Tastemakers: Suzanne Kasler's Effortless Glamour...

I've been giving it more thought and come up with a great way to describe the three designers from the Hickory Chair event. Here goes: Thomas O'Brien is the designer you want on your team for Trivial Pursuit. Although I did not quiz him, I'm certain he could regale you with detailed stories of historical events just as easily as he could recite Yeats without a moment's hesitation.

Alexa Hampton is the girl you want on your Pictionary team. She's bold, vivacious and wouldn't think twice about performing in front of a crowd. I adored her energy and her contagious laughter. Alexa is a girl who knows how to enjoy herself, and it shows. Having said that, she, Suzanne and Thomas could go head to head on their exhaustive and comprehensive knowledge of the origins of design and the history of furnishings. Each of them shared such a rich passion for design and the classical references of each piece in their collections at Hickory Chair. It was beyond impressive. (more on Alexa in an upcoming post!)But let's talk about my favorite girl's girl of the bunch: Suzanne Kasler. Where do I begin? Suzanne is a woman blessed with radiant warmth. She's gracious, feminine and absolutely charming. Standing in the midst of her gorgeous collection in the showroom, it was clear that the sheer beauty of the pieces themselves was a direct expression of her inner glamour and her ability to translate that sophistication into three dimensional forms.

So if I'm continuing my theme of games I'd play with each designer, Suzanne would certainly be my partner for a game of dress up - as silly as that sounds. She's so warm and inviting that you immediately feel you could spend a full day weaving through the cobblestone streets of Rome in search of the perfect dress. You'd laugh at yourselves as you tripped on the cobblestone along the Via Condotti. Inevitably, you'd find yourselves losing track of time as the afternoon passed. You've chatted so much and admired cultural surroundings so much you'd nearly forgotten to shop. The two of you would share stories as you sipped your afternoon espressos at Sant'Eustachio (the best espresso in Rome, in my opinion!). And you'd continue the fun through dinner and well after dessert at the most quaint local restaurant, barely noticing the waiters who would no doubt be trying to catch her attention. Yes, she's that approachable and that remarkably beautiful. You meet her.. you feel you've known her for ages. She has a sort of quiet charisma that pulls you in and akes you take notice.If you haven't familiarized yourself with her work, I recommend you take a peek at my post from the springperuse her recent collection for Hickory Chair and most certainly pick up a copy of her latest book, Inspired Interiors. I've still clinging to my signed copy (woohoo!), thinking it might be nice to read over coffee on a quiet afternoon. (Rome, anyone?)

In spring I was overcome by the sheer beauty of her icy blue color palette with gold accents. A chinoiserie inspired look. This season's palette featured an invigorating orange, perfect for fall, but timeless on it's own accord. I can hardly stop thinking about this stunningly simply orange leather chair. It strikes me as the ideal perch from which to write - espeically if paired with one of her sexy desks. Yowza!

As I look back on my experience with Suzanne, I can't help but feel that she has altered my view of the typical successful businesswoman. She embodies a certain quiet confidence and graciousness I haven't often encountered. As I observe all that she has achieved and the body of work she has produced, I realize that never for a moment was she anything less that generous with her time and sincere in her interest of the talents of others. It's that same grace that can be seen in her work. Her furnishings are lovingly designed and exude quiet elegance. They are feminine without being frilly. Warm and approachable without being casual. Elegant and wise without losing that fresh edge. Full of authority without the use of any visible force. Much like the woman herself, the pieces feel inviting, as if they're good friends you can't wait to spend more time around. If you have the opportunity, be sure to go to a Kasler book signing near you. I promise it will be an experience you won't soon forget. You'll meet a fascinating woman and acquire a fabulous book at the same time!

Thank you, Suzanne, for serving as such an inspiration!