• Be Your Own Decorator by Susanna Salk

    by  • 27 Mar ’12 • profile • 54 Comments

    For ages I have ripped pages from magazines, safely tucking them away for when I need inspiration. Some years I am really organized and neatly store each page in a protective cover that is then secured in my big white binder. Other years the pages stack up…many still waiting to be filed.

    Now, it is as if my friend Susanna Salk did all of the work for me. In her newest book, Be Your Own Decorator, Susanna features the work of 75 world renowned designers and pairs some of my favorite images with practical advice from the designers themselves. As Susanna says, “This is not a ‘how to’ design book but a ‘why not?’ book.” I especially love  how the book is organized into chapters on balance, color, mixing, accessorizing, arrangements, rule-breaking, and whimsy. Be Your Own Decorator is NOW available to order…but Susanna is giving one copy of her book to an All the Best reader.

    Simply leave a comment telling us which designer(s) inspire you and why. A winner will be selected April 1, 2012. Good Luck!

    Design by Diamond Baratta; Photo by Peter Murdock

    Design by Curated; Photo by Peter Murdock

    Design by Charlotte Moss; Photo by Pieter Estersohn

    Design by Nate Berkus; Photo by Pieter Estersohn

    Design by Robert Passal; Photo by Joshua McHugh

    Design by Victoria Smith; Photo by Tinywater Photography

    Design by Carol Bokuniewicz; Photo by John Gruen

    Design by Carol Bokuniewicz; Photo by John Gruen

    Design by Jay Jeffers; Photo by Francis Smith

    Design by Tori Mellot; Photo by Annie Schlechter

    Top Image of Susanna Salk by John Gruen


    54 Responses to Be Your Own Decorator by Susanna Salk

    1. Pingback: Be Your Own Decorator | Shelterholic Now

    2. Laviza
      27 Mar ’12 at 11:09 am

      Nate Berkus is an inspiration to me because he brings
      Style and design to everyone at any level.
      I love how he insists that everyone should make
      Their style their own

      • allthebest
        27 Mar ’12 at 11:19 am

        …a great point!

    3. 27 Mar ’12 at 11:35 am

      Charlotte Moss is very elegant and timeless! What more could you want when hiring a designer!

      • allthebest
        27 Mar ’12 at 11:39 am

        elegant, timeless and most gracious…

    4. Sharron Boxenbaum
      27 Mar ’12 at 11:41 am

      David Bromstad inspires me – his playfulness with colors appeals to the artist in me. Because of him I have dark chocolate walls in my living room and chartreuse walls in my adjacent dining room and I love it!

      • allthebest
        27 Mar ’12 at 11:48 am

        Sounds so pretty and dramatic Sharron!

    5. Miriam
      27 Mar ’12 at 11:57 am

      I recently discovered the work of Curated and I think they are an amazing team. I love their style modern casual and chic at the same time. Their spaces are simple, easy to live, warm and neutral enough to suit men, women, couples and families. Great inspiration!

      • allthebest
        27 Mar ’12 at 12:12 pm

        I LOVE the image of their work from the book.

    6. 27 Mar ’12 at 12:16 pm

      Good morning,
      I am a fan of kelly Wearstler for her bold use of colour and form as well as the way she puts a modern halo on the whole Hollywood Regency style made famous by Haines & Draper. Plus, her personal style is delightfully outrageous!
      Thank you for offering such a great contest

      • allthebest
        27 Mar ’12 at 12:19 pm

        Love your comment, “she puts a modern halo on the whole Hollywood Regency style.” Brilliant.

    7. 27 Mar ’12 at 12:22 pm

      Nate’s living room was my inspiration for redoing my family room, it made me realize that all those colors would work together ! I love Charlotte Moss’ use of fabrics.

    8. pve
      27 Mar ’12 at 12:33 pm

      Truly, there are so many incredibly talented interior designers & architects. I have many favorites however I adore the work of John Pawson. Reducing life to simplest forms intrigues me and then there is the work of Rose Tarlow who adds a softness and a refined patina.
      If I could choose one, it would be Rose. A rose is a rose….

