Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Countdown to 2015

A new year is right around the corner but I'd like to take a moment to reflect on 2014...and what a year it has been! There were LOTS of changes for me professionally and my new career choice has been a huge adjustment. I am really excited to see what 2015 brings and maybe find out if I'm crazy or not. No, wait, I already know I AM crazy. My house all but fell apart with repairs for a leak and the need for a new HVAC unit slamming all at once while my mom struggled physically the first half of the year with a herniated disc in her back. Thank goodness for her amazing surgeons! Luckily my beau has stayed busy and happy while my dad retired and stayed busy and happy! My sister road the same roller coaster ride professionally as I did and I'm so glad she and I could support one another during these times of transition and decision...that's why we have Sir Paul.

With all of those things in mind, blogging played second- and sometimes even third- fiddle this year with fewer posts from me but I hope you found the quality better even if I posted less often. I'm pleased to see that two of the top five most viewed posts of the year were design and decorating posts- one from before I started my business and one from after. You, dear readers, love a Red Carpet, as do I, and springtime wardrobe options make us all happy or puzzled...not sure which. Here are the top five posts (actually six because two posts tied!) of 2014!

Tied for #5: Third Bedroom Upgrades 







 Thank you so much for reading! Wishing you success, health and happiness in 2015! I'll be going off the grid for a while to spend some time with family but I will see you next year!

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Perfect Red Lip

Every girl needs a good red lipstick. It's sort of a rite of passage into full-fledged womanhood. As a redhead, I have long struggled with this hunt. Nothing was ever quite right...until recently. This time of year begs for a fun red lip so just in time for the last round of holiday parties, I must present to you the result of the search for perfect red lipstick. 
 NARS Audacious Lipstick in Lana

Elle recently published an article about several types of make-up that were perfect for every skin tone. They suggested NARS Audacious Lipstick in Lana as the perfect red for everybody. Considering I have been on the hunt for this shade for years, I ran to my closest Sephora to test it for myself... and helloooooooo orange pout. With just two swipes of this lipstick, my pucker was a bright shade of nectarine- not exactly what I was going for. Luckily, Sephora had other great NARS lipstick options. 
One shade cooler than Lana is Annabella. Eureka! The lipstick is perfection. As a red, it's not too aggressive or overpowering. It just provides a really striking pop of color, much more so than I'm used to wearing, without a crazy red-lips-in-yo-face effect. I can easily wear this lipstick during the day with just a little blush and mascara and think it will be really pretty in the evening with a hint of gold or bronze eye. 

(Insert cheesy selfie of me puckering up to show off my red lipstick)

This time of year, I'll use anything to keep me from looking like Casper! If you've been struggling to find the right red lipstick, give this one a try. The best part about Sephora is that if you don't like something, you can send it back. Do not commit to anything until you've given it a test drive.
Happy Holidays!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Collected Kitchen

What do you do when a client's kitchen needs a few updates to make it as modern as its neighboring rooms but any changes are probably a few years off? You've got to get creative...really creative.

The current conundrum: Upfitting an older kitchen that won't be updated any time soon to make it as cool as its dining room/sun room counterparts. Kitchens host so many surfaces and materials that are almost always hard and solid. Creating a beautiful, modern kitchen from scratch has quite a different set of challenges than making an outdated place look au courant. This kitchen I'm working on now boasts fun black and white tile flooring, butcher block and white porcelain tile countertops with a few blue and white tile accents. If that wasn't enough of a mix, we've got to tie in the pale pink that the dining room wall shares with the kitchen and eliminate the dark navy accents that actually do make some sense. What was I thinking??

My plan: Go with this eclectic mix and ram into it full force. We're going to up the amperage on the blue and white without paint and with ginger jars. They are unexpected in this space yet fully functional as countertop storage and will look just as good against the pale pink walls as they will with the backsplash's blue and white tiles. I'm also going to play with the black and white tile reference by adding some kitschy black floral throw pillows to the rattan bar stools. They will help make the space feel homey and luckily have a bit of blue and pink in them! Lastly, a few collectibles like china and artwork will be on display. I particularly am drawn to the Tobacco Leaf pattern because it does display so many fun and bright colors. It will seal the deal with every single color in the kitchen.

