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Sarah Richardson Design Tips

by - Sunday, November 08, 2009

This cute pic has nothing to do with today's post :)

Lucky me, I had the chance to hear Sarah Richardson speak live and in person yesterday. And I got a free Tassimo at the event, so I was doubly lucky! Sarah was as down to earth, fun and engaging as she is on her shows. During the talk, Sarah mentioned her thoughts on design which I wanted to share with you all:

  • Sarah thinks more traditional kitchens (of which she is a huge fan) are making a comeback. Think stained kitchen cabinetry with rich woods like crotch mahogany and panelled doors.
  • Consider getting kitchen cabinet doors professionally sprayed instead of repainting them yourself. (She uses a sprayer in Toronto who charges a reasonable $20/door)
  • Incorporate storage in every room you decorate or renovate
  • Design to suit the architecture of your house. You don't want to go ultra modern if your space has traditional bones
  • Populate your space with things that have meaning and pull back on the current "display culture", where you buy things just for the sake of having them
  • Open concept spaces don't have to be one colour! You can change the colour any place where two walls meet, like in a corner.
  • When designing a dining room, look for inspiration in your dishware
  • Paint your crown moulding in a chalky white, so that your ceiling colour (painted something other than white) pops
  • Wallpaper is still "in". Sarah loves grasscloth for texture
  • Pull the colour that is least used in your furnishings as your accent colour. Look at your carpet or wallpaper and use the least prevalent colour for accents, to provide subtle hits around the room
I will definitely keep those tips in mind when I'm decorating!

And for all you Sarah fans, she has a few more shows coming soon to HGTV Canada:

- A Christmas special on Nov.29th. This show was filmed at her own house.
- Sarah's House 3 (its a farm!) in March 2010
- A new show called Sarah 101 which I mentioned in this post. She's currently casting for 13 homes in the Greater Toronto Area and is looking specifically right now for bedrooms and children's rooms. The show is a "back to basics" focused on DIY, decorating on the cheap, and the ABC's of good design. Sounds like another winning show to me!

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  1. Ohhh...I am so jealous! Sarah is one of my favorite designers. I live in Syracuse, NY and get HGTV and Fine Living US! We're just now getting her 2nd Sarah's house show. Jeesh.....we're only just across the border a couple of I could get the new shows!
    Tami E.

  2. Oh, lucky you!!! I love her shows, first found her on Design Inc. and can never get enough of that show...then Sarah's House. Love.

    Great tips. Thanks for sharing!!


  3. Thanks for the Sarah updates.

    Enjoy the Tassimo! I have one and love it.

  4. Louis W1:36 PM

    I have to disagree about designing to suit the architecture of your house. Currently I am obsessed with modern spaces set inside a traditional environment, this makes it even more modern.

  5. I submitted our living room for the Sarah 101 show, as it is the only room in our house that meets the 15' x 15' size requirement. Not getting our hopes up though. ;-)

  6. Lucky you ... thanks for the update. I'll be in front of the TV for her special on the 29th.

  7. Soooo she wont make a special trip to NY then? darn it!
    Love the tips, thanks for sharing them =)

  8. Thanks for the Sarah tip. I love her design style. I always said when I was in design school that I would have loved to go work with her. That was before she was the ever famous Sarah Richardson on HGTV. by the way Chole looks so cute in her chicken costume.

    Take Care,

  9. I loved her tips too -- although am iffy about the traditional kitchens comeback (maybe it's just not my style).

    I'm going to try to submit my kitchen/family room for her new show. Not sure though if it'll get chosen as it's two room and not just one. Too bad we didn't meet up on Saturday. Would have loved to chat -- place was so so busy!

    I'm in LOVEEEEEE with the chai latte -- need to find out where to get those pods!

  10. So jealous!!! I'm a huge fan of hers too. Thanks for the highlights, (I've just been debating between tackling our kitchen cabinets ourselves or getting them sprayed, so that was timely advice) and enjoy your new Tassimo!

  11. Anonymous12:19 AM

    #5 rings so true to me. For instance, I don't want to have a bunch of somethings that scream that their origins are the Spring 2009 shelter magazine trends. I like my surroundings to have deeper meaning than that.



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