Interview: Sarah Richardson At IDS 2014

A House & Home favourite, design expert and TV personality Sarah Richardson is gracing the H&H stage at the 2014 Interior Design Show in Toronto on Sunday, January 26 along with our own Mark Challen. She and Mark will be focusing on creating beautiful, happy rooms and living with style, so be sure and drop by to get tips on tapping your design potential. We asked Sarah what’s new, and after inspiring so many of our readers, if she has a style mentor.

H&H: IDS is always about newness, what are you excited about lately?

Sarah Richardson: Well, this is a totally biased answer, but I’m pretty excited about my new fabric collection for Kravet. It’s a mix of contemporary prints and classically inspired patterns in fresh colour palettes that are designed to be mixed and matched. I’m known for my love of fabric, so creating my own collection is wonderful, and nobody knows how to create beautiful textiles better than Kravet. I’m a firm believer in the beauty of natural materials, so it’s all made of linen and cotton. I’m also working with a few other product lines, which are keeping my creative juices flowing, despite the cold temperatures outside! When it comes to product lines, I only want to do something new and fresh, as seen through my eyes, and crafted in a way that I would be proud to have it in my own home.

H&H: How do you keep your designs fresh and current, what inspires you?

SR: I am always eager to see more, do more and try more. I think travelling, seeing, exploring and reading are the best ways to stay inspired. Whether you’re globetrotting or staying put at home, keeping your eyes wide open every day and being receptive to new ideas is the best creative fuel.

H&H: What’s the last thing you bought for your own house, and where did it come from?

SR: We’re in the midst of a renovation at home, so I’ve just bought new appliances, which is so exciting. I love to cook and entertain, and my new kitchen will redefine how we live in our city home. I fell in love with the GE Monogram line at last year’s IDS. It’s always the little details that catch my attention, and the Monogram series has beveled edges and sleek styling that surpasses the other brands in my view. I can’t wait to start whipping up some delicious feasts for family and friends… but I need to finalize about 100 other choices first, like cabinets and counters and tile and stone and lighting before I can call the job complete! I’ve always considered our home to be my lab where I can experiment with free abandon, so having the opportunity to do new things and explore new directions is creatively inspiring.

H&H: Do you have a style mentor?

SR: Success in design isn’t about instant notoriety or rocket speed fame. It’s a long, slow process of learning and growing and seeing every new project as an opportunity to try harder and do better. In terms of lifetime achievement and ability to create designs for all tastes, whether contemporary or traditional, and all price points, whether exclusive or accessible, I have great admiration for the Ralph Lauren brand. He’s able to tell the story of coastal, country, or cosmopolitan chic flawlessly and with a fresh perspective over and over, while always expressing it with a sense of signature style. He lives the lifestyle he sells, and authenticity is of the utmost importance to me. Let’s just say I’m a long term RL fan since my impressionable days as a 10 year old reading The Preppy Handbook!

H&H: What’s your best piece of design advice?

SR: Design for you and the way you live. Being aware of your lifestyle and your needs will enable you to get the best results and be happy with the outcome. Be prepared to take a chance and step outside your comfort zone. It’s what will keep your home from being exactly like everyone else’s and ensure it’s innovative and forward thinking. Invest in quality. In an age when people are obsessed with getting the look for less, sometimes consumers shortchange themselves and just get… less. Buying quality and investing in authentic design never disappoints. And lastly, surround yourself with things you love and your home will be a curated and creative personal expression of individual style. Oh, and have fun along the way, and never lose your sense of humour — you’ll need it for any renovation project!

Visit this gallery of Sarah’s interiors and see new, updated photos of her latest projects.

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