The Power of Pattern with Designer Susanna Salk

Susanna Salk worked in design magazines before beginning to branch out and create her own world and brand and voice. Having spent time in marketing, editorial and sales helped her in everything she’s done. As her voice slowly took shape she eventually let go entirely of working within a corporation and never stopped striving to create her own content as well as collaborate.

Susanna has released 10 books to date, and is about to be releasing another – and she has no intention of slowing down.

“As long as you stay open to new possibilities without losing sight of what your strengths are, you will succeed doing what you love.” – Susanna Salk

Five years ago Susanna also saw an opportunity to partner with a fabulous woman in her field – Stacey Bewkes. Susanna could take what she was doing on a page to an ever more visual, more immediate, broader level – video.

“I was lucky in that my instinct paid off. Stacey has the same work ethic and we share the same passion for design. Our At Home With video series now has over 4 million views and we are doing exactly what we love most and controlling our own content. There is no greater satisfaction. It’s amazing all the cross pollination that can happen between all the mediums.” – Susanna Salk

Take a look at our interview with Susanna Salk below.

Tell us a bit about your day-to-day – and what you love most about what you do.

Discovering a house we want to shoot for our series. Reaching out to the owner/designer and booking it. Then having only seen it in pictures – arriving and experiencing the real thing. Then just for a few hours, the house feels like yours. To work with Stacey on how best to capture it for our viewers is a joy. There’s a lot of planning that goes in to creating a book or a video. Much of my days are looking ahead: what is our next shoot for the series? Do we have a sponsor? NO? Who should we reach out to and how? What is my next book deadline? Am I writing ten captions for the book today or is it photo research? Am I staging a house? Do I have to go to Home Goods and buy 5 rugs and 7 new lamps to revamp the house for buyers all for under $500. You’re always juggling different projects in various stages. There is NO room for procrastination!

Where do find inspiration for the work that you do?

The designers! Their knowledge (sense of history not to mention place) and fearlessness.

susanna salk interior

You recently released a new book called “The Power of Pattern” – can you talk to us a bit about the power of pattern and what your approach to pattern is?

It adds a wonderful layer to any room, whether on a pillow or along a wall or sofa, a dash or a dollop. It brings punch and personality. It’s another to personalize your space.

Where do you draw the limit on pattern?

Ones that don’t get along? You can’t jam them together. They have to collaborate.

susanna salk interior

What’s been the most challenging project you’ve worked on?

Motherhood in all the very best ways! And it’s always on going. No salary yet infinite returns.

Do you have a specific person that’s inspired you or mentored you, that one specific person that’s really influenced you?

Timothy Corrigan. He isn’t afraid to renovate a chateau in France even though he lives in LA. It brings him such joy. And his knowledge of French history is amazing! He appreciates and understands the stories behind everything little thing he has, right down to a tree in his forest. Watching him talk to his fans at a book signing is amazing: like they are each the most important one.

susanna salk interior

What apps or software can you not live without in your job?


What 3 pieces of advice would you offer to someone looking to get started in interior design?

Find a mentor. Find your voice. Get out there. Never say “I don’t have time to…” MAKE the time.

susanna salk interior

Want to hear more from Susanna? On September 25 at 10am, she’ll be at Discover ADAC for the Power of Pattern session presented by MILIEU with Leslie Newsom Rascoe (reception to follow at Phillip Jeffries). Discover ADAC runs September 25-27 in Atlanta. You can register here as well as see all the sessions they’ll be hosting for the event!

Published in Dwell, Featured Articles