Designers at Home

What happens when interior designers are their own clients: a look inside five very different, very beautiful homes.

(page 5 of 5)

5. European Style Enhances a Cozy Retreat


Susan Thorn
Susan Thorn Interiors, Inc.
Cross River
(914) 763-5265

Designer Susan Thorn is known for her traditional European style.


When designer Susan Thorn and her husband, Bill, found their present Cross River home in the late '60s, it was “an abandoned cinder-block structure on a nice piece of land.” More than 30 years later, after several additions, the peaked-roof French main house is joined by two sister outbuildings, identical in style, one of which is used to manage her successful interior design business.

Classically trained with a degree in interior design and more than 30 years of experience, the youthful and energetic Thorn is known for her warm, sophisticated interiors using continental and American antiques, rich floral fabrics, and exquisite lighting. What is the secret to achieving her signature traditional look? “Go outside a room and look in for a different perspective. Take pictures. Stand back from your creation to get the overall effect,” advises Thorn. It certainly worked here.

An inlaid French antique desk topped by framed watercolors, stands ready for correspondence in the guest room.
French iron bed in the guest room under a cloud of creamy canopy; Pratesi bed linens, Cowtan & Tout bedskirt. An antique caned chair sits at foot of the bed.
The dining table was purchased in Cross River (store now closed). The crystal and iron chandelier was purchased in Buenos Aires and reassembled for the home. Aubusson pillows on matching neutral sofas covered in Cowtan & Tout fabric. The red lacquered coffee table was purchased in Chappaqua (store now closed). Red tole vases are from Italy; sisal rug, Stark.
Matched skirted armchairs provide a comfortable spot to unwind and sip tea by the fire in Thorn’s cozy master bedroom. Pillow and chair fabric, Jim Thompson. Hudson River School oil painting above the mantle is by artist Andrew Richardson. French vases and framed 18th-century bird silhouettes complete the relaxing symmetry.
Boxes, one of Thorn’s many collecting passions, are displayed under an inlaid French marquetry table in the dining room. Candleholders are family pieces.




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