Let me say up-front and in capital letters: I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND SUSANNAH WEST to anyone who is looking for professional design advice! After her first project for me 8 years ago, I came back to her repeatedly because, step by step, her inspired vision is
making my house BEAUTIFUL for the first time EVER! And Susannah is pure joy to work with!
My best friend (NOT an easy person to satisfy) recommended Susannah because she was so delighted with the work she had done in her master bedroom. I had made so many costly decorating mistakes over the years on my own that I decided to see what Susannah could do for me. I wish I had called her years sooner!!
Our first project, in 2007, was the living room. This room didn't feel right, but I couldn't put my finger on what it needed. Susannah's gorgeous window treatments, plus her inspired pillows for sofa, chairs, and window-seat were transforming! That quickly, we went from “blah” to
“Ahhhh!!!!” and I was hooked.
Next we tackled the dining room and adjoining music room, with Susannah guiding me in upholstery selection, the purchase of contemporary art, the design and purchase of custom area rugs, and the installation of crisp linen drapes which she designed.
Next up: my kitchen office where we again did a custom rug, along with wainscoting, and a magnificent leaded glass window, which was Susannah's brilliant solution to what had been a weird off-center window at the end of the room. Now EVERYONE comments on this masterful
With each project, Susannah has educated me with her skills in visualization. In the master bedroom, those skills, along with Susannah's eye for scale and tile selection, helped me design and install a fireplace that is a delightfully unexpected focal point in a room where the bed usually takes center stage. Also in that room, her guidance in choosing fabric for the window treatments saved me from my “almost-perfect” choice, which would have died on the walls, and led me to choose instead, Susannah's absolutely perfect selection that just sings!
Next I needed help choosing a paint color for my husband's upstairs office. Here is where Susannah especially shines. I would never have guessed that selecting a color for an upstairs office would begin downstairs,--but it did. In fact, it began in the dining and music rooms, and led to new carpeting on the stairs and down the hall leading into the upstairs office. Only Susannah would have known this, but she was absolutely RIGHT. There is a beautiful flow now throughout the house. Perfect. In addition, she helped us select furniture, design a window treatment, and hang pictures and awards in this office space.
Last year's may have been my favorite project of all--our tiny (3 ½ X 4 ½ foot) downstairs powder room. Like Cinderella's pumpkin turning into a carriage fit for royalty, this beige “closet” with cracked plaster walls, wall-hung sink with flowered fabric skirt, and cheap oak veneer
over-the-toilet storage cabinet became an absolute jewel box!
When I showed Susannah a beautiful blue and peach vessel bowl I was considering for this space, she began offering ideas immediately:
• Wainscoting with an understated tile border to add interest and simple elegance to the tiny space.
• Updated lighting, with a space on the back wall to continue our art collection
• An enormous mirror to visually double the size of the room, strengthen the natural daylight pouring through the window, and provide a better perspective to view the window as art.
• Oh, and, continue the wainscoting out the powder room door into the adjacent hallway to unify the two small spaces, making both of them feel larger.
Susannah's design ideas were brilliant! She assembled a portfolio of pictures from Houzz so that I could visualize the final space as she saw it in her mind's eye, and we began deciding the specifics for wainscoting, tile, lights, cabinet, faucets, and mirror. She also insisted that we actually mock-up the wainscoting and tile, to be sure that the scale was perfect. Attention to details like these was crucial in such a small space where any mistake would be magnified. The final result had no mistakes--just simple, tranquil elegance.
Working with Susannah is always fun and educational, and the beautiful results keep bringing me back for more. Currently we're working on the laundry room...! :)