In the end, I think the result will be a really fun and personal space. It will be well collected, cozy and unlike most of the kitchen pins you'll see on Pinterest! In this day and age of unrealistic expectations, I think this space will challenge the notions of perfection and celebrate the charms of imperfection...with good taste, of course. Stay tuned (and cross your fingers for me)!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

J.Crew Becomes Duchess-Worthy


New York City is always magical this time of year. This December, the vibe was even more exciting with a quick visit from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. You've probably all seen how Kate and William stayed at the Carlyle Hotel, met Beyonce and Jay-Z and got a one-arm hug from Lebron James. But what most excited this fashion lover most was seeing the princess come face to face with J.Crew Creative Director Jenna Lyons and what JENNA was wearing! 

After this photo surfaced, it was time to do some immediate investigating. Could her that effortless yet fully sequined top possibly be from J.Crew?! Turns out the top is part of J.Crew's high end Collection line. It's styled beautifully on the site- once with this red coat and turtleneck and with white tuxedo pants in another image.



Unfortunately, many pieces in the Collection line have very few sizes left. That might be okay considering the sequin top's retail price is over $1000...it's certainly fit for a queen though!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

By The Chimney With Care...

Are you ready for a little holiday decor chat? Or are you up to your eyeballs in it and ready to think about something else?? I'll make this brief just in case you're the latter! 
A friend of mine recently told me she was having the hardest time finding Christmas stockings she really liked. Her sweet family is just beginning to grow as she is married with an adorable baby boy who recently turned one. Like many girls who are trying to plan for their family, she was looking for a beautiful stocking with a little bit of charm and a lot of longevity. It had to be the piece they would pull out at Christmas year after year, they would fill with Santa's tiny surprises and cheerfully sift through together on Christmas morning. When she just couldn't find anything that fit that bill, I offered to help get one made and imagine my delight when she agreed! We had a little inspiration, she gave me a color scheme and we came up with a design...


The stockings for this family of three were completed yesterday and are off to the monogram shop today! We are both so pleased with how they turned out! I can't wait to see these hanging on their mantel this year.

 It truly warms my heart to think about these sweet friends of mine using these stockings every Christmas. It's such a special time of year and this family is very special to me. When you get to help create pieces for people's homes, big or small, it is TRULY an HONOR. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to make people happy and help make things that will last. 

 So there's my Christmas story for this year!! Happy holidays to all of you!!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

You Betta Werk!

Contact me at lsuggsinteriors@gmail.com if you're interested in any of the products above but are having difficulty sourcing a retailer.

Could you get some good work done in a room like this one? Just because you have to get down to serious business doesn't mean you have to sacrifice personality and style! I think I would just wallpaper one wall in that fun dog silhouette wallpaper and paint the other three walls a nice cream shade. How fabulous is that faux crocodile desk?! I love that touch of unexpected texture while the tufted upholstered chair, scalloped chandelier and oriental style rug keep the room cozy. Of course, acrylic desktop accessories keep your eye on the prize and not on your storage...

Now let's get back to work!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

That Southwest Flavor

In the midst of holiday gift guides and Christmas decor inspiration, my mind can't help but wander to a completely off topic subject. If you came to this site today looking for great holiday ideas, I'm sorry. I'll get some to you soon, I promise! But I have been so majorly drawn to Southwestern influences lately and I really can't explain why. The geometric shapes and warm colors soothe the soul. They remind me of good times spent in the desert and how I can't wait to go back to visit someday. Do these speak to you too or am I cuckoo? (Don't answer that second part.)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Art Walk & Talk


