Susan Nilsson’s Dining Room
Susan Nilsson Interior Design, Asheville
Harvest-yellow walls and an arched entryway lend the luster of a warm horizon to the dining room in Susan Nilsson’s luxuriously executed 1940s stone farmhouse.
promoting endless summer, fat bouquets of sunflowers — culled from local tailgate markets and U-pick farms — burst ebulliently from a pair of Mottahedeh Blue Canton jug vases. In fact, Nilsson’s Canton collection defines the room. Paired with Baccarat Harcourt crystal goblets, plates are set on the majestic, five-foot-wide dining-room table that boasts, says the designer, “the best cabriole legs I have ever seen.” (Bought at Brunk Auctions, the table was originally made in Mexico for a General Electric executive.)
The rest of the china set makes its home in an oak Welsh dresser; the top of the hutch is arrayed with antique vessels, a wicker picnic box, and other useful curios. “The wooden platters are great serving pieces,” notes Nilsson. “Jugs, wood, and wicker all neutralize the blue and bright yellow.”
However, the main grounding element is the seagrass rug — “like a basket on the floor,” says Nilsson, referring to those valuable Southern-coastal collectibles. In this case, though, Maher Brothers Flooring in Candler uses the material by the bolt to assemble solid but visually light rugs that have proven popular with Nilsson’s clients.
Ultimately, jazz weaves it all together. “My friend Heinz Kossler, the [Asheville tile] artist, made me a wonderful copy of an iPod playlist that turns my dining room into a speakeasy,” says Nilsson. And on that note, “remember that lighting and acoustics are most important when planning a dining room,” she concludes.