As an interior designer, I try to create rooms that make people feel good when they are in them. Color, texture, pattern, furniture arrangement, scale, light, references to the past or things that are meaningful are all things that I use to evoke positive feelings. Many of the rooms pictured here are my own designs while others are renderings that I did for other designers. If you would like to discuss an interior design project with me, please email me at email@example.com.
Do you have a room that you would like a portrait of? Are you a designer and need an artistic hand drawn rendering for a show house or to present to a client? I’d love to work with you! Click here for rates and an order form.
Litchfield Plantation Drawing Room
Litchfield Plantation Club Dining Room
A room filled with books is one of my favorite happy places. I could get lost for hours just wandering through subjects, stories and ideas!
When I lived in CT, I loved when we had a snow day and could stay in our pjs all day with a crackling fire going in every room. Although I do not miss the snow AT ALL, I do miss snow days!
Wood On the Ceiling, Wood On the Floor, Who Could Ask For Anything More?
As an interior designer, I love dreaming up happy places. I was obsessed with wood ceilings and herringbone wood floors when I dreamt this room up. Could this be one of your Happy Places?
Good Morning Mary Sunshine!
My dad used to wake me up with this little rhyme: “Good morning, Mary Sunshine. How are you today? You wake up all the birds and bees and send them their way!” I thought it was a cute rhyme and liked the idea that I was in charge of all of the birds and the bees but it really bothered me when he called me Mary because my name is Susan and he really should remember that!
This breakfast room is so happy with the sunny yellow wallpaper and the lovely terrace outside. I could be happy greeting the day here, couldn’t you?
European Farmhouse Chic
This kitchen was cooked up for a client who didn’t want to tear everything out but rather wanted to use what could be salvaged in a dated space. Mixing materials, using colorful rugs and a fun tin ceiling makes a tired place in a happy place.
Is it Time For Bed Yet?
Do you have a doggy who loves to go to bed at night? Mine does. Sometimes he tells me to stop working and come to bed. My husband is much more patient with my late hours than our dog is.
Bed at the end of a long day is definitely a Happy Place.
How Many Patterns Does it Take to Make a Room Happy?
This was done for another interior designer and I adore all of the patterns she put together for this lovely master bedroom retreat. Its so charming and English feeling, isn’t it? I love it and blue and green is my happiest color combo.
Happy Home Away From Home
My husband and I love going to the Met to see an opera and staying in Soho at this great little boutique hotel is one of our favorite happy place hotels. I love a hotel that has cozy places that are not in your room but not in the lobby to sit and read or have a coffee or glass of wine. That makes us happy.
The Great Hall
This was a rendering done for another interior designer. She had a client who was really having trouble envisioning the room and getting what it would “feel” like. Withe the wallpaper, patterned fabrics and rugs, it was a challenge. But I was happy when I had finished!
The Great Hall- Close Up View
Same room as the previous one but different view. I love putting fires in fireplaces. Wood fires in a fireplace make me happy!
A Place To Read
This was done for a client who had a long living room with windows that looked out on the most magnificent water view. Rather than put the typical pair of wing chairs or a round table in this space, I put a chaise with a good reading lamp and a little table beside it to hold a coffee mug or wine glass. I imagined how nice it would be to sit here on a Saturday morning and have coffee and check emails on an iPad.
Christmas at Home
I love love love everything about Christmas. The wonder of God’s grace and love for us, the time with family and friends, the lights, smells, decorations, and even a live tree inside the house! Its all so happy-making!
Irish Country House
Any room where a cute pup is napping a a cozy bed with the sun streaming in works for me. The beams and the windows with the countryside beyond don’t hurt! A plump sofa and a pile of pillows (feather filled, OF COURSE) complete this happy room.
Litchfield Plantation Half Bath
People- Sometimes Happy, Sometimes Not.
I sometimes draw people for a blog post to tell a story. Sometimes I draw people because I like the light or the way their hair looks. Sometimes I make up people and characters just for fun. I don’t do portraits. I learned my lesson. Most people don’t want to look the way they look. (Including me). It doesn’t matter if they are attractive. They would prefer to look like someone else. But if you make them look too good, they are upset when people tell them that it doesn’t look like them! So I stick to houses and places mostly. And people who don’t exist because they can’t complain.
