Home & Living

A Test of Time

Inside Susanna-Cole King’s extraordinarily vintage Bolton Hill apartment.

HISTORICAL MUSINGS: The architecture [in Bolton Hill] is what first drew me in—I love these houses. The crazy thing is that this is the first block I ever walked in this neighborhood. I would kill for the blueprints of some of these houses because they’ve been changed so much.

EYE FOR DESIGN: I got into interior design when I was 10 or 12. I think it comes from my grandmother—she had stacks of interior-design magazines. My taste has changed over time, but my home growing up was so far from what I wanted that [dreaming of what my aesthetic could do] built up over time. Typically, for me, I work with whatever I’m interested in. I don’t try to fit into a taste.



CUT AND PASTE: I made the collage above the fireplace. For a long time, I was looking for a large piece to put there. Collages, for me, are like puzzles. I like art forms that require arranging: interior design, floral design. It takes the pressure off, I think, because I’m a perfectionist, so I like things I can move around. Even decorating my home, I go back and forth.

ONE FOR THE BOOKS: I had the bookcases custom-built for my first apartment from a guy on Etsy. I’ve been a reader all my life. Books were a luxury growing up. It was a dream to have a ton of books, and it’s been a lot of fun as an adult to see that come true. A lot have come from The Book Thing. I haven’t read all of them, especially the older books. Some aren’t well-written, but I’ve saved them for the art and design. That’s the fun, though. It’s like owning your own library. You can grab something you’ve never read. There’s no such thing as too many books.



LASTING COMFORTS: This blanket from the pre-Civil War era is actually the oldest thing in my place. It was a popular style and was actually used in the war. I started looking for them after I saw one in an interior-design magazine. I like the juxtaposition of something old and modern. They’re typically blue and white or red and white—occasionally they’ll be rainbow colors.

People can’t believe I use something this old. There’s something beautiful about something ser ving a purpose for that long, from the 1840s until now. I think people have more of this awareness now: to go back to well-made things versus mass-produced.

ART FOR ART’S SAKE: I’ll hang anything on the walls. I’m bad at planning in advance, so behind these pictures are about 10 holes. Some of these are family photos, two are vintage panoramas from a girls’ summer camp that I liked, and some are photos from my friends who do photography. There’s a calendar I bought in Nepal—it’s been 2013 for a lot of years now.