Yesterday's blog post focused on inspiration from an Oliver Gal print for sale on Joss & Main. Oliver Gal had a showroom at High Point Market but I did not go in and explore it. Possibly a mistake. But I did visit the Natural Curiosities showroom back in October. In fact, the first image in the sequence above was taken there and it got a heck of a lot of attention on my Instagram feed. You've no doubt seen Natural Curosities' pieces before- their Paule Marrot textiles framed in lucite are perennial favorites (Her "Lavender" print hangs in my own bedroom.) and their Lord Bodner octopus triptych was made famous years ago after a cameo appearance on some tv show. (Does anyone remember that? I remember loving it but can't remember what the show was.) But Natural Curiosities has such a wide selection beyond those recognizable pieces- gilded feathers that will remind you of angel's wings, wooden rings of a tree trunk that somehow look edgy and glamorous and now they even offer chinoiserie style panels. I'm a sucker for artwork inspired by nature so you can imagine my obsession with a company called Natural Curiosities!




Speaking of chinoiserie inspired artwork, another one of my favorite art series at High Point Market were the painted silk panels from Bungalow Five. Known mostly for their lacquered wooden furniture, Bungalow Five has branched out into painted panels and it's genius. Framed wallpapers are all the rage right now and these are their ready-made, low maintenance cousins. A de Gournay wallpaper panel will easily run you $1500+ and that's just for one...unframed. Bungalow Five's versions are by no means cheap but they will save you loads compared to the real deal.

Art can be tricky...not to mention expensive! You want to get it right the first time. Before you put holes in your wall, consider a few things:

1- Dimensions
 Measure your wall. Measure the piece. Measure any furniture that will be placed near the piece. Make sure nothing is encroaching on your masterpiece unless you decide to do so strategically.

2- Scale
Are you hanging one piece on a massive wall? Sometimes artwork seems bigger before you get it in place at home. If the piece speaks to you so loudly that you must have it but can't really find a place for it, consider combining it with your existing art to create a gallery wall. Tie your collage together with your color scheme or even your frame style.

3- Theme
If your aesthetic is one of eclecticism, then you may be able to get away with hanging a 19th century style portrait next to a chic Gray Malin photograph. Otherwise, stick to a definitive style or some sort of motif that ties your pieces together.

4- Framing
Frames aren't cheap either so take a discerning look at the options. Pay attention to the other finishes in the room and tie it in. Your frame doesn't have to be an exact match but it needs to at least pretend that it's trying to fit in.

Bonus Tip:
If you have the option of borrowing a piece on approval, you should certainly try to take advantage of it. There is no replacing the convenience of looking at the very piece you want in your own home without a commitment.

I hope these art tips help you and that some of this artwork inspires you too! If you have questions about any of the artwork or the companies in this post, shoot me an email at lsuggsinteriors@gmail.com. Happy art hunting!

Monday, November 24, 2014

When Life Imitates Art

Oliver Gal "My Sexy Shoes" Print from Joss & Main

 This cute little print recently popped up on my Pinterest feed and instantly piqued my interest. A portrait of pink peep toe Louboutins is a perfectly practical thing to desire, right?! I had to know how to get a hold of this little snippet of delight... 

As I investigated its origin, imagine my surprise when I discovered it came from Joss & Main. Not only was it affordable art but it also was styled to perfection with shades of pink, peach and antiqued yellow in a fabulous living space. Girlie pink and earthy yellow are one of my ideal color combinations- pink brings out the inner glam while the yellow keeps everything grounded and not too sweet.


Naturally, this room had to be recreated to perfection. You may notice that I chose in my version to make the walls a pale, pale pink. People tend to shy away from pink walls but there is no other shade that better flatters every person's skin tone. In fact, studies have shown that pink encourages socialization, which is one of the reasons why I recently used it as a focal wall color in a dining room. If nothing else, consider pink for a dressing room, bedroom or bathroom where you might find yourself exposed. Trust me when I tell you that your skin will look better when you catch a glance in the mirror! For the rest of the room, the Oliver Gal print supplied the perfect color palette. A few natural elements like the caning on the daybed, fibers in the rug and cherry blossom print counterbalance the bright pops on pink in the chair and pillows as well as the gilded accents in the chair's pillow and on the side tables. The overall effect is interesting without being intense. I can see ladies sipping rose in here just as easily as I can see a hard working student curling up on the couch to study. And for the guys...well, it take a real man to sit in a pink wing back!

