Friday, June 1, 2012

Week 1 @ Sarah 101 with Sarah Richardson & Tommy Smythe

Happy Friday!  I am so excited about today's post because: (1) the weekend is just around the corner (and who can say no to that), and (2) today is my recap day of the premiere episodes of Sarah 101!  In each of the two episodes, Sarah and Tommy tackled the unique challenges in the spaces, and transformed them from ugly ducklings (more like a reno disaster in episode 2) into one-of-a-kind master pieces.

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For Episode 1, Jennifer's dining room was dark, dated, and not reflecting the personality of this young family.  The only thing going for this room is its size and the tall ceiling height: the perfect foundation for Sarah and Tommy to revive this "dying dining room".            

Here is the creative brief to this case study:

* Family friendly: this dining room has got to be youthful, fun, and durable for the young family

* Let there be light: chandelier, wall sconces, and pot lights are a must to lighten up this dark dining room

* Contemporize & keep original character: may the magic begins with a few cans of paint and some well chosen furniture pieces

The jumping off point comes from this dynamite street scape fabric Sarah found with all the colors you see on the seats of these beautifully refinished Chippendale styled faux bamboo dining chairs.

image via HGTV Canada
What a gorgeous, light filled, kid-friendly dining room!  To brighten up this naturally dark space (despite the large bay window), the majority of the room is painted a soft cream.  For a more graphic and modern re-interpretation of a traditional home, Tommy had the baseboard, the plate rail, and the crown moulding painted grey.  Together, these three elements look like "horizontal stripes" on the walls.  

To complement all the vibrant accent colors in the dining room, Sarah painted the space between the crown moulding and the plate rail sapphire.  This rich indigo blue also takes your eyes up to emphasis the great attribute in this room: its soaring ceiling height.       

image via HGTV Canada
What is the ideal color to calm and counter the vibrant colors in the room? Black!  It is a tricky color to use because you really need to know where to use it and when to stop.  In this case, black is the common element for most of the furniture (a great way to tie in different style of furniture), and as an accent on doors and window frames for a sharp contrast against the crispness of white.  

The room also wouldn't be completed without this graphical rug in black & white.  It adds an additional layer/pattern and helps anchor the space.  

image via HGTV Canada
You all know I love these faux bamboo chairs.  I actually had a pair sprayed black recently and about to have the seat re-upholstered.  They will be going into a dining/living room makeover I am working on.  These classic chairs are truly transitional and can totally work in both traditional or modern spaces.  Great minds think alike!!  

image via HGTV Canada
I already have my fabrics chosen, but still debating on how to upholster the seats.  So you could imagine how excited I was when I saw a close up on how Sarah and Tommy have refinished these chairs.  Thanks Sarah and Tommy for the tips!

image via HGTV Canada
Another tip I picked up from the show is how to use pot lights without cluttering the ceiling.  The general rule of thumb is to keep the pot lights 6 feet apart and 18" away from the walls.  To avoid having dark corners, here is the lighting plan for Jennifer's dining room.

image via HGTV Canada
For more tips on how to create a dramatic and appetizing dining room that will for sure wow all your guests, check out this episode of Sarah's design palette:

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Episode 2 is all about fixing the fundamentals, incorporating lots of storage, while making the space bright and contemporary to satisfy Colen and Josee's love of minimalist decor.

The creative brief for this case study:

* Revive design vision: this master bedroom needs to be calm, peaceful, spare, uncluttered for the couple to relax and unwind

* Smart design & placement choice: scale back to the core function of the space, think of what you really need: this is a bedroom, not a media centre or workshop special

* Reduce Clutter & have ton of storage: the perfect defense to clutter control is creative storage.  When there is a place for everything, you will be organized and no more clutter in sight

Check out this sensational minimalist master bedroom in white!  To minimize the infrastructure cost and to maximize the functionality of the space, Sarah and Tommy outfitted the room with his and hers storage via these L-shape IKEA solutions flanking either side of the room.  Have a radiator at home that takes up valuable square footage? The one in this bedroom was replaced with a tiny unit now concealed within these glossy IKEA units.  Ingenious!

