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IN CONVERSATION WITH SUSAN BEDNAR



Susan Bednar Long


Susan Bednar Long’s celebrated style is inspired by her design training at two world class luxury brands, extensive travels, and over ten years running Tocar Interior Design in New York City.

Beginning her career at a boutique design-build firm in Beverly Hills, Susan worked with some of the world’s most recognized celebrities and learned that “clients want someone who can manage every detail and deliver ‘turnkey’ projects.”

Later, at Polo Ralph Lauren, Susan oversaw the decoration of their flagship Retail Stores and at Coach she was the creative force behind their new store prototype and furniture line. “My experiences taught me to layer all of the elements – wallpaper, artwork, furniture, fabrics, accessories, and lighting. Without layering, rooms aren’t done.”


Read on to learn more about this interesting designer…


Iván Meade – What was your first experience with design?

Susan Bednar Long – As a child of about 7 years old, I would draw elaborate floor plans on paper and do pen and ink sketches of elevations of homes that I imagined.



Interiors by Susan Bednar Long


Iván Meade – Who or what has influenced your style?

Susan Bednar Long – Bliss Blass’s interiors and his masculine, tailored style. More specifically, how he mixed formal American antiques in a modern, graphic way at his former country home in Connecticut.



Interiors by Susan Bednar Long


Iván Meade – How would you describe your style?

Susan Bednar Long – Modern traditional. It’s definitely a push and pull between both depending on the project and the inspiration.



Interiors by Susan Bednar Long


Iván Meade – What designers of past and present do you admire most?

Susan Bednar  Long – I love Stephen Gambrel’s work now – it’s so classic American and I love the complex, neutral hues of his beautiful rooms. Also, Dorothy Draper was one of the main reasons I entered the field of Interior Design. My dad gave me a book about her when I was younger because I loved interiors and design so much. Her work was so graphic and bold and fantasy-like. It was so inspiring to me at a young age.



Interiors by Susan Bednar Long


Iván Meade – What do you consider to be your greatest strength and your greatest weakness?

Susan Bednar Long – Greatest strength is my ability to be both highly creative and highly organized. It’s a rare thing to have both. Greatest weakness is that I hold everyone else to the same standard.



Interiors by Susan Bednar Long


Iván Meade – What books are currently on your bedside or coffee table?

Susan Bednar Long – Coffee table: Weekend Retreats by Susanna Salk; Passion for Parties by Carolyn Roehm. Bedside: God in the White House by Randall Balmer; What to Expect Your 1st Year (baby book).



Interiors by Susan Bednar Long


Iván Meade – What are you excited about right now in the world of design?

Susan Bednar Long – That the world’s design is more accessible to us with the internet, international publications, blogs, etc. It’s great to see what is happening all over the world and be able to actually incorporate it in our design work here.



Interiors by Susan Bednar Long


Iván Meade – You both have a strong background with the fashion industry; what design cues do you take from the runway to incorporate into your interiors?

Susan Bednar Long – I don’t have much runway experience, more retail store and showroom design experience. There I learned the importance of visual merchandising and creating “moments” as the Ralph Lauren Creative Services group would call them. It’s these tricks of the trade to make spaces complete, layered and give it that personality that sets it apart from most interiors.



Interiors by Susan Bednar Long


Iván Meade – What would be your dream project?

Susan Bednar Long – Doing a modern interior within an old Venetian Palazzo. I think the most exciting interiors have that mix of old/new, modern/traditional. It would allow us to shop in Europe, travel frequently to Venice (where I got married 5 years ago) and use wonderful craftsman from Italy to restore the space. I can’t thing of anything better!



Interiors by Susan Bednar Long


Iván Meade – What project has given you the most satisfaction?

Susan Bednar Long – Our recently completed London townhouse. We had to do it really fast within 6 months from start of design to installation. It was designed for existing Clients – a family of 7 that were moving from the US to London. The townhouse is beautifully formal, about 6000 square feet on 5 levels. It was a great challenge – not only for the timeline but to give the formal English space an American sensibility while maintaining its existing level of elegance.



Interiors by Susan Bednar Long


Iván Meade – What is your next design venture?

Susan Bednar Long – The interiors of a beautiful Georgian style stone mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut and a French brick estate also in Greenwich.

Christina Sullivan – We have just started a wonderful Georgian style stone house in Greenwich CT.  The interiors are going to be chic, sophisticated and friendly.



Interiors by Susan Bednar Long


Iván Meade – Lastly, you have already created a stunning body of work with many mediums and styles. What would you like your legacy to be?

Susan Bednar  Long – A Designer that consistently created beautifully classic, understatedly elegant interiors specific to her Client’s individual style.



I invite you to visit Susan Bednar Long’s Interior Design site and enjoy her stunning work.