Monday, November 4, 2013

Falling in Love with Interiors, The Romance of Design

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As I stare at the images in inte­rior designer Suzanne Tucker’s new book, Inte­ri­ors, The Romance of Design, I am reminded of a quote by the great act­ing coach Kon­stan­tin Stanislavsky. He said, “There are no small parts, only small actors.” Like­wise, in the world of art and design, “There are no small rooms, only small designers.”

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Suzanne Tucker illus­trates this expertly when she trans­forms inti­mate spaces into mem­o­rable mas­ter­pieces. No detail is left unturned, as seen in the tiny ter­ra­cotta pow­der room, above. It’s noth­ing short of inspir­ing. I love the way Suzanne echoes the carved mar­ble shell of the sink basin with the scal­loped arch of the ceil­ing, and how the reclaimed floor tiles resound of the sten­cil­ing on the vanity.

This is the kind of atten­tion to detail that sep­a­rates good design from great design, and sub­stan­ti­ates the fact that Suzanne, her­self a visual poet, is one of the country’s lead­ing inte­rior design­ers. Her projects have been pub­lished in mag­a­zines world­wide, and Archi­tec­tural Digest has named her repeat­edly on their AD100 list of top designers.

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Of course Suzanne’s lav­ish opu­lence is not lim­ited to only inti­mate inte­ri­ors, evi­denced in photo after glo­ri­ous photo of her design triumphs…each page a mas­ter­piece on nearly 300 glossy over­sized pages.

Pos­ing above a swirling oval entry hall, above, is an arrest­ing sculp­ture by Manuel Neri.

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My favorite part of the book is the chap­ter titled “A Sen­ti­men­tal Jour­ney,” in which Suzanne gen­er­ously allows read­ers a peek into her spa­cious home–“a dec­o­rat­ing lab­o­ra­tory,” as she calls it, “where pieces are stud­ied and come and go,” she said.

Above in her own sanc­tu­ary, just a touch of leop­ard in a hall, bright with light, flanks a French eighteenth-century console.

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As we evolve,” she said, “our homes should, too. When a house is over­laid with one’s per­sonal collections–art, fur­nish­ings, accessories–it can become an expres­sion of indi­vid­u­al­ity and a ves­sel for mem­o­ries, tan­gi­ble and intan­gi­ble,” she added.

Such is the case in her din­ing room, for exam­ple, where the antique carved rock crys­tal chan­de­lier is part of the legacy of her men­tor, the late Michael Taylor.

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The eclec­tic mix of the liv­ing room,” above and below, “includes an eighteenth-century French man­tel and Régence chairs found in Paris,” she stated, “and a late Qing period low table.”

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Suzanne’s inte­rior world is a cor­nu­copia of sump­tu­ous fab­rics and rich col­ors drenched in the gor­geous nat­ural light of Marin County, with spec­tac­u­lar views of the San Fran­cisco Bay Area. The pho­tographs are so ulti­mately tac­tile that one can almost feel them.

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Our tiger, part of my husband’s fam­ily lore, was res­cued from the cir­cus in the six­ties,” she explained, “and lived out his life as the Michi­gan Air National Guard mas­cot.” A bold and socially-responsible trib­ute to nature, its exotic pelt leads the eye to the fab­u­lous fire­place, which is punc­tu­ated by the orange abstract paint­ing by Tom Hol­land, a piece which also belonged to Michael Taylor.

Suzanne stated, “A house can be a life­long romance, and we should find our­selves falling in love with our homes over and over again.”

Inte­ri­ors, The Romance of Design, fol­lows Suzanne’s first book, Rooms to Remem­ber, cur­rently in its third print­ing. Her tex­tiles and table­top line for Suzanne Tucker Home are in lux­ury show­rooms and stores nationwide.

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