See Sarah Richardson’s Best TV Makeovers Of All Time
Fans of designer Sarah Richardson will be glued to their sets when she launches her new show on September 10 at 10 p.m. on HGTV. In Sarah Off the Grid, she and Tommy Smythe attempt to build an off-the-grid dream home from the ground up for her family on a remote piece of property. To celebrate the show we thought we would take a look back at some of the best projects she’s completed for HGTV over the past several seasons. From dramatic cottage transformations to idyllic farmhouses and small city homes, she’s done it all in signature Sarah style.
Sarah and her husband Alexander renovated a charming 1950s cottage on a Georgian Bay island in six short weeks for Sarah’s Rental Cottage. For this open concept living/dining room, she stuck to a grey, white and blue palette pulled from the landscape and views. “Construct items like kitchen tables from felled trees in your yard. Not only will your DIY be sturdy, it will look 100 per cent unique,” Sarah notes.
Sarah kept the original built-in sofa beds in the main living/dining space. A fresh coat of white paint gave new life to a formerly dark, dingy space, while the seaglass-green floor is a lively and playful counterpoint.
The original kitchen felt cut off, so a wall was knocked down to open up it up. Sarah added new cabinetry, stools at the island and large, expansive counters in durable butcher block. Sarah recommends saving money on flat-front doors. “They’ll look sleek and are easy to wipe and wash off. They can be customized or painted for a splash of color to a simple room.”
In the kids’ camp-cabin bunkie room, nautical blue was the jumping off point for the decor scheme. Hanging buckets on pulleys and blackboards are a fun personal touch from Sarah.
When she first walked into the principal bedroom, Sarah was reminded of a tree house. It had great bones with high vaulted ceilings and lots of windows, and built-in side tables were a major bonus. She used spa colors and layered in whimsical prints for an airy, fresh feel. The side tables were topped with hard-wearing stainless steel.
Sarah’s known for her watery palette, but the bold marigold scheme in this guest room complements the honey tone of the wood walls. This room was formerly used to store water toys and tools, but now it’s a cheery retreat.
In Season 4 of Sarah’s House, she tackles a builder basic in the suburbs. Custom furnishings, vintage lighting and a healthy dose of sophisticated city chic style gave this new build lots of character. “Showcasing how to navigate limited finish choices without curbing creativity was my mission, while layering in color and character was my secret weapon for success!”
The country kitchen of the 50-acre farmhouse Sarah purchased in season 3 of Sarah’s House was a mix of buttery creams, well-worn floors and some standout stone on the backsplash. “Choosing appliances is never easy. Country meals are often big gatherings so I prioritized a 48-inch gas range complete with two ovens and a griddle (I’m convinced Sunday morning blueberry pancakes taste better in the country).” Sarah customized Ikea oak doors with paint.
In season 1 of Sarah 101, she creates a restful principal bedroom retreat with branch motif wallpaper in a neutral palette. Subtle hits of lilac are a pretty addition to the layered patterns of the bedding.
A dual-purpose den saw Mongolian lamb throws layered over two-tone chaises with contrast piping. “Try incorporating an actual den/lounge into the mix. In this room, a pair of ultra-comfortable chaise lounges are as practical as they are luxurious, inviting the user to flake out at the end of a long day or just recline during a phone call.”
For season 2 of Sarah 101, “I aimed to make the grade with my signature approach to design basics.” Sarah and Tommy had a limited budget to transform this large space into a kitchen and casual dining space that was bright, fresh and modern yet maintains its country ambiance. Sarah accented the charm of the warm wood floors with rustic boards, a herringbone tile backsplash and witty coach lanterns over the dining area.
“In this space, the combination of four cool-toned marbles was used to create a boldly striped floor and chic mosaic wall, reinforcing my opinion that more can be more in some circumstances,” says Sarah of this bathroom from season 2, episode 5 of Sarah 101.
One of the standout details of this space from season two, episode six is the industrial-style lighting over the island. “To illuminate the island, my team unearthed an awesome overscaled fixture made of tubular piping, a much more interesting option than a standard pendant lamp. Authentic barnboard in a herringbone pattern clads the base of the island. “If you’re not too keen on plucking old boards out of piles in a field, don’t worry: You can purchase kiln-dried reclaimed ones from any salvage facility.”
To decorate this tween boy’s bedroom in season 2 of Sarah 101, Sarah chose a preppy varsity motif pennants, plaids and stripes that are sporty but not too thematic. “Instead of searching for ready-made tartan pieces, go straight to a garment-trade fabric store to find a real deal. At less than $30 a yard, this woven wool offers quality and value in equal amounts and can be used for pillows, curtains, seat coverings and more.”
For a first time homeowner’s maturing taste in episode 7 of Sarah’s House, season 2, Sarah and Tommy found furnishings that the client can eventually move with her into a larger home. “Making a little room both look and feel bigger than its pipsqueak proportions is all about tricking the eye and maximizing what you’ve got to work with.”
This reno redo from Sarah 101 season 2, episode 11 is unabashedly feminine. The pretty details include blush pink walls, a crystal chandelier, Murano-style mirrors, graceful mirror sconces and flower-configured hex tiles on the floor.
Though a rental, this young bachelor from episode 13 wanted a place that spoke to his downtown style. A wall-hung tribal rug and clutch of rainbow-hue glassware add an infusion of color. Industrial lighting, a chunky table and metal chairs supply the necessary cool quotient.
Sarah dubbed this bedroom a “kid-free retreat.” In episode 10 of season two, Sarah and Tommy created separate functional areas within the large, traditional space. New paint, lighting and window coverings made it a serene place in which to escape and relax, while gilded accessories and wood tempers the grey walls.
Sarah’s affinity for mixing patterns is on full display in this seating area from season 2, episode 10 of Sarah 101. Floral upholstery on the chairs and tonal striped drapes live harmoniously side by side.