Q&A

MFP 2018 Susan Hill-9642.jpg

What does your work mean to you?

My work makes me happy. I eat, sleep, breathe and dream it.  It’s very fulfilling for me to help a client create their vision of what they want their home to be.  

How did you get started in design?

I was initially in college for education and was not finding it fulfilling.  After taking a break from college for three years and doing a lot of fashion and costume design, I went back to school to get my degree in interior design.  Fashion/costume design and interior design seem like a departure, but the same design elements apply in both fields.

What makes you good at what you do?  In other words, what are your superpowers?

I see a space three dimensionally before I’m ever in the space. Also, Iisten to my clients and see how they live and how I can improve their home.  Pairing classic, collected elements with a bit of modern thrown in makes for a space that feels clean and collected. 

How would you describe good design?

Good design employs the principles of design.  A great design creates dichotomy and tension in a space using the principles of design.  It’s been popular recently to say there are no rules to design, but that doesn’t align with my vision.  You have to know the rules and how to bend them to create a really interesting space that functions and lives the way the client wants it to.  Great design is not themey or ultra trendy.

Who are you at the party?

I’m an introvert naturally, so I’m good at a small gathering and I’ll be very outgoing in that setting.  At a large gathering I am the person who listens and doesn’t say much, and I may leave early to get home and recharge.  So if you see me out and I’m quiet, just know I feel uncomfortable and please walk over and start a conversation with me!

How would you describe your favorite projects?

My favorite projects start from the architectural phase and continue through the full design process.  I love creating interior architectural elements that carry the exterior aesthetic throughout the interior.  It’s really important to me to create cohesion in a home and property.

Are there any particular elements commonly found in your work?

I always custom design multiple things for a project.  It could be anywhere from architectural elements or found pieces, but I always include older pieces that I have re-finished or re-purposed combined with pops of color and a collection of items relevant to the particular project.  I want every space I do to feel like a sanctuary. My client’s aesthetic and style always guides my design, but I always finish with a clean overall aesthetic encompassing collected pieces.

Where do you live, and what do you love about living in the city/town you live in?

My family and I live in Fort Mill, SC, a suburb of Charlotte, NC.  We thought we were moving to a sleepy little town, but Fort Mill has grown so quickly and is now the fastest growing city in the US.  Despite that, there is a lot of charm to the Fort Mill area and we really enjoy the Greenway and the outdoor activities Fort Mill has to offer.

How would you describe your dream client?

Someone who wants to be part of the team, but trusts me and my team to do our jobs.  I really am only as good as a client will allow me to be and what I do truly is a team effort.  It requires the client to communicate their needs and wants effectively, let go, and trust that I always have their best interest at heart (and that my subcontractors and vendors do as well).  We are all pulling for the same final result: a happy client who loves their space.

What is something people might be surprised to know about you?

When I was 20 I was married to a musician and traveled with his band around the country for years.  It was an amazing experience that helped me grow as a person and really find my passion. I started to paint fabric, upholster and make furniture during that time.  This is really what started my path toward interior design and took me from designing clothes for my friends in middle and high school, to designing gowns and stage costumes in my 20’s, and led me to earning a degree in interior design.