Working as a fashion model in Milan, Italy, and other European cities in the 1980s, Susan Marinello "was like a sponge," soaking up inspiration from such notable designers as Giorgio Armani as well as from photographers and stylists. The all-American blond beauty quickly found she was more intrigued with the back side of the camera than posing in front of it.
"Those fashion and photography experiences really ignited my design career," Susan says. "For me, it wasn’t about fashion; it was about art and styling. As soon as I got back to New York, I got myself into design school."
Now an award-winning interior designer in her hometown near Seattle, Susan is sought for her carefully edited blend of modernism and traditional design. "My modeling experience is really at the core of how I approach rooms today," she says. "I think about how interiors look through a camera lens. My designs are about composition, balance, and storytelling."
Interior designer: Susan Marinello, Susan Marinello Interiors, 119 S. Main St., Suite 300, Seattle, WA 98104; 206/344-5551, susanmarinello.com.
Architects: Lyle and Meredith Grant, Maple Leaf Design, 8057 12th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98115; 206/523-6427, mleafdesign.com.
Photographs by John Granen
Text by Amy Elbert
Produced by Linda Humphrey
Sofas ("Porter Sofa" #BB038-01): Barbara Barry Realized by Henredon, barbarabarryco.com.
Coffee table: Pride Sasser Home Furnishings, 828/437-1991, trade only. Available through Michael Folks Showroom, 206/762-6776.
Sconces ("Haberdasher Sconce’’): Visual Comfort & Co., 713/686-5999, trade only.
Mirror over mantel ("Magni Mirror,’’ 36-inch diameter #9116): Nancy Corzine, 310/672-6775, nancycorzine.com.
Rug (hand-woven Tibetan wool): Ramri Rug, 206/860-8366.