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Home Design Inspiration from HGTV Star Sarah Richardson

In “City + Country,” the debut volume of COLLECTED, HGTV star and award-winning designer Sarah Richardson celebrates the best of both beloved styles and invites you into fresh-air farmhouses and getaways along with gorgeous urban homes and wide-open spaces. Looking for design inspiration for your own space? Check out this photo excerpt from COLLECTED for a sneak peek at Sarah’s cottage renovation results and how you can replicate her style…

Living Room style from Sarah Richardson's Collected
Once a screened porch, this room is now a fully enclosed, weatherproof indoor room–yet it still feels as open as ever with the doors and windows wide open. Vinyl plank floors mix with chunky wood and wicker accents for a room that is intended for laid-back, feet-up living.

Here, Sarah’s own off-the-grid Georgian Bay escape got a refresh to suit life with two tween/teen daughters—and frequent summer-season guests. It all started with a simple plan to enclose a screened-in porch and replace doors and windows, but soon turned into an exercise in making the compact cottage live better for the future. Sarah kept what worked and tweaked what didn’t, based on more than two decades of island life. In the kitchen (pictured here), Sarah reveals the light, bright and welcoming look of the cottage kitchen.

Building a cottage on a rugged granite island demands that you work with the landscape and adapt your building accordingly. A giant section of lichen-covered rock rises above counter height just outside the bar windows and provides a seamless connection between indoors and out.

Kitchen Details We Love: #1: Powered by solar panels, the cottage kitchen and dining room is illuminated by candlelight. Mounting lanterns on hooks amplifies the glow of the candles. #2: The Ming green and Thassos marble “sunflower” backsplash sparkles with the reflection of the late-afternoon sun on the lake for a truly “watery” feeling in the bar. #3: Seeded glass panels in the bar cupboards are filled with the little air bubbles like a crashing wave or a chilled glass of champagne. #4: The multicolour cabinetry in the kitchen features an accent of robin’s egg blue framing salvaged painted panelling from am 1860s schoolhouse.

Upper cabinet colour: Gray Cashmere (2138-60) by Benjamin Moore
Island Colour: Wedgewood Gray (HC-146) by Benjamin Moore

Dining room in Collected
Having the chance to rethink and redecorate the interior after a decade lets you keep the things you love and tweak the things you don’t to make the most of every area. What used to be a combined dining room and sitting area is now just an expansive airy dining room with a 10-foot table to accommodate big cottage dinners with family, friends, and guests.

“The surrounding water landscape changes constantly with the weather and time of day—there’s no singular ‘lake blue.’ There are a thousand shades, and those variations in palette make each space feel a little bit different from the next.” —Sarah Richardson

The fireplace in the porch is a woodstove designed to generate maximum heat when it’s needed most, while the elevated firebox allows the flames to be enjoyed from across the room. The cottage sits on a granite island, and the marble surround was chosen for the sinuous veins and subdued palette that complements the greyed floor tone.

“Cottage life is about picnics, boat adventures, and outdoor pleasures–who wants to fuss about the furniture? The giant sectional sofa [in the sunroom, pictured at the top of the page] is made up of stock pieces with washable white cotton slipcovers. Instead of arms, the two ends feature armless, backless ottoman components with hidden storage.” —SR

Without a basement (or an abundance of extra room), a spot for the laundry room had to be carved out of whatever space was available. What was once a roof deck became an enclosed laundry area between and beneath two roof peaks–handily tucked behind sliding barn doors made from renovation leftovers.
Thirteen-year-old Robin got to design the direction of her bedroom once she no longer shared it with a little sister. The mint stripe was a feature in the original bedroom. it’s now the only accent of colour amidst a wispy-soft palette of white and pale grey that–along with the upper-floor location and ethereal scrunched paper pendant lights above the bed–makes you feel as if you’re floating in the clouds.
Bathroom in Collected
With compact proportions and high traffic, the focus is on simple, natural materials. The honed marble floor feels cottage-appropriate thanks to dramatic grey-green veining reminiscent of patterns on the water. A simple round white mirror and bubbly glass pendant light add softness to the bathroom by breaking up the boxy silhouettes.

Want more behind-the-scenes peeks at Sarah Richardson’s designs and tips for how to apply her style to your own living space? Pick up a copy of her new book, COLLECTED: CITY + COUNTRY.


If you enjoyed this article, you may also like: The 6 Best Secondhand Items for Styling Your Space.


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