Sarah Richardson is an award-winning designer, known around the world for jaw-dropping transformations that turn ordinary spaces into magazine-worthy rooms with an incredible wow factor. Sarah as her own company named with her own name: Sarah Richardson Design.
Sarah started out in 1995 working behind the scenes as a prop stylist and set decorator, but it wasn’t long before she’d switched to the other side of the lens and was parlaying her innate charm and inimitable style into a burgeoning on-camera career. By the late 1990’s, Sarah found herself in high demand as an on screen personality and quickly realized that she could carve a niche in the emerging world of design TV by sharing her practical, endearing and inspiring approach to décor and design with viewers. Known for creating innovative, award-winning design solutions that speak directly to the goals and tastes of a contemporary audience, Sarah is the host, co-creator and co-producer of four celebrated HGTV series that are watched by fans all around the world, in over 100 countries. Room Service, Design Inc., Sarah’s House (and Sarah’s Cottage), and Sarah 101 are a collection of lifestyle television series dedicated to tackling the demands and design challenges of modern living.
Since launching her first television show over 13 years ago, Sarah has over 250 episodes to her credit.
Admired for her upbeat and easygoing approach to creating elegant and timelessly classic rooms, Sarah inspires and empowers by effortlessly showcasing her winning style formula of mixing luxury with get-it-for-less savvy and balancing the save/splurge quotient of every decorating adventure. Sarah’s enthusiasm for all aspects of design is infectious, but Sarah is not your average TV decorator; her keen understanding of the fundamentals of top quality design compliment razor-sharp instincts in all matters of taste and style. She’s not afraid to tread the line between glamour and grit, and has been known to spend the morning shopping in stilettos for fine furnishings, and the afternoon masterfully handling power tools on a job site to push the room and homeowner experience over the top.
In addition to producing groundbreaking TV, Sarah is a creative powerhouse in the design world and juggles the daily running of a high-demand design business, Sarah Richardson Design Inc., which transforms commercial and residential spaces. Her growing line of signature products includes custom furniture, a fabric collection for Kravet, and two exciting partnerships with international brands. Sarah writes a regular column on design and style for the Globe and Mail as well as a monthly feature column for Chatelaine magazine.
Sarah is the recipient of numerous awards including a Gemini Award for Best Host in a Lifestyle Series, The Caldwell Partners Top 40 Under 40 Award, The University of Western Ontario’s Young Alumni Award, and Havergal College’s Old Girls Hall of Distinction. Sarah holds in BA in Visual Arts from the University of Western Ontario (1993).
To keep the demands of a hectic TV life in balance, Sarah and her entrepreneur husband, Alexander Younger, spend weekends leading an active outdoor lifestyle while living off the grid in the country with their two young daughters, and an adorable Wheaten Terrier. With a love of entertaining and a passion for fine food, you can bet there’s always something cooking in Sarah’s kitchen.
Mission and Vision
Sarah Richardson and her company have been in the business of creating beautiful and happy homes for their clients for over 15 years.
Their dedication to their craft is almost as well known as their fun loving approach to the process.
For Sarah interior design is expensive, so why shouldn’t it also be an enjoyable and exciting experience? She believe that every home, at every level, in every neighbourhood can be beautiful and comfortable. With a personally tailored approach and an expert eye, she’ll help you realize the dream of an amazing home that best suits your personality, your lifestyle and your budget.
Individual rates are tiered to reflect years of experience and education, so every level of service is covered at the appropriate scale. Of course, the most important member of the design team is you! Client collaboration is critical at every step of the way, so join the team, learn a little, laugh a lot and love the results!
Designs and Realisations
Sarah’s company projects are in private houses and we want to share with you this amazing projects, so take a look on the following images of selected projects.
Vintage Modern Condo
A new build condo may seem like the easy route to dramatic modern finishes, but renovating a condo in an older building has its advantages. With lots of space and the opportunity to really customize, we turned a very 80’s (and very brown) unit into a cool, contemporary space in the sky by outfitting it with modern classics, luxurious finishes and energetic accents of colour.
Sarah’s House 4
Builder basic gets an infusion of custom furnishings, vintage lighting and a healthy dose of sophisticated city chic style when season 4 of my Sarah’s House TV series headed for the suburbs for a from the ground up new build. Showcasing how to navigate limited