image via HGTV Canada
Even the minimalists will need a drop of color in the space and I couldn't agree more.  This contemporary fabric looks like mosaic glasses, allowing Sarah and Tommy to draw any of its colors to accentuate the room.  As you can see, blue, green, turquoise, and coral have all been used to add warmth and to enliven an otherwise all white box.    

image via HGTV Canada
I just can't get enough of this fabric and love the simple & modern design of this custom headboard.  I wonder if Sarah will include this headboard as part of her furniture line and call it "Colen".

image via HGTV Canada
Another tip to maximize storage and surface space (again to reduce clutter) is to look for a bed with storage capacity, and consider using pendants as reading lamp instead of a classic table lamp.  I live by this rule as I also have a small bedroom with no storage.  Here is a quick read of my bedroom makeover.       

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A couple of chairs and a table is perfect for a bay window.  Since the radiator is now shrunk to 1/3 of its original size and concealed within the storage solution, there is even space now in front of the bay window for this small dining table for two, which also doubles as a writing desk.  Sunday breakfast without kids anyone?  

Drapery panels may not be in the card of minimalist designs.  To provide Colen and Josee the needed morning light control and privacy (it's a master bedroom after all), Sarah installed roman blinds with small chrome curtain grommets along the sides.  The classic roman blinds are now contemporary and edgy.        

image via HGTV Canada
The master bathroom is across the hall from the bedroom.  Putting up a piece of drywall may sound like a practical and logical choice, and that is until Sarah introduces us to tempered glass with graphic vinyl adhesive.  I am totally floored by this innovative drywall alternative for its translucent quality, a incredibly attractive and practical solution to a safety concern, and that tampered glass is merely 1/2 the thickness of drywall (meaning more space in the hallway).  L-O-V-E IT!      

image via HGTV Canada
Trying to achieve the look of Colen and Josee's master bedroom?  Here is Sarah's design palette for this calm, clean, and fresh restful retreat.  

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And if you are inspired by the new season of Sarah 101 and want to give your home a makeover with paint, June is the month to do it.  For a limited time, PARA paints offer 15% off of its entire paint line at Lowe's.  Check out the detail below and get creative! 

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You know I always love the behind the scene footage.  Now here is how the amazing profile shot you saw up top was done with Sarah wearing some killer hills.  Thanks Tommy once again for a healthy dose of hilarious reality check!    

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Sarah and Tommy were also on The Morning Show on the premiere day talking about all the fun bits of Sarah 101.  Check this out.


Be sure to catch the next two episodes of Sarah 101 on Tuesday at 8pm ET!

9 comments:

  1. Great re-cap Tim...I sadly missed both episodes so must watch online! I ADORE the first jumping off point fabric- so whimsical!

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    1. isn't that amazing Christine! The whimsy element actually reminded me of your wallpaper in the foyer! dying to come for a in person visit!

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  2. Looks good, i wish i had seen this one. I haven't been able to watch much tv lately...although Shark Tank is Tivo'd . :) Enjoy the wknd.

    Madebygirl.blogspot.com
    MadeByGirl.com

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    1. Thanks Jen for visiting! come back on friday for my weekly recap :)

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  3. Sarah called your recap "fabulous" on her Facebook page .... I think that is ultimate compliment. Congrats, great re-cap!!

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  4. Thanks so much Tim. You do do a "fabulous" job of interpreting the shows. It means even more to me since I live in the States and HGTV US is way behind (or should I say is acting like a behind by not giving us the shows). :)

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  5. Thank goodness for your recap, I missed the episodes! Both rooms look gorgeous, and I like how the bedroom is a different take but still true to Sarah's aesthetic. very good recap! PS - make sure to pop by my blog to enter my giveaway for a blurb photobook credit (portfolio maybe??? :) )

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  6. Your first recap and it's fabulous. I watched the morning show and was surprised that the hosts were not better informed.
    I enjoyed watching the first two episodes. Totally not my style but wow what transformations! Tommy and Sarah were great together as usual. I will look forward to Tuesday nights now!

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    1. Thx Trio! I actually love how witty Tommy was in the premiere episodes. .. so much fun and just like how he is in person. Can't wait to watch the next two episodes on Tuesday!

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