Friday, June 15, 2012

Week 3 @ Sarah 101 with Sarah Richardson & Tommy Smythe

Hello sunny gorgeous Friday!!  With the incredible weather ahead this coming weekend, I'm sure all of you will either be up at cottage country or a lakeside retreat soaking up every last drop of sunshine Mother Nature has to offer.  Yours truly is on location this weekend (the Big Apple to be exact!), and I can't wait to be inspired by the latest fashion and home decor the city has to offer.

Talking about being inspired, Sarah and Tommy, along with the design team, has put together two sensational transformations at Sarah 101 that truly hit home run in my book.

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In Episode 5, the design duos took a dated master bathroom stuck in the 80s and turned it into a light/airy, sumptuous, and well layout spa-like environment for Luana and Aldo to enjoy.  Here is the creative brief to transform this once green, very green bathroom:

* Rethink floor plan: to max out form and function without major structural changes

* Add natural elements: to give the space its character and sparkle 

* Modernize, while keeping it timeless: to make sure you won't live through another bathroom reno for at least another decade 

True to all renovations, it is critical to get the basic elements ironed out before tackling the beautification process.  Check out the before and after layout for the bathroom.  The plumbing is kept unchanged to save on renovation cost.  Also consider the amount of space allocated to each component and in this case: water closet, shower, tub, and vanity.  If you don't need a large water closet for your daily routine, shrink it and give the space to a luxurious free standing tub.  

image via HGTV Canada
image via HGTV Canada

Don't believe me? See the transformation yourself!  This bathroom now feels spacious, light filled, and full of texture and shimmer thanks to the smart layout, a pair of vintage Italian sconces + a glass pendant, and Sarah's "more is more" approach to stone work.  I am absolutely in love with this floor for the mix of large scale stormy grey stone tiles with mini mosaics as accent bands.  What a striking contemporary statement!    

image via HGTV Canada
image via HGTV Canada
Now how many times have we gone looking for a vanity only to settle with the best ready-made available option that somewhat fits the bill?  You know, we often complain the vanity does not provide enough counter space, or it is lacking practical storage due to plumbing, or better yet, it is not in the finishes (color or stone) we desire.  Custom is definitely an investment after factoring in the stone top, the sink, and the knobs (these components usually come with the package from big box options), but you will be in vanity heaven.  

In Luana's case, Sarah's goal is to max out storage and provide as much practical surfaces as possible.  This sketch sums up many of the key dimensions, tips that will for sure come in handy when I custom my vanity: general height for vanity is 32" to 36" high, while the storage towels can go up to 40".  The variation in cabinet heights is not only a functional solution, but it also creates ample of visual interest. 

image via HGTV Canada
I love this elegant and huge (2' x 6') double shower!  It features Sarah's classic save and splurge tile formula: larger scale inexpensive tiles + expensive mosaic tiles as accent.  Can't lose sight of small details and in this bathroom, stone shower jams were installed to "frame" the intricate mosaics in both the shower and the feature wall behind the tub (which also doubles as a "nooche"for towels and other bathroom accessories).  Such a great lesson on how to dress up a bathroom and create a showshopper without breaking the bank!     

image via HGTV Canada
image via HGTV Canada
Artwork may not be the first thing you think about when it comes to bathroom reno, but it is an absolute must in any bathroom.  Artwork creates an emotion reaction, a personal connection to the space, and is the perfect way to express what you like and who you are.  Think about it, we put artwork in all other rooms in the house, so why not the master en-suite? This is how Sarah and Tommy tell the story of Luana and Aldo through framed black & white photography and a mosaic masterpiece.

image via HGTV Canada
image via HGTV Canada
To achieve a similar watery, spa-like sanctuary, here are the five must-have paint colors from Sarah's design palette.

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Episode 6 is all about creating a ultra chic family kitchen with a rustic knot.  After all, this kitchen belongs to a farmhouse built in the 1902.  The space has good bones: it is equipped with two large windows, a spacious kitchen with a "dance floor" in the middle of a not so magic triangle, and it is connected to a casual dining space.   This is the floor plan before Sarah and Tommy show up at Stephanie's door.    

image via HGTV Canada

Before I show you the AFTER floor plan, here is the creative brief for this design lesson:

* Modernize farm kitchen, while keeping country charm: be inspired by your natural surrounding: if you are in the country, don't fight it 

* Monochromatic palette: the fail-proof approach to a contemporary space 

* Rework layout to increase storage & flow: storage is never enough in a family kitchen and that magic triangle better be pretty magical 

* Cost effective off the shelf cabinetry: achieve the custom look without a custom price tag 


Now here is the vastly improved floor plan with a gigantic island that houses the sink, the dishwasher,  serves as a breakfast bar, and provides plenty of storage.  By moving the fridge to an previously unutilized wall, Stephanie now has an entire wall of pantry.  

image via HGTV Canada
This is a 3-D illustration of the game plan:

image via HGTV Canada

And this is how the space turned out! A stunningly delightful and sophisticated kitchen with a good mix of classic contemporary elements, and an healthy dose of quirky/ industrial touch that ties back to its rustic country root. 

image via HGTV Canada
Stephanie wants a crisp, modern kitchen out in the country.  What is more perfect to add City Chic than this one of a kind, unique industrial lighting fixture above the island, the sleek goose neck faucet in polished chrome, and an entire cooking team in stainless steel?  To juxtapose against the contemporary elements, Sarah and Tommy have hand selected weathered barn board to clad along the side of the island and the display nook at the pantry wall.  

Note to self: when creating an island using big box standard kitchen cabinetry, make sure you think about how to finish off the back of these cabinets.  They often come unfinished in both color and style.  In this case, Sarah picked grey, weathered barn boards (amazing patina may I add) and had them installed in a herringbone pattern.      

image via HGTV Canada
image via HGTV Canada
Speaking about herringbone, check out this incredible feature wall!  These are the inexpensive subway tiles you can find in any local big box store.  By focusing your attention to create an intricate pattern with a contrasting grout, you've now got yourself a breathtaking stunner! 

image via HGTV Canada
The adjacent dining room features a large rustic table, a pair of gorgeous lanterns in white, and a set of iron patio chairs Sarah and Tommy scored at an auction.  The grey graphic drapes, the pinstripe fabric on the chairs, and the energetic rug all share a modern vibe.  Who wouldn't want a cozy meal in this dining room?

image via HGTV Canada
image via HGTV Canada

Here is Sarah's checklist for a hip, contemporary kitchen full of country ambience:


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Sarah was on ET Canada a couple of weeks ago and if you have missed the quick interview, here is your chance to catch it ... and a sneak peek of an upcoming Sarah 101 episode!



Here comes a behind the scene footage that cracked me right up!  See how Tommy is trying to reach up to the handle to pull down the cabinet door?  Apparently this kitchen is not meant to be for Tommy, myself, or someone shorter than 5'6.

image via HGTV Canada
But if you really like the kitchen in its original glory, you just have to live with someone tall to lift you up!

image via HGTV Canada
Happy weekend everyone!  

3 comments:

  1. LOVE sarah 101...its such a great show to learn renovations. I agree with you....the bathroom is phenomenal....and the tub, tiles, everything in that bathroom is just calling my name!! Im wondering whats the pattern called for the tiles, where would i go about to look for tiles like that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey you .... for the tile, check out http://www.saltillo-tiles.com/
      Happy weekend!

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  2. Beautiful bathroom! Can you tell me where the mosaics came from? They look like an Ann Sacks pattern.

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