Our next Designer Spotlight is Susan Knof of Knof Design. Based in London, Susan Knof opened her company in 2012 after spending time in New York and Sydney with over 15 years of experience in the architecture and design industry. Her time spent travelling is a clear influence on her designs: Susan’s interiors reflect a global style that transcends any one place or time. Her thoughtful incorporation of antique furniture and decorative styles in her projects is a wonderful demonstration on how to keep these heritage pieces fresh and relevant. Today we are going to take a closer look at the way Susan incorporates traditional designs on the walls of some of her previous projects.
In the leading image, Susan creates a striking gallery wall in a living room full of neutral tones. Gallery walls have appeared in homes for hundreds of years, whether it be a large picture gallery filled to the brim with Old Master paintings, or smaller cabinets of curiosities hung with delicate treasures and intimate family portraits. In this interior, Susan updates the concept with an ordered arrangement of black and white photographs within beautifully mounted modern frames.
For this dining room, Susan pays homage to the past with the gilded mirror and chinoiserie wallpaper panel set into the back wall. The taste for chinoiserie reached its peak in England in the 18th century with treasures of lacquer, porcelain, and decorative objects made the long journey from Asia. Chinese hand painted wallpaper was considered to be one of the most desirable wall coverings due to its exotic nature and beautifully crafted surface.
For a mountainside home on the East Coast, Susan incorporates a traditional oil painting in a giltwood frame. The painting shows an interior with traditional decoration: an elaborate carpet, a French antique armchair, and another giltwood framed picture (a painting within a painting!). The ornate quality of this painting is softened by the sleek lines of the furniture in the room, including the circular coffee table and neutral colour palette, which is accented by the wonderful dark blue velvet on the sofa.
In another corner of the room, a second oil painting depicting the portrait of a woman is beautifully complemented by the plush sofa. The traditional rococo giltwood frame plays off the sleek scallop edge of the modern giltwood console table, showing how materials, textures, and styles can come together in a harmonious way.
Susan’s Instagram account is a constant source of inspiration, particularly when it comes to textures, materials, and design concepts. Her behind the scenes looks at how a project comes together from step A to Z is not only an exciting sneak peek of her work process, but also a great way to see how every part of the project comes together.