Lindsey and Elliot Berke were looking for a change. “My husband and I had a very tiny closet – and I was done sharing! We built another closet and then that lead to choosing new floors, new walls – the list kept growing. I realized that I couldn’t pull off a whole bedroom makeover on my own,” says Lindsey, “I wanted to absolutely love it at the end.” They heard about Arlington Home Interiors through a friend and decided it was time to call in a professional.
After hiring Arlington Home Interiors, Lindsey began refining her vision for her master bedroom and provided pictures from magazines for Suzanne to use.
“It was amazing what she was able to gather. I had pictures and would tell her ‘I like this clean look’ or ‘I like this color’ or some other small detail,” shares Lindsey, “Suzanne was able to pull all of these details together and help me define my style at the same time.”
The space went from DRAB (very traditional) to FAB with dark purple walls, an upholstered bed and custom furnishings. Lindsey, who has two small children, enjoys have a space that she can escape to that is just for her and her husband.
“Both Elliot and I love the room. We didn’t feel like we compromised, which is challenging when a room is for two people,” says Lindsey, “Suzanne found furniture that we both loved. Best of all, she found it, ordered it, met the delivery people on installation day and made the entire process very stress free.”
Lindsey is happy to have the project completed in such a timely manner. She notes that she’d probably still be in the initial stages of choosing a bed if she had tried to tackle the project on her own. Instead, the room is complete and they are beginning to work with Arlington Home Interiors in their family room.
“Having a person who can help you find pieces that you love and pull all of those elements together is terrific,” says Lindsey, “It feels like your own – the custom pieces Suzanne found aren’t anywhere else and I love that!”
A house fire and a unique birthday present idea were the impetus for Elizabeth and Matt Risely’s experience with Arlington Home Interiors.
“We had a house fire and were starting from scratch,” shares Elizabeth, “As a surprise, my husband Arlington Home Interiors as a birthday gift for me. Once Matt chatted with Suzanne, he felt she would understand our style and would be able to help us.”
The couple was living in an apartment while their home was being repaired. The whole first floor had to be gutted to the studs –it was pretty devastating. They needed assistance with figuring out the first floor space plan and creating a sophisticated bohemian space that maximized their new floor plan.
It’s a small house. Configuring the rooms was always a problem,” says Elizabeth, “Suzanne suggested a new floor plan that maximized our living and entertaining space.”
Elizabeth and Matt were very tuned into their style and Suzanne helped them translate that into real world choices, with fun colors, unique lighting and patterned wallpaper.
“Suzanne was great at explaining why things work together and why they don’t. I learned a lot about design – and I’m still using that knowledge as I continue to shop for things for my home,” says Elizabeth.
Suzanne created an open living space in the downstairs area with a dining room/living room in addition to the foyer and adjacent powder room. The main level’s palette was grey with a strong navy accent wall going up the stairs. Suzanne selected a grey sectional with a bold cream/navy zig- zag carpet for the living room space. She also designed a media wall to organize and display their extensive library and hold their TV, which they can hide behind doors when not in use.
“I love our main floor now. It was my husband’s home before, and Suzanne helped turn it into a homey, inviting space that we feel represents both of us,” shares Elizabeth, “She listened to what we wanted and made sure that the plan reflected what we liked. I love being in the room now – it’s light filled and happy.”
“Suzanne is such a likeable person – she was great to work with. I really enjoyed the time we spent working on the house and the results are fantastic!” she says.
When their neighbors put their house on the market, the Hagan family of Arlington leapt at the chance to buy the place next door. As they upgraded their real estate, they decided to refresh their décor. “We’d been living like graduate students and we were ready to invest in some furniture,” says Karla Hagan.
Karla knew the style she liked, yet she faced so many decisions to be made. “I needed an outside perspective,” she says. She asked Suzanne to decorate her living room and home office, and help her choose a new dining room set.
As a mother of two and physics professor, Karla’s comfortable making calculations. “But when I buy for the home, I tend to think of the decisions individually: choosing a chair or a paint color. Suzanne can picture it all together,” says Karla.
