Suzi Gilchrist says she cannot put a name to her interior design style preference. She just loves it, regardless of a label. I’ve known Suzi and her husband Eldon for many years, and when it was suggested we take a look at her house to include in our Open House section (we’re always looking for folks to open their doors to us), I was anxious to see what it was like. I somehow knew it wouldn’t be typical.
“I can’t make a decision to save my life,” Suzi said about the design process. She says she only knows what she doesn’t like. In some cases that could make an interior designer’s job very hard, but it could also mean a blank canvas to test some bold new waters. If you’re like Suzi, and have no real expectations, find a designer whose pictures you like and just trust them (it takes a lot of trust to consider painting kitchen cabinets a distressed green color).
Suzi and Eldon’s house was built in the 70s on the fringe of the Prairiewood estate northeast of Aberdeen. They bought it about nine years ago and basically had it gutted to make it their own. However, they kept the snazzy sunken bar just off the living room area, but with the addition of granite countertops. Because I knew it was a single-story ranch nestled amongst some mature trees, I assumed the inside would be dark. I was amazed at how much light poured in the walls of windows, intensifying the reds, the greens, and fresh autumn colors. She had her holiday tree decorated for fall and the dining room table looked as though the Thanksgiving crowd would be showing up at any moment. The wallpaper, the colors, the textures, the fabrics, the furnishings, all make for a unique, one-of-a-kind home. Art from prominent fine artists grace every room in the house. They like to collect pieces when they travel and have amassed a sizable collection of limited-edition prints, sculptures, and glass art. Overall, the whole house is elegantly staged. But Suzi did say that when the grandkids are over, it quickly doesn’t look anything like this. So, it’s not just a house for show, it’s a house for family living. //