Thursday, July 10, 2014

Market Report!

Our Market days have been busy with reviewing new options and scoping out the latest trends! Many of our vendors have become fine friends and we are always welcomed warmly.

 Today at the end of the day, we ran into a favorite showroom, Face to Face! Watch for some of Bridgette's darling designs to be available for your gift giving or gift keeping!! 

These darling new framed sentimental quotes would thrill my mother...

I ordered several of my favorites, and you may recall her tea towel designs that were so popular several years ago. Great gift giving for all my cute family and friends who love baking as much as I do!

HP Officejet Pro X476 dn
And who wouldn't want these stylish organic burlap placemats?! All the table manners you want to teach in a stylish format! Yes, please!

Bridgette is well known for her rustic, oversized framing and planned photo gallerys. She is a creative and accomplished photographer and we love being inspired by her visuals. I also ordered several oversized neutral pillow with tender sayings that will tug at your heart strings. 

Tomorrow, the day of jewelry shopping! A personal favorite and coveted by all my daughters and sisters (and friends) who love stylish accessories!  I'll keep you posted! Those crowds will require a good nights sleep and some running shoes...

Monday, July 7, 2014

Get ready for style reports!

Here we are in July once again and the Atlanta summer market will begin tomorrow! It seems to us (Linda and I) that as our familiar hotels, one by one, update and become very stylish with the interior trends we love-they become substantially smaller in the storage! That doesn't really work well for two high maintenance girls...

  • 12 pair of shoes between us...where do they go?
  • 2 drawers, one each. Small drawers. Oh. My.
  • Small sink with basic working space for one. One.
  • A refrigerator that is a "cooler", basically, not cold.
So, while our ceiling high headboards upholstered in white channeled vinyl are super chic and there are multiple outlets for Internet devices, as well as purely comfortable beds of memory foam ...two gals who have lots of "stuff" are a bit cramped!

I suppose that is the price we pay for style. *sigh*

Tomorrow begins our week long trek of three buildings, 20 floors each. We will be searching for the most unique, most stylish, newest introductions that we can find with that "oh so susan" flavor. I'll give you a report at the end of each day with photos of goods and bads, better and best! Shoe reports, color trends and our favorite picks in all categories. Check in daily and enjoy the ride with us!

Till tomorrow, then...

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Catching up!

Wow. Between my client projects and travel to Paris, I'm feeling a bit behind in life!

Just to let you know, my July Market dates are coming up and I will be filling you in on the newest trends, my "likes" and "don't like" finds (!) and, of course, the shoe report between Linda and myself!

10 days in Paris really spoiled my sense of style in all things, from food to architechture, to beauties of all kinds. Paris is full of style! Time permitting, I really want to share some of my adventures there with you...but it occurs to me that I had better make time before the Holiday season hits me hard...and, believe it or not, that is just around the corner!

I'd love you to check out my new website! It still has a bit of construction to be completed, but you will find new and exciting things there. I'll let you in on a little secret that we will shortly be launching our E-commerce section of the website! Some of my favorite finds will be available at great prices through our website.

So, even though I have been an absentee blogger, there have been lots of exciting things happening in my Black-eyed Susan world. Keep checking in with me and I'll try not to disappoint!

I just returned from an exciting finish/installation to a project in Michigan and this organic accent was one of the cool things I designed for their bar area. More to follow!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A New Look in Avalon!

Who would have thought that a lightweight turtleneck and leather vest would be the perfect wear for a day at the beautiful Jersey shoreline of Avalon mid April?!! The highway was snow covered much of the way. Good grief!

Cold winds and blustery weather did not deter the delivery of two room of furniture for the complete makeover of our long time clients, Pat and Kathy Beach. Both Pat and Kathy were excellent assistants and Kelly, the Black-eyed Susan retail manager was my right hand today. The day was rewarding and the end result delightful!

The project began months ago with a new plan with included an entire change of pallet for the main floor. We selected the wall colors, new fabrics and patterns-an entire new look! Walt got busy transforming the rooms with deep navy and orange walls and ceilings last fall. Since then, the rooms have been waiting this day of delivery and we were not disappointed at the end of the day!

Cutest rug ever! Global Views, a wow vendor with plenty of style! We re purposed the coffee table and smaller accent tables with a favorite paint color. Chevron patterned chairs and this oh so Susan chevron navy and white vessel just make me smile!

