Suzani patterns embellish every surface of Marian McEvoy's living room

Photo credit: Bob Hiemstra

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The front door opens to a welcoming blast of color, with every wall, chair, sofa, pillow, lampshade and curtain in sight enlivened by elements applied via glue gun. Marian isn't the first style-setter to rely on one of these handy tools, but the result here is as uniquely bright and bold as she is. That's due largely to her taste for embroidered suzani textiles, imported from Uzbekistan. She buys the fabric at flea markets and on eBay. Then, with manicure scissors, she carefully cuts out the flowers, leaves, and sunbursts in order to reapply them in her own manner. "To come into this sweet little house with grand-ballroom satin and silk would not have been appropriate," she says.

Suzani flowers highlight the throw pillows and cushions in the living room; red, yellow, and green suzani patterns embellish the curtains. The room also features a noteworthy collection of works on paper by such contemporary artists as Sol LeWitt, Brice Marden, and Damien Hirst, along with antique furniture—mostly 19th-century European and American pieces, though not generally of the ultraprecious kind. "Really," Marian says, "you want furniture people can use."


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