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Sarah 101: Trish's Nursery

by - Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Time for another recap of the latest Sarah 101 episode, so avert your eyes if you haven't seen the episode yet!

In this episode, Sarah tackles a modern nursery for a little boy. I was looking forward to this episode because Sarah really was one of the forerunners of creating stylish nurseries that aren't overly themed or babyish. Here's the nursery Sarah created for her own daughter five years ago, back on Design Inc:

And here's the new nursery she created for Trish on 101:

Some of the elements are consistent like:
- bold fabrics in sophisticated patterns
- a limited colour palette. Even the toys and accessories blend into the blue & orange colour theme
- contrasting piping on the furniture
- modern lighting fixtures
- a repetition of pattern (striping on the walls, on the banquette, on the toy boxes)
- non-traditional rocking chair
- a space that is comfortable for adults and children
A bit disappointingly, aside from the dramatic ceiling (which is a feature made popular by Jenna Lyons famous yellow & white striped nursery), there isn't too much in the room that was novel or new. Is it wrong to expect Sarah to come up with an "OMG" design every time? I mean, really, how much can you do with a nursery?
But I guess that's not the point of Sarah 101. Its aim is to give you tips on how to create a stylish Sarah-look in your own home, on a budget. On that, she delivered. Here are some of the tips from today's show:
Think Long Haul: Babies grow up so any room designed with cutesy baby-ish things risks looking dated and juvenile by the time Junior outgrows his crib. Instead aim to create a sophisticated space and decorate with furniture and accessories that you can use today and in the future (like a funky chair for nursing that you can move to the living room after).
Add Vintage Charm: This is a rule I use in my own home - every room needs something a little old! In Chloe's room, it was the crocheted doilies she inherited from her great-grandmother and the vintage desk we found at an antique fair. Not only do vintage pieces make your space unique, they can help teach your little one that not everything is disposable and also gain an appreciation for old school craftsmanship.

Art You Can Afford: Whether its framed $3 flash cards like Sarah used or your little one's latest finger-painted masterpiece in an Ikea frame, this is one area you don't have to splurge. One of my favourite ideas is framing pages of your childhood storybooks. Cheap & cheerful!
Play With Pattern: Do you know that Sarah typically uses 10-12 fabrics per room? Astonishing! You'd think that so many fabrics would create a clash of patterns, yet Sarah's rooms are always soothing, calm, and coordinated. How does she do it? She uses a mix of scale (small, medium, and large patterns), is deft at placement (bolder patterns are typically left for accent furniture and draperies) and is master at mixing colours.
Double Duty: Kid's rooms are typically the smallest rooms in the house, so pieces should do double-duty when they can and save on space. Think side tables that are also storage, benches with built-in bookshelves, even hanging cute baby outfits as art. In our own home, we did away with a change table and placed the change pad on our double-dresser.

So what did you think of the nursery? How are you liking the new Sarah 101 show? Me - I think its good for those who don't have much design knowledge, but I personally like the "hard core" decorating/renovating/DIYing of shows like Sarah's House better and find them more inspirational.

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  1. I have the episode waiting for me on the PVR and I'll watch it later this evening... looking forward to it! In the mean time, I'm loving the orange hits in this baby boy's room! Orange is my absolute favourite colour!!!

  2. I love that wallpaper at the ceiling! I had used the fabric before just never thought about using it on the ceiling! Such as great idea to drop the wallpaper to the molder to make the beam disappeared.

    The stripe wall treatment looks great and I can't believe I'm really saying it but I love the ball fringe at the drapes!

    I think this is a low budget room. .. most of the pieces are from Ikea of vintage stores and get a facelift with spray paint. But this is what we love about Sarah, always reinventing ordinary pieces and make them special!

    Nicely done and get great summary and tips here! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Love the blue and orange, a combination that too few people dare to try!

  4. I thought that this episodes had a lot of good ideas and elements, but the room as a whole didn't work for me. I think this is the first time that I don't love something Sarah has done.
    And here's a question: How does a show such as "Love It or List It" get an entire hour while Sarah 101 is just half an hour? I feel like it's over before it really gets rolling
    ~Pam @ Cherish Toronto

  5. So many things here that I love, but the orange just makes my heart sing! I have this color scheme in my master bedroom..

  6. Tatyana3:47 AM

    I live in the US, so I will not be able to see this for a while... :(
    I really like it, especially the curtains. I'm curious - could someone tell me where that bench came from? It almost looks like the IKEA MANDAL series.

  7. I love this nursery! The orange dresser is a beauty..something I would totally love to try for a kid's room.

  8. The show's pace was better than last week. I do think it would be better if it was an hour long. It was a cute nursery and we saw more of Tommy.

  9. Love her designs and style. I love how she designed these rooms and I really love how she takes the approach to not go overboard on 'Hey this is a BABY room'! Love it! :)

  10. I am glad to hear that I wasn't the only person disappointed with this space. I had such high expectations and loved her daughter's nursery but I honestly found this hurt to look at. I did appreciate some of her suggestions regarding purchasing lasting pieces.