Now this is what I call a stylish recliner. Orange. Oh. Yes. Comfort. Oh. Yes.

Coffee table magic. Succulents, tiny wood cuts, moss...what more could one want?!

Take a close look at these coolest ever chairs! Delish. And they are super comfortable too!
The plan all along was to replace this navy Corian countertop, but after the addition of pure joy (orange vases!) and these framed navy sea beauties, we are all on the fence. It all seems to make sense now!

Those of you who are followers know that I always admonish painted ceilings. Here is proof positive of painted walls and ceilings in semi gloss, no less! Again, that rug is just fabulous! (Take note of the pillows with fish motif!) Orange pillow accents to come...

A broad view of our cute room! Can I just say that recliner is the perfect union of style and comfort?! It's a keeper.

Now let's turn to Pat's office. Reverse the colors for the family, orange walls, navy rug! This graphic flat weave grounds the room with punctuated pattern. And look at this art! Oh. My. This room would draw anyone in to sit down to pay a few bills!

In case you are ready for a comfortable place to read or a long chat with a friend, here are a pair of delightful zebra linen chairs! Warm Stone adds that bit of warmth to the room and just look at the perfectly colored wall clock! (Although I was a bit surprised at the time of day!)  

Definitely a room to love. Who wouldn't want to go to work here everyday?!

We took this existing display cabinet and painted it our impact color with the warm stone interior. I had this manzanita branches delivered yesterday from my wholesale florist and Patti (queen of the Black-eyed Susan stockroom) cheerfully painted them white for me! I had the vision of mostly white objects to fill the interior. The manzanita branches really made for the perfect look! White vases, succulents and miniature frames complete the look. Great re-purpose! I recommend it!

This is the top of the display cabinet. I really didn't relish selling this favorite mirror...somehow, I always imagined it at my house! Our covered books, more white vessels and Kathy's shore bird + a small white globe make an interesting vingette. I. Love. This.

Step into the house in this foyer. Kathy had the tennis rack vessel painted orange (!) and I suggested painting the treads and banister in a high gloss black! So perfect.This collection of tennis rackets are Kathy's since she was a young girl! How perfect.  The homeowner, Pat, stepped in to be my painter's assistant and he did this himself!   As long as I have known Pat, he can't resist getting his hands in the work. He is a man of industry and don't try to hold him back!      

The day was a complete success. Color, pattern, style. New Look. Good friends. Good help. What more could a designer ask for? Perfect day. Perfect client. Thanks, Kathy and Pat.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

End of Market report!

I'm not sure what happened....late nights, early mornings and little time in between, I suppose. I always look forward to my market reports, as you do!

We had a particularly busy schedule and design load with current projects. Torrential rain hindered our progress one day, keeping us in one building for the most part of the day. Pink, coral in all shades, navy, white...all current trends and everywhere. Modernism still dominates design, but with fine taste and style.

As I travel home with a very late night arrival, I will post one photo that sums up the color of the market. And really, trust me when I say I have a blogging goal of more regular posts! I have so much to catch up on...weddings, parties, projects, design ideas and more! Have faith.

Coral, coral,'s all about coral.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

High Point Furniture Market April 2014 Trend Report

April High Point spring market is always an anticipated trend show! In addition, the promise of a southern spring certainly is enticing, having had one of the worst winters in history for Pennsylvania!

to appease my followers, I'll just start out by saying that collectively, Linda and I are sharing about 20 pair of shoes for our four day trip. Well, what can I say? It's hard to know what the weather will encourage and back-ups are necessary!

Our first full day was spent catching glimpses of favorite showrooms, shuttling from one end of the town to the other. The wind was not our friend when it came to blowing skirts and hair, but the temperature was balmy enough to encourage endurance of such annoyances.

So, for days one and two, here are a few of our favorite trends...

Vanguard had their own version of coral...tradition meets hip! I'll take that.

Another Black-eyed Susan favorite pallet...lime, chartreuse and charcoal. So cool!

Another view! Yes.


Teal and turquoise make heaven. Branches, definitely!

Fresh pallets were singing!

CRLaine sported lots of color, as usual. For those of you who know me, I'm all about color! Coral continues to be a strong influence. Look at this cool pattern. We just happen to be presenting this fabric in several ongoing projects at home!   hohome!     

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Yes, My Wednesday Night Magic Report!

