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Interior Design with Susie Atkinson: Historic-classic, yet Timeless

Ana Luiza Daltro
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Not adherent to trends, English interior designer Susie Atkinson’s work goes from fancy hotels to homes – and even boats.

Enhancing the style of places (even those already elegant in themselves), valuing history and skillfully building a bridge between the past and our present are the essence of Susie Atkinson‘s decor philosophy. A good example of that can be found at the Beaverbrook Hotel, one of her most famous projects. Located in a historic country estate in Surrey, England, this upmarket hotel and spa combines the best of the English style with a very particular – and yet discreet – use of colors.

Susie’s design practice started in 1994, in her own house, and has been growing gradually to the point where she finds herself now: commanding a skilled team and being an acclaimed and influential interior designer.

Another highlight of her portfolio are the Pavilion suites at Lime Wood Hotel, located inside the New Forest National Park, in Hampshire. Of the three rooms, one was especially designed for couples’ getaways or honeymoons. But all of them feel like perfect, rustic-chic forest retreats thanks to big beds, antique furniture, lots of natural materials, varied textures and contemporary fabrics used in a classical manner. It is no wonder these suites earned Susie the Homes & Gardens Design Awards for Best Commercial Project in 2019.

Her style, however, has found a space in the city as well — as one can see in some of the properties (in London and Berlin) that belong to the ultra-exclusive club Soho House Group. One of these places, Babington House, located in Somerset, is known for hosting gorgeous wedding celebrations, some of them involving celebrities. By the way, quite a few famous clients are in Susie’s roster, but she maintains absolute discretion about them.

Susie is particularly proud of the work she did on a boat from the 1930s – her first in the nautical universe. And, in addition to her role as an interior designer, she has recently entered the world of product design. Her Laid Bare furniture collection was the winner of the Collection of the Year Award for 2020, sponsored by Design Centre Chelsea Harbour. On her website and apart from this collection, other pieces sometimes unique and/or vintage can also be purchased. All the furniture designed by Susie is made by English artisans. Although the use of foreign raw materials is by no means taboo, she always tries to go local when it comes to suppliers. Sustainability is one of Susie’s biggest concerns, and this is reflected in both the production process and the durability (physical and in terms of style) of her furniture items.

Last November Susie announced her partnership with Drummonds Bathrooms, which resulted in the elegant Whitewater Bathtub. With three options of colors and four types of finish for customers to choose from, the products aren’t yet available for buyers; but Drummonds Bathroom’s website is already taking orders from anxious customers willing to pay four-digit sums for them. It is hardly surprising, though. After all, just looking at the bathtubs can instantly make anyone feel in one of the dream country hotel-spas Susie has decorated.

Babington House.
Babington House.

Pavilion Two suite at Lime Wood hotel.

Babington House.

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