Monday, March 24, 2014

Mansion In May Interviews Begin - Susan Obercian!

I am starting to post interviews of some of my favorite designers who will be participating in the Mansion In May. There are so many that I could only pick my favorites or I would be interviewing until well past the show house debut! Today I am starting with Susan Obercian of Susan Obercian Design who designs gorgeous kitchens, bathrooms and built-ins, and since I know her personally I can tell you she is one of the most lovely women!
Please enjoy and don't forget to get your tickets online at MIM!
Image credits: Susan Obercian

1. Please give my readers a brief bio about yourself.

 I started my career in fashion when I was in my 20s and living in England. After having children my design interests centered around the home, specifically the kitchen.  In 1996 to 2011, I worked for European Country Kitchens, designing kitchens and bathrooms.  In 2012 I opened Susan Obercian Design. 

2. Would you share your design philosophy please.

I like the kitchen to be a serene background for the chaos that is always part of a busy family kitchen.  The colors should be relaxing. The counter tops are a huge statement in any kitchen and one of the most difficult decisions to make.  White marble, which is very popular at the moment, and is beautiful but very porous as well as very expensive.  It requires a true commitment. I make sure that my clients are educated about all the decisions that i help them make.  I don't like anything to be a surprise when it is installed.

3. Do you follow any particular design rules?

I like symmetry whenever possible.  If the design of the kitchen and bathrooms are appropriate for the age and style of the house, it will not go out of fashion. Let the bones of the house guide the design.

4. Do you have a favorite go too piece or element when designing a space?

Great island lights are very important.  I love Heritage Lighting in Lambertville. I also love Remains Lighting.
Of course, an incredible stone on the island can make a great statement.

5. What are your trend predictions for Kitchens?

Kitchens have continued to have a cleaner look, thank goodness!  It's what I have always liked. I think that the counter top material is a challenge.  Granite is the hardest surface but it is out of fashion.  Marble is porous and takes a commitment to care for it.  Concrete can be wonderful but lends itself to a more contemporary design so the search continues.

6.What are  your must have classics?

I love a classic bath room with a great marble floor and white subway tile.  Maybe black accents.  This can be done inexpensively for children's' bathrooms as well.  I never get tired of it. 

7. Would you give us a little hint about room you will be designing!

We have an incredible custom designed marble and limestone floor!  And a great painting by Maureen Chatfield!

Thank you so much Susan for this wonderful Q & A. I know we learned alot, and if you wish to reach Susan for your kitchen, bath or built in needs see here- Susan Obercian


  1. Great interview. Photos are gorgeous. I'm going to try to talk Sista into going to MIM with me.

  2. Love all of the photos! Beautiful kitchens....

  3. loving how she manages to make white kitchens warm and cozy. always a challenge.


  4. Love all these photos and the interview!


  5. Great the kitchens..

  6. Loved Susan's philosophy and thinking! Symmetry and great bones, a clean look and the right lighting are so important - she really gets what matters!
    Very pretty kitchens in those photos:)

  7. Hmm...granite is out of fashion? Sometimes I get so tired of hearing and seeing stainless steel and granite - although it looks great I get tired of it. It looks like she may have used honed granite in some of the pictures above - I love that look. I also love wood countertops and I never tire of marble. I love seeing unique countertops - once in New Orleans I saw an epoxy countertop with newspaper below it - very cool indeed - I wish I had a picture of them. I love reading interviews and hearing about trends and new products. Great interview!

  8. Wow, so much talent! I love the marble kitchen, and I also love the sink in the 3rd image.
    Thank you for sharing this talent.

  9. I love these interviews about trends. I have seen lots of marble in my area but I still opted for granite because off its durability. Most of the engineered stones are too uniform, concrete too industrial, so I have a hard time believing that granite is on the way out!


  10. Fun interview. I want a new kitchen. I have marble in my bathroom and I am not sure I could live with the staining for a kitchen, but I love the look.

  11. Lovely work, and fantastic interview! We have Danby marble in our kitchen... It's what Martha Stewart has in her kitchen, due to its durability and resistance to stains. We LOVE it!! Thank you for introducing us to Susan!

    The Glam Pad

  12. Great post! I'm looking forward to

  13. I'm working on my kitchen plans NOW .. so I am loving this post! Thanks for sharing and wonderful interview. xxleslie

  14. Beautiful kitchens that will stand the test of time....look forward to this series!

  15. Those kitchens are stunning! What a great interview and a great reminder to buy my ticket for Mansion in May! I have to look at my schedule because I love going to those!

  16. Such stunning spaces and great interview! I look forward to more!!

  17. Gorgeous photos and great interview!


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