  11. I think its great! Its affordable and normal people can follow these designs!

    The orange and blue is really nice!

    Its very easy to be critical but I think Sarah did great!

  12. Cheryl9:28 AM

    @ Tatyana:

    I believe the bench is from IKEA. She has it sprayed a different colour and got a custom cushion for the top made.

  13. I completely agree. I don't know how I feel about the new show. The rooms look great, as always, but I'm sure I love how it feels like I'm in an elementary school classroom throughout the episode. I think they could tone down the "ok, so now, all you have to do is..." I know that's the premise of the show but I feel like they are overdoing it a little.

  14. I love the orange with the dark blues. I can't wait until this show airs in the US so I can watch. Even though they may not all be mind-blowing, Sarah's rooms always look great.

  15. I'm having a boy in a couple of months and I'm loving the blue and orange combo. thanks for sharing

  16. Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of the new show so far. I find everything is just so over-decorated, resulting in rooms that are too busy to look at and don't actually look liveable. I don't know if it's because the focus is totally on the decorating (or whatever the correct term is!) aspect of design and not at all on the bones of it, but the end result isn't something I'm enjoying. I much prefered her three previous series, all of which were fantastic. This is just too much, somehow.

    Of course, I'll keep watching because I love her and I'm hoping it gets better!!

  17. Great recap Jennifer! My favorite part was the feature wall and frames layout - although, i do like the idea of having something on the ceiling - :)

  18. I just did a post on rooms for older (much older?) boys and featured Tommy Smythe's amazing apartment!

    I love the palette of this nursery; its definitely "boy-ish" but its not "baby-ish." A good way to "think long haul," as you were saying. The carpet, paint, ceiling, and many of the furniture pieces can stay long after the crib is gone.

    Thanks for a great recap!

    Katie @ Goodsy

  19. I loved the room, but this new show feels kind of 'forced' compared to Sarah's other shows. I love Sarah's House and Design Inc - much more of the nitty gritty details and the more banter between Sarah and Tommy the better. But I'll still keep watching because she never ceases to amaze and inspire me as she pulls her rooms together. Might have to try some stripes on my daughter's walls now :)

  20. I am not a huge fan of this room to be honest. I find there is a bit too much going on. I love her daughters nursery though!!
    I also love the tips she gave in this episode. We are in the process of planning our babies room, and we are happy to know that we are on the right track with buying long term pieces that will grow with the kid.
    I am very inspired by the number of different fabrics Sarah uses and would love to try it out in my own rooms (money permitting of course).
    Love the recap and can't wait for what's to come next week.

  21. I can never decide if I like the ceiling painted or wallpapered - I find it a bit distracting. I agree that the ceiling is the major wow piece in this room. All I can say is - thanks for posting about the show as this is my only source. I should try and watch it on-line, but I never seem to have time.

  22. yeah, no. the wallpapered ceiling is gorgeous, but striped walls? are you serious? that looks trading spaces circa 2001. and colour matching everything - this orange, this blue, etc etc. 'over decorated' is right. i know the point of the show is to teach general design tactics, but in doing so, allowing a room to come together organically and personally is completely erased.

  23. argh!

    don't get this show on hgtv in the US (yet at least) so jealous!

  24. I agree that so far the projects on Sarah101 have been a bit over-designed, but I still love to watch Sarah and Tommy! I also love that this show will have so many different room types. On Sarah's house sometimes it's hard to imagine some of the designs she's doing in a smaller space (just judging from the farm season). I also *just* got HGTV after living in torment for a few years, so really I like anything s-a-r-a-h.

  25. Can you believe I'm new to Sarah? I JUST started watching her show, but am quite smitten. Your recap of her design work in the nursery is really great. I'm so surprised about the number of fabrics she uses. I love the fabric she used on the drapes.

  26. Heidi S9:47 AM

    Thanks for the detailed recap! As another American who can't wait to watch it here. I would also love to know if you know where the curtain fabric is from.

    I just found your blog via Young House Love and I am really enjoying it.

  27. They had me at ball fringe.

  28. I just started reading your blog and I am really enjoying it! Especially about Sarah 101. I wish that we could watch this show, but at least I get to see beautiful pictures of the finished rooms!

    Thanks for posting!


  29. Anonymous12:26 PM

    Your last comment about being into more hardcore shows brought back this idea I would love to see: Have back to back shows that focus on one property. Take a Mike Holmes/Brian Baumler/Jim Carruk to go into a lot more detail about building behind the walls for the first show, and add a Sarah Richardson type to focus on the design touches.

    Sarah's shows touch on some of the behind-the-walls details, "touch" being the key word as it is a design show. Meanwhile the "Official HGTV Fan in the House" (my wife) constantly laments that Mike Holmes tries to be a designer, but is not much of one.

    A sombination of both elements could make one heck of a fine house, and a great show.

    Unfortunately it doesn't look like Primevista has any of the big 3 contractors on his roster.


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