Remember my last post about Sarah 101? I believe I said Sarah had gone crazy with colour, pattern, and generally more eclectic style. Sometimes I loved it, and sometimes it was a bit much for me. I said old-school Sarah fans were lamenting the lack of creamy neutrals and pale pastels. Well, I think the second half of Sarah 101 on HGTV Canada must have appeased those fans!
The first episode of the second half was a bathroom… something that is always delightful to watch Sarah do. (Unfortunately both showings of this episode aired without sound for some reason. So I’m waiting until they re-show the episode sometime to actually hear what was said. But I still watched the whole episode in silence!)
Even though she’s been tempted to use colourful tiles in bathrooms before, Sarah always seems to stick to neutral, fail-safe colours that will last the test of time since bathroom renos (and tile) can be pretty costly. So this room felt pretty classic Sarah. One of my favourite things was the striped look of the tile in the shower:
Then Sarah and Tommy tackled an old 70’s kitchen. This one was interesting to see the transformation, since they kept the original cabinetry. On the TV screen at times the sand and beige colours looked peachy, which was unfortunate (with the turquoise it was reminiscent of an 80’s A&W), but I believe the colours were more linen-y beige then peach.
I loved the turquoise island, the fresh white cabinets, the pendant lights, and some of the smart solutions used throughout.
This bedroom was lovely, but I was reeeeally surprised at how beige it was. Sarah and Tommy don’t usually do just beige. And especially after the first half of the season was so bold this neutral scheme was a 180 degree turn. However, I can also see how this neutral beige+pale pink scheme is very en trende with a lot of the nude colour schemes seen in fashion and decor right now (see this post from Marcus Design). Overall I thought the room was quite pretty, but beige still doesn’t light my fire.
Next came the basement - I thoroughly enjoyed the episode. The space planning was great to see, the fabrics were lovely, and a good basement reno always feels so cozy and comfy to me. Again this room was largely neutral with pops of red and pattern on things like pillows and drapes… a little more “old” Sarah approach.
This sunny laundry makeover gave us another another pastel room (seriously, the whole last half of the season was neutral or pastel!). This laundry room was quite lovely - bringing colour and lightness to a dingy basement room. I loved the rubber floor Tommy sourced - practical and pretty. I also loved the chandelier. But since checkerboard tile doesn’t appeal to me I wasn’t a fan of the backsplash (or the floor in the previously mentioned kitchen).
I also decided when we move I’m going to make sure we don’t get those oversized washer & dryers with the big drawers on the bottom. It’s so much nicer when they can fit under the counter. These oversized appliances are like the equivalent of giant refrigerators that bulge out from the kitchen cabinetry. I thought they integrated them well here… but wouldn’t it be lovely to have a longer stretch of counter top?
And finally a great black-and-white scheme for a condo. I loved the big photo wall. (I usually do), and how can you go wrong with black and white?
So there it is! Sarah 101 all wrapped up! Overall it was really interesting, full of surprises, had a number of helpful and unique design tips, was quite diverse in styles, had some fabulous makeovers, and was, as always, fun to watch.
(photos from HGTV.ca … I believe most were taken by Stacey Brandford)
I’m really wishing there was a way I could catch HGTV USA these days, because Emily Henderson’s new show “Secrets of a Stylist” has begun to air. I love reading her blog and especially like the posts where she goes out and shops the flea markets for vintage furniture and decor pieces. She finds some really fabulous stuff. And some really insane stuff, but she knows how to make it work.
I also love those episodes of Sarah Richardson’s shows when she and Tommy tackle some cluttered old antique store or farmer’s market and find great old pieces for reinvention.
(apparently wearing plaid is key to successful furniture shopping)
The thing is, they find things and are so stoked about the price. And sometimes I’m like, “Seriously? You’d pay that much for that thing?”. Maybe it’s my Ukrainian roots always looking for a better deal. Or maybe it’s because I live in the good ole’ 306 where people just seem to live simpler. And cheaper. I can go surfing Used Regina any day of the week and find deals that far exceed their “steals”, and I’ll still move along without buying them.
