PHOTOS: Designer’s choice: no cookie cutter

Design consultant Susan Furek, with hundreds of residential and office projects behind her, allows a peek at her own personal preferences in home design and decor

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  • Furek has the ability to design homes from the ground up, eventually working with an architect to round off the legal formalities

Susan Furek still chuckles when guests at her Cutler Court home on Marco Island tell her they can’t turn off the bathroom light.

That’s because the light comes courtesy of the sun, and is channeled through Solatubes — 14-inch diameter convex glass cones dotted on the roof of the house.

Thanks to the Solatubes, there’s not a gloomy hallway or closet in the house, which she and her husband Robert built in 1999, and then renovated a few years ago to include a new master suite.

“I’m just not comfortable in a dark house,” says Furek, who did a 180-degree career turn in 1984 by shifting from involvement in an affirmative action personnel program and going to design school.

Since then, she’s designed and transformed hundreds of houses for clients in Connecticut, California and most recently on Marco and in Naples.

She calls her business, appropriately, Susan Furek Interiors.

Happy to allow a peek into her own preferences, Furek recently agreed to include her house in an Elegant Home Tour put on each year by the Woman’s Club of Marco Island.

Her own tastes, she said, are specialist space planning, functionality and warm colors, but she says designing for others is fun, no matter if they want avante garde or indeed cookie cutter.

And, she has the ability to design homes from the ground up, eventually working with an architect to round off the legal formalities.

For the Cutler Court home, Furek chose a “Tommy Bahama” look before it became fashionable.

More than anything, she’s adamant about functionality.

“We use every room in the house,” she says. “You’re paying for every room, so you should be able to use every room.”

Hence, the Furek home doesn’t give off the aura of a show house, but instead has a congenial, welcome feel to it.

In her resume is a big Gulfshore Boulevard project she’s busy finishing, and another was being co-chair of a committee charged with the renovation of the Island Country Club four years ago.

The mom of two children, both professionals, and wife of former Heublein spirit company CEO Robert, Furek says she gets her biggest kick comparing before and after pictures of houses and offices she’s designed or renovated.

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