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House Tour: Fun Decor Ideas



The Victorian house in Athens, Georgia, that Susan Hable Smith shares with her husband, Peter, and their two children, Bird, 9, and Lake, 6, may look sedate from the outside, but inside it's an exuberant riot of patterns, colors and unique furnishings. An artist and designer, Susan possesses built-in style radar, gleaning inspiration from whatever catches her eye, whether it's a friend's painting or a fabulous flea market find. "There's no rhyme or reason to my decorating," says Susan, cofounder with her sister Katharine of Hable Construction, a line of hand-painted, hand-screened textiles and home accessories." I just mix things up. Anything goes."

After a top-to-bottom renovation completed four years ago and orchestrated by Peter, a lawyer, the big spacious rooms became a blank slate for Susan's creative flair. The playful spirit starts in the front hall, where a mashup of their artwork collected over the years hangs above the sofa upholstered in one of Hable's signature fabrics called Ball and Chain. "Peter loves black-and-white photography. I prefer colorful pieces that make you laugh," she says. In the dining room, a psychedelic hot-pink wallpaper becomes the dramatic backdrop for a quirky combination of vintage furnishings. "Most people would say it's too busy," Susan says. "But the pattern adds another dimension." Elsewhere, floor-to-ceiling curtains with a splashy brushstroke—another Hable textile design—add pizzazz to an otherwise neutral family room. Susan's no-holds-barred decorating defies explanation. "It's so much fun hunting for stuff," she says. "The house is a menagerie of things, but I love them all."