Last week I returned from my buying trip to High Point, North Carolina.   The town welcomed me with their well known southern hospitality where most referred to me as ‘Mame’.  It also seemed every small town in that area ended with ‘Ville’, and even the local fast food drive through is called Biscutville and serves the local favorite of Pimento Cheese (eeeeeks).

Susan In High Point

– One of the streets in High Point with just a few of the many buildings I toured. –

Susan Sutherlin Designs In High Point

– Transportation Center In High Point – Just for Designers & Suppliers –

Susan Sutherlin Designs - San Diego Interior Designers

– Another Large Supplier Showroom & Stage For Nightly Live Bands –

I try to attend this bi-annual show as often as I can to catch up with all the new trends, visit with new furniture suppliers, meet reps face-to-face, and to just generally enjoy some time with fellow designers.  Then there is the almighty ‘rear-end’ test.  I sit in every chair, sofa, and bed where the style appeals to me or is perfect for a client I’m working with it.  It’s one thing to look nice, but if it’s not comfortable, no one is going to be happy.

My first day at market, I met with the Property Brothers, Drew and Jonathan Scott.  They led a presentation for attending designers on creating value for our clients.   I will write about the fun morning in another post, but let me tell you, these guys are not only good looking, they are smart business men!

Because many of you are unfamiliar when we designers say, “We are going to ‘Market”,  here is a general over view.   First, just a few pictures.

Accessories Are Shown Too

Accessories Are Shown Too

Market is massive! It begin 108 years ago and is held twice a year.  Why in North Carolina?  It’s because that is where all of the fine woods for the higher end furniture are grown.  The area of Market covers about a five mile radius around the city of High Point. It’s a lot of walking for the five days I attended.

- Fake or Real? -

– Fake or Real? –

- Take a very close look, the floor is made up of scrabble game pieces. -

– Take a very close look, the floor is made up of Scrabble game pieces. –

- Close Up Of Game Pieces -

– Close Up Of Game Pieces –

Ballerina In Front of Christopher Guy Showroom - -

– Ballerina In Front of Christopher Guy Showroom –

- Fun Times -

– A Mock Front Porch Swing – Fun Times –

- This Just Made Me Smile -

– This Just Made Me Smile –

There are many large buildings with many floors to walk, and all of the suppliers do whatever they can to get you to visit their showrooms.  This year I even witnessed a doorman dressed in a tuxedo, flanked by ballerinas dressed in black attire dancing on floating stages (see above photo).  Now, if one of these vendors could just do something about sore feet, we would be set!

What is fantastic to see is that the small town of High Point hires many retirees to run all the shuttles, hand out fliers, check your luggage, etc.  I got the feeling that the mayor must put out a message that it’s “All Hands On Deck” for these short couple of weeks during the year.

Then there are those products (AKA – ‘Wild Things’)  you always see in High Point, where you try to pass the showrooms without laughing.  As a designer, I can’t imagine putting these products  into A N Y O N E S home.  Oh well, different strokes for different folks.

- Last Day - Comfortable Clothes and Shoes A N D Drinks -

– Last Day – Comfortable Clothes, Shoes A N D Drinks –

I’ll be back High Point, thank you for your Southern Hospitality.


– A Designer Who Likes To Have Fun! –







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Does this sound familiar . . . you shop and shop, find the PERFECT area rug and it’s the wrong size or color.  The answer is simple make your own, a DIY Area Rug.

Many people don’t realize that it’s easy, and very affordable, to make area rugs in the size that you need instead of just settling for less.  You simply take in a piece of your standard wall-to-wall carpet, or an already made area rug and cut it down to the size needed.   You can even have non-skid backing sprayed onto the new rugs.

I recently had this done for a client and shot a couple of pictures on my handy phone when picking up the completed rugs.

DIY Area Rug

ABOVE – A sample of the four different types of edges available.  

DIY Area Rug

ABOVE – This tends to be my go-to edging, or I simply have the edge of the carpet turned under when it’s possible.

DIY Area Rug

ABOVE – There seems to be an endless choice of yards available.

DIY Area Rug

ABOVE – So many choices.

DIY Area Rug

ABOVE – More choices, there is a color for everyone.

DIY Area Rug

ABOVE – Our finished product.  We were able to get three different area rugs from one 8 X 10 area rug.

If you are in the San Diego or Orange County areas of Southern California, we can help, just give us a call.  If not in this area I’m sure you can contact a local designer who can help you out with this little trade secret.

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I was honored this week to be inducted into the North San Diego division of Soroptimist International.  I’ve been desiring for a place to give back, and in particular to women and children in need, a passion of mine.

Soroptimist’s are a global women’s organization working to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment.

In particular, the North San Diego Soroptimist club works together with local agencies on a Transitional Housing Program for domestic violence survivors.  This 18-month program moves families from dependency and abuse to a safe, self-sustaining life by providing housing, financial help and mentoring.  I will be working closely within this group in hopes of being able to provide our studios skills when furnishing these new homes.

Looking forward to giving back and encouraging women who just need a helping hand to get on their feet.

Induction Ceremony PIC

L to R – Pam Warnock, Yours Truly, Liz Bartoli




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