Atlanta interior designer Suzanne Kasler is an industry icon. Known for her captivating aesthetic and signature collections (including collaborations with the likes of Lee Jofa and Ballard Designs), her award-winning designs have graced the pages of Elle Decor and Architectural Digest. Not to mention, she notably designed The Barn at Blackberry Farm, one of the South’s premier dining rooms.
Combining timeless elegance offset with bold details, Suzanne offers us a glimpse of a bygone era mixed with contemporary comfort. We caught up with Suzanne to learn about her career trajectory, her upcoming design panel at the annual Antiques & Garden Show of Nashville, and what’s coming next. Please welcome this week’s FACE of the South, Suzanne Kasler.
Can you give us a snapshot of what your upbringing was like?
I grew up in a military family, and we moved every two years, which meant we did not have the kind of childhood home that you spend your entire young life in. Yet every summer, my parents, sister, brother, and I would go stay with my father’s parents at their home in Indiana.
Their house was full of collections. My grandparents had a passion for antiques, so they would take me to the local antiques shows. My grandmother made quilts and loved china. Every summer when we visited, my memories from previous summers would surface. I think these experiences are where my deep sense of home came from.
Tell us a bit about your career path.
I studied interior architecture at the University of Cincinnati and went into commercial design after graduating. It was a great foundation — very technical and linear — focusing so much on the architecture of a space and then, secondarily, the décor. Early in my career, I shifted to residential interior design and owned a décor shop in Indianapolis. Then when we moved to Atlanta, my work evolved to focus solely on high-end residential interior design.
Your cozy-elegant aesthetic is loved around the South. How would you describe it in your own words?
As far as my personal aesthetic, I am drawn to subdued color palettes, French antiques, and comfortable upholstery. I love to mix old and new — antiques with more contemporary pieces. I have an overall refined, sophisticated look and am known for my strategic use of color. In general, my aesthetic is inspired by my clients, how they live, and a sense of a place, which really determines the overall creative direction for most projects.
What’s currently inspiring you, and how does living in Atlanta influence your interior design style?
I just returned from a trip to Paris and London. Paris is my forever inspiration. The colors, architecture, history, and beauty of the city continue to inspire me.
Living in Atlanta, I am always inspired by how people live in their homes in the South. Southern hospitality really starts with the home. When I moved here from the Midwest, it really had an impact on my idea of home and how, in the South, so much of people’s lives relate to their homes.
The annual Antiques and Garden Show will take place in Nashville in February, and you are slated to be on a design panel. What can we expect?
What I love about being on a panel is the collaborative energy being with my design peers. It is always the most inspiring and fun way to discuss design.
What should we anticipate in terms of interior design for 2023?
The trend that seems to continue is everyone’s focus on really great design.
What is your favorite room in your own house and why?
For me, it is my living room. It’s the room in the house that has ended up with some of my favorite furniture pieces, artworks, accessories, and objects.
You design signature collections for several notable brands. What’s on the horizon?
My new book, Edited Style, was just released last fall, which has been exciting. I am working on a new collection of range colors for the fabulous French company, La Cornue. I have a new collection with Hickory Chair in the works, and then I am continuing to add new pieces to my lines for Visual Comfort and Ballard Designs.
What are your favorite places to dine and discover fun treasures in the South?
We have some fabulous antique shops and galleries in Atlanta. It is incredible to have so many resources locally! A few favorites are Bungalow Classic, Dixon Rye, Pryor Fine Art, and TEW Galleries. These are just a few of so many favorites.
From a design standpoint, what is one way we can elevate our own homes?
Architecturally, paint. It is amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do to a space. When you get the right foundation color for a room, it makes everything else feel and look right.
Then decoratively, there’s nothing like changing out the lamps and pillows in a room.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
When you’re a young designer, always do a show house when you get the chance. It is the one time you can show your signature style.
Outside of faith, family, and friends, what three things can’t you live without?
Shopping at Dior, traveling to Paris, and my creative, life-fulling work … I dream of houses!
Learn about more dynamic and inspiring women through our FACES archives!