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Suzanne Lovell: An Architectural Approach

“I look for pieces that have cultural significance and are excellent in their representation of craft,” says Suzanne Lovell, Founder and CEO of Suzanne Lovell Inc.  The Chicago-based designer is a passionate collector, and an internationally recognized expert in fine art, antiques, textiles and furnishings. With a degree in architecture, Lovell offers clients what she terms the “3-Dimensional Experience,” calling on her encyclopedic knowledge of architecture, curation and design to help their homes tell personal stories.

A  frequent traveler, Lovell’s global adventures have influenced her firm’s approach, which balances a wide range of multicultural influences in a seemingly effortless blend of comfort and style. Lovell has a relationship with PAGODA RED founder Betsy Nathan that stretches back decades, and often layers spectacular antiques into her projects.  “I use Asian objects in harmony with objects from many other cultures,” she explains.

Design: Suzanne Lovell Inc. Image: Courtesy of Suzanne Lovell Inc.

An offering table that once served as platform for incense burners and candles, now blends seamlessly with objects and artwork from a variety of eras and locales. “I’m interested in people who enjoy a mixture of cultures in their environment,” says Lovell. “I’m also interested in the beauty of objects, their proportion and scale and the excellence of their craft. I think about things not only visually, but also symbolically.”

Lovell pays careful attention to detail and works hard to develop an in-depth understanding of each client’s individual style. “It’s a constant dialogue between a client and myself with regard to likes and dislikes. It’s not about me as a designer, it’s about the client and their approach to the world,” she explains.

Design: Suzanne Lovell Inc. Image: Courtesy of Suzanne Lovell Inc.

This North Shore contemporary project (also pictured at top) was conceived as a modern day take on a Japanese box.  Here, the decorative elements of the room are all in conversation. The nailhead trim of the beautiful wingback chairs echoes that of the 19th century trunks, while connecting to the sculptural Ingrid Donat Armchair and Gene Summers Andirons.

Design: Suzanne Lovell Inc. Image: Courtesy of Suzanne Lovell Inc.

Lovell’s interiors reflect the complexity of the people who live in them–their travels, stories, interests, and inspirations. “It’s all connected. We’re always looking for comfort in our rooms–what holds us, what gives us context,” she says. In this stunning courtyard space, Lovell blurs the boundary between indoors and out with her masterful use of organic structures and lighting.

Design: Suzanne Lovell Inc. Image: Courtesy of Suzanne Lovell Inc.

Here again, treasures from seemingly disparate eras combine to create a vignette of stunning depth. A view through French wrought-iron gates (circa 1930), reveals a warm and welcoming entryway, where a 19th century Chinese alter has been beautifully translated into a console table.

Lovell and her team have received numerous national and international design awards, with work regularly featured in Architectural Digest – including “The AD 100 Top Architects and Designers” – as well as House Beautiful, Interiors, The Wall Street Journal, and Veranda, to name a few.  Lovell is also a sought-after lecturer on topics such as collecting, and the artful integration of architectural interiors. Her book, Artistic Interiors: Designing with Fine Art Collectionscan be found, here.

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