Saturday, February 11, 2012

Be Your Own Decorator - Susanna Salk

I first met Susanna Salk when she emailed me about a piece she was working on for 1stdibs.  She was writing a piece entitled "1stdibs Loves New Orleans" and was featuring some of 1stdibs' favorite New Orleans' dealers.  When she asked to interview me for the article as one of those favorite dealers to be featured, I felt like the soon to be crowned Miss America at the moment they announce "and the runner up is....."   Here I was, fresh on Magazine Street with my recent career change from lawyer to antiques dealer still giving me moments to pause and hyperventilate, when none other than THE Susanna Salk, accomplished design author and television personality who has also spent time working at publications like Elle Decor and House and Garden and appears regularly on the Today Show to discuss style and design, wanted to interview ME for an article on 1stdibs!  Needless to say, I ran out and bought a lottery ticket that same afternoon.

And so Susanna wrote the article ...

Almost two years have gone by since that article ran, and my style has evolved quite a bit from the  early days of my shop on Magazine Street (I have since closed the shop on Magazine Street and opened a showroom on the 1stdibs floor at the New York Design Center a/k/a 1stdibs@NYDC).  See for yourself the transformation:

Yes, I know, I can't stay away from white (except for in my wardrobe which, ironically, is mostly black), but now my New Orleans' antiques are infused with a touch of New York modernism.  

But I digress .... as always.

Back to Susanna.

I finally got a chance to meet Susanna in person at the grand opening of 1stdibs@NYDC last February (2011).  This tall, slender, gorgeous blonde came up to me and introduced herself, commenting on how beautiful she thought my gallery looked.  Again, I was humbled.  And from that day forward, Susanna was someone I looked up to from a professional and personal basis and someone whose opinion I have come to value.

The talented and gorgeous, Susanna Salk

I love this photo of Susanna and her son

Susanna has an immense knowledge of design and vast experience in the industry.  Most of you may already be familiar with some of her design books which continue to get better and better as they go (not that the first one was anything but amazing).  A Privileged Life: Celebrating Wasp Style started us wanting more from this style maven.

We were equally as excited when Susanna released her second book Weekend Retreats.

Then, came Room for Children, with a foreword by Kelly Wearstler.  

Room for Children is both visually exciting and inspiring, showcasing the work of Kelly Wearstler, Charlotte Moss, Alessandra Branca, Amanda Nisbet, and Jamie Drake, among many others.  Take a look at some of the images in this book:

I love this image.  Reminds me so much of a little French Louis XV giltwood chair (below) that I reupholstered in Les Indiennes fabric and flew off to San Francisco the moment I listed it on my 1stdibs storefront.

Well, now Susanna has done it again with her new book, Be Your Own Decorator, to be released next month.

Selecting favorite rooms from more than fifty renowned designers such as Kelly Wearstler, Bunny Williams, Albert Hadley, Nate Berkus, and Mary McDonald—and shot by the world’s top shelter photographers—Susanna offers insightful advice on how to apply basic design principles to interiors.

Organized into chapters on balance, color, mixing, accessorizing, arrangements, rule breaking, and whimsy, Susanna walks through the process of great design, illustrating how the featured designers made the decisions they did to make these rooms…

And here is a sneak peek into this gorgeous book that will surely be Susanna's best one yet!  Just click on the photo.

Susanna will be doing a book signing on April 10, 2012 on the 1stdibs floor at the New York Design Center (1stdibs@NYDC) located on the 10th floor, 200 Lexington Avenue, NYC.  I have already made my JetBlue reservations to say hello to my amazingly talented friend who has been so kind to me through all my "growing pains" (and while I'm there, fluff up my showroom a bit!).  

I hope to see you all there -- Champagne and pens in hand!

To pre-order a copy of Be Your Own Decorator (coming out March 27, 2012), click here.

And don't forget to check often for my new inventory at


  1. Karina ... this book looks fabulous and she seems like such a lovely person! I will have to get it! I love that photo of your dining room scene in the first picture .... fabulous having the sofa on one side and chairs on the other! LOVE it...
    hugs always

  2. Nice to read your article! I am looking forward to sharing your adventures and experiences.


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