Moving back to Arkansas after her residency, she set her sights on The Heights, a neighborhood near downtown Little Rock known for its vintage houses, and pictured herself at holiday time, in a festive home with family and friends stopping by. After renovating a 1900 stone bungalow, the restless remodeler noticed another place on her street.
Friends, including general contractor Jonathan Rogers, took one look and told her she was crazy to consider it; the house looked tiny from the street, was covered in aluminum siding, and reeked of chlorine when you stepped inside. "There was a sunken hot tub in one of the back rooms," recalls Susanna. Undeterred and envisioning a Craftsman-style cottage with an exterior that suited the neighborhood, she set to work, enlisting Rogers as her builder. He recommended another local, designer Blake Jackson, to help put her ideas on paper.