Podcast, Ep. 68: author Susanna Salk

Bestselling author Susanna Salk joins the podcast to talk decorating and her new book, The Power of Pattern

Over the course of writing her nine design books, author and design expert Susanna Salk has learned a thing or two about decorating. Today, she joins us to share her journey in becoming a bestselling Design Author, stylist, and host of the Quintessence design series, and (our favorite) Ballard partner. She talks about why it’s fun to be fearless, her new book The Power of Pattern, how to mix and choose combinations that work, ways to use wallpaper and store photos, and how to know when you’ve gone too far.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • How our partnership with Susanna came about organically.
  • How one can mix patterns and choose colors fearlessly.
  • The inspiration behind her new book, The Power of Pattern, and why every pattern featured up close and personal is one that Susanna personally loves.
  • The rules of patterns, and where someone can start if it’s a new concept.
  • Photo storage solutions including having a section in your home to display them, keeping them in an ottoman, and creating an online nostalgia folder.
  • Susanna’s recommendation on what we should display on our mantles.
  • The obsession / labor of love project that Susanna’s husband welcomed in renovating their barn.
  • Yes, you can have a rug in your bathroom!
  • Pattern doesn’t have to be a print, it can also be a texture.
  • Why wallpaper may be your solution for weird ceiling shapes and difficult rooms.
  • How Susanna picks topics for her design series Quintessence.
  • How it came about for Susanna and Stacey Bewkes to create the Quintessence video series, and some of the highlights of their already amazing filming locations.
  • Tip: edit out and only keep what you are in love with.
  • If all else fails – no ugly spoon holders!
  • Susanna’s jewelry and closet rule – if you can’t fit what you have, something must go.
  • Use pictures to guide you and remind you of what you love.

Decorating Dilemmas

I love the podcast!
Here is my question. My husband and I are building a home and were not able to make the kitchen cabinets go to the ceiling. (It is not a custom home. It is in a neighborhood that a developer is doing, so we only have limited choices.) Is putting stuff above the kitchen cabinets a design “no-no”? I so rarely see it done well. But what do you think? Is it possible to do it well? If so, what would you style it with? How would you style it?

Susanna is an open shelf girl, and likes white shelves where you can see it all and keep it neat for easy access. You can save money by doing open shelving as well. Every time you create a surface, it invites clutter. If you do have cabinets, we would suggest keeping things off of the top.

Show Notes

Please send in your questions so we can answer them on our next episode! And of course, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes so you never miss an episode. You can always check back here to see new episodes, but if you subscribe, it’ll automatically download to your phone.

Happy Decorating!

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Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.