Suzanne Kasler sits down at The Skirted Roundtable

Today, Suzanne Kasler, interior designer, furniture designer, lighting designer, author, and utterly gracious person - visited The Skirted Roundtable for an in depth chat. As usual, we were all ears as Suzanne spoke about design and what it means to her. She reveals how she approaches an empty house - it's all about the "sequencing" of color and style that runs throughout a house, according to Suzanne. After talking in general terms, we got down to business and pulled out Suzanne's new book "Inspired Interiors." We all claimed one room we particularly loved (the three of us had initially picked the same room!) and asked Suzanne to talk about the inspiration behind each one. We have printed the pictures here in case your copy of Inspired Interiors hasn't arrived yet.

As usual, the time went by much too quickly, we could have listened to Suzanne talk about each page in the entire book. If you haven't bought it yet - we highly recommend it. For an autographed copy, send an email HERE. Before you listen to the show, be sure to get out a pen and paper - Suzanne shares her favorite white paint colors.

We hope you enjoy this interview as much as we did. We feel like we are getting quite an education listening to the best interior designers in America and we plan to continue offering classes - as long as you'll attend! If you'd like, please help to continue the conversation by leaving a comment, and as always your support is very much appreciated.

Linda's pick (and Megan and Joni) for her favorite room in the book is this dining room - located in Suzanne's former house. The pink taffeta curtains are the focal point - but we all discover new details we hadn't noticed before.
Pages 18-19.

Megan's choice was this wonderful English styled log cabin, also recently featured in Architectural Digest. We all agreed that this proves a log cabin can be dressy and beautiful. This is the great room in the owner's house situated right next to Blackberry Farm, the Relais and Chateau hotel they founded, located in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee.
Pages 174-175.

Another view of the log cabin. In the summer - all the furniture is covered in white slips.

Megan then picked a 2nd room to discuss - this bunk room.
Pages 182-186.

Suzanne discussed the rug - and described how she purchases things just because she likes them, not with a specific client in mind.

Joni's pick is this eclectic family room in Suzanne's former house. We dissected the room, piece by piece, to understand how and why it works.
Pages 20-21.

And finally, we discussed this dining room - because it is so universally well liked by bloggers. Suzanne tells us how the famous pink wall came to be and how everyone was initially against it!

Pages 127-129.

Another view of her most famous room - Suzanne reveals which pink is closest to the real shade - the light pink in this picture or the deeper pink in the former picture.

"Inspired Interiors" by Suzanne Kasler - a wonderful book, available on Amazon.


Edited to add: When we interviewed Suzanne, we had no idea about this part of her background. Having gone through such a trying time in her life only adds to our respect for her and her work. And thank you to Colonel James H. Kasler for your service to our country. 

Excerpted from "Tempered Steel: Colonel James A. Kasler" by Perry D. Luckett and Charles L. Byler

As General Hoyt Sanford Vandenberg, Jr., observed in a recent inter-
view, Jim Kasler is a paragon of what the fighting airman is all about.  He
didn’t break the sound barrier first or go to the moon and jump up and
down.  He was just the best at his trade that anyone could be, and he is a
complex, esoteric individual whose characteristics all came together when
his nation needed him to produce what he did.  Indeed, James Kasler is a
genuine American hero, and we all must hope the United States has a few
like him in the future, when we need them.


oh hooray! I'm so excited for the chance to sit down and just listen. I LOVE Suzanne!
Judy said…
What a lively conversation full of great information. I loved reading the book while listening to the author! Fabulous post! Thank you....thank you for all you do!
Suzanne Kasler may very well be Atlanta's biggest design star on the blogs. What a fantastic, informative interview. Looking forward to getting my own copy of her book.
By far my most favorite interview! Suzanne is not only a brilliant designer, she is kind, witty and generous too. I have learned so very much from her. Thank you!
xo Lidy
Unknown said…
Another fine moment of design and eye candy. Great inspiration is always conditioned with conversation. I really enjoyed this post as many designers are now waiting and watching for how our interpretation along with our clients needs change in this economy. Looking forward to this book.

Jaime said…
Thanks for this post, Suzanne's work is beautiful, and the pink dining room has even made me reconsider my opinion in regards to "accent walls"...I am sure it is the architecture (as the walls are separated by wonderful trim work) and use of lighting which aids in its success however it is a big success and something I will keep in mind. Loved the "community" book review concept, thanks for sharing the photos, great idea!
Anonymous said…
I just love these interviews. Each one has some new tidbit of knowledge to gain.

Being from Atlanta made listening to Suzanne even more fun.

I agree with the comment from another reader, that the pink dining room wall has certainly made me rethink accent walls, which I thought were "out". Now you see why your clients remain confused and indecisive?!

