Inside Sarah Richardson’s Off-The-Grid Country House, Starlight Farm
High on a hill, less than two hours and a world away from Toronto, is a country house as hard to find as its A-list owner, Sarah Richardson, could make it. Despite the discreet address, however, the millions of viewers who tuned into designer Sarah’s addictive HGTV series Sarah Off The Grid know quite a bit about the home, especially when it comes to solar grids, wells and foundations. From breaking ground in June 2016 to the day the designer, her husband, Alexander Younger, and daughters Robin and Fiona finally moved in nine months later, fans have been following along with Sarah’s latest construction, design and decorating journey. Click through for a look inside the enchanting Starlight Farm.
Sarah with her dog, Daisy.
In the mudroom, each family member has their own closet plus a basket stored on open, accessible shelves. A cowhide-covered bench provides seating.
The mudroom’s honed grey limestone floors feature radiant in-floor heating.
In the sunroom, throw pillows have patterned fabrics inspired by the woodsy setting. “This house is meant to feel connected to the natural landscape,” says Sarah.
A fan of architectural salvage, Sarah used a fragment of an antique Egyptian column as a focal point above the fireplace. “The fragment was a touchstone for what the character and feel of the house would be,” she says. The living room’s sofa, chairs and side tables are symmetrically arranged around the classic fireplace, which is raised to make it visible from both the kitchen and dining room table. “Symmetry creates a sense of balance, calm and order in a room,” she adds.
The kitchen is enhanced by luxe touches like hammered brass and solid brass panels on the island and above the stove.
A durable marble “rug” installed in the high-traffic area between the kitchen’s sink and stove has a mosaic detail at the ends that’s reminiscent of fringe.
Statement ceiling treatments like the dining area’s dramatic star-like compass rose — a recurring motif on the farm — visually defines the area on the open-concept main floor. The simple white covers on the seat and back cushions of the rattan chairs bring a relaxed, indoor-outdoor vibe.
A generous staircase leads to the outdoor entertaining area and pool.
The pool is a favorite spot for relaxing and entertaining.
Sarah and Alexander’s daughter Fiona shows off her best cannonball form.
Antique balusters are used as supports for the pool house console, made from leftover deck lumber.
“Since this house is for forever, I wanted it to be dressed in a palette that I would never tire of,” says Sarah of the principal bedroom’s calm, quiet and ethereal neutrals. Painted to highlight its ornate carving, an antique bench piled with pillows is an elegant perch. Sarah used a carved architectural fragment from a church to create a canopy effect above the bed and added contrasting wall panels and an antique silver-plated chandelier to emphasize the ceiling height.
A softly textured rug and a monochromatic mix of patterns bring a sense of relaxed luxury to the den just off the principal bedroom. A simple wooden fireplace mantel and painted board-and-batten walls impart a cozy country feel.
Envisioned as a serene retreat, the principal bathroom stars a deep soaker tub designed for taking in spectacular views of the forest and the fields. Walls painted in a “hush of color, the lightest shade of lavender” add to the feeling of calm.
In Robin’s bedroom, dreamy sky blue walls and a canopy bed fashioned out of white cotton sateen are design details that can easily be changed over time.
A floor-to-ceiling glass enclosure lined with pale grey-blue subway tiles makes Robin’s ensuite bathroom feel fresh and soothing.
The pale green walls in Fiona’s bedroom are inspired by the home’s forest views.