Of course I couldn’t buy all the deals I find. I just don’t need them all. That’s why I need to be a stylist or designer. I could find these fabulous items and use them in other people’s homes. Because I just can’t fit everything in my own place. And other things are not my personal style but are still amazing pieces begging to be a part of good design. Let’s look at Exhibit “A” found on Used Regina this week:
Check out this tufted leather beau…
I know, I know… the red carpet, wood panelling, old wallpaper. It’s somebody’s ugly basement sofa from the 70’s that just won’t die. But that’s a good thing. Because they’re selling it for $385. Now, cheap can’t fix ugly. But let’s re-imagine this piece in a more fitting locale:
Yes, this is what I’m talking about. Open, airy loft. White-on-white surroundings. Large scale rooms. And elegant but masculine accessories.
Or perhaps in a similarly grand, but more earthy and natural scheme…
(both pictures via Emmas Designblogg)
Can you see it now? This sofa has a sort of Ralph Lauren polo-club meets rustic Restoration Hardware vibe. In fact, lookee’ here:
Are we not looking at pretty much the same thing? Tufted leather, nailhead detail, low back, and scrolled arms… Except this one is $5,795 USD from Restoration Hardware. So, anyone in Regina with a sweet loft space want me to do some decorating around this $385 sofa now? ;)
Of course there are pieces that I do want for myself. So badly. And I e-mail the link to my husband and talk about them incessantly and he gives me wierd looks and says “Seriously?” Maybe that’s because he doesn’t envision them the way I do. Maybe it’s because he really doesn’t want to make the drive and load the pieces into the Jeep to take home. Probably both. Sometimes this is OK, and I’m happy in the end I didn’t get them. But some still niggle in my memory as “the ones that got away.” One was an entire vintage bedroom set for $600 (it was a while ago so I don’t have the listing picture). That’s $600 we didn’t have to spend on furniture we couldn’t currently use. But I imagined each piece repainted and reused in different spaces when we have a few more bedrooms. My inspiration came from a very similar painted piece used in Sarah’s House season one:
So pretty right? Paint and new hardware go a long way!
And the latest escape was this pair of chairs for $50 a piece (OBO):
Sure they’re a strange pinky colour now, but can you not see them recovered and the frame painted? Maybe like these dark frames with some fresh new fabric:
Or a pale grey frame with a linen-ish upholstery…
I hounded Sean about these chairs. I was ready to delve into a 10-point essay on why these chairs are awesome (1. appear well-kept, 2. the rounded back means you can use them anywhere, 3. comfortable yet compact, 4. less expensive to upholster than other arm chairs, 5. they’re a pair which greatly increases their desirability, 6. the shape is classic and versatile, 7. They could be totally reinvented again and again with colour and fabric… you get the idea) but before I got that far he caved. And I e-mailed the seller. They’d sold the week before, she just hadn’t taken the listing down. Frussumgruffumgrrrr.
I’ve found a couple similar chairs lately. Like this one for $25:
But it’s not a pair. And by the looks of it, it’s not in great shape.
Or there’s this pair for $50 (OBO):
I really like the legs, and I’m pretty sure those are removable covers on the arms. But I’m not sure about the shape and height of the back, and it’d have to be reupholstered without the strange diamond pattern on the back. I’d have to check ‘em out in person. And maybe I still will… I can see them looking sort of like this:
And here are a few other pieces that have inspired me (all available in the last week):
How about this great little chandy for $30? I love the look of chandeliers painted bright white or poppy colours like aqua blue or lime green, but this one looks like it has a cool bronzy patina that I’d probably keep as is. It’s a bit petite to go in a dining room, but I think it would work fabulously in a bathroom (I love chandeliers in bathrooms) or even a pretty little dressing room (if you’re fancy like that.)