A full plate of design work hasn't left much time for blogging...I'm sad! I have such a backlog of photos and inspirations to write about, it is maddening! On top of a heavier than usual work load, I am having a new and exciting new web site designed ( my part is a bit overwhelming) and the High Point Market is just around the corner...then, Paris!  

That being said, there continues to be the cutest ever merchandise coming in the back door, so I thought I would share some of them with you. I'm going on the record to say that I have some very steady blogging goals, so you can count on me picking up my game!

Take a look at a few of the cute things we put out tonight!

These cheerful stacking tables just make me happy! Cool for a hip daughter's room or an accent to make the great room sing. Love!

This new art duo found the perfect home in this room setting. I could just load this whole grouping in the van to my home. Hmmmmm. Not a bad idea.

I love the new graphic mirrors that define this neutral space. Pretty spot on perfect.

After months of waiting, this striking custom piece came in from Vanguard., Vanguard offers any Sherwin Williams paint you select in their Make It Yours program. Wow! My perfect! There are many choices of solid wood furniture pieces to choose from. Select a color, I or will help you! I'm in heaven.

I'm always happy when beach season is just around the corner. I'm starting a new project in Margate that promises to be stylish and striking! Look at these little butter post sized plates with sea turtles! Oh. My.

You'll have to hurry to get this before it goes to a client project...or my family room!! Who wouldn't want a chrome finished rhino?!

Another Vanguard side table came in , in chrome and gray . Pretty much perfect. I. Want. This.

I'm not sure which one I love more...the giant orange lacquer pepper...the stainless trough with an organic mix, the perfect coffee table accent...or, the lively tomato plants!  

A few new clocks, pewter finished vessels, and some great new art accents are in place and ready for ooo-ing and ahhhh-ing. 

Hope to see you soon!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Enjoy the Bragging Rights!,

Tomorrow night we will kick off the first of our classes partnering with Amy Howard Paint! The possibilities are limitless with abundant colors of the One Step paint. Each participant will complete a project with instruction and tips for success, and we will be demonstrating a Black-eyed Susan project during the class.

So often when I am consulting my design clients, I see perfect vintage or sentimental hand-me-downs that are perfect for this paint program! Amy Howard, a successful furniture manufacturer and well known high style designer, has launched her paint line, partnering with select retailers. We are excited to be the retailer in our area to be trained and offer these classes .

Take a look at the step by step progress as we prepare for tomorrow nights class, look around your house for tables, vintage frames, well loved arm chairs, or perhaps a favorite desk or curvy vanity! You'll surely find something that could be recycled and re purposed using our stylish colors- neutral or bright!

We started off with this vintage three tiered pie crust table. The beauty of the One Step paint is no priming is required! The piece must be clean, and wiped down, then you are good to go!

 Kelly started from the base. This Chinese bristle brush is suggested. We will go over the preferred application and the amount of paint needed in the class. The recommended time for drying between coats is 30 minutes. We will use this time to talk about techniques and additional ideas for other projects. A little snack will be provided as well! Oh, and don't forget your paint and official Amy Howard apron will be a take home as well! You'll learn loads of tried and true tips for a successful end result.

It's important to protect any special finishes (in this case, brass feet) so the paint can be applied for a perfect and neat finish. We chose a new gray color for this piece. What's not to like about gray, right?! There are several gray tones if it is of interest. Neutrals, vivid colors and black as well!

Stirring and off-loading your brush as important steps we will talk about...


More progress...

We love the tag line adopted by Amy Howard, "enjoy the bragging rights"! 

Classes will be repeated several times per month, some evening and some during the day. There are also products for antiquing mirrors and lacquer techniques! Oh so cool! Waxing your piece for added aging and personality will be demonstrated as well with our One Step class. 

We hope to see you in another class soon! Call for signup or email us at or for more class options. Whether it's a new nursery, guest room furniture, or accent table you want to personalize, you can learn the tips from our experts in class! Come see the magic.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Store Flip!

Every few months, my team of merry magic-makers and I move the entire store around. I mean, as if everything single item in the store gets moved to a new place...

Sofas, tables, chairs, rugs, lamps...every table top is then re-merchandised with a fresh new look. Whew! It is a huge effort that take about three days and well into those nights as well...late, late nights! 

That move was executed last week...

We had a few unusual challenges to deal with at the same time...

