About Suzanne Settle Dees
Suzanne Settle Dees was raised in Highland Park and graduated from Highland Park High School and later went on to attend Marymount University in Tarrytown, New York then the London School of Economics where she majored in Political Science.
After graduation she went to work for Channel 13 PBS. During this time PBS was creating a new children’s program, which would later be known as Sesame Street. Suzanne was sent to New York to secure donors / funding and while she was there she was also asked to attend a character/puppet expo. The new series felt that they were still missing the main “star” of their show. Which is when Suzanne came across a giant yellow bird, which was rigged with a mop to control the head and beak. She saw something in this character, which no one else at the expo did. She grabbed him and said you’re coming with me. The costume was very poorly put together with no ventilation and a petite Texas woman was now dragging the young man through Times Square and off to meet with the network’s executives. This infamous creature known across the globe would later be named Big Bird.
In 1972 this Dallas native was newly wed and looking for a career change that would keep her closer to home. In 1974 Suzanne Settle Dees founded Interiors by Suzanne after an expansion in 1979 the company would become known as Gardens/Interiors by Suzanne™.
Suzanne’s impeccable style and eye fro what the market was looking for didn’t go unnoticed. Gardens & Interiors by Suzanne™ began decorating homes exclusively in the Park Cities and Preston Hollow neighborhoods. She never advertised only worked by word of mouth. Her popularity in the community soon took her into decorating not only residential but also commercial office and medical buildings.
She began volunteer work at an early age with the Junior League of Dallas, which asked her to serve on the board of the Timberlawn Psychiatric Research Foundation, which she did for many years eventually serving as Chairman of the Board. She also spent many hours volunteering as a board member of Hope Cottage, Dallas Services Low Vision Clinic (formerly Dallas Services for Visually Impaired Children), and the Friends of the Highland Park Library. She was a member of Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church and a former member of the Altar Guild. She held membership in the Junior League of Dallas, Junior League Study Club, National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, Dallas Woman’s Club, Dallas Garden Club, Dallas Country Club, Dallas Athletic Club, City Club, Standard Club, Hesitation, Crystal Charity Ball, Daughters of the American Revolution, Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Dallas Museum of Art, Kimball Art Museum, Dallas County Heritage Society, Dallas Historical Society, and Dallas County Medical Society Alliance. She was a charter member of the Park Cities Historical Society, former president of the Slipper Club and the Women’s Council of Dallas.
Suzanne’s daughter-in-law Kelly Cantu Dees is now president of Gardens & Interiors by Suzanne™. Kelly attended the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California where she majored in fashion design specializing in knitwear. From San Francisco Kelly went on to work in Manhattan, New York then returned to Dallas in 2011. With Kelly’s vast knowledge of art history combined with her impeccable style and use of textiles she creates a look that’s uniquely your own while pushing the envelope with her unique color sense. She creates a color palette that gives you a feeling of “I never want to leave here.”
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