The Objects of Her Affection
Suzanne Boyd in front of her Schiaparelli pink wall.
When I first saw the 1,400-square-foot space in New York's financial district, it registered as just another featureless two-bedroom apartment. But there were glimmers of character: The ceilings, crossed with drywall beams, are 11 feet rather than the usual 9, which gives the place an airy quality. And although they're unevenly shaped, the open rooms that form the kitchen and the living area share a dramatic expanse of a wall.
Suzanne combines many influences in her living room.
As I got deeper into the decorating process, it became difficult to pinpoint a single inspiration. Initially, the ideas swirled in my head, but they eventually flowed into one another other organically, just as each stage of life transitions to the next. While the dark wood blinds that dress the living-room window are unabashedly tropical, I don't know if I chose shocking pink for accent walls because I have a fascination with Elsa Schiaparelli, the 1930s surrealist couturiere who made the color her trademark, or because it's the same shade as the hibiscus flowers that bloomed outside my bedroom in Jamaica, where I spent part of my childhood.

I tried to go minimal, but it was a little like going outside without wearing makeup.
A logger's tent gives Suzanne Boyd privacy and a place to work.
Even though the logger's tent that I erected on a platform to use as an office is a tribute to the camping tradition of the Great White North, it also triggers thoughts of Barbadian surf safaris, where we'd sleep on the beach and fish for our supper.

To create an incongruously groovy moment beside the tent, I added a Sputnik chandelier and a leather shag carpet.

I'm a procrastinator, but the privacy of the tent helps me be more productive.
Suzanne Boyd creates a dark and dramatic bedroom.
I wanted to make my bedroom very dark and dramatic. In fashion we call this layering of influences "the mix," a high-wire style act that works only when it's authentic to the person doing it.

In the bedroom, I contrasted animal prints with hand-carved Thai cabinets, a chandelier I picked up in Prague, and a mirror made of scrap metal. I purchased the pieces years apart, often on a whim. These elements are anchored by chocolate walls and touches of green, which recall the mountains of Dominica, my favorite island.

The Calvin Klein bed is outfitted with John Robshaw linens.
European-inspired walls anchor Suzanne's living room.
The thread running through my home is the world beat of multiculturalism, including the European Elsie de Wolfe stripes on the main wall, a nice contrast with the furniture's patterned upholstery.
A ten-panel, handpainted chinoiserie screen separates the kitchen from the living room.
A 10-panel, handpainted chinoiserie screen separates the kitchen from the living room.
Suzanne's father gave her this British West Indian folk art piece.
Multiculturalism helped create the culture of the West Indies and gave cities like Toronto and New York (and, in the end, my apartment) their flavor. My father gave me this British West Indian folk art piece.
A designer friend helped Suzanne choose this zebra-skin settee.
I also borrowed the concept of vintage from fashion, to throw in a retro curve. When you shop for vintage, take someone who has an eye. A designer friend helped choose this zebra-skin settee, which helps bring an African feel to the room.

Originally, I had planned to strew books throughout the apartment—until sheer volume rendered that notion impractical. Still, I often pull books from shelves near the tent and place them among treasured curios, such as the carved wooden mermaid on my coffee table.

They, like the framed photographs hanging on the walls of my dressing room, help this apartment tell the story of my life.