Podcast, Episode 102: designer Susan Jamieson

Interior designer Susan Jamieson in her studio for Bridget Beari Designs

Susan Jamieson, award-winning interior designer out of Richmond, VA, joins the show to talk about her brand Bridget Beari, her new line of wallpapers, and how her Southern upbringing gave her a foundation for the warm and imaginative style we see today. Susan also talks about the importance of knowing the mood you are trying to create, why we shouldn’t be afraid to use different whites, and her effective and practical steps of mixing patterns together.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • Trials of a $600+ power bill, boxwood hedge trimmers, and a broken dishwasher.
  • Triumphs of outsourcing yard work, an outdoor bench, and dish towel upgrades.
  • How Susan’s business Bridget Beari has expanded from design to home furnishings to paint and wallpaper. 
  • Wallpaper is having a major moment, and Susan gives her thoughts on why it’s here to stay and not something to be afraid of.
  • Susan’s line takes the guesswork of picking the right color for the client’s specific design and needs.
  • Susan loves pushing boundaries and making each project unique to the client based on their taste and the architecture.
  • How growing up in the south affected her taste and gave her a foundation of working in a Southern style with warmth and hospitality.
  • How to use texture and contrast when working without color, and why it’s okay to not match whites.
  • Why neutrals can sometimes be harder to work with than color, and the three main things to think about before you should even pick the color.
  • The importance of identifying the mood one is trying to create when picking a direction for fabrics, textures, and colors of a room.

Decorating Dilemmas:

Hello ‘Friends in my head’,

Before I get to my little dilemma, let me first say how much I love, love, love the BD podcast! I was stuck in a decorating slump and finding it difficult to be objective about my own space (show me anyone elses space and I would have a million ideas in an instant). I was looking online for guidance with regard to scale and placement of furniture and I thought maybe some episodes of the podcast would touch upon those subjects. Well, I found answers to my questions and so much more. To say that the How to Decorate podcast was the catalyst in clearing my decorating block is an understatement, it turned me in to a designing machine and for the first time in years, I am really loving my space and it finally feels like a true reflection of my taste. The podcast is so inspiring and I’m learning so much by being introduced to legends of the design world who share with all of us their stories, experiences and methods. I love reading the show notes and delving further into learning about each decorator online. I just realized that there is a BD outlet not far from where I live and I have picked up some fabulous tabletop items and I’m on the hunt for so much more. That being said, I live in Wellington, Florida in a mediterranean style home with a lot of great architectural detail including a round entry foyer. I am not quite sure what, if anything, would be required to decorate that spot. Can you help me?

Your loyal and enlightened listener,


Susan thinks a round entry foyer is amazing, and she would put a round rug and a beautiful lacquered table in the middle with an even larger statement chandelier. She also suggests making it even more Spanish, and adding some jewel box color with crisp white trim to give it even more umph.


We are buying a new (to us) home that was built in the 1980s and needs some updating. You may get a few emails from me since we are updating it room by room. I want to start with the entryway because it’s the first thing that people see when they come into our home. One of the most perplexing things for me is entryway lighting. The house currently has a dated light fixture in the entryway. It is currently attached to the second floor ceiling and hangs down to the first floor ceiling. I am not up on interior design terms so the pictures will show it better than I can describe it. I do not even know where to begin, but I know that the light has to go! Any help or guidance would be appreciated!

Thank you,


Susan would start with balancing the light on both levels, including a lamplight and light in the foyer. She would add a surface fixture outside the front door and maybe a pair of lamps depending on your mood. We love the idea of several fixtures that are grouped together. 

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.