Kristen in Atlanta

(Sorry about the anonymous post. I never can remember my Google info.)
Anonymous said…
I just love these interviews. Each one has some new tidbit of knowledge to gain.

Being from Atlanta made listening to Suzanne even more fun.

I agree with the comment from another reader, that the pink dining room wall has certainly made me rethink accent walls, which I thought were "out". Now you see why your clients remain confused and indecisive?!

Kristen in Atlanta

(Sorry about the anonymous post. I never can remember my Google info.)
Julianna Farmer said…
I love the first room in the log cabin. I think it has a real balance for male and female. Since I live with 3 males I'm always searching for that kind of look.
ennistbp said…
Thank you for a very informative, delightful interview. I couldn't make out what kind of chandelier Suzanne had in her old dining room. JohnSwann? Please post if you know the brand. Thank you.
Kathysue said…
What a wonderful interview with Ms. Kasler. She has a unique approach to design and it was so full of wonderful information. I love her approach of what she referred to as sequencing and layering using hi-lo found objects.Great Job Ladies!! Kathysue
I thoroughly enjoyed this interview! It makes me even more inspired by Suzanne and her work, and I love her generous and sharing attitude towards design. This was by far my favorite Skirted Roundtable yet!
cotedetexas said…
ennnistbp: funny story - once I dragged Inside The Loop to a lecture in houston given by the esteemed author Mitchell Owens on the book Jansen. We had wine with dinner first and sat down for the lecture and he kept talking about John Swan. We looked at each other and cracked up laughing because that is the correct French way to pronounce Jansen. Which I never knew because I'm a bumpkin. Ever since then it's been a private joke between ITL and me. John Swan, indeed!
Anonymous said…
Definitely the best interview that I have listened to on the SRT. I am impressed with her modest attitude and exceptional talent. I have fallen in love with Hermes orange and cognac leather and hope perhaps someday to incorporate it into my decor.
Anonymous said…
Suggestion: Please do a blog post on lamps, lighting, etc., and color. By the way, can you give us the name of the designer of her family room lamps. I could only understand Christopher. Thank you.
72 and sunny said…
Joni, when I heard Suzanne say 'john swan' I was looking at the word Jansen in the book. I thought to myself, 'oh, that's how that's said!' who knew? sounds like I wasn't alone.

ok, the lamps {which are like delectable candy} are christopher SPITZMILLER.

check out his site. It's as dreamy as he is.
Anonymous said…
I would love to have heard more of Suzanne and less of you three.
cotedetexas said…
Anon- feel free to call up Ms. Kasler and chat with her all you want. It's not the S. Kasler show - its the Skirted Roundtable - which means all four of us talk - it's a conversation. Again, feel free to call her up yourself and talk to her all you want. You don't need us to bring Kasler to you - what's stopping you from doing it yourself? Just call her up.
72 and sunny said…
Joni, I love the image of this 'someone' in a dark room, sunglasses on, cloth over the receiver, trying to disguise their voice, 'hello, Ms Kasler? yes, um. this is Anonymous.'

I'm with Joni, give her a call.
Anonymous said…
beachbungalow8, thank you so much for supplying the name of the designer for the beautiful lamps. I can't wait to take a look at the website. I hope that one of the three of you will do a blog on "color sequencing". I am not certain that I completely understand that term except to assume that it means how color flows within the home. Can you explain.
cotedetexas said…
she used that term several times and i did try to discuss it more, but there was so much else to cover. she meant - color flowing from room to room = where you might have a red room with blue accents, in the next room- you might have a blue room with orange accents and in the next room, you might have an orange room with red accents - or - you might have a house with blue in each room, but in different shades.
Linda Merrill said…
Joni and Megan - you guys are too funny!! Anon (The Jerk), thanks for the ongoing entertainment.

And Anon (the Nice) On Sequencing - I'll do a quick post on my blog about the rooms I was talking about where the color flowed in "sequence".
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diane said…
...I can't get enough of your blogs, so happy every time there is a new post. Is it possible to get the manufacturer's name and actual color of the pink taffeta used in the drapes in the Kasler dining room. I have been searching for exactly that color and fabric for my bedroom.

Thank you.

Anonymous said…
Great Skirted Roundtable! So much beautiful, useful information from Ms. Kasler. Could you possibly get Charlotte Moss back to do the same kind of interview.... discussing her book; "A Flair for Living". I wanted so much more from Charlotte's interview.
Love all your blogs~!!!
Teacats said…
I just got this book -- and I adore each and every page! GREAT interview! Thanks for including her!

