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Susan's Little Black Book of Design Blog

Pitch Perfect interior design by Sweet Peas Design

Trad-sitional Transformation

I think I just coined a new term – trad-sitional! It’s a blend of traditional and transitional furnishings that gives a formal home a more relaxed, welcoming look.

February 2017 | Urban and Suburban

Five years ago my dream of opening a second studio was born with a single word written on a piece of paper - Chicago - and now it is about to come true.
Photo Courtesy of

Design Speak 101 - Lesson 3

It’s time for session three of Design Speak 101, an occasional blog-seminar in which I unravel the mysteries of interior design lingo from A to Z.

Grand Opening - Chicago Studio!

We are celebrating the Chinese “Year of the Fire Rooster” with some blazing-hot news – I am launching a second, full-service design studio at 1242 N. Wells in Old Town!

SPD Wins "Best Bathroom" Award

We are thrilled! We just won “Best Bathroom 2016” from Modern Luxury Interiors Chicago for a complete master bath renovation in Lake Forest.

Porcelain Wood? Faux-tastic!

We wouldn’t put a real wood floor in your bathroom or laundry room, but we are crazy about the newest faux-wood, porcelain tiles.

Our Magical Holiday Places

We all seem to have a special holiday outing that makes the season bright, so I asked the Sweet Peas Design team to share one of their favorite spots for “the most wonderful time of the year.”

Before & After - Sweet Master Bedroom Suite

After more than a dozen years of designing interiors, this master bedroom suite in Lake Forest ranks among our most challenging ever. Now we call it “Pitch Perfect.”

A Few of Our Favorite Holiday Fashions

Getting all glammed up for the holidays is definitely at the top of my “favorite things” list!

DECEMBER 2016 | Beyond Trends

Si fractum non sit, noli id reficere." This quote sounds so much more refined in Latin, but the basic message is the same in English - "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Furnishings vendors took that motto to heart at High Point Market in North Carolina,

Design Speak 101 - Lesson 2

Welcome back to session two of Design Speak 101, an occasional blog-seminar in which I unravel the mysteries of interior design lingo from A to Z. Study hard, I’ll be quizzing you later – hahaha!

SOFA Art Show is Feast

This year's SOFA art show on Navy Pier was a feast of glass art, textiles and texture. I added many new artists to my little black book....

Million Dollar Decorating

Million Dollar Decorating

Batter Up!

After a slight delay for the World Series – Go Cubs, Go!– my interview on “Million Dollar Decorating” podcast goes live at 1 AM Sunday, Nov. 20.

Cashin Fashion

Fashion designer Bonnie Cashin, “the mother of American sportswear,” is one of the most influential and least known designers in the industry, but jewelry designer Stephanie Lake of Minnesota is working hard to remedy that oversight.