Our tireless design partner, Suzanne Kasler, likes to usher in spring with a big clean and a little redecorating. Her newest collection will have you ready to do the same. This season, she’s opting for soft, comfortable lines, warm colors and a playful attitude that works on every level. We got together with Suzanne to talk about her new collection and her emphasis on two rooms inside the home: the office and the bedroom.
Ballard Designs: Do you have any spring cleaning rituals for getting your home ready for the new season?
Suzanne Kasler: Spring always feels like a rebirth, with everything coming to life again after a long, quiet winter. I remember my grandmother always did a major spring cleaning. She really took it to a new level! It has always stayed with me that you have this intense period of cleaning where you focus on the home — you get your windows washed, your carpets cleaned and your floors and walls touched up. And then you’re ready for spring and summer. I always get in the mood for that first and then it starts to translate into redecorating the interiors.
BD: And how do you redecorate for spring?
SK: It’s a great time to freshen up your rooms with a new rug, new pillows or new artwork. You can even change out your lamps or your lampshades. Sometimes I like to just rearrange the furniture for a new look. The key is to take everything out of the room and start slowly putting things back. You end up with a cleaner, more edited look, because you really don’t put as much back in. That is a perfect way to refresh a room.
BD: In this collection, you really focus on the office. Why is that? And can you tell us about the design of this room?
SK: More and more people are working from home, so the home office is an important room. We often find that when we designate an office space for a client, both the husband and the wife or the wife and the kids want to use the room at the same time. So what I did with this layout is show how you can put two desks back to back and mirror the look with my desk swivel chairs. Then you have this entire wall of bulletin boards at reachable level, so that you can pin up what is relative to your world, whether it’s work papers or your personal family photos. We love these big, classic maps — they make a great design feature, and hanging them above the bulletin boards shows how you can collect something you love yet have it be functional, too.
BD: Your Taylor Parsons Desk looks great here. It’s such a timeless look.
SK: I was really excited to introduce an incredibly classic design into my collection, because it fits next to any style furniture you already have, from antiques to modern pieces. And by choosing the lamps and accessories you use with it, you can make it your own. The desk and the side table come in orange and white and have this chic lacquered look, too. I’ve been known to lacquer an entire room with color, so this is a great way to get that high-impact look without so much commitment.
BD: Let’s talk about that vibrant orange. You’ve always had hints of it in your collection, but this season you really doubled-down on the orange. Why?
SK: When you think of spring, you think of those clean, bright hues, so I really felt like focusing on orange and white for this collection. For the Parsons design, we looked at a number of color samples, and we felt the orange really resonated as a great accent piece. It’s a good way to add a detail in a room that is neutral. This is what I mean when I talk about strategic use of color and using it on just a few key pieces. If you look at this room, it’s mostly all neutrals, so I think it’s interesting to see how a little color that’s strong can have a really big impact.
BD: This 12th Street Chair is the perfect partner.
SK: Yes, it has that clean, tailored feel. One thing you can’t have enough of in an office is chairs or stools, so you have that place to put your purse, pile extra books and offer extra seating to clients.
BD: You’ve got this new rug that has subtle pattern and coloring — it’s a great neutral.
SK: It’s such a beautiful hand-knotted rug in this great taupe color that goes with anything. The bohemian pattern was inspired by a vintage rug that I own. I wanted the pattern to be very subtle, so that it would be great in terms of how it would wear and at the same time offer more interest than a solid rug.
BD: We always love a Suzanne Kasler bedroom, and this one is no exception. Tell us about it.
SK: I wanted to do really soft neutrals, so I had the Bella Upholstered Headboard and Greek Key Panels done in my Sky Linen, a beautiful blue-green color that looks great with the new bedding. Both the panels and headboard offer a little detail while being very tailored.
BD: We can’t stop talking about your new Alain Bedding. It has this beautiful metallic sheen.
SK: What I try to bring to Ballard are some of the design elements we’re doing for our really high-end clients in a way that’s easy to translate. I showed the team at Ballard these fabrics that have this bit of metallic, and I was so was pleased we were able to do that with this block print bedding. It’s subtle enough that it doesn’t take over and adds a touch of elegance.
BD: You have another desk and side table combination in this collection.
SK: Yes! And I am really excited about it. I have the original desk that inspired the Lydie design, and it’s amazing how well it translated. It has a slim-lined, metal frame with an antique gold finish — also a big focus in design right now — and this beautiful white glass, which is a lovely detail from the original. We are showing it here used as a nightstand, but it also can be used as a desk. I just think it’s very chic and gorgeous.
BD: You’ve got some accessories, too. On top of the desk are your Standing Applique accents.
SK: I think they’re fabulous. I was inspired by these beautiful antique wood carved pieces that I found. They’re a great way of bringing in that antique look, but in a modern way. I love the juxtaposition of the antique detail on this vintage modern desk.
BD: You’ve softened the look with a new Vanity Stool.
SK: I love having a stool or ottoman next to a bed. It can be used as a simple vanity chair, and it’s that extra piece you can set books on. It’s a great little detail in a room that can float around to where you need it.
BD: Lastly, you introduced a hint of color to this bedroom by way of artwork.
SK: The painterly artwork is based on my linen colors, so you could do one or two colors or mix all of the colors together for a fun and easy way to bring color into your room. The great thing is that I’ve been building on my collection and adding these beautiful colors — and they all work really well together. You can’t go wrong!