Simple by Signature

Sophisticated Simplicity, a new book by Suzanne Kasler, explores the designer’s storied approach to creating timeless interiors

When it comes to capturing the heart and soul of comfortable, casual beach houses, few other interior designers are able to match the easy elegance that Suzanne Kasler so deftly designs. 

In Suzanne’s vernacular, edited but breezy interiors relate back to the beach thanks to color, texture and form. Blues notes reference the sea and sky; linen draperies and white-washed walls nod to the clouds and soft beach sands; and ultimately, the designer leaves it up to the families who inhabit these homes to bring in authentic color. 

Beyond the light and airy coastal-inspired palette, her arrangements of furniture, which are highly fexible and adaptable, act as an open invitation for families to interact with one another, such as a dining table that’s set for eight at dinner hour, but by day, transforms into a game table covered in decks of cards, puzzle pieces or board games. 

At this particular residence, a three-story abode on Florida’s Emerald Coast, the sense of place Suzanne has cultivated is most palpable through simple, modern and bright touches. Sand-colored woods in the form of pecky cypress detailing and drapery and furniture in gray driftwood tones reference the location in a subtle way, while edited touches of turquoise (and texture) captivate the eyes, much like the views through the windows.

“I always say that design is about the details,” notes Suzanne. “Even when we’re taking a more edited approach, we want to find subtle ways to bring in unique touches and make them timeless . . . they may not get noticed immediately, but they add depth and dimension to the fabric of our projects.”  

Indeed, this project—one of several showstoppers featured in her third book, Sophisticated Simplicity (Rizzoli, $55)—captures these layers of depth and dimension, and make it look, well, simple. How is that possible, we ask the designer? 

“Sometimes the simplest things give me great pleasure,” she admits. “Sometimes I am surprised by what captures my heart and sparks my imagination.” Simple, we discover as we page through this book, means unlined linen draperies dressed up with a beautiful banding; simple equates to a touch of tape with nailheads on the perimeter of kitchen barstool seats; and simple might also be beautiful, character-filled antiques set against white-washed walls. 

In sum, capturing the lifestyle—and spirit—of not just the place, but also of the family, might just be the simplest form of sophistication. Indeed, it’s a philosophy that brings great joy to both the designer and the home’s  inhabitants through choosing just-the-right furnishings, art, and objects that express their personalities. Simple, right? 


Suzanne Kasler’s casual yet elegant, sophisticated but clean design perspective has been the subject of two previous books. Sophisticated Simplicity (Rizzoli, $55), available at book sellers this month, is the Atlanta interior designer’s third coffee table book, and delves into her much-lauded approach to the art of home decoration, from the fundamentals of arranging a room, to the very last details—the finishing touches that make a room interesting, character-filled and unique. A valuable resource for design enthusiasts and professionals alike, this inspiring collection of recently completed projects provides a wealth of original and inviting ideas for every room in your home, and for a variety of aesthetics and budgets. Available September 2018;