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House Talk

No. 38 - September 16, 2010

Living in One Beautiful Package
A talk with Suzy Taylor

Judith Glass and Sheila Sabine often meet people who want to scale down and start new lives. In search of interesting stories, Sheila Sabine of the Glass/Sabine team put on her traveling boots and went south of the border to attend a design workshop in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. This charming colonial town, three hours from Mexico City, is famous for its cultural and artistic opportunities and it has been a haven for artists through years including such luminaries as Ernest Hemingway, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. On this recent visit, Sheila had the opportunity to meet Suzy Taylor, an interior designer and painter from New York City.

Suzy has a rich background in the arts and she originally trained at the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Architecture and Art. She was a freelance designer for private clients and magazines for many years in the heart of bustling New York City. She also got involved in painting over twenty years ago. Her painting format consists of large canvases depicting exquisite close-up details of flowers. The themes for most of her paintings originate from photographs of flowers which she herself takes - she has thousands of photographs to choose from. She is especially interested in capturing translucent light as it radiates on the flowers. One of her clients says "Suzy fuses the subtle color sensibility of a designer with her daily immersion in the special lighting of San Miguel to create a translucent depth that makes her work, no matter what the subject so appealing."

Suzyís inquisitive spirit combined with a sense of adventure led her on a new voyage - she decided to pack everything and move permanently to San Miguel. Suzy says "My dream was to do everything I wanted to do in one space-create the whole package of how I wanted to live my life." After spending much time hunting for a house or land she found the perfect vacant lot on a private small street called Rinconada de la Aldea, near the center of town. She saw her new project as a great adventure. She did all the rough designs and also worked with an architect to create a floor plan in order to get a building permit. She found a local builder and his large crew was able to complete the project in about six months.

Her multitude of skills enabled her to design all the details for her dream space-she became her own client, so to speak. All the doors, windows, floors, arches, lights etc. were designed by Suzy. Once the home/gallery was completed she jumped in and designed most of her own furniture. Some of her pieces are a type of mid-century modern and all are handcrafted. She enjoys the intricacy of working with furniture design and figuring out how each piece fits together. Some of her love seats are based on very old designs with comfort in mind. As Suzy says, "You have to be able to sit in them."

Suzy has indeed accomplished her dream. She has set up an incredible living space where she can spend her days engaged whole-heartedly with her many passionate artistic activities. The almost 3,500 sq. ft. space includes a formal living room, dining space, one master suite, two full baths, office,art studio, patios and formal gallery. The exciting rooms are dressed with Suzy's exquisite large paintings and her unique and stylish furniture. Suzyís vision is to have other artists come and relax and enjoy her gallery and her huge collection of art books-sort of a salon where artists can share their ideas and give one another encouragement.

After living in San Miguel for over three years, Suzy has the following advice:

  • San Miguel is a perfect place for Americans to re-locate. It is a gorgeous place to live, has a lower cost of living and a very supportive community.
  • She loves challenges and says itís the challenges that keep her going. In these times it is easy to get depressed. We all need reasons to keep going and to have a more enjoyable life.
  • Suzy is very aware of those less fortunate in her community and is involved in many wonderful projects such as charities providing scholarships for children of low income families, fundraisers in her gallery to feed the old grandmothers of the community and tutoring programs for young students - just to name a few.

To contact Suzy directly for more information, visit her website at www.suzytaylor.com or visit her at her Arroyo Gallery at 27 Rinconada del la Aldea in San Miguel de Allende.

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For further information or questions for our House Talk column, 
please contact Glass/Sabine by email:  Sheila@GlassSabine.com
or call us at 510-326-5055.

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