Friday, May 18, 2012

A Date with Natalie Hodgins & Sneak Peek of Sarah 101

Hello Friday! We've made it and with the weekend being incredibly sunny and warm, I say we should head outdoor and enjoy what Mother Nature offers us!  May is a great time to patrol your neighbourhood for garage sale and yard sale, as people push through the final stage of spring purging.  A few clicks at your local online search engines may also yield fruitful results.  In my case, a pair of Nik dining chairs and a Harry chair from Sarah Richardson Design.

Better yet, the seller of these fantastic pieces was actually Natalie Hodgins, the senior designer of Sarah Richardson Design, and I was given a tour of the sumptuous head quarter of this sizzling hot design firm.

Incredible isn't it? I just love the mix of soft neutrals with light blue and vibrant coral/orange.  In case you haven't read my recent post on National Post Homes yet, I have also re-decorated my living room with a similar color scheme!  

And as I always say, it is great to see all the amazing interiors executed by the talented designers but it is what they do at their own spaces that inspire me the most. In their own homes, we get to learn their personal tastes, their absolute must-haves, and most importantly, what would they do if they are their own clients.

Today, it is of great honoured that we have Natalie Hodgins from Sarah Richardson Design to stop by at DesignMaze for a Q&A, sharing her latest obsession in home décor, and what she is up to at her own home.  Before we go to our Q&A, here are a couple of my favourite spaces designed by Natalie for the hit TV series: Design Inc.

TimI love Design Inc. for all the amazing transformations, but the one thing that makes the show stands out from all the other show is the team dynamic and everyone is full of passion and enthusiastic about their projects. Would you share with us what is a typical day at Sarah Richardson Design?

Natalie:  The best part of my job is that there is no typical day… everyday is completely different and unique. I may start out thinking I am doing a, b, c and end up doing x, y, z.

TI visited your Riverdale home a couple of years ago during the open house and may I just say that I was floored the moment I walked into your home. The hand-blocked coral wallpaper at the front entrance is a sophisticated, dramatic, and cheerful design statement. I also loved the vibrancy and saturation of coral and orange in your living room and kitchen, as well as the more muted palette for your dining room and the bedrooms on the second floor.

Now that you've settled in the new home, any plans to put your own stamp on this family home? Can you share with us what is your jumping off point and design inspiration for this room?

N:  Absolutely!!  I am currently living in a 2 bedroom apartment while the hammers swing at my new house! I am doing 2 bathrooms, the kitchen, dining room, living room, adding some doors, a window and the list goes on.  I have attached a teaser pic of my inspiration fabrics and you will see it in print in 2013!

T:  A complete redone!! Love it and can't wait to see it in print next year! Love the navy blue and ruby red palette as well.  The pattern is youthful and yet sophisticated ... perfect choice for a young family.  With so many projects under your belt, which one is your absolutely favourite that you would model for your own home?

N:  I love Thecla and Garrick's Edwardian-style home!  We did their kitchen on Design Inc and finished off the entire home one stage at a time.  I could move in with just my toothbrush ... well and my family of course.

photo credit: Stacey Brandford courtesy of Renovation Style 
photo credit: Stacey Brandford courtesy of Renovation Style
photo credit: Stacey Brandford courtesy of Renovation Style
TIf you can only renovate one room at a time, what is the first room you will renovate in this home? Can you share with us what is your jumping off point and design inspiration for this room?

N:  Why do one room, I am doing the entire main floor. It is small… I went for location for my new place so I have a little jewel box and that allows me to tackle more at once.

T: Thanks to your renovation, I'm now the happy new owner of a pair of the Nik chairs and the Harry Chair. What is your favourite SRD piece at the moment? What are the other SRD pieces you will be bringing into your home?

N:  My new favourite piece is the Nicole sofa… you will see it on an upcoming new episode of Sarah 101. I already have a sofa so I just put one in one of my best friends living rooms- she had no choice and yes, she loves it.

TDon't I just love to be forced to have a SRD piece in my living room.  You sure you don't want to just put a Nicole sofa in my living room? Ha!

As a mother of two young kids, an integral member of a buzzing design company, and have a mid-size dog at home, how do you manage it all and keep a perfect home?

N:  My home is far from perfect and that is how I want it! Nothing is precious and my kids are allowed to go anywhere and use anything, I want it to be a happy home and when I think of keeping it perfect it makes me tense. I like having Barbie’s in the living room and I encourage my kids to make forts with my sofa cushions. I applaud people who are able to live like a photo shoot is about to happen but that is not my life right now. Jude is 6, Sophie is 3 and I have a puppy… perfect is many years away, if ever.

Don't you just love Natalie?  She is every bit as gracious and friendly as she was on TV.  See the handsome Harry in grey geometric print we are sitting on? Well, that's the amazing pre-loved chair I picked up from Natalie, and it is now sitting proudly next to the fireplace in my living room.  Thanks Nat!

Another SRD furniture I love (other than the Fiona sofa) is the Jude bench.  I've seen it in action many times and it just works perfectly in every spaces.  If you are in the market for one, today is your lucky day!  From now until May 30th, Sarah is offering the Jude bench at 20% of retail (a.k.a. over $300 of savings).

Now for all your Sarah fans out there, I have got a sneak peek of Sarah 101 for you, courtesy of HGTV Canada.  Make sure you set your PVR for the back to back episodes of Sarah 101 starting May 29th, 8pm EST!  


  1. Ooh...lovely interview. Natalie seems so sweet ;)
    And love the sneak peak of Sarah 101. Man, I wish had cable.

    1. come back for my weekly recap Amy! Will be a fun show!

  2. Great interview Tim - and I love the way the new chair looks in your living room!

    Thanks for keeping me updated on all things, Sarah, Tommy, Lindsay, Design Inc., Sarah's House, Sarah 101, and now Natalie! I'm happy to find that others are as obsessed as I am with great approachable design. Any chance you'll interview Kate? I'd love to hear what she has to say.

  3. I love the Sarah Richardson Design offices!! The Thomas stool is so pretty upholstered in that bold print with lavender on the sides. Natalie must be having so much fun renovating the new house - a designer's work is never done ;-)

  4. What a great interview. Jealous of your fab. chair find! Thanks for sharing

  5. lovely photos! Great interview Tim! Congratulations!

  6. What i don't understood is if truth be told how you're no longer
    really much more neatly-liked than you may be right now.
    You are very intelligent. You understand therefore considerably relating to
    this subject, made me individually imagine it from so many various angles.
    Its like men and women don't seem to be interested until
    it is something to accomplish with Woman gaga! Your own stuffs
    nice. At all times take care of it up!

    Here is my web blog; Full Money System review