And this weathered sideboard piece? They say it’s antique, and want $175 for it. Not sure I’d pay that much, depending on how sturdy/clean it is. But that worn turquoise finish is kind of gorgeous, don’t you think?
I’m imagining it reinvented with a carrera marble top as either a bathroom vanity a la Sarah’s Farmhouse:
or on casters as a portable island in a country kitchen with this sort of vibe:
And who doesn’t love a little Frenchy chair? This one’s $50:
I kind of think the tapestry upholstery is sweet, but I would never keep it. Nope. This baby’d be painted white and recovered in a graphic fabric lickety-split.
And finally, how about this dining set? $500 for the solid cherry table and 6 chairs.
Unfortunately the seller recently recovered the seats (in a fabric I wouldn’t keep). I’m always bummed when they’ve recently refinished the furniture, because that usually drives up their price and I want to redo it my way. But it’s a delightfully curvy little set. The chairs would be painted white or pale grey (or maybe a bright colour… hmmm…) and recovered. The table could be painted or refinished in a darker stain or even used somewhere else to mix up the set.
So if anyone has a warehouse for me to store all this stuff. And a list of clients. And a way to give me more time. Let me know, and my career as a thrifty stylist will commence! ;)
All photos courtesy of www.sarahrichardsondesign.com
Tuesdays are good days. Each week I get Little M down for his post-lunch nap and wonder what kind of design adventure Sarah Richardson and Thomas Smythe have up their sleeves for another episode of Sarah 101 (Tuesdays on HGTV Canada). (Doesn’t my life sound thrilling?) ;)
I’d say this show is in many ways a departure from her previous shows in aesthetic. Though Sarah 101 still has oodles of “Sarah signatures” (painted furniture, a touch of sparkle, throw pillows with buttons…) and does sort of pick up where Sarah’s House 3 left off (in using more colour and pattern), it also goes a little crazy.
The biggest factors are her use of colour and pattern, and an overall more eclectic look. Now I know out there on the message boards there are a ton of women having heart attacks since their love of Sarah stems from the predominantly white and cream years of Design Inc., or even the very pastel-y years of Room Service. I also love when Sarah embraces white and cream, but for myself I think it’s neat to watch a designer evolve since style and design evolves too. And why shouldn’t she push the envelope? I think people in touch with design outside of HGTV know that Sarah’s hardly the kookiest designer there is.
So the results thus far are a mixed bag in my opinion… Check it out and let me know what you think!
EPISODE 1: “VIBRANT LIVING AND DINING ROOM”
This room sort of “broke us in” for the season. While the walls were neutral and the chaise and drapes were mostly cream… there was a hot pink sofa. And hot pink dining chairs. And some pretty bold fabrics.
And I loved it all! A bold scheme (I mean it’s pink. C’mon.) but the overall look worked.
EPISODE TWO: “SOPHISTO-NURSERY”
Other than hating the name of this episode (yeesh) I really liked a lot about this one. Blue and orange is one of my favourite colour combos, and I thought this was marvy-fab. (I stole that word - “marvy-fab”- from an Archie comic, I think. It sounds almost as cool as “Sophisto-Nursery”.) ;)
In addition to the colour scheme, I’m in love with the wallpapered ceiling. I think it’s a great move in a nursery. Period. And it helped that the intricate paisley pattern was gorgeous. Other plusses? Drapes. (The fabric is great, and Tommy finally got his ball fringe.) Light fixtures. The piece used for a change table. The stripes. And I totally agree that a boy could “grow up in” this room.
My detractions? It depends on the baby you have, but I never could have survived my many sleepless nights with Little M in that chair. I need rock. I need recline. Swivel will not cut it. However it’s a chair a kid could love when he’s older. Also the floor plan felt a bit funny to me with the crib peninsula’d like that. (Though I might feel differently actually standing in the room.) And the picture frame arrangement isn’t my cup of tea.
EPISODE 3: BIG BOX KITCHEN
I liked this kitchen. Liked. But it’s maybe a little forgettable.
