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Inside The World of Interior Design With Susie Hersker

I’m very excited to introduce my next guest, Susie Hersker, whose work has been recognized throughout the design industry for her detailed craftsmanship, custom casegoods, and unique modern designs.

As a prominent interior designer serving in Phoenix and Scottsdale for over thirty-years, Susie has continuously proved her expertise in the design industry, not only as an interior designer who steps in to beautify homes but also as a key ingredient to the success of her clients’ home renovations and construction.

Her loyal clientele and ever-growing client base speak volumes about her specialty in high-end interior design, but even more so, Susie’s distinct designs showcasing the highest quality materials and impressive character have landed her as one of the nation’s top award-winning designers. As a full-service design firm, offering services in everything from space planning, materials, specification, colorization, furniture selection and placement, custom furniture design, art consultation, and more, it’s hard not to be overly impressed with her one-of-a-kind designs she produces through her projects.

So, without further ado, please welcome Susie!


Q: Susie, thank you so much for joining me today. As a huge fan of yours, one element I tend to notice first, as well as admire, is your uncanny ability to customize a home. This must come from your own custom-made furniture; can you tell us where you find inspiration for their designs? What is the process like - from conceptualization to design to production?

Susie: Often shapes found in the architecture and setting inspire designs. We also must conform to the client’s needs for a particular piece of furniture. If we can create an artistic piece that looks wonderful, and functions beautifully for our client - we have succeeded. The process starts with sketches, then on to more formal drawings. Then we meet with the vendor or craftsman that is going to fabricate the piece. Usually there is some discussion about engineering the piece which might result in “tweaking” the design. Once we are all confident the piece can be built as designed, and the client is happy with the final design, the piece goes into production.

sedona-living-roomImage Source : Susan Hersker, ASID

Q: Do you have a favorite component of interior design that gets you most excited, such as lighting, fireplace design, artwork, patios, kitchens, etc.?

Susie: My favorite part of interior design is problem solving. I really enjoy working as part of a building team along with the architect, contractor, superintendent, and various sub contractors throughout the building process. This process will often take two or more years. During the building process certain challenges will occur. Problem solving with the “team” on the jobsite usually creates a positive result for the homeowners. As a team, we put our heads together and sketch, engineer, discuss and build to come to a final solution.

desert-contemporary-residence-living-roomImage Source : Susan Hersker, ASID

Q: What are the major differences between designing in Arizona versus elsewhere in the States?

Susie: To me, the process is the same regardless of where you are in the country. Design styles might vary in different locations, but the design process is the same. As I have designed all over the United States, I’d say the biggest challenge is making sure you can find the resources you need in a particular area. I have always managed to make it work.

Q: How do you work off a home’s architecture when planning the interior design? Are you usually involved with the architect, or do your designs tend to be remodels?

Susie: In a perfect world, I like to be involved during the preliminary architectural phase if the house is a “new build.” Depending on the architect, sometimes I am called upon to do a fireplace design, perhaps a front door design, a kitchen layout etc. My designs are then incorporated into the final plans before the home is built. Design Directives also works on remodels, and often there is more work involved in a re-model because there can be unexpected challenges when the demolition begins. The process is the same regardless; you have to assess the client’s needs and vision for the home, design accordingly, work with the building/remodeling team, and see the project through to completion.

san-francisco-top-living-room-designImage Source : Susan Hersker, ASID

Q: Given that your designs tend to be so embedded in the geography of the Arizona landscape, is it hard to find furniture and accessories for your projects? If not, what are some of your go-to sources?

Susie: The scope of each project is different. We have local and national resources that we draw from. I think a successful interior is one that involves found objects or one of kind pieces, furniture we customize and order from vendors, and furniture custom designed as a unique piece for our client.

Q: Who are some interior designers that you find inspiration from?

Susie: My inspirational designers would have to be Sally Sirkin Lewis, Donghia, and Michael Taylor.

scottsdale-modern-remodel-living-roomImage Source : Susan Hersker, ASID

Thank you, Susie - it has been such a pleasure getting to know you and hearing about your unique design process. It’s extremely interesting to hear why you find it invaluable to be a part of the architectural process, as I believe most homeowners would benefit a great deal from including an interior designer, such as yourself, from the very beginning.

To learn more about nationally renowned interior designers, check out my portfolio, visit their website and follow them on Houzz.