living space… it’s all performance fabric. This space was designed for everyday living, dogs who parade Central Park and come home with little muddy paws, and an occasional drink spill. Perfection! Oh, yes, this is the age of performance fabrics with so many options, there’s choices for every idea we can dream of.


Let’s talk paint. My vision of the space on our first visit was the change that would come from one color-walls, ceiling, baseboards, applied moldings, pre-war radiator covers, built-in bookcases, and, kitchen cabinets, yes, everything(!)…one continuous stream of soft, engaging brightness to wrap the whole apartment. I wasn’t disappointed.

These custom pillows were added after the installation was completed. Our client wanted an all neutral pallet, but in the end, we needed that punch of strong contrast. My design philosophy says black is as neutral as cream! It’s just a bit of drama, always needed!

This shot shows some of my favorite details included in the design-soft brass nailheads, matt bronze and travertine coffee table details, and a unique floor lamp with a sculptural quality. The best thing about the lamp, you don’t have to stand up to turn it on! The base tucks under the sectional frame and adds both form and function to a stylish setting. Love.

In the initial design concept, the television was placed over the mantle… picture an open concept+an entire wall of windows, and in the process of elimination, there it is! Very careful planning goes into designing a space with limited square space needing maximum storage and seating. We found room for seating for 7 when necessary, 6 very comfortably… not to mention two very stylish NYC Cavalier Spaniels! (Don’t worry, you’ll meet Chelsea and Cooper later!)


All custom furniture was designed with a modern, yet timeless aesthetic in mind. There is that small point that this was a one year + order/delivery time! Welcome to the challenges Designers have faced over the past two years. A favorite, go-to chair profile takes it’s place here with a functional and stylish drink table that marries all the finishes together.


Look into the Park Aveunue living room from another angle. I often use this stunning custom sectional when given the opportunity to float a sofa or sectional. Considering the low profile back, the tufted back cushions still bring the comfort for both lounging and more formal gatherings for conversation and drinks.

Art repeats the color pallet, as does the coffee table styling and custom pillows. Nothing says style and classic like a bit of animal print. The geometric embroidered pattern for complimentary pillows is a personal favorite!

Custom window valances were designed with a touch of softness, yet keeping in the neutral theme.

The wall sconces were likely the only thing that made the cut of this remodel! Still classic and still stylish, the black and satin gold sings my song. We’ll talk bookcase styling below.

Pecan paneling reigned prior to the renovation. The change when painted is stunningly different. Walls, ceilings and trim throughout were painted one color-a warm, beautiful perfect cream. The homeowners had one moment of panic as the first brush strokes began, but held their breath with my promise it would be everything they wanted.

Former built-ins… make for such good before and afters!

One’s eye naturally lands on the bookcases that flank the fireplace. Zoom in to study the placement and selections used. When styling a pair of bookcases/shelves, they should speak to each other. Plan the pairings to compliment one another in scale, finish, and contrast. It’s a true joy to create personal and meaningful spaces.

Whenever possible, I love to float furniture into the room a bit. Even though square footage was a premium, this furniture placement maximized the living space in the room. With enough room to open and close window shades, take in the Park Avenue view, and access the bookcases, the sectional lends room for all. This is one of my “no rules” suggestions. Pulling upholstery away from the wall (or, a beautiful upholstered bed for that matter) is a rule to break when it works!

I styled the bookcases with object d’art, sculptures and vintage books saved from my client’s Bucks County, Pa home. Zoom in to see the details! Scale, layering and placement are paramount in my styling signature. Like finishes, contrast, interest and personal appointments that speak the language of style are all part of the design.

I am passionate about the art of styling. My first professional job got me started on this path and I’ve never turned back. At that time, it was mannequins and the May Co. window display in Southern California. As Merchandise Director for 5 locations, I was in love with this art. Styling your home can be a challenge, so don’t hesitate to call for a little #ohsosusan style to complete your room!

The shot below is a great example of a perfectly appointed room.*sigh*

The view of the living room and main living space is the perfect introduction to my plan to maximize the seating and storage space while at the same time creating a workable traffic pattern with just enough room. Furniture placement is often made perfect with the adjustment of just a few inches one way or the other. It’s difficult to explain this to an untrained eye, but inches is where the magic is made! Installation day always presents challenges, a bit of anxiety and usually in the end, a home run.

This is the first introduction to three completely custom made chests, banked together to make one loooooong (!) console. From the paint finish, to the leg finish and custom hardware, these were made for Black-eyed Susan’s Park Avenue beauty. When designing these pre-war buildings, there is elevator space to consider, scale, and once again, perfect placement. This bank of chests booked together created a stunning wall of storage, as well as a featured hero image, taking the place of a console and easily loaded into the elevator!


Oh. Yes. Here is the hero image of the shoot! Three truly custom chests- I selected the paint, the leg finish and we provide the 18″ hardware, to create about 140″ of drama+premium storage. Think dishes, linens, maybe even a place for this executive’s cashmere sweaters!

Creating the look of an exaggrated console, these pieces set the stage for a series of 9 mirrors in random widths. (Watching these being installed in perfect level and spacing took a few years off my anxiety threshhold!) That’s when a husband and wife team at installation has their marriage tested!! But, as usual, Fred rose to the level of perfection he brings to each project. He’s a absolute neccecity for all my most challenging visions. I’m smiling!


Yet another approach to these beauties…Note the originial parkay floors, another one of the apartment features I choose to save. They add warmth and history to a rennovation. When possible, keeping classic elements like these are always a plus and keep #purestyle in the bones of the design.


Oops!! Just one more. A closeup of my final styling for that #ohsosusan statement. Look closely and you’ll see the front layer is a seeded glass disc on a marble plinth. I’m swooning.

Don’t forget to light a candle….

As promised, the celebrities, Chelsea and Cooper! It’s only fitting that they are totally on brand with our pallet for this cherished project. It was a dream come true to complete and our client’s were also the model client we all yearn for. Always ready to listen to my direction, continually filling our hearts with gratitude and friendship. A design team couldn’t be more blessed.

I hope you enjoyed the tour as much as my team did designing it.

Here’s to more #purestyle !