Mar 10, 2016
Through My Eyes: A Sit Down with Suzanne Costa
The Ronald McDonald HouseHome is where the heart is. What an honor to hone my skills as a designer through another creative project that aims to uplift individuals through their homes. The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island is 1 of 300 Ronald McDonald House programs worldwide aimed to help families struggling with children suffering from serious illness that are being treated at nearby hospitals. Suzanne Costa, one of my dear friends, who I had the chance to share this rewarding experience with at the Ronald McDonald House Project two years ago has been member of the Board of Directors and done an incredible job spearheading a similar design project down in Fort Myers, Florida. 20 designers and a month later, the 1.75 million dollar house was ready and had its official opening this past week, on March 6th! I was happy to sit down for a Q+A with her for Simplifying Fabulous. How did you first get involved with the Ronald McDonald House? My love for The Ronald McDonald House Charity came after Cary Kravet called me to help with the first remake of a tired RMH house on Long Island. Along with 24 other designers we transformed the house through design one room at a time. It was powerful to use a tool that i possessed to change lives . That being my ability to design a space to comfort families of seriously ill children . What is the best decorating advice you've ever received? Have no fear or limitations but learn to edit, edit, edit. How has your RMH experience changed over the years?
My experience has changed dramatically with RMH over the years, particularly when I was asked to become a Board Member in 2014 and then to lead as Design Chair in Phase two of the RMH Project Design makeover on Long Island in 2015. Since then I took this idea of Project Design to South West Florida where we just completed a 1.75 million dollar renovation to a 20 year old RMH house using a new group of talented designers from the local area. My passion has become a focused part of my Design Firm and i hope to continue this journey in other parts of the country for RMH Families that need a home away from home while their child is in the hospital.
Suzanne CostaWho is your biggest role model? My biggest role model would have to be my Aunt who helped raise me after my parents passed away. She was strong, fair and had a beautiful Natural aesthetic in all she touched. My love of animals came from her connecting me to an early Equestrian interest. She taught me that strength and success could be accomplished while still being kind and elegant. If you could have dinner with any creative (dead or alive) who would it be and why? Actually that would be two at the same table . My Father the late great Eddie Costa and Sarah Vaughan. The true jazz scene in New York City in the early fifties when blacks and whites worked together in the clubs and did truly innovative original things. They broke race barriers through music and i believe we were closer to a brotherhood without prejudice than we are now. Man, would I like to sit through both the music and the conversation. Anything in design (trends, patterns, styles) you see emerging that we should keep an eye out for?
Trends are always a full circle deal. All things considered I refrain from making to much out of them. I think a trend for me is to always to be mindful about caring for whom i design for while creating good art. Probably you wanted me to name a color, but i love all color and ?I? love life . Trending... " A colorful Life""I came to Florida as a part time-resident and started to get the vibe in Florida and loved it! This past summer I went to visit New York and experienced a bit of nostalgia for people like Robin in the design community who are always such a pleasure to work with. As a member of the Board of Directors, I thought 'why not duplicate this beautiful idea down in Florida!' My heart had been set, and just as we did in Long Island I am happy to present the newest venture for the Ronald McDonald House!" - Suzanne Costa
Me posing amongst some of my design work for RMH Photo Credit: Phillip Ennis
Photo Credit: Phillip Ennis
Photo Credit: Phillip Ennis