Have you ever walked into a home and felt so impressed with its interiors that you wanted it for your own? Or so obsessed by the special furnishings, window treatments or a design feature that you searched high and low for it afterward? Ever tried to design your own interiors and lived to regret it?
Susan Connor, President of P & H Interiors, estimates she has designed approximately 500 private residences and model homes in her 21-year career, but who has the time to count? Along with her staff, she just finished designing another “speculative” estate (her fourth) for SRD Building Corp. in the exclusive Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club in Boca Raton. At the same time, they were putting the finishing touches on a Boston condo, several private residences in South Florida, and two new clubhouses for G. L. Homes of Florida. Over the years, Connor and her staff have designed private estaes, model homes, clubhouses and commercial spaces for clients throughout Florida, and as far-reaching as Las Vegas, Nev. The firm’s designs have brought them numerous awards, most recently four Grand “Auroras,” considered the Emmys of the design profession, from the Southeast Builders Association for a model designed for G. L. Homes in Canyon Lakes.
Earlier this year, P & H Interiors received two awards for commercial interior design projects in Pennsylvania’s Wilkes-Barre region, including “2009 Best Restaurant Atmosphere Award” for the Chophouse restaurant in Swiftwater, Penn., and the “2009 Pride of Place Award” from the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce. “Our staff creates exciting designs for our clients, enhancing the (project’s) inherent features, and serving their specific needs and tastes,” she says. “Whether it’s a clean, sleek, contemporary design, an elegant European-inspired plan or a transitional one, our designs are created with specific people in mind. Every design is unique because everyone’s needs and tastes are, too.”
The petite brunette with seemingly unlimited energy has worked around the clock with her staff to meet deadlines for her clients. She prides herself on having a good eye for details and knowing what would make an architectural element look even better. She appears to have an innate ability to combine the right interior details, fabrics, finishes, flooring and furniture to motivate buyers and please clients.
But more than that, her clients and colleagues say she’s easy to work with, pleasant, optimistic and approachable. Born and raised in Albany, N.Y., by a family in the construction business, Connor was the fifth of eight children. She learned early on how to work well with others. “I treat others like I would like to be treated,” she explains.
“Susan is always upbeat. She seems to love what she’s doing all the time,” says David Roberts, owner/broker of Royal Palm Properties. “We were so impressed with her designs for builders that we retained her firm to complete the interiors for our headquarters in Boca Raton, originally built in 1924. “In addition, the first home that Susan designed for SRD in Royal Palm was so spectacular that I bought it for my own family,” Roberts continued. “It’s unusual for a spec home to be completely furnished. Everyone who saw it seemed to love every detail.”
Married to Kevin Connor, her high school sweetheart, the couple built custom homes in the Boca Raton area after they relocated to Florida. Today, Connor presides over a staff of 17 professionals— most are members of the American Society of Interior Design, Florida South Chapter—who are committed to creating “livable” interiors for their clients, whether it’s a model home, a private estate or a commercial complex.
“I’ve always said, it’s one thing to create a great design, and it’s quite another to execute it successfully,” Connor says. “At P & H, we pride ourselves in making every effort to bring the designs to life with extra attention to the smallest of details. I think our clients appreciate that.”
“The key to a successful design is to develop a concept that works well for the client and their individual needs. We specialize in creating designs that are personalized and harmonized for each client, one that is a true reflection of their family and their lifestyle.”
So what’s the insider’s track for the future look of new interiors?
“It’s important to be open to new ideas and not be influenced by the latest trends,” she says. “I think the transitional Florida look will continue its popularity, utilizing more colors and textures.”