Happy Places Art
Colorful and whimsical are the adjectives most often used to describe my art. Influenced by the Fauvists as well as my experience as an interior designer, I love to use color and light to create a mood- and the mood I most often portray is happy!
Art Under the Oaks
This was an art show I participated in this spring in Pawleys Island. It was such a beautiful day- sunny but shaded, warm but not humid. The atmosphere was perfect. And the happy people really helped make it memorable, too!
When I first moved to Pawleys Island, I really didn’t know what the little buildings at the end of the docks were used for. I was so happy when I was invited to a “Creekside” gathering and saw first hand!
Meet Me at Frank's
This is one of my favorite places to go in Pawleys Island. The atmosphere is really magical and the food and live music are always wonderful. You are sure to run into a friend here and you are always made to feel welcome!
The Chive Blossom
I love having dinner outside here at The Chive Blossom in Pawleys when its not too hot. They have the best crab slaw salad in the world. Add a glass of very chilled rosé and I am in heaven.
After the Worship Service
Everyone loves to catch up after Sunday services in Pawleys Island. Either inside or outside, at church or at Caledonia or True Blue for lunch.
Pawleys Island Map
Pawleys Island is a small place. I mean it’s really small. It’s situated on a narrow spit of land trapped between the Atlantic on one side and the Waccamaw River on the other. There is only one main road. A few traffic lights. That’s it. But when I first moved here, I could never remember which way to turn coming up from Kings River Rd to Ocean Highway. To get to the Joggling Board do I go left or right? And the speed limit is ridiculously fast so don’t try to drive slowly as you search for a shop. Nor can you just do a u turn because there is a median down the center! So, I really could have used this map. I hope it helps tourists and newbies.
This was one of my first House Portraits. Something about this house really spoke to me. It’s funny, if something moves me, I want to draw it. It’s almost as if I feel I can possess it and understand it, communicate with it somehow, if I draw it. I did this really fast and looking back at it now, I like how free it feels. I am sure this house is its owner’s happy place. You can just tell, can’t you?
It's a Pawleys Island Dog's Life
Some shops can be happy places for me. My husband jokes that The Fresh Market is my Happy Place! There is an adorable doggy store in town called Woof Gang Bakery and it is owned by the most welcoming, happy and sweet mother and daughter team. Plus, how can you be unhappy in a shop with iced cookies that look like donuts with sprinkles for dogs? And there is lots of pink which always makes me feel happy. Dogs make me happy, very happy. This is what a dog’s life is like in Pawleys Island. In my mind anyway.
Once upon a time, I fell in love with this sweet cottage on Instagram. So moved by it, I did a little house portrait of the house dressed for Christmas. I tagged the architect who had posted the photo, who tagged the homeowner, who got in touch with me! Then I created this Lilly Pulitzer colored version along with their beloved dog in the yard. And they all lived happily ever after. The End.
Pawleys Island Beach
My really really Happy Place! Enough said.
Llamas, Horses, and I Forget What They Are Called, Oh My!
When Mar Jennings asked me to do a drawing of some land he had listed for sale, he asked me to put llama, horses and those other long necked creatures in it, I thought oh dear. I am not sure how I can make that work. But it turned out better than I expected. This could be my happy farm.
Susan Albright creates interiors that delight and make people feel good. Highly imaginative and intuitive, she listens to her clients and is able to help them articulate a vision for their spaces that is beautiful, functional and tells their unique story. Previous projects have ranged from 18th century historical properties, high rise Manhattan condos, to a church. She is always open to new adventures and takes a limited number of projects a year.
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your project.
The Model at Golf Club Villas
Blue and white is nearly universally appealing and that’s a key consideration when furnishing a model home. Given a tight budget, wallpaper, window treatments, new Lighting or custom anything we’re not an option. To make things even more challenging, I was given a deadline of 30 days. Everything was purchased either online, through my vendors or local stores.