One goal was to create a living room that flowed easily from the front door to the office and dining room. Suzanne found family-friendly furniture that fit in the odd-shaped rooms, and selected wall colors that worked together.
“Suzanne really understands the needs of a family and she’s flexible working with a budget. She would suggest several options and I could make the final decisions.”
Because the office and living room were adjoined, Suzanne recommended drapery to define the spaces and hide office activity. She also recommended some eclectic pieces that Karla has come to love: including a faux-bois carpet for the office and an orange leather chair for the living room. “It doesn’t feel like something out of a Pottery Barn catalog. Our home feels tailored, while being sensitive to our tastes and way of living.”
“We live in a grown-up house now! It feels like us and it’s comfortable—and it’s also beautiful.”
Karla’s recommendations when choosing a designer:
“Find someone you can easily communicate with. You’re going to need to be honest about what you do and don’t like. Suzanne brought great aesthetics and she was always sensitive to my reactions.”
John and Dana Pulley had the typical basement—full of cast-off furniture, kids’ toys and a futon for the occasional guest—until they got serious about reclaiming their space and creating a haven the whole family could enjoy. They hired Suzanne to design a family room that would satisfy their kids’ need to play and their own desire to relax in a grown-up space.
No detail was overlooked. From the floor covering and the wall color to the furniture and throw pillows, now it all fits together.
At one end a kids’ zone features a moving game/art table on castors, a computer workstation and bookcases to store supplies, games and books. At the other end, adult space beckons with an inviting pullout couch, leather club chairs, media stand and movie-night flat-screen. Kids and grown-ups square off in the middle of the room at the foosball table. Suzanne tied it all together using fun, patterned carpet squares in warm hues.
“Having Suzanne make over our basement is one of the smartest things my wife and I have ever done as homeowners. We’ve added a whole other floor to our home,” says John Pulley, a writer. “She has a great eye for color, texture, layout, fabric and furniture—and the ability to combine those elements into a unified whole.”
“We’re thrilled with the result. The room is functional, fashionable and comfortable,” he adds. “Unlike some designers, Suzanne doesn’t have an agenda and she didn’t insist on doing things her way. She listens and makes suggestions, which we readily followed. Her recommendations were impeccable.”
John’s suggestions when choosing a designer:
“Be practical about what you’ve got time to do yourself. We installed our own carpet and bought most items ourselves, yet we really needed Suzanne’s advice on layout and product choices.”
Deb and Barry Deville of Falls Church loved their 1940s home and leafy neighborhood, yet they were stumped when it came to making their great older house flow like today’s homes with open floor plans.
“We like to entertain but felt our spaces were crowded and weren’t conducive to large groups of people mingling,” says Deb Deville.
They contacted Arlington Home Interiors, hoping they could update their main living areas without resorting to a major remodel.
Because Deb and Barry had accumulated many possessions over time, Suzanne first encouraged the couple to de-clutter, which freed up valuable space. Next Suzanne proposed new plans for each room, with furnishing options at various price points.
“She impressed us with her ability to blend our current furnishings with new pieces to get the look we wanted,” says Deb.
Suzanne shared her Rolodex of preferred contractors who removed wallpaper, painted and installed window treatments. “Every contractor was totally professional, gave us exactly what we wanted (and more), and came in on schedule and budget,” she adds.
Barry DeVille thought white walls were the only solution, but some gentle coaxing helped him reconsider a neutral palette. The Devilles repainted their white walls with soothing, contemporary paint colors. “She really nailed it on our wall color choices. In fact, several of my neighbors have now used the same colors in their homes,” says Deb.
“What could have been a stressful redecorating experience became organized and, yes, I’ll say fun, with help and guidance from Arlington Home Interiors. I recommend the firm to anyone looking for help with a decorating challenge. We were so happy with the results that we’re using Suzanne for our next project.”
Deb’s recommendations for choosing a designer:
“Prioritize what’s most important for you to get done. That way, if you must you can complete your project in phases. Suzanne helped me by narrowing the scope to focus on furniture style and color choices.”