Mar 28, 2011

The Zhush: Home Invasion

I was lucky enough to have a Q &A interview with a blogger that needs no introduction.  Whether you're oohing and aahing over her lovely store or keeping track of her series "Random Channel Item", it's needless to say that Susan over at The Zhush is an incredibly talented blogger.  A few weeks ago Susan posted some pictures of a gorgeous home that looked classy yet casual, glamorous yet inviting.  I was smitten!  And surprise, surprise.. the house actually belonged to Susan!  I thought it was the perfect chance to get a one on one on how she was able to design such a lovely home.  

I know you'll find Susan as charming as I did!
N:When you began to decorate your home, where did you start?  Did you paint and add new furniture over the years?  Or was it all completely re-done at the same time?
S:When we began to decorate our home, we were completely overwhelmed. We started with the kitchen and the family room.  Our house is an open plan and the kitchen and tv/family room have only a half wall connecting them.  Since this is where we knew we would spend the most time, we started there.

Over the years we have absolutely painted and added new furniture, and sometimes we even painted our furniture!  I think collecting pieces over time lends itself to a less contrived look, and adds so much more personality to a space.  Homes that are designed through the years always seem the most inviting to me.

N:Where did you find inspiration?

 S: When we first moved in, about 10 years ago, the internet was in its infancy stage, so most of the inspiration I found was through shelter magazines. Occasionally, I would visit a home and want to recreate something I saw there as well.  If I was friends with the homeowner, I would usually ask to take photos.  Once the internet took off, I added design blogs and online magazines to my inspirational sources.  Finally, the small amount of travel I do these days also inspires me...there is nothing like a change of scenery to shake up how you see things.

N:While I'm a huge fan of DIYing,thrifting and re-upholstering furniture, I understand that a lot of people would prefer to buy things new.  Which do you prefer?
S:I am not really a diyer...if for no other reason than I'm just not that good at it.  I think I prefer to buy some things new, find some vintage or antique pieces and also re use what I already have.  This is not only the most economical, but usually produces the outcome of a lived in home, a look that I prefer.

N: How would you describe your home?

 S:I would describe my home as traditional with a twist.  The architectural style is a New England center hall colonial.  Inside we stuck with many traditional pieces, but used more contemporary colors, fabrics and rugs.  The accessories and art are also a mix of traditional, modern and transitional pieces. 

N: Any regrets?
S: After our huge renovation project, my husband and I did have a few regrets...things we would have done differently, etc.  But I try not to dwell on these, and just remain grateful for what we have and what we have accomplished.

N:And lastly, what are things you learned along the way?  Any tips and words of advice?
S: Along the way I learned its important to have perspective and a sense of humor.  Murphy's Law applies here.  When decorating your home, things will go wrong, you will make mistakes, and contractors will too.  Most things are fixable.  At the end of the day, even though its your home...your sanctuary, the world won't end if the chair molding isn't the right height.  Some times its important to step away from a home improvement project for a while, take a walk, visit friends, etc.  and then come back with a new, improved perspective.

Sue's husbands office.
Sue's office

Thanks so much for the interview...this was a lot fun!


Don't you just love it?  I love the clean and welcoming feel.  And is anyone else in love with the cow hide foot stool?  I am!


  1. I want Sue to come over and deal with my house...I love her look! I totally want this but have no experience in design.

    Thanks for the recommendation...I am off to check out her blog and hope that it gives me a clue!!

  2. decorating my apart is an ongoing process because you always see new things you want to include to change the decoration a little bit for occasions or different seasons

  3. Sue is more fab than macarons and stretchy pants combined.

    Thanks for letting us get to know her a little better and also for stopping by La Lamp Shade!


    If the Lamp Shade Fits

  4. WOW. So very gorgeous. I love the lighting and details!
    Thanks for sharing ladies!

  5. She's amazing! Great interview, too.

  6. Thanks again for having me over here! Looking forward to reading future installments of these fun Home Invasion interviews!

  7. I'm not a DIYer either! Great post. Her home is gorgeous!!

  8. Sue's house is so gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing this interview with us! Her office is so cozy and welcoming!



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