Today, dear readers, we are thrilled to be bringing you exclusive images of the interior design studio of iconic American interior designer, Suzanne Tucker, of San Francisco’s Tucker and Marks in Part 3 of our 6 part series, “The Inspiring Studios of America’s Top Interior Designers.”
For any of you that have been long time readers of Hadley Court, you know that Suzanne Tucker’s warm, elegant, inviting style has long been an influence on Leslie Hendrix Wood’s own design aesthetic.
Before we begin to show you Tucker and Mark’s offices and share with you Suzanne’s answers to our interview questions below, we’d like to start by sharing a bit more about Suzanne’s background with those of you who may not yet be as familiar with her work.
Repeatedly honored by Architectural Digest as one of the #Top100 Interior Designers in the world and named by the Robb Report as “The Best of the Best in Interior Design”, Suzanne was raised in Santa Barbara and received a BFA at UCLA, writing her senior thesis on textiles.
She then worked in fashion, managing the Designer Salon at I. Magnin and in the late 1970s, she moved to London and worked for a decorator refurbishing English country houses.
In 1976, she moved back to California, to San Francisco, had her daughter, Hatley – now an award winning equestrian – and took a job as a secretary for legendary designer Michael Taylor. Before long, she’d become his design assistant and upon his untimely death in 1986, she formed a partnership with Timothy Marks, who also worked for Michael at the time, to buy his business and renamed it Tucker and Marks. Later, she and Timothy married and Timothy now runs their business operations.
Now, in addition to their thriving interior design business and her many philanthropic activities, Suzanne is the author of two well known books on design, one of which we reviewed here, has her own line of beautiful textiles, which we wrote about here, has a line of outdoor furniture which we wrote about here, a line of fireplace chimneys for Chesney’s which we wrote about here, amongst many other gorgeous items for the home which you can find on her site at Suzanne Tucker Home.
HADLEY COURT: What does your office and/or workspace look like?
ST: Our office is a floor-through with daylight coming in from both the back and front of the building. In addition, there is a glass-walled courtyard right in the center of the office that allows for even more daylight to stream in. This “circular” lay-out gives the office great energy. Each department (design, architecture, purchasing, Suzanne Tucker Home) has their own area, though the offices are “open-plan” – in fact, we recently took down another wall. Communication is key – we love that the open plan lets us eavesdrop a bit on what everyone else in the office is working on, share ideas and learn from our co-workers.
HADLEY COURT: How do you conduct client presentations?
ST: We meet with clients in our conference room/design library. The room is quiet and private and has lots of daylight, a must when looking at colors and samples, plans and renderings. We meet around a large conference table, surrounded by black leather Eames Management chairs by Herman Miller. One entire wall in this room is clad in Homasote and black felt, and we put this life size pin board to very good use. Of course we serve water, and freshly brewed coffee or tea. We often have refreshments brought in during meetings, and we serve lunch on silver trays – it’s a little detail that goes a long way.
HADLEY COURT: “What branded presentation materials do you use?”
ST: All our presentations materials – plans, renderings, mood boards, etc. – are Tucker & Marks branded. And of course, our own textiles are Suzanne Tucker Home branded. We also use branded note cards, shopping bags and pencils etc.
HADLEY COURT: “How do you utilize online tools in your daily work and in your presentations?”
ST: We use Studio Designer to manage all our projects and accounting. Over the years we’ve customized reports and various forms that help streamline our projects and personalize the look of our presentation materials.
In our conference room, we have a large flat-screen TV which can be hooked up to any computer or laptop and display files, plans, resources, websites, etc. In addition, we have an iPad Pro, which contains our entire Tucker & Marks portfolio in the Portfolio app, a wonderful presentation tool when we are on the road or at a job site. We also have a Plan Grid account. Plan Grid is mobile construction app that allows us to have our plans at our fingertips wherever we are.
When we do conference calls – often with 3 or more parties in different locations – GoToMeeting is our preferred app. For transferring large files we use both Hightail and Dropbox.
HADLEY COURT: “How do you prepare for presentations?
ST: Clients always receive detailed proposals for all the items reviewed and approved during design meetings. We often do watercolor renderings and hand-drawn elevations, sometimes even a 3D model, that clients can take home to help them visualize and make final decisions. Every client is a bit different so our presentations are not “one size fits all”.
Now that you’ve seen her studio, the last example she provided to us of her firm’s work is below. Isn’t this a breathtakingly beautiful living room? Are you noticing the lovely layering of similar hues like we are?
Suzanne has also said she likes to add just a touch of black to her rooms to add gravitas, which she’s done here with the painting, the fireplace box , the drapery hardware and the lampshade on the table, which, taken together, move your eye from one end of this large to another, tying it all together effortlessly. We could step right into this exquisite room, pull up a chair, feel immediately at home and have a lovely conversation, could you?
We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post, dear readers, and we sincerely thank Suzanne and her team for making it possible for us to bring you this exclusive inside look at her design offices and presentation process.
Part 4 of our exclusive series on *The Inspiring Studios of America’s Top Designers* will be coming up next month on Hadley Court and, until then, we hope we have inspired you to create a more beautiful workspace or office of your own.
If we have, we’d love for you to tell us about in the comments and, thank you, as always, for reading and subscribing to Hadley Court – we appreciate YOU.
Leslie Hendrix Wood
Leslie Hendrix Wood Interiors