Obviously it’s a great improvement on the old kitchen, and cool to see Sarah use more IKEA cabinetry (though her IKEA-based farmhouse kitchen in Sarah’s House 3 was magnificent, so you can understand why I’m underwhelmed).
The biggest issue for the kitchen was space and layout. One of my favourite Sarah-isms is that an island isn’t always best. She uses them sometimes when it’s right, but she’s a big proponent of peninsulas, which just make more sense in some situations. Here, if you look at the floorplan you can see the island was ridiculous. I’m not sure I love the peninsula either, though. So my opinion for this episode is that I don’t really have a strong opinion.
EPISODE 4: INDUSTRIAL SOUL BEDROOM
Loved this one! A loft bedroom, with some bold colours, and dragon fabric on the bed? Not exactly what Sarah’s known for. But after watching the episode a second time I decided it was awesome. I love the use of colour, the roman blinds and drapes with the thick trim, and just how the whole room fit the loft look without being run-of-the-mill.
I also loved how they used the client’s grandfather’s war medals. The colours were exactly right and the sentiment was perfect.
EPISODE 5: JEWEL DINING ROOM
OK. Here’s where I have issues. Overall I do not like this room. There is a fine line between “Granny Chic” and “An Old Lady Lives Here”. Maybe the room needed a bit of restraint. Or maybe a few less straight-up vintage pieces. But whatever the issue, I just couldn’t dig the overall look. The nail in the coffin was the painting (seen on the left wall in the picture above.) When that came out the old lady moved in.
There were many elements that I really liked: Wallpaper? Wonderful. Chairs? Charming. Fabrics? Fabulous. Trim? Terrific. But when it was all put together it just felt like too much and too old lady. (No offense, old ladies.) And so… we move on.
EPISODE 6: BOHO GIRLS’ ROOMS
I love watching any episode on a nursery or child’s room - even if you don’t like the aesthetic, you can usually pick up a good idea or two. Plus you can be pretty bold in kids’ rooms. These rooms were a mixed bag for me. Plenty of cool ideas and cute features, but I’m not in love with either room.
In the blue room I felt like the scale and composition of the wallpaper animals felt weird (such a tall giraffe paired with a short alligator nearly hidden by the bed frame? That felt “off” to me.) And the painted green “hill” effect on the bottom of the wall was too much for this room. (Funnily enough, as someone who used to paint murals for kids’ rooms I’m really not a fan 99% of the time.) But I am a fan of the headboards and side tables, and thought the bed arrangement was a cool solution to sharing a small bedroom. (The beds were pushed against the wall with the ends touching, giving the look of one giant daybed.)
EPISODE 7: CONTEMPORARY LIVING ROOM
Sorry, dudes. Since this is the most recent episode it’s tough to find decent pictures. When I find some I’ll share. This room? I liked. A lot. Maybe because even though a couple years ago I was sure the grey-and-yellow scheme would be short-lived I’m still crushing on it. Also because I like every single fabric used in the room. And the rugs. I’m not in the Grasscloth Loving Club, so the wallpaper isn’ for me. And I’m not someone who’d enjoy a light-box photograph in my living space. But I can appreciate both elements and like pretty much everything else in the rooms. Since this show is not done with client consultation I did like how much this design complemented the kitchen which the homeowners had recently renovated. It’s nice that the whole main living space jives and fits the homeowner’s aesthetic. (Though I was surprised by the husband’s enthusiastic reaction in episode 1 with the pink sofa.)
So there’s my run-down. What do you think? What’ve been your highlights so far? I’m certainly looking forward to the second half of the season because I really don’t know what to expect…
Loft Bedroom from Sarah 101, HGTV Canada
While I think the boy will love this chair in the future, I don’t think a chair that doesn’t rock would cut it in my nursery…
More Sarah 101 today! A boy’s nursery to last the test of time.
I absolutely LOVED the wallpaper on the ceiling, the colour scheme, the drape fabric, and the pendant lights.