Susan Taylor
project files

walk in to style: newtown estate property

Connecting an open floor plan in home design is an art, but it’s a necessity too. One of the challenges of this Newtown estate home was to take the massive size and still create warmth and establish a family gathering place. Entering the grand foyer, you can take in the gallery to the right, dining room straight ahead, and formal living room to the left. Beautiful vistas surround you.

We treat a foyer this size as a room. You can see all of the elements of the room here, starting with a beautiful Pinnacle Award-winning custom bench—a true piece of art. A medium-size dining table becomes a center hall table, and a handwoven rug serves as another piece of art. This chandelier caught my eye a full year before the foyer was framed and painted, and I could see nothing else would fill the space as this one! At seventy-two inches high and 60 inches in diameter, it’s not one inch too big for the space. The sculptural design of this adds exactly what was needed from views in every direction, including the second floor hallway.

Peeking out from the stairway landing (and please pause to study the detailed iron banister and balusters) is a smaller sister chandelier to the grand chandelier. A beautiful companion and yet another piece of art that compliments the foyer. A large format piece of art echos the same language of color for the foyer.


A handsome and formal wide stairway leads to the second floor bedrooms, each with an en suite bath. Pause on the landing to study the custom silk faille drapery and note the trim on the lead edge that we designed for this unusual window depth. A cherished sculpture is part of  the drama here, placed on a table from Black-eyed Susan’s design team that couldn’t be more perfect or more beautiful! Here is a view of the smaller (yet not!) sister chandelier to the one in the grand foyer. The beautiful color flows throughout most of the home and is contrasted by white custom moldings. I do love those painted ceilings, a career trademark for over 25 years.


It’s a treat to look down on the foyer from the second floor balcony, with so many details to take in. This room is a true statement that opens to five other rooms, each a complementary beauty.


Enter the gallery! Four crystal chandeliers set the scene for this room. Be prepared to take your breath away! A wall of three French doors easily opens for formal entertaining, extending outside to formal gardens and patios large enough for dining or dancing. Inside, imagine a pianist entertaining you while intimate conversations take place in this strikingly light space. Four high style chairs are perfectly placed on the marble floor, which contrasts the deep espresso stain of the rest of the floors, each having a place for intimate conversation and a drink. Take in the lovely, historically-based ceiling detail. It is simply a beautiful and favorite room.


The formal living room is right off the library and it exudes a light and airy elegance. With a palette of white and pale grey, creating a nuanced design is reflected in all the subtle textures. We choose grass-weave grey shades interwoven with hints of metallic silver strands. And of course, there has to be animal print! The chairs are upholstered in lovely cut velvet in a gray and white cheetah pattern and the rug features an ever-so-subtle zebra print. Polished chrome, and a marble and a crystal chandelier, add the bright and glistening elements that make the room shine.


In a project this beautiful, it’s hard to choose a favorite room … but this just might be in contention for mine! It’s a lovely size. A formal powder room is often seen by guests and close to the dramatic foyer, and we wanted to make a statement of fine design and formal living. Rich gold tones dominate the room in the mirror, sconces, hardware and wallpaper. We love partnering with Phillip Jeffries wallpaper, and this pattern did not disappoint! Appointments that make the room are the custom vanity with mitered marble top. Selenite sconces serve as art, and take a peek at the chandelier reflected in the formal mirror. A coral fan sculpture mimics the wallpaper pattern, and a touch of a white mini orchid makes the perfect statement on the vanity. It’s truly a favorite of almost every guest who enters, and you can count the Black-eyed Susan team in on that fan base as well! So pleasing.