Friday, June 8, 2012

Week 2 @ Sarah 101 with Sarah Richardson & Tommy Smythe

Happy Friday everyone!  The gorgeous weekend is upon us and today is once again all about Sarah 101!  Week 2 of Sarah 101 is all about being inspired by the architectural origin of the space: respect the character of the home and embrace the challenge.  After all, the home owners bought their homes because they like the personality of the home, and all they need is to fully utilize the untapped potentials.  That was exactly what Sarah and Tommy did in Week 2.


In Episode 3, the design duos took a quirky space with awkward sloped ceiling and turned it into a double-duty home office + lounge sanctuary for Jillian and Daniel.  Ever wonder how to decorate a small, outdated attic and transform it into a functional and beautiful space to work and relax?  Here is an absolutely sensational room that deserves a standing ovation.  

image via HGTV Canada

Getting here isn't exactly a walk in the park.  Here is Sarah's Creative Brief:

* Tiny room, two purpose: this is a tall order and is no easy task ~ the key to success is to think outside the box with smart furniture layout 

* Showcase architectural features: remember that is what you felt in love with when you first signed on the dotted line ~ embrace it

* Clever storage solutions: you can never get enough storage, especially in a home office of an older home 

I love the architectural elements of an older home.  I have seen many houses with curved ceiling similar to this den during my search.  This unique character creates an issue of "where does the ceiling actually start?" and I certainly was puzzled on what to do during house hunting.  Thanks to Sarah and Tommy, now I know the winning formula to add visual interest and to separate the walls from a curved, sloped ceiling is to install a plate rail!  This treatment allows you to pick different wall colors or coverings for a more dynamic look.  Not to mention your ceiling height will all of a sudden look way higher since you are wrapping the same paint color from your walls all the way to the ceiling.

image via HGTV Canada
As I mentioned earlier, the key to a successful dual purpose room in a tiny space is a smart furniture layout.  It is importantly not to shy away from regular size furniture in a small space.  The trick is to get the least number of pieces in larger scale to anchor the room.  Getting more pieces of small scale furniture will actually make the room feels even smaller.

Here is the ingenious floor plan with a pair of chaise lounges + a desk as peninsulas for a practical layout, and help define the different zones.

image via HGTV Canada
The jumping off point of this den is the drapery fabric.  This floral number in shades of muted blue strikes a perfect balance between the sexes.  The simple, comfortable, and classic furniture pieces upholstered in solid neutral fabrics also speak to the man of the house.  I love the camel back and nailhead details on these chaise lounges and check out that powder blue accent fabric on the seat cushion and pipping.  I'm in heaven.  

image via HGTV Canada
image via HGTV Canada
It is ok to have two different window treatments in the same room.  In this case, full height drapery on one side (to soften the hard lines of the window) and roman blind on the other (a practical solution to a window with a radiator).  As long as you use the same fabric on both windows, the look is uniformed and intentional.  

All the furniture pieces in this room shares a common quality: they all have a top surface, along with open and closed storage.  This alabaster lamp adds charm, warmth, and provides needed lighting in the evening.

image via HGTV Canada
image via HGTV Canada 
Ahh ... the up-cycled desk.  I love this elegant desk and what a clever idea to put a piece of marble on top.  Totally functional and absolutely breathtaking.  I am so checking out this marble remnant place for a piece of white & grey.  

image via HGTV Canada
image via HGTV Canada
Here comes the controversial wallpaper issue.  Jillian didn't like the one Sarah and Tommy originally sourced and what you see here is the second runner up.  I think this paper is just incredible and I love how Sarah and Tommy had the paper installed on the doors as well for a panel effect.  Now the doors no longer looks like doors: they are part of the wall treatment. 

Once under-utilized, this closet now lives large and what a dramatic transformation.  All it took was some off-the-shelf home organization units, shelves and Ta Da, this closet now houses all the essentials for this stylish home office.  No more 90s wall units!    

image via HGTV Canada
image via HGTV Canada
Inching to turn your own attic into a sumptuous and decadent dual purpose space?  Here is Sarah's design palette for this calm, clean, and fresh lounge /home office.  

