Showhouse News

Once again, I have been selected to participate in this year’s Saddle River Designer Showhouse. I will be designing the Sitting Room off the kitchen in a brand new traditional style home in Saddle River, NJ. My mind is already racing with inspiration as I plan the space which opens to the public October 4th through November 12th.

If you are in the Tri State area, please plan to attend. This year’s charity benefits the Department of Patient Care: Patient Experience at the Hackensack University Medical Center.

I will be updating my progress as usual with a lot of “behind the scenes” photos on my blog and social media. I am looking forward to another successful event!




As they say, “Better late than never”,  and so it goes for my room at this year’s Mansion In May. Although it is already over, the house opened on the first of May preceded by a fabulous and fun Preview Gala under a tent on the property of the stately Alnwyk Hall in Morristown, New Jersey.


The theme of the gala was ‘The Great Gatsby” which was a perfect compliment for the room I chose on the first floor which I named “The Ante Room”


The space was small, but strategically placed between the living room and grand reception hall. I imagined visitors being asked to wait while the lady of the house came downstairs to greet them. I decided on an Art Deco theme from the very beginning. The room had two ceiling fixtures in place which would call for a pair of matching chandeliers, small in scale but grand enough to make a statement. Looking at the BEFORE photos makes it hard to imagine that this room could be transformed, but I had hope. Structurally, it was intact, it just needed lots of architectural interest.


My sketches for the room included crown moldings to house cove lighting, chair rail, a fake fireplace mantel, mirrored boxes and decorative corner details.


After calculating how much wood was necessary, I dragged Hubby and my power tools to the room to begin. He would cut and I installed. The room was only 10’6″ x 13′ but the ceiling was 9′ so I needed his help to hold up the crown while I nailed. We make such a good team!


The dropped ceiling in the room did not hide an older decorative plaster ceiling as in the rest of the house, so I chose to keep the ceiling and just paint it all black. Between the air ducts, speakers, fire sprinkler and light boxes, there were just too many things going on to try and disguise them, so the black made them all disappear.

I purchased two 100 light strings of white LED Christmas lights and attached them to the crown molding to put indirect lighting onto the ceiling, creating a glow.


After the moldings were finished, I was able to paint the upper half. I chose a shade of blue from Benjamin Moore, who was the paint sponsor of the house. It turns out that mostly everyone on the first floor chose blue without knowing we would all match.


The wallpaper was chosen because it looked like the walls were tufted, but for a fraction of that cost. 12″ mirrored tiles made it easy to direct glue to the insides of the boxes.


I made Art Deco decorative corner pieces to apply over the mirror and applied high shine silver tape for an added detail.




The carpet in the room was removed to reveal a badly damaged parquet floor, so that was replaced with a smooth paint grade plywood. I sketched out my design,


I copied the pattern using green “frog” tape as it does not let the paint bleed like the popular blue kind.


I then painted the diamonds alternating black and white.  I only needed one coat of each color as it was heavy duty exterior patio paint.


When all was done , a simple pull of the tape reveals nice clean edges. I finished with four coats of polyurethane.


Because the room was so small I knew I would have very little room for furniture, so my accessories also had to make a statement. I decided to make a copy of a painting from the very well known Art Deco artits, Tamara de Lampika, except with my own twist. This is the original that I chose to copy;


And this is my 36″ x 48″ version. I dressed her in hot pink for a fun pop of color!


and hung on the wall


Some closeups of room detail…ceramic buildings


I had cornices and drapery panels made to give the illusion of windows and to cover unsightly items on the wall.



A 60″ round custom banquette was made for the center of the room


Calla lillies in a silver vase…The photos of my grandparents have gone into every showhouse I have done since the 80’s!


The crystal chandeliers were a perfect fit for the room as were the decorative peacocks.

And the finished product! (photos by Wing Wong Memories TTL.)

_W1A1262-70 Sue Niblo Space 6 (from door to inside) sm

_W1A1271-78 Sue Niblo Space 6 (to painting) sm



This is the most exciting “sneak peek” yet!

All of the designers at the showhouse received an email from Sol at Design Hub Home in Millburn NJ  ( saying that he was willing to be a supplier of lighting to all who are participating. I went to his beautiful showroom and as I walked in, two of the most perfect chandeliers were hanging right in front of me.


They will work perfectly with the Art Deco theme and have lots of sparkle from the large crystals attached.

A big thanks to DESIGN HUB HOME for your generosity and support of Mansion In May!

