Interior decorator Barbara Suzui sits in front of the window treatments area at Gary’s Paint and Decorating.
Photo by Greg Lehman.
Title: Interior decorator at Gary’s Paint & Decorating
What’s new: Clients are looking for more green and eco-friendly products, Suzui said. Quartz and granite countertops are popular. “We also have carpet that’s made partly from corn,” she said. “Many tiles are now made with recycled products. We have an interesting array of products. We have things a budget-conscious person could get and for someone who can afford anything.” Suzui said whenever she goes out of town she picks up new samples of products to keep up-to-date.
Hometown: She was born in Spokane, then lived here from age 1 to 15, lived in Hawaii, then came back here. After all of that, she considers Walla Walla her hometown.
Favorite memory: Participating in World Campus Afloat. “In four months we went around the world,” she said. Right after she got out of high school, she took advantage of this program to sail to a variety of continents. “I got to see people living differently,” she said. “We went to Africa. We saw South Africa when it was in its Apartheid state. We saw India.”
Favorite music: Hawaiian music. She often has that on in the store.
Favorite TV shows: “I don’t care much for TV,” she said. “When I do watch I like ‘American Idol,’ Joyce Meyer, Christian shows, ‘Treehouse Masters,’ ‘Downton Abbey’ and ‘Sherlock Holmes’ on PBS.”
Favorite movies: “The Hobbit.” “I like lighthearted movies,” she said. “No violent, gory movies. I have a movie screen I made for the yard. It’s 9-by-12, so we can watch our movies in the yard.”
Favorite food: Hawaiian, Greek and other international food. She enjoys cooking foods from different countries.
Favorite books: “I don’t read much. I’m more likely to make something than read, although I read the Bible each day,” she said. Suzui also reads books by Joyce Meyer.
Favorite place: Hawaii
Favorite hobbies: She makes her own line of china with Hawaiian quilt designs fired on it, and sells it in Hawaii. She also makes her own jewelry. “I love to fish, so I’ve been getting different fishing things. I have two miniature horses.”
Most recent local purchase: “I try to buy everything locally. I bought my dress for my daughter’s wedding at Macy’s.”
Most challenging job: “I did dive tours off Waikiki. This (job) is challenging. I do something different every day.” Each client lives differently and she wants to decorate their homes in a way that fully reflects them, their interests and personality.
Dream vacation: “I’m saving air miles for Paris. My ship didn’t go to Paris. I’d like to get a Eurail Pass and go through Europe.”
Alternate career: “I’d probably make jewelry. Now I only make it for me; I’d probably make it for others.”
Person you’d like to talk with: “I would probably sit down with Jesus,” she said.