Friday, December 4, 2015

Sue de Chiara's Chic and Preppy Home

One of my favorite design blogs is The Zush by Sue De Chiara, and I adore her online shop for home accents, decor, jewelry, and accessories. Sue has amazing style, which is directly reflected in her preppy, traditional Connecticut home with its subtle tongue-in-cheek glamour, where she lives with her husband and three children. Featured by My Domaine earlier this year, Sue is continually "zushing" her home, which I enjoy following on her Instagram account. So I was thrilled when One Kings Lane published an updated home tour this month!

Sue De Chiara in her living room via One Kings Lane

Silhouettes of the couple’s children—in neon colors rather than the traditional black-on-white—line the staircase.

A toile-upholstered chair feels fresh when paired with a zebra rug.

The foundation of the family room is relaxed—note those cushy chenille sofas—but Sue made the atmosphere higher-octane and more fun with pieces like a Natural Curiosities butterfly artwork, a lidded African basket, and a set of zebra stools.

A supertextured, hotly colored, deliciously tactile coffee table situation.

Sue embraces mixed metallics in the kitchen via the silver-trimmed ceiling pendants, saved from the family’s former house (“Those were the first expensive things I ever bought,” she says) and brass faucets and hardware.

In the cabinets, Sue mixes everything from antique ironstone pitchers to contemporary pieces from Two’s Company to items snagged at Target—the overarching theme is color, not precise eras or styles. 

Gorgeous vignettes—like this display—help Sue through the madness. She says she puts together these moments “purely for good looks. I don’t pretend to use it all!”

At the landing at the top of the stairs, a picture of a giant heart by Kerri Rosenthal provides a clever contrast to the otherwise traditional decor. 

Sue fashioned an office for herself and her assistant out of a pass-through upstairs space. According to Sue, there’s no need to close doors, even when the children are home: “My girls are teenagers, so they’re very uninterested in what I’m doing,” she jokes. Her son does pop in with his homework sometimes.

The pink lips are a working landline, or as Sue refers to it, “my hotline bling.”

Pineapples—a classic symbol of hospitality—pop up throughout the house, often in nontraditional forms like an all-white sculpture in the kitchen or a little brass objet.

Sue toggles between computer work—blogging, managing the shop—and larger projects that she needs to spread out on tables.

Farrow & Ball’s Lotus motif covers the walls of this powder room. Sue recommends Googling any wallpaper you like, to “see it in as many room situations as possible. It’s so much better than trying a little sample on the wall.”

This design scheme is another perfect distillation of Sue’s aesthetic: Classic white and bold pattern intermingle to create drama and glamour. Wallpaper is Sigourney by Quadrille. 

Sue loves to frame anything precious. Case in point? These swim trunks—which her son outgrew—now hang in the wallpapered powder room. When framing scarves, dresses, or other apparel, she suggests having them pressed by a dry cleaner first, and then having a professional framer transfer them to canvas.

A room off the dining room holds all the servingware and tchotchkes, so the dining room itself remains clutter-free.

Sometimes a coat of paint is the best zhushing move. When the family first moved in, the bar was “old school and very masculine,” Sue says. But now that it’s been painted a deep glossy blue, a shade inspired by Pinterest hunts, the space feels sexier and more modern.

Above the headboard is a Brimfield find, probably a piece from an older house’s facade. Sue and Lauren Muse created a serene but still cozy feeling throughout, by covering the walls in grass cloth, the floor with a wool rug, and the windows with plantation shutters. Monogramed pillows through The Zush.

Layered textures lend this corner an especially restful come-and-curl-up feel.

In an étagère, the striking objets—a brass ram’s head, a heroic white horse, a bold white coral—more than hold their own among the books.

Sue got to indulge in another of her many “wallpaper crushes” in the master bathroom.

When the stress of the move was at a crazy peak, Sue admits she would “just close my eyes and think about my future closet.” This retreat-within-a-retreat features a feminine wallpaper and lots of family mementos.

In the room of one of her daughters, a bubble chair adds a drop of wild style to the pared-down atmosphere. “She was very minimalist in what she wanted—white walls, no window treatments, no clutter.”

With next-level wallpaper having a moment, it’s hard not to consider the ceiling’s constellation paper, which glows in the dark, the ultimate pick.

via My Domain. Dana Gibson pillow available through The Zush

In her daughters’ bathroom, a midcentury-style turquoise chair nods to Sue’s own childhood home.

Sue's beautiful home, via Instagram.

I could move right into this fabulous family friendly home, which Sue decorated with the assistance of Lauren Muse, Muse Interiors.  You can learn more about Sue and recreate the look via her exclusively curated sale at One Kings Lane. Accessories, linens, etc. can be purchased through The Zush


  1. Love her wallpaper picks. Spot on every time. So glad to see wallpaper in use again. And she really knows how to mix styles and make it look chic. Talented!

  2. First of all Andrea, I adore Sue and have been one of her biggest flog friends forever! her home is such a perfect mix of stylish chic and traditional! Love it!

    The Arts by Karena
    Books for the Holidays!!

  3. Such amazing style. I've been following Sue for awhile, and am always inspired her!

  4. Stunning and luxurious home! Love it.


Thank you for your lovely comments. They absolutely make my day!

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