Contact me at lsuggsinteriors@gmail.com if you are interested in any of these pieces above but cannot find them online!

Has a piece of art inspired you lately? Or anything else for that matter? It's funny how one little thing can provide a jumping off point for an entire room!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

At Long Last!


At long last, it's here- the coat of my dreams. How I've waited for you, sweet outerwear perfection! I first saw you during Fashion Week in MARCH on the shoulders of the ever-so-chic Sarah Rutson. Then you miraculously and wonderfully reappeared yet again with Sarah during September's Fashion Week. I love how effortlessly Sarah wears this coat, layered over everything from a leather bomber and cargo pants to a belted blazer and silk trousers. Stripes, florals, red, green, black, navy- nothing is off limits and yet so many others would have felt limited by this eye-catching coat. Then imagine my delight when I uncovered this coat was from J.Crew. The stars have aligned!


Now you are available for the price of -gulp!- $895. Ouch, universe, fashion gods, J.Crew. OUCH. I knew coats were expensive but for that price, I could almost get a Burberry.

Here's hoping there's a sale in J.Crew's future. Until then, at least you are pretty to look at online...

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Major Updates...In My Own Words


Dear Readers, 

Sorry for the radio silence lately. There have been a lot of crazy things happening around me and I have focused so much energy on preparing for/reacting to those things that this poor blog has fallen by the wayside. Add to that a week of being sick, a little bit of travel and one amazing Paul McCartney concert and the laptop has collected some dust...

I have debated how much to share about what is going on in my personal and professional life because this blog is supposed to be all about style and design and FUN. Some of these details are not fun but I hope you can understand my cathartic need to share some with you. For those of you who don't know, I have spent the last nine years working in the Art and Set Decorating Departments in North Carolina's film industry. While I have stayed busy in Wilmington, my work has also taken me to Louisiana (where I met my beau of SIX and a half years), South Carolina, Georgia and even New Mexico. I have made so many great friends and contacts as well as met and worked with (closely sometimes) Hollywood A-listers, cornerstone producers and writers, major movie directors, Oscar winning directors of photography, renowned production designers and even a MAAAAJOR rock star. I was lucky enough to be part of a team that won an Art Director's Guild Award. I've helped create everything from county fairs with only two weeks to complete from start to finish (TWICE!) to a 1920s brothel in New Orleans to a high end nail salon in Heaven, of which famed "Project Runway" mentor Tim Gunn played the role of a St. Peter-type character. (Sorry, had to name drop that one!) It's been a wild ride full of ups and downs.

But our film industry is now on shaky ground and that's putting it lightly. Production companies are attracted to states by film incentive programs and North Carolina has been successful by offering a 25% tax rebate. The state's economic incentives are passed by politicians and North Carolina's recently yanked the rug out from underneath the 25% rebate. I won't go into any more details but the result is a major screech in the number of shows that are coming to NC. What does that mean for me? Fewer and fewer opportunities for work. I could possibly make it here if I never wanted to advance in my career and maintain my own professional status quo. But that's not me. I'm a goal-oriented over achiever. I've sat still in one job for seven years and can hardly stand it. In order to advance, I have to compete with people who have 25 years of experience but I'm no slouch with my nine. I truly believe if we had a strong incentive that attracted more shows, then I would have ample opportunity to excel. But now I know that opportunity will be stifled and it already has been. The bottom line is I don't want to just work. I want to excel. And so I had to make a choice. 