More New Stuff

I had to tear myself away from the show house yesterday to concentrate on my very patient clients and their needs. Several  have projects that are requiring tile, so I made the rounds to local stores. I had noticed the new BLACKMAN showroom while driving last week, so I made that my first stop. I had no idea they carried so much merchandise. A big bright beautiful showroom of tile, lighting, bath fixtures and kitchens for inside or out. On the way out I took pictures of my favorite things.

One client is redoing a kitchen and I knew she would love this really fun faucet; only to admire, though…the price starts at $2500 depending on the finish. I like to refer to things like this as a “splurge” item.


The same client also wants a farmhouse sink. These were the most unique I have ever seen: cement, mosaic and hammered metal.


This was kind of creepy but clever! (it’s a mannequin…)


These bath vignettes are so attractive!!


Can you see the gold and white “eggs” hanging on the wall?


A closeup of the crystal wall sconce and gold tile-


Each riser on the stairway is done in different mirrored tiles


The flowers on the chandelier are all porcelain


From there I went to Wayne Tile. The choices available are overwhelming but the most striking part of the showroom is the m0saic section, visible as you first walk in.

Mosaic trees, mannequins, ocean waves, and murals as high as twelve feet high are everywhere.


Every one of these are made from thousands of pieces of colored glass.

Can anyone use these in their home???


Sneak Peek!

I have been very busy transforming my room at Alnwyk Hall for the upcoming Mansion in May. All the molding work is in and painted with four coats of high gloss white. The following photos are my sketches for the layout.


These are the fabrics I will be using…


This week I will get the walls painted and start wallpapering.

More to come….


Hubby and I just returned from Vegas. It was the usual itinerary; he worked , I played. We always stay at the Vdara hotel. It’s a favorite of mine as there is no casino in the lobby. That means you don’t have to walk forever to get to the elevator to your room.

Right next to the hotel is the Shops at Crystals, an indoor mall with 50 luxury stores. Maybe I never noticed it, but this year I stumbled on the Lalique store located on the second floor.

Unfortunately, I got there before they opened, but was still able to see inside the showroom. I left my camera at home but had to take pictures of all the magnificent pieces on display with my phone. Even the handles on the entry doors were a work of art.


Art Deco at it finest.


Lacquered furniture and finely crafted crystal pieces.


This is my favorite table ever made; a beautiful classic…


I had so much inspiration for my room I am doing at this year’s Mansion in May.





Did you notice the horse heads??


Welcome Back!

Have I really not updated since October???

Then the saying “time flies when you’re having fun” is really true. It is great to be back at work being creative, meeting new people and seeing all that is new in the industry. This past fall brought a chance to go to “BDNY” ( Boutique Design New York)  at the Javits Center; geared toward the Hospitality industry.


It was a very full day of walking and talking; meeting lots of vendors and their innovative products.


Lladro, known for their pale pink and blue ceramic sculpture now offers an exquisite line of chandeliers and accessories


Some more innovative products..


This was my favorite piece- a table with a custom glass insert made to look like spilled water


How about a sofa that changes color??


In October, Hubby had to go to London so I tagged along again. I finally got to a bunch of museums and saw some very famous paintings..


Even some unfinished ones by Michelangelo


The highlight of my trip was the International Ballroom Dancing Championships at The Royal Albert Hall. Thank you, Melinda for an amazing night!!


And, again this year Hubby and I managed to pull off another joyous Christmas party. The theme this year was Winter Wonderland. I made centerpieces with lanterns for the tables and we covered the room in white and blue lights.

We had our singers again this year who entertained us and led  our finale of The Twelve Days of Christmas.



In the fall, I  had the pleasure of working with a very sweet new client who had just moved back to New York from New Mexico. She was used to living with a lot of the bright colors which are typical of the south west. She had a lot of beautiful art work and pottery that she collected over the years and wanted to brighten up her place to reflect her style that she so dearly missed. She allowed me to go crazy with paint colors on her walls and brought in some brightly colored fabrics.

Her rooms went from this-


to this!


It’s really amazing what a coat of paint can do. I wish all clients were this brave!

Last, but not least is the most exciting news that I have to share;

I have been chosen to participate in this year’s Mansion In May Designer Showhouse which will be held at Alnwick Hall, “The Abbey” located in Morristown, New Jersey.


Out of several hundred applicants, my design was one of forty six chosen.The space I chose is on the first floor called “The Ante Room”. Right now, it is not very pretty…


My plans are to make an Art Deco inspired lounge for the imaginary visitors to the Mansion in it’s heyday. I have already started work in the room and will share what I can in the weeks to come.

It is an honor to be a part of such a wonderful group of volunteers who work together with the Women’s Association for Morristown Medical Center. The home will be open to the public the entire month of May . Please try to attend!