 We lost our power due to the ice and snow storm right in the middle of this overwhelming task!

My building is a historic stone building...cold cold cold. We lost two days and nights work, but luckily got our power back much sooner than I did at home! I was actually happy to have such a project to keep me busy and give me a place to hang out that was warm and had lights! At home, I was not so lucky. I'm not much of a "rough it" kind of girl. I really need my makeup mirror , a hot shower and a hairdryer to make my day go well. So, that sets the stage for the few next long days and nights...

For those of you who read my blog and market reports, you may recall that Pantone announced their 2014 color of the year during the January Market. Radiant Orchid...and radiant it is! Not to be left out of the trend, I selected an impact wall and had it painted . Naturally, Radiant Orchid!

We paired it with chartreuse and charcoal. (Since this photo, I have had the inside of the fireplace mantle painted black, which looks great and more convincing of a room setting.) Taking in the effects of this horrid winter weather for the past 8 weeks, it feels fresh and happy! I'm not sure you would want to paint an entire room in this color, but if you pick up an issue of Local Living, currently on the news stands, you can read an article I wrote for them about how to incorporate Radiant Orchid into your rooms. It is a beautiful color paired with navy, gray or taupe's. Even an intense lime-y chartreuse room or predominant fabric would be the perfect compliment!

Team members were busy painting my prop furniture and my supportive and every ready painter, Walt, stepped in to paint several areas for us in order to make the change complete. 

When you look around the store and every surface is empty, and you see that everything is on the floor, piled high on permanent surfaces, and tucked into every corner everywhere, it is pretty overwhelming. Just picture 8000 square feet of containers, leaves, books, busts, art, mirrors....well, you get the picture.

There is a fine art to moving every single  piece of furniture at one time and a certain amount of engineering goes into it. Which do you move first to create a path? Where can that one go while this one is put into place? Sneelock and my son, Ryan were the man power and myself, Lisa and Kelly moved our share of whatever we could manage. Can I just say that one is very tired at the end of such a night!

Here is another area I'll spotlight, but the rest of the store will have to be a surprise for you when you next visit! There are lots of beautiful new accessories and lamps, new art and spring floral accents as well.
It may be an arctic blast outside, but it looks springy and refreshed throughout the store!

Navy continues to be a strong trend. We paired it with a backdrop of strong contrasting lime and white in the accent accessories.It is a very basic color and there are loads of accent colors to pump it up. You'll be inspired with the suggestions we have for you!

These curvy french feeling sofas talk to each other around an oval black glass table, grounded by the Heaven white shag rug.
Gray pierced lidded ginger jars dress the mantle along with fresh greenery. One of my favorite sets of mid-century side chests flank the fireplace and give surfaces for lamps and accessories.

Everything is fresh and bright! If you're looking for a relief from this dull, cold, icy cruel joke of a winter, I hope you'll stop in and have a tour of the new beauty! 

Black-eyed Susan was recently named Best of Houzz 2014!! Follow us on Houzz to be inspired with the newest trends and projects in progress. Our Instagram posts are regular and entertaining as well! Our Instagram address is besusanstyle. Follow us here: Black-eyed Susan Instagram .Come follow us to keep up with the trends!

Hope to see you soon. It's a whole new Black-eyed Susan for you to love!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Winter Market Day 7!

Our carts are definitely getting heavier, bulging with catalogs, samples and water bottles. There are strong young men posted at most stairways to help the likes of shoppers like us, but tomorrow only the diehards will be roaming the halls. No more manly help for us. Eek. 

We have a few key appointments tomorrow and then we pack up the rolling carts for home!

Exciting news for today! We met with our paint supplier, Amy Howard for a few new tips on using the newest introduction to the line, Lacquer Paint Pens! These will allow you to add pin striping details or completely personalized accents to your accent lacquer pieces! We are  working on our newest samples for the next booking of classes for all you DIY designers! The classes will be held at multiple times during the winter months. Watch for emails to announce the dates and paint finish options. Classes will be fun, educational and fulfilling. Come join us!    

 It's been a long week. Some fun. Some stress. Some tired feet. Some sleepless nights. Some exciting finds. Too many glittered rodents. Some inspirations. Some overload. Another Winter Market completed.  Too soon is will be time to get down to the business that is waiting in my retail store. Oh. My. 

Another Black-eyed Susan Christmas designed and ordered. Merry Christmas 2014!