Meet my choice. For the last six months, I have been helping friends update and redecorate their homes. It started small with some of my assistance being offered through texts, phone calls and a few product suggestions. Then I started visiting the spaces, creating design schemes and shopping for them. It was an organic entry into the residential interior decorating world via the film industry. In September, I made the LLC official and so, out of necessity and interest, L. Suggs Interior Decorating was born. My goal with the LLC is to create beautiful but functional interior spaces. We all swoon over images on Pinterest and pictures in magazines but that isn't always real life. I aim to bring the charm into everyday living.

Wilmington is home to many extremely talented interior designers whom I truly respect and admire. I weighed heavily my decision to enter into the design world. It felt like the right thing to do so that I could still be working yet also be available to day play on films should someone need assistance here and there. Experience in one realm only adds to my knowledge of the other. It's just that I couldn't keep all of my eggs in one crumbling basket. Rather than sit back, wait and collect unemployment, I am pulling myself up by my boot straps and forging ahead. One thing I want to emphasize to everyone is that most of what is happening with the overall film biz is out of my control but having poor timing on trying to get a promotion is my own fault. Part of forging ahead also includes working part-time at Wilmington's high end gifts and linens shop, Protocol. I am so lucky to have that opportunity and spend time around beautiful things and nice people. Parts of this situation are truly terrifying to me, including sharing so much on the Internet, but if your dream doesn't scare you, it isn't big enough. I appreciate everyone's understanding and hopefully your support as well. In the meantime, please tune in here for project updates as well as follow me on Instagram @l_suggs and Twitter @lsuggsinteriors! 

Thanks so much for reading and I promise to make this wordy post up to you soon with some good pictures! 


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Shopbop's Friends & Family Sale


Stop everything. Put down your coffee cup. Go to Shopbop right now and don't look back. It's time for their semi-annual Friends and Family Sale where nearly everything is 25% off!! Now is a great time to stock up on basics like super-soft tees from T by Alexander Wang or solid black booties like the ever-so-popular Rag & Bone. Or if you have your basics covered, then 25% off can make a splurge more affordable. I could bundle up all winter in this 10 Crosby blanket coat and sass it up with fabulous over-the-knee boots like these from Alexandre Birman whenever the mood struck. 

Shop more of my suggestions below or just get on over to Shopbop's site right now before all of the best stuff is gone! This sale is the real deal and only happens a few times a year so don't dilly dally! Make sure you enter FAMILY25 at checkout to save.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Currently Coveting: Aerin Culloden Lamp

A good lamp is hard to find. Am I right, ladies? Sometimes you go looking so hard for THE ONE that you force the love and try to so hard to make it work. Then things just don't and you leave with regrets and shame...and maybe a smaller bank account. And then it happens. When you stop looking for it, you find THE ONE. There are so many factors that go into finding the right lighting for you: your lamp of choice has to be the proper height, width, color, and PRICE. I've seen many a beautiful lamp that costs well over $500...for just one lamp! I've also found great looking, affordable lamps that turn out to be 10" tall. Will there ever be a happy ending??

When Aerin Lauder rolled out her line of home furnishings, I instantly fell smitten with her pebbled Culloden Lamp. It was love at first sight. The beautiful blue watercolor scheme, the textured pebbled base, the glamorous gilded accents at the finial and harp...you had me at hello. And still, the gorgeous guy was a bit out of my reach with its $420-$515 price tag (depending where you shop). Imagine my delight today when fairy godmother Horchow included the Culloden Lamp, among other things, in its Finders Savers Event! Through tomorrow only, the lamp is 40% off!! Is this lamp cheap? Heck no. Smart girls know the value of a dollar. But it is a good deal...dare I say, a once in a lifetime deal...

How would I use the Culloden Lamp in my life, you ask? I would play up that pebbled texture, those gorgeous watercolor blues and the entire nature-at-its-most-glamorous vibe.

Horchow has tons of other great pieces included in this sale. Shop them below and let me know when you find the one to light up your life...wherever and whenever that may be.