      • allthebest
        27 Mar ’12 at 12:35 pm

        Rose really is an amazing talent. xo

    9. mb
      27 Mar ’12 at 12:44 pm

      Well, that is a tough one. Miles Redd makes me smile with his enthusiastic use of color. Tricia Foley reminds me that editing and simplicity is vital to the success of a room.
      I love the photo of the space that Jay Jeffers did above.
      Mary Jane Ryburn is a creative and energetic soul. I love the rooms that she creates.
      mb from big d

    10. Harlan Horton
      27 Mar ’12 at 1:05 pm

      Nancy Lancaster…for turning cold English country houses into grand, but livable family spaces. Her attention to detail, quality and above all Comfort, while eschewing stuffiness and grandeur are my inspiration for every day decorating, even on a budget. Regardless of the scale or style of the structure, we do LIVE inside our houses and the things around us should be comfortable and enduring. I also painted my garden furniture in what I like to refer to as “Nancy Lancaster Blue”.

    11. Anna
      27 Mar ’12 at 1:17 pm

      Piet Boon’s work Is a great inspiration! Clean lines, spacious, effortless, timeless designs. It feels so airy, organic and grand at the same time. LoVe it!

    12. 27 Mar ’12 at 1:42 pm

      Gosh, this is really hard. To pick one is just not fair. There is something about every designer that draws me in. The first designer that caught my attention when I was a young girl was Rachel Ashwell. Then Eddie Ross captured my attention over the pass few years, least I forget Debbie Travis and all her painting tricks that I wanted to try.I drove my dad nuts asking if I could try something out every week after watching her show. After many “NO’s”, my mother talked him into letting do something. As I read your post, and admired the photos that you have posted. I am intrigued with Charlotte Moss’s use of color and the pictures all over the wall. I will always admire Nate Berkus & Robert Passal. Dang it, this is like having to pick my favorite color all over again, something I just can’t do.

      • allthebest
        27 Mar ’12 at 3:08 pm

        Hi Jenny Lynn – I love your story! Thanks for sharing!

    13. 27 Mar ’12 at 1:58 pm

      I love the woks of many interior designers, Vicente Wolf among them, Kelly Wearstler, Jan Showers,
      but among the pictures above I adore Carol Bocuniewicz for her poetic colors, the simple lines and the
      classic lines, reminding me of Biedermeier and the classicistic period in design.

    14. Leigh Ann
      27 Mar ’12 at 2:51 pm

      Axel Vervoordt inspires me with his timeless elegance, Old World character, and exquisite antiques. I also love the work of Alex Papachristidis, Mary McDonald, and John Saladino…all brilliant in the way that they blend traditional and modern to make it current and fresh.

      • allthebest
        27 Mar ’12 at 3:07 pm

        So many of my favorites too Leigh Ann

    15. 27 Mar ’12 at 2:52 pm

      ralph …. truly my favorite. hope you are well dear ronda… cant wait for your book… xx

      • allthebest
        27 Mar ’12 at 3:07 pm

        Hi Pam! I am very well thank you!!! xo

    16. 27 Mar ’12 at 3:04 pm

      Stephen Shubel creates the elegant and relaxed look that I crave. I love the way he described his fisherman’s cottage, “It’s like Marie Antoinette in a t-shirt”. What could be better?!

      • allthebest
        27 Mar ’12 at 3:06 pm

        Keri I LOVE that!!

    17. Deb Gustafson
      27 Mar ’12 at 3:16 pm

      Currently loving Lisa Luby Ryan’s interior designs. Lisa’s shop is in Dallas, TX. Her style marries glam and rustic…vintage & modern…uncluttered & collected…It’s like a breath of fresh air…I love walking in her store…but, since most of the readers aren’t in Dallas…(neither am I) you can also find her designs on my Pinterest boards. I pin a lot of her photographs for style inspiration:)

      • allthebest
        27 Mar ’12 at 3:47 pm

        Dallas is blessed with several great designers!

    18. Julie
      27 Mar ’12 at 3:39 pm

      Wow….picking my favorite is like asking me if I have a favorite child! Depending on my mood and the season, I find myself going from the traditional to the beachy to rustic or contemporary! I’m sure there’s a drug for that!!

      P.S. Cute bangs!! XO!

      • allthebest
        27 Mar ’12 at 3:46 pm

        Thanks Julie! If you find the drug let me know!!! Thanks and miss you! xo

    19. Kelly
      27 Mar ’12 at 3:39 pm

      Sister Parrish/ Albert Hadley, Steven Gambrel, Bilbuher, Todd Romano… the list goes on and on!

      • allthebest
        27 Mar ’12 at 3:45 pm

        Sister Parrish/ Albert Hadley, Steven Gambrel, Bilbuher, Todd Romano…ALL AMAZING!

