Friday, March 5, 2010

Design Diva

Let it now be known that I am a HUGE Sarah Richardson fan.  If you haven't heard of her, she's a well-known Canadian designer whose show "Sarah's House" currently airs on HGTV.  I also used to watch her on the Fine Living Channel when she had "Room Service".  I thought before she was just someone I enjoyed watching given that she has never disappointed me when the final reveals of the rooms were shown.  Little did I know that an obsession was growing.

I am obsessed with her (in a wholesome way, of course) and have said before that if reincarnation were indeed possible, I would want to be reincarnated as her.  I love both her design and fashion sense, her wit and air of approachability.  Though I can neither have her body build (which would've been cool considering I adore her outfits), nor her facial bone structure to allow me to sport her face-framing bob cut, I would like to think that I can garner some 'Sarah points' in the wit and approachability departments. However, I still deeply wish I possessed even a fraction of her design 'instinct'.  I am jealous of her, of how effortlessly creative she appears.  I was also both happy, but even more jealous and a bit resentful when I found out that not only does she own a number of businesses, have television shows, awards and is just simply crazy busy with her highly successful career, she is also married and a mother of two young girls! What??!!!  She says her family comes first but she remains deeply passionate with her career in design.  Now, how can I not want to be reincarnated as her after all that???  

Seriously though, these are the words I associate with her design style:  bright and light; muted colors; uses bright colors mostly as accents, uses them only sparingly; elegant but livable; doable; very tasteful and nothing over-the-top; contemporary with just a hint of country; light greens, blues, grays, warmer tones of whites; tranquil; airy; comfortable; minimalist but warm.  Speaking from the olfactory side of me, I'd say that looking at the rooms she designs makes you smell fresh laundry...nothing sharp or too strong....only a gentle, comforting, clean scent that makes you want to linger. My foodie side would have to say that looking at her designs conjures up images of a perfectly warm hot chocolate with tiny marshmallows in them; nothing too sweet or heavy, but perfectly, seriously chocolatey, smooth with just a hint of that bittersweet goodness that warms even your soul.  Texturally, I can only say that her room designs make you feel like you're sliding your hands over (at least) an 800 thread count bed sheet, so soft and smooth that it will just pull you in and make you want to curl up and have the best sleep of your life.
Master Bedroom Design   Nursery Design
Bathroom Design
Tween Bedroom Design

Laundry Room Design

Office Design    Family Room Design

Sarah, let me thank you for whenever I see your room designs, you allow me, even for just one brief moment in my hectic and chaotic daily life, to enjoy one deep, relaxing **SIGH**.  I also have to thank you for inspiring me to work on my own spaces here at home.  Our projects are endless.  We have a garage to organize and a basement to finish.  We have bathrooms to redesign as well.  At least though, the kitchen is 'kind of, sort of' almost done.  And thinking / looking back, I think the Sarah in me (and in AJ) was at work when we selected our color palette.

Take a look at our 'Before' and 'After'----

Our old kitchen cabinets with the traditional honey oak color and predictable white walls

old stove when we first moved in with the old side cabinets and all the mess

sink area with microwave sitting on top of the laminate counter tops, and the old dishwasher 
And our Partial Reveal ---

The glass tiles we selected for our backsplash (browns, taupes, light green and light buttery yellow)

The 'almost' perfect reveal, if not for the hanging rags....oh well.....
White cabinets with modern looking handles, all from Ikea; white stove with the microwave hood;  black granite counter tops with specks of green to blend with both the cabinets and the wall color

 Minus the hanging rags  :-)

We're clearly far from completely finished, and that's the exciting part!  We still have a few more projects left for me to unleash the Sarah in me!  Wish me luck!  I promise to post and update as more DIY projects get done!  What about you?  Have you thought about your design inspirations and inclinations?  What's your next project??? I'd love to hear about it.


  1. The kitchen looks great Joy! I love it.

  2. congrats joy! funny how i'm also doing some home improvement... actually charlie and i do not trust ourselves so we hire people to do it for us. i added a mosaic backsplash to our kitchen counters, had the ground floor walls repainted too. i thought it's about time that we do some changes - bolder look but remains minimalist.

    dina L.

  3. your finished project looks fab! i wouldn't have thought to put those 3 colors together in the backsplash myself ... it's beautiful! because ours is a two-adult household, our current interior design style is a little less 'homey' and slightly more mod (kitchen is mostly stainless). i have not seen sarah's show, and from the photos you've posted of hers, i'm feelin' the bathroom one the most =)

  4. Very nice kitchen. I so love the back splash!:))

  5. Very nice kitchen. I so love the back splash!:))


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