Tucker & Marks / Suzanne Tucker Home

Suzanne Tucker Home

We look behind the reasons of the rise of one super Interior Designer, Suzanne Tucker . 

What inspired or motivated you to be an Interior Designer?

My mother will tell you she saw it in me when I was a little girl spending hours re-arranging all the ornaments on the Christmas tree. And growing up in Montecito, the world was my architectural and horticultural oyster! My sister and I would spend days on end building forts and creating fantasies, and even as a child, I loved tagging along with my parents to their friends' parties so I could see their houses and exploring the gardens. I always took art classes outside of my school curriculum and it was natural for me to gravitate towards the arts, art history, architecture and design when I was in college. I studied interior architecture and design at university and was happiest when totally immersed in the art department. It may sound a bit odd but I didn't set out with the intention of become an interior designer or for that matter even thinking about a career. I followed what I loved, worked for some incredible people, had some indelible mentors, and it all fell into place. Interior design is a fantastic profession - constantly evolving, always challenging, very hard work, and immensely rewarding.

Photograph by Michal Venera

Who are your customers?

In 1987, my partner and husband Timothy Marks and I founded our design firm, Tucker & Marks. He is the business side and I'm the design side. I have a marvelous design staff and together we design a broad spectrum of projects —from well-appointed family homes, mountain lodges and beach houses, to country villas and estates as well as large apartments in some of San Francisco’s most prestigious addresses—for a steady stream of new and longtime clients. We work throughout the United States, from California to New York and the Eastern Seaboard, from Hawaii to Montana, Idaho, Missouri to Arkansas.

Is it a complicated process to design a space? Can you give us a hint about the process?

I would say the two most important design elements of any room are scale and proportion. Everything in design is relative – and related. That's why a designer's ability to manipulate scale and proportion is so critical to achieving beauty and comfort in a room, a house, a garden. Scale has to do with size, and proportion with balance. When I talk about scale, I'm referring to the way the dimensions of a particular component of the design – a piece of furniture, drapery, a work of art – compare to the dimensions of the overall room and to other individual design elements.

Photograph by Matthew Millman

Unlike color or style, scale and proportion are not subject to individual tastes – there are correct and incorrect choices. I do believe that while it is possible to teach someone generally about scale and proportion, there are no definite rules that can address the many variables in any given project – experimentation and experience are the best resources and the eye must be developed. When the scale of the pieces in a room is just right, I can see it and feel it: the room sings, and it's blissful to be in it. When scale and proportion are off, the dissonance is perceptible to me, and often uncomfortable. Getting them right is a designer's greatest success. When they're spot on, the achieved harmony translates across every style and all tastes – casual of formal, modern or traditional, French, Italian, Japanese, English, you name it.

The proportions of a room also determine the appropriate scale for furnishings and how they are arranged throughout the space. If all the large pieces – say a piano, a sofa, a mantel, and a tall secretary – are on one side of the room, the room tilts. It feels off balance. The same is true for art, window coverings, and even such minutiae as where a light switch is in relation to the desk next to it, to the art over it, to the adjacent mirror and what it reflects. I can walk into a room and see what is off-kilter instantly. Often, simply swapping one object for another in creating a tablescape will fix the problem.

Photograph by Matthew Millman

Share a practical tip that inspired you before with us.

“When in doubt, take it out!” So tune in to your intuition because that really says it all.

In 2010, you recently introduced your own line of textiles. What was the concept and approach?

My senior thesis at UCLA was in textiles and perhaps that started my passion for designing and collecting. Over the years, my collection grew and I am always incorporating antique textile elements in my installations. Custom textile designs were always part of my training, even back when I was working with Michael Taylor.

Designing my own collection was a logical next step. It offers me such an exciting & rewarding new creative outlet. Besides the design aesthetic, I'm a perfectionist when it comes to the hand and quality of fabrics. I work with mills all over the world to offer the best possible quality & craftsmanship and I am specifically drawn to truly handcrafted fabrics. My Suzanne Tucker Home textile line is now represented in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Miami, New York, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Paris, France.

Photograph by Edward Addeo

What advice would you give to someone starting a design business?

I feel it is crucial to continue to expose oneself to inspirations throughout your lifetime. For me, I am always nursing a mild to strong case of wanderlust so I am compelled to travel and find my most enduring design education in other countries & cultures. But certainly museum exhibits, books, films, performances…. can also feed one’s creative soul.

Photograph by Matthew Millman

What is your ultimate goal - and has this changed from when you started?

In the first part of my career, I was focused on creating beautiful work but now on a deeper level, my understanding of how that beauty actually enriches people's lives, ultimately has more meaning for me. I believe that good design is not about rules but about creating enduring style and beauty that enhances one’s daily life. It’s all about balance; color and light, proportion and scale, new and old, and always suitability to the person and place.

Photograph by Matthew Millman

What has been your best marketing method for your business?

I have been fortunate to have published two books so far: Rooms to Remember – The Classic Interiors by Suzanne Tucker (The Monacelli Press) was published in 2009 and Suzanne Tucker Interiors – The Romance of Design (The Monacelli Press) was published last fall. There is no better way to share and showcase your work. My latest book offers unprecedented entrée to some of the country’s most exquisite & elegant residences, from an art-filled contemporary town- house to a massive mountain lodge, from a Normandy-style country estate to my own home in California. I wanted to share with my reader my expertise and creative process, involving great attention to architecture, sense of appropriateness, my approach to individuality and how we live today.

Tucker & Marks: http://www.tuckerandmarks.com/

Suzanne Tucker Home: http://www.suzannetuckerhome.com/

Suzanne Tucker Interiors – The Romance of Design (The Monacelli Press): http://www.amazon.com/Suzanne-Tucker-Interiors/dp/1580933610/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389106213&sr=8-1&keywords=suzanne+tucker

Photograph by Matthew Millman

 

Learn more about Suzanne Tucker Home via their websites www.tuckerandmarks.comwww.suzannetuckerhome.com. as well as their facebook and twitter accounts. 

 

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