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For Episode 4, I would like to start off by showing you the layout of the BEFORE living/dining room.  Erica and Michael's space has great architectural features that qualify it as a mid-century contemporary master piece.  The floor to ceiling windows, the incredible fireplace in grey bricks, and a walkout to the garden from the dining zone, what is not to love about this home?  Well as you can see, the existing layout only allows for a living zone up front, a "storage" zone in the middle, and the dining room is tuck at the back.  It is not the most efficient use of the space and is hindering its full potential.

image via HGTV Canada
This is the layout Sarah and Lindsay came up with to rejuvenate this classic mid-century modern space from "museum in the 50s" to hip mid-century modern contemporary.  What a difference it makes to the overall feel and the usage of this living/dining room combo!  By moving the main seating area into the corner, there is now room for a separate seating arrangement for great conversation when the family entertain.  Taking about maximizing square footage without moving any walls!   

image via HGTV Canada


The Creative Brief for this tired living/dining room involves:

* Make the room work with architectural style: this is a tall order and is no easy task ~ the key to success if to think outside the box with furniture layout 

* Connect room to the lush outdoor: when a mature garden is at your finger tip, why not bring the outdoor in?

* Maximize the use of every square inch: it is prime real estate: you've paid for it and now make the most out of it


Are you ready for the AFTER? Here is the newly created causal lounging zone to welcome you the moment you walked into this beautiful home. The best way to unify furniture pieces from different era is to have them refinished in similar outfits. Of the four gorgeous chairs here, two are vintage and two are the Lawren chairs from Sarah's furniture line. By having all four pieces upholstered in a light neutral linen colored fabric with ebony stained legs, you will not even notice the chairs are different at a glance.

The jumping off point of this room is the bold, graphic mid-century inspired fabric on the ottoman. The roundness of the ottoman also helps balance the angular lines of the room.

image via HGTV Canada
Here is the infamous ½ wall at entrance.  I always thought that the only solution is: (1) take it out or (2) do a glass wall like Sarah did in Sarah's House 2.  The creative team has once again surprised me and now I'm convinced that a little "window" is just as fine.  No more costly ½ wall removal!      

image via HGTV Canada
This transformation is truly night and day. Remember this corner used to be the storage solution graveyard? Now it is the ultimate sweet spot in this L-shape family hangout space. The vintage matching sofa and chair have been given a new lease on life with a retro classic plaid motif in grey, cream, and a hint of mustard. It sets the perfect tone for a fabulous pale yellow and soft grey palette. The rich green velvet pillows and the pair of vintage chairs re-upholstered in grey velvet offer a touch of glam and luxury.

A lesson from Sarah: when picking a side table, make sure the height of the side table is lower than the arm of the chair or sofa. In this case, a couple of airy glass and chrome handsome squares hits home run in this transformation.

image via HGTV Canada
Don't you just love this room being so connected to the great outdoor?  To brighten up the dark corner and to bring in the view of the garden from the adjacent dining room, Sarah installed full height mirrors to visually extend the "wall of windows" to the entire length of the house.  I love this special feature!

image via HGTV Canada
Here comes the light filled dining room with walkout to a mature garden.  Who wouldn't want to sit on that bench, enjoy a cup of coffee with the morning paper? The driftwood inspired table is a stunning contemporary piece on its own.  Pairing with not one, but two Tom Dixon Etch pendants (my absolute all time favourite), this dining room had me at hello!  We didn't get to see too much of the kitchen at the show, but we can see the kitchen cabinetry has a red undertone; hence, the trio of red frames in the dining room for flow.  Erica and Michael also luck out to for the pair of Sarah's bar stool for their kitchen island, without a kitchen makeover.  Love the back hugging curve of these Cole bar stools!      

image via HGTV Canada
image via HGTV Canada
The most inspirational lesson from this dining room is how Sarah repurposes big box pieces as innovative solutions.  After stealing the storage corner to extend the living zone, Sarah put in a series of kitchen cabinets to create a full height pantry with a mini bar and a low bench with tons of storage.  I love the combination of dark grey high gloss cabinetry and faux bamboo hardware in brass: glamorous without being overtly over the top.  The bench design also allows a fun layering of fabrics, patterns, colors, and textures.   

image via HGTV Canada
image via HGTV Canada
Feeling inspired by this terrific makeover?  Learn from Sarah's know-how via her design palette!

via
Remembered I said last week I bet Sarah will be including that new custom headboard as part of her furniture line? Here it is and this Colen headboard is now 20% off!

Hope you enjoy this week's recap.  I had such a blast watching this season so far and would love to hear what you think.  Happy weekend! 

4 comments:

  1. Hi Tim,
    I loved the small attic room. So cozy yet functional. And can we talk about those chaises? Gorg!

    Amy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am determined to work a pair of those beauties into my future home. .. somewhere, they will be there!

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  2. Thank you Tim for yet another fantastic run-down of Sarah and Tommy's latest work. It is just what us Australians, who haven't had the opportunity to see the show, need! Keep up the great work. Maree

    ReplyDelete