Designer Snapshot: Classic Beauty

By Paula M. Bodah

Cambridge, Massachusetts, designer Susan Reddick is known for creating rooms with classic lines, a gentle palette and an enduring sensibility. We got her to show us a few of her favorite recent projects that illustrate her refined design sensibilities. Susan was also a featured designer in Perspectives in our May-June issue.

Photos by Greg Premru

“This Beacon Hill living room is part of one of my favorite projects. The house is of the Federal period and its second floor living room has high ceilings and excellent natural light. We reinforced the architecture and airiness of the room with a pale color scheme using Benjamin Moore’s Mountain Peak White, a resonant white which plays off the dark floors. The plaster surfaces of the walls are softened by the cream linen draperies personalized by a selection of the clients’ artwork. The champagne-colored carpet, is a modern-day version of a Marian Dorn design, adds a sense of luxury. Velvet armchairs swivel opposite the matte, woven-linen sofa, an inviting, well-proportioned, custom-made piece given a bit of crispness with toss pillows that have contrasting piping. The lamp, created from an antique surveyor’s tripod, adds punch. The vase of fresh greenery, placed on the neoclassical coffee table, adds an informal touch, and at night could be replaced with a vase of fragrant white lilies.”

For the living room of a house on Fishers Island, Susan says, “We consciously made a decision to depart from the classic blue- and white-themed coastal living room and based this living room’s color scheme on the Moss Rose floral chintz by Cowtan and Tout. The floral design may be traditional, but the coloration is unconventional and the soft yellows, creams and pale pink gave us the opportunity to establish a summery pastel palette. Unadorned windows invite the outside in and enhance the room’s interior detailing created by the architects, Kinlin Rutherfurd. The detailing is reinforced by the Benjamin Moore paints we chose: the walls are Dove Wing, the woodwork White Dove and the wainscoting Pale Oak. The deep green color in the chintz reappears in the Pietra Cardosa fireplace surround. Furnishings are comfortable and simple. The formality of the chintz chairs is offset by painted found pieces. A wrought-iron standing lamp ties into the interior door hardware. The white wool rug adds a beachy note and is soft underfoot.”

“This dining room is located in an important Greek Revival house in Cambridge. The dining room is actually quite small for the size of the house and our design intent was to create a beautifully finished, serene space for family meals and entertaining. The stage is set in this room by the hand-painted Chinese wallpaper by Gracie. The toned silver background works seamlessly with the mirrored cabinet doors, which are original to the house. The silver wall sconces were found in the house and probably were made in about 1920. We softened the light by adding hand-sewn silk lampshades. Our client prefers the lively light of candles on a table rather than a chandelier overhead. Not having a chandelier means she can change the table configuration for entertaining without having to worry about ending up with an off-center overhead light. The table and chairs by Dessin Fournir are contemporary but they have a traditional sensibility. The classic Klismos chair is by Michael Taylor. The monochromatic gray-blue rug, charmingly named Peonies—a traditional motif of Chinese art—came from Tibet via Steven King.”

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