Clients In The Spotlight - Susan Berry
Nominated by Stacy Stater — who designed the space — Susan Berry is an inspirational choice as Client in the Spotlight. Berry is extremely involved in her community and uses her home as a gathering place for the many groups and committees for which she volunteers. Her involvement includes University High School’s Trailblazer Awards Gala and the Zionsville Great Banquet which operates through her church in Zionsville.
From the first time they met, Stater was touched by Berry’s hospitable nature. “She's generous, wise, calm and giving. Susan really has a great perspective on life, focusing on who & what matters and ignoring all that doesn’t.” Stater elaborated, laughingly “She even held a luncheon for a dozen people, despite her refrigerator being temporarily reassigned to the foyer!”
To illustrate her graciousness, by the end of the project Berry had taken in a neighbor's niece. The Butler University student's aunt and uncle were relocated so Berry invited the young girl to live in her guest room suite while she finished her degree.
“Working with Susan was such a joy! Her commitment to her community and gracious disposition is absolutely inspiring.”
Upon entering the front door of Susan Berry’s Zionsville home, one gets an “immediate sense of warmth, comfort and class which match Susan’s beautiful soul.”, says Stater. Her recently finished home remodel and redecorating efforts have given her 25 year-old home new life, and with a smile she humbly says, “Now when I walk through, I just can’t believe this is my house.”
With basic remodels in her kitchen completed, Susan was ready for design and décor touches to take shape for the rest of the home. Upon referral from a friend, Susan contacted Stacy Stater of Luxe Home Interiors in Carmel, to initiate the redecorating process.
“Our continual theme was, let’s bring things up to date,” says Berry. “We may move in a few years when we become empty nesters, so we wanted to update for eventual resale. But we also want to enjoy the home now, up until that time.” And it all started with inspiration from a simple lumbar pillow. “I loved this certain blue from the pillow, so everything just sort of grew from there.”
Stater begins her process by measuring room dimensions, in order to eventually create a detailed to scale drawing with new furniture incorporated. Upon further discussion of color and rooms to be re-designed, design expert Stater created a ‘Design Board’ including palettes of fabric, colors, paint and wallpaper schemes, along with pictures of suggested furniture and lighting. “My design board and scale drawings are meant to bring the suggestions to life, so the client can really visualize the design and how it will take shape. At that point, the client can say, ‘yes I love this, or, nope, let’s try something else there. We work together as a team throughout the process.”
Berry describes how the high cost for new cabinets left her worried about her remodeling budget. At this point designer Stater introduced faux finish expert Denise Leach to the project. Through the refinish and painting process, cherry cabinets were transformed into a white wood finish with a custom grey glaze around the perimeter of the kitchen, and a similarly finished gray colored wood for the center island. Suddenly ‘new’ cabinetry, a perfectly chosen blue wall color, window treatments and new lighting, completed the re-imagined family hub.
A step down into the Berry home family room, is framed and designed around a new luxurious L-shaped sofa paired with leather ottoman from Luxe Home Interiors. The family room opens onto a beautiful sun room, with carefully selected seating, and grass cloth wallpaper to give the room texture and warmth. “This room was always just empty before, except for entertaining, when we would set up lots of tables and chairs. Stacy helped transform it into an everyday room, for sitting and enjoying year-round.”
No room was completely re-furnished, but that was not the goal. “I like to analyze what the client already has, what needs to be replaced, and what can be re-arranged while still achieving our goals and functionality. But I do take a whole project approach, so it all flows nicely together.” In the Berry home, many family heirlooms and antiques are sprinkled throughout, intermingled with new pieces or design elements. “Our dining room suite belonged to my mother-in-law, and I loved my existing window treatments, but in order to bring the room up to date, Stacy recommended a new paint color and chandelier.”
In reflection of the entire project, Berry smiles as she says, “Something was done to every room on the first level, from new lighting, to a newly arranged study, laundry & dog room, as well as powder bath. I still wanted it to feel like a 25 year-old home, just much more current.”
Stater who has been with Luxe Home for 12 years, gets a thrill from each design project. “I work with some wonderful clients, all while getting to flex my artistic muscle. When I witness a home come together, while working with incredible clients like Susan, it is truly a blessing.”