    20. Laura
      27 Mar ’12 at 4:31 pm

      You’ve just introduced me to Tori Mellon–that room above is absolutely gorgeous: the composition, the serenity, and those throw pillows!!! Love!!

    21. Laura
      27 Mar ’12 at 4:33 pm

      Ooops, Mellot. My apologies!

      • allthebest
        27 Mar ’12 at 4:35 pm

        Tori has an amazing eye! She was at domino and now Traditional Home.

    22. Chris Conte
      27 Mar ’12 at 4:40 pm

      Steven Gambrel…have never seen anything that I did not like.

      • allthebest
        27 Mar ’12 at 4:49 pm

        Chris I’m with you…

    23. 27 Mar ’12 at 6:24 pm

      I appreciate the talents of so many designers, yet the one that always comes to mind first is Melissa Rufty. I love her mix of classic, mid-century modern, rich textiles, yummy jewel toned colors, contemporary and classical art all in one room. She’s able to accomplish this rich infusion of eclectic elements and maintain harmonious gentle spaces.

      • allthebest
        27 Mar ’12 at 6:27 pm

        I had the pleasure of meeting Melissa at a party in New Orleans and she is wonderful!! Her work is in Susanna’s book.

    24. 27 Mar ’12 at 6:56 pm

      I like it: “Why not?”

    25. Hye Sook Kim
      27 Mar ’12 at 7:03 pm

      I am a truly amateur self decorator for my own house. All those wonderful designers are amazing and will be a precious resource of my inspiration. Thanks

    26. Angie McE
      27 Mar ’12 at 10:02 pm

      Oh my – such beautiful images above. I am so inspired by Charlotte Moss, mainly because she is so opposite of me. I am typically very sparse and clean in my decorating, but when I look at Charlotte’s designs – I absolutely love the layering and warmth that she exudes in her designs. Love all the books lying around in her photo above.

      Thank you for the opportunity to win the book – I am collecting for my library!

      • allthebest
        28 Mar ’12 at 5:50 am

        Love all the books lying around too!

    27. Andrea J
      28 Mar ’12 at 12:20 am

      I really like Diamond Barrata’s room above. Such a great balance of straight line and curvy chairs. I love how balanced and controlled it looks, that’s what I want my life to look like!

      • allthebest
        28 Mar ’12 at 5:49 am

        Andrea I am in love with that kitchen!! Can you imagine eating in there each morning?!?!

    28. 28 Mar ’12 at 4:55 am

      Hi Ronda,

      I appreciate all the time and thinking power that goes into design and the needs of each client. Charlotte Moss is my fav at the moment. We are living in a time where the comfort of things that came before us (antiques) are such a peaceful reminder of what great talent has left us with…great timeless pieces.

      • allthebest
        28 Mar ’12 at 5:51 am

        peaceful reminders indeed!!

    29. 28 Mar ’12 at 9:24 am

      There are many designers’ work that I admire. One of my favorites is Charles Faudree. I love how he does the Country French style layering patterns and collections. I could actually see myself at home and relaxed in any of his rooms.

      • allthebest
        28 Mar ’12 at 10:32 am

        Karen me too…I have loved Charles Faudree’s work for years!!

    30. CashmereLibrarian
      28 Mar ’12 at 12:27 pm

      I adore Barbara Barry. Her clean, elegant aesthetic really inspires me!

    31. Donna Levi
      28 Mar ’12 at 5:32 pm

      Great giveaway! So many great designers, we live in the most creative times . I love Phoebe Howard and Peter Dunham & Charlotte Moss for their timeless designs. Tobi Fairley for her fun sense of color. Kinda hard to pick just a few!

      • allthebest
        28 Mar ’12 at 7:16 pm

        So true Donna!

    32. 29 Mar ’12 at 1:10 am

      I cannot tell a lie – I have read a few excerpts about the upcoming book elsewhere – one being Susanna’s comment on Victoria Smith’s daring paint color in the Dining room above. What made me stop on that particular page when reading at the time was that I too had my dining room painted that dark with the use of the white trim – mine being done in Benjamin Moore’s Lead Gray. I stopped on the page, thought to myself how it looked similar to my dining room, read the comment then thought to myself dang! am I doing something right? So, from the above pics, Victoria inspires me to bring something unexpected to what you think needs to be the norm.

    33. Pingback: Cozy Up With Fabulous Design and Cooking Books! | Now and Again

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