Suzanne Kasler just keeps topping herself. After introducing her best-selling line of accessories, linens and lighting, our tireless design partner is dreaming up romantic headboards for the bedroom. And all her signature colors come together in a beautifully curated art collection. With so much to talk about, we couldn’t wait to get together with Suzanne to find out what inspired her latest collection.
Ballard Designs: What we love most about your entire line is every single piece works with every other. You truly make it easy to mix and match, and your latest photo shoot for the Fall catalog really captures that.
Suzanne Kasler: My inspiration for this shoot was a Paris flat. I wanted one big room where everything is happening in that one space, so we found a beautiful historic house and actually shot it in one room. In one corner you have the living room, and across from it tucked in by the fireplace is the office and angled over in the corner is the bedroom. I wanted to show how you can create different rooms in one space and yet it all blends together beautifully.
Color Crush: Peony
BD: Of course, you’ve anchored the space with your signature neutrals, but you’ve layered in an unexpected and quite vibrant color: pink. Is this your new color crush?
SK: Pink has always been one of my favorite colors, and I think we are all in the mood for it right now. This Peony Pink is really fabulous. I worked so hard to get the perfect shade that would not only be a fashion color for right now, but also a forever classic for my linen collection. It’s an unusual color, but I think it is the perfect color for accessorizing.
BD: It is an intense color, so how do you use it so that it doesn’t overwhelm your space?
SK: For our Paris apartment, we used it judiciously in pillows, throws, art and the chair and ottoman. As you can see, I kept what I like to call the architectural envelope — the walls and trim — neutral as well as the upholstery and many of the accessories. The only pop is the pink, which is gorgeous.
Suzanne’s New Art Collection
BD: Another eye-catching component in this space is the abstract art that adds just the right punch. This is the your first foray into art. Why now?
SK: It can be so hard to find art that is fresh and affordable. I can tell you that as a designer the biggest challenge I’ve had on finishing a project is finding the right art. So we worked with some young, talented artists to help us create a curated collection of art that adds the right detail and dimension we’re looking for. It makes it easy to finish a room.
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BD: The colors really work back to your signature colors.
SK: Ballard presented several artists, and I selected a few whose aesthetic I really liked. Then I showed them my color palette, and this time we went heavy on the blues and pinks. We wanted that splash of color, because it makes a great accessory. It’s about adding that final layer.
3 New Headboard Shapes
BD: There are a lot of firsts for you in your new collection, actually. You’ve designed four new headboard styles.
SK: One of the best ways to change up a bedroom is a new headboard — and I love upholstered headboards. They anchor a room without the use of a big bedframe, so you can really make the space feel the largest it can be. And with Ballard, you can match the dust skirt to the headboard fabric, and that will make your room look completely finished. I’m biased, but I especially love the look with any of my linens. I created three silhouettes: the Bella is more tailored whereas Chloe is a little more decorative. Sophie takes on a really classic shape, and you can also get it with nailheads.
BD: You’ve introduced some new bedding as well.
SK: I had to sneak in a quatrefoil pattern! I only did two colors for the quilt and sham — a beautiful sky blue or a soft taupe. I also designed a two-tone coverlet for adding that extra layer to the bed. I always love a soft cotton coverlet that’s reversible. You can have it cover the bed and fold the duvet down at the end or vice versa. They’re just so versatile.
BD: You also added a few new throw pillows that would look great on seating or the bed. The Vineyard Overlay Pillow is really unique.
SK: Yes, we’ve got some fun pillows. This one offers a lot of interest and texture with the square of ticking fabric and wrap-around ties, plus it’s really overscaled. But because it’s tone on tone, you can mix it in anywhere. It’s very subtle and very chic.
Accessories, Pillows, & Fabrics
BD: We should probably mention that the ticking — Small Stripe Flax — is a new addition to your fabric collection. Why stripes?
SK: It’s a classic, and what I love about it is that it acts as a neutral, but it gives you that great little detail and is so good looking. To prove it, I put it on all of the upholstered pieces in this space, aside from the chair and ottoman in Peony. It’s so subtle. It would look great as drapery. It’s not something you’ll tire of, so it’s a safe bet.
BD: The Embroidered Pillow is a different look for you. Is there a story behind it?
SK: I think a little bit of whimsy — just one random piece in a room — creates style. It might seem different from what you might normally do. These pillows are fun, but they’re still classic. I think they’re really, really great.
BD: You also have some great accessories. Tell us about the gallery of mirrors.
SK: Sometimes I’ll go to the flea market not having any plan, and on a particular trip I noticed that I was attracted to this really interesting silver finish on these frames. I bought the whole collection of frames in different shapes, and that was the inspiration for the mirrors. But what was really pretty about them was not only the shapes, but this color. This silver leaf really works well even with some of my gold things and neutrals. It adds just a little bit of sparkle, like my Mercury Glass Lamp. I think people are in the mood for that. Here, we put them all together, but there is so much you can do with them.
BD: Speaking of lamps, you’ve introduced a new shape in your signature white, but the texture is really the story.
SK: What’s interesting right now is this look that’s almost a little retro. My Tilly Lamp has that look of handmade pottery. I found an antique lamp that was really appealing to me, and it had this great texture, so we used it as inspiration. It has this really pretty matte white terra cotta finish, and it’s a little bit chunkier and a little bit casual. It fits in a room in a different way than the Gourd Lamps.
BD: We see that white terra cotta look in the glazed pot as well.
SK: It’s my favorite thing! It’s artisan crafted in this oversized shape with a really fabulous glaze. It’s such a great piece that you can put anywhere. It’s based on a found piece of pottery.
BD: We haven’t talked about your Tape Trim Panels, but they really finish this space nicely.
SK: I love that classic detail on drapery. I usually have to add tape trim detail to a custom-made panel, so to have it on regular panels that you can just buy is very exciting to me.
And now you’ve got us excited, too, Suzanne! As always, thanks for chatting with us.