Honestly, I cannot remember the first time that I meet Suysel Depedro Cunningham (one half of Tilton Fenwick) or how we became online acquaintances. I do however distinctly remember first seeing the work of Tilton Fenwick and meeting the dynamic duo Suysel and Anne Maxwell Foster. The two launched their interior design firm in 2010 and have since become darlings of the design world. Most recently they were named one of TradHomes’ Top 20 New Designers.
Anne and Suysel initially bonded over their love of Boston, their Alma-maters (Suysel, Tufts University and Anne, Boston College) and of course, interior design. Boston was also the catalyst for their company name Tilton Fenwick. The names of their freshman year dorms – Tilton (Suysel) and Fenwick (Anne). For Anne and Suysel it is a constant reminder of how their friendship began, their love of clam chowder, Newbury street shopping and Boston sports teams.
Suysel: I grew up watching my late father design pageant gowns + carnaval costumes – so I definitely embrace sequins, ruffles + color (though I TRY to not wear all 3 at the same time!)
Anne: I get a thrill over “high -low” in fashion and decorating… jeans and a white tee with a bold statement Elva Fields necklace or an eBay settee reupholstered in luxe velvet. Investing well in showstopper pieces are worth their weight in an outfit or a room.
What is your most prized possession?
Suysel: My daughter’s passport! I grew up in a very modest household where international travel was an unattainable luxury. I didn’t get my passport until my honeymoon to Costa Rica. I do not take for granted the fact that my 4 year old, Cecilia, already has numerous stamps on her passport – I consider it one of the greatest gifts I can give her.
Anne: A timeless ivory Vera Wang wedding dress which will always remind me of my husband, our “rustic chic” barn wedding and dress shopping with my mom and sister.
Suysel: To wake up each day with the desire to learn something and the ability to teach something!
Anne: Never taking for granted what I’ve been blessed with, while always continuing to strive to be better…
What is the one thing in life you cannot live without?
Suysel: Memories. My mother was recently diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at the young age of 57. The diagnosis has made me look at family photo albums + mementos with a much deeper appreciation.
Anne: Travel! I love discovering unique boutique hotels as much as new places. Small luxury hotels often have the freedom to go bold with their interiors, each room reflecting its own charm and personality. One of my favorites is Chateau Eza, situated high on a cliff overlooking the French Riviera.
What inspires your creativity and designs?
Suysel: Color! I was born in Puerto Rico where bright hues are embraced + celebrated. I find color inspiration everywhere: from nature to a fabulous pair of shoes!
Anne: Living in Manhattan, where culture, architecture and design, cuisine, theater, music and inspiration are at my fingertips 24/7.
Who are your style icons?
Suysel: Kelly Wearstler & Oscar de la Renta
Anne: Robert + Cortney Novogratz, Dorothy Draper, Diller Scofidio + Renfro (the architects of NYC’s High Line, some of the greatest of our time).
Suysel: I would have to say Markham Roberts. Even though I worked for him for almost 5 years, I never stop learning from him. I also am lucky to consider him one of my closest friends and we can laugh for hours which would also make it fun!
Anne: Gil Schafer, an architect with impeccable taste, restoring an historic home for the 21st century.
What books are currently on your bedside table?
Suysel: I have always loved historical fiction. I am currently reading “Loving Frank” by Nancy Horan – the novelization of Frank Lloyd Wright’s extramarital affair with his client Mamah Cheney – a true page-turner!
Anne: “Bossypants” by Tina Fey, “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” by John Perkins, “Ladies who Launch” by Victoria Colligan + Beth Schoenfeldt
What is your favorite luxury in life?
Suysel: Great sleep! I am obsessed with a comfortable bed – starting with white, crisply pressed sheets. I am partial to Leontine Linens for my personal bedding – pure heaven!
Anne: All things bespoke! From wallpaper to stationery, having items custom made are the ultimate luxury.
Profile by Ronda Carman