Jan at Rosemary Cottage

((hoping ((hint, hint, hint)) that someone somewhere will do an interview with Dan Carrithers .... a gentleman, a scholar and a genius for decor and design))
cotedetexas said…
Anon: Poor Charlotte! We hope she'll come back on one day!!
but our formula of looking at the book together with the designer is one we will be doing from now on. we started in it with the House Beautiful/Bunny Williams cover and have tried to do it again, but hadn't had the occasion yet. But we think the Kasler was successful because of the interaction with her book - so we def. will be repeating that from here on out. It allows the listener to feel more a part of the experience we think, no? yes?
cotedetexas said…
Diane - I can try to get the info on the dining room drapes - but that was from years and years ago - and two houses ago. But i'll try - email me your address, ok?
Terry said…
Hard to top this great-skirted-ones but I'm sure you will. Cheers to Suzanne as a fellow Atlantan (who got here as quickly as she could).

I just used my color-wheel program on the pictures and I've found exactly what Ms. Kasler said: The colors have the same "value." The "vintage painting" idea is on the money I think.

Here are the 3 whites if I heard correctly:
Benjamin Moore
OC-17 White Dove: (F0EFE6)
912 Linen White (F3ECDB)
OC-29 Floral White (EEECDE)
I truly enjoyed that interview!

I started earlier in the day and was distracted by work and life.

What a pleasure to sit down to some quiet and really digest all she had to offer!Great audiocast!

Thanks for that!
Anonymous said…
Dear Joni~ Oh YES! It definately made me feel like I was more of the experience... I had already devoured her book and loved so many of the things you discussed. However,you all have such a detail oriented eye that you brought forth things that I hadn't even noticed before. It is a formula that worked out beautifully. I'm looking forward to the next interview from your Top Ten List!
Oh my lands! You know I love her. LOVE her. I listened twice. I might even go back and listen again. First time I listened while I was getting dressed. I know such a dork right? Couldn't wait. Downloaded it from i-tunes and put my headphones on while I was making kid lunches, brushing my teeth, etc. Then last night I broke the book out and did another run through. I'm with Joni and the most fascinating thing is the color sequencing and how she uses complimentary or analogous colors schemes to allow houses to incoproate various colors but flow seemlessly. Very interesting. I need to go listen with the book review again! I too wanted more time with Suzanne! Thanks ladies and thanks Suzanne. Love the book, love the work and can't wait to see what is next for Kasler!
Jacci said…
Oooooooh, LOVED it!! :) The highlight for me was the way Ms. Kasler discussed color. My understanding is that she approaches color as both an art and a science... composition, too. She plays by (some) rules, but does it so very artfully.

Can't remember the source of this quote, but someone said that "Taste is the appreciation of beauty and style is the ability to create it". That's eaxctly what comes to mind with this interview - brilliant, artful style.

Thanks, ladies!!!

Unknown said…
Dearest SRT members, you should open a club...

This was one of the most informative interviews so far. Suzanne Kasler is such true gentle woman, with class, great taste and a more then impressive portfolio to show for herself, I always look out for such an inspiration, guidance and role model.
I highly regard her work, her way with colors and the feel every room exudes. A master at work!

Just the other day I had her book in hand, not knowing that you wizards had her on your program.
Thanks so much, you've got such great outreach!

Loved Suzanne, she is so genuine. Love her sense of style and her ability to mix old with new. I got excited when I heard her say that she buys things when they speak to her even if she doesn't know where they are going. I do that ALL the time and I always find a place for my treasures. Love her combination of mixing rustic with elegance, her assortment of textures and the layering and scale of all her objects is perfect! Love this book, thanks for the discussion ladies! Also got me excited about my Paris flea market trip over Thanksgiving!
As always you continue to delight me... it was so wonderful to get an inside glimpse into Suzanne Kasler. Interestingly I knew her work, but not her and as a result of you have found my new favorite designer! I've put Inspired Interiors on my Christmas Wish List!
Cheryl said…
Thank you for a great interview! I sat down with my book in hand (pre-ordered on Amazon so I would have it the day it came out). She is my design idol. While listening, I ordered some silk wrapped light bulbs on the the internet!
Karen said…
Wow. I have known Suzanne for many years and had no idea about her father's military history. Truly amazing and thanks for sharing.
Do you know why Suzanne is such a great talent and designer? Because she is calm, steady and confident. It's in her voice and in her choices. I so enjoyed listening to her. In particular, I loved the stories behind each piece, selection and sequence. I wrote down the Benjamin Moore Paints: White Dove, Linen White...but what was the 3rd one?...I did playback but couldn't get it? Thank You for sharing your talent. It was incredible!!! Liberty Post, Canada
Ooops...Terry,thank you for the 3 colours..I hope the last one is in fact 'floral white'. So, I just tried to call Suzanne and her assistant says she only talks to Anons. Too bad for me. hee hee...this is a scream! I'm howling here. Too funny. Cat fight.
Hello Lover... said…
I adore Suzanne's designs - all of her rooms seem to be absolutely timeless!
Marisa said…
The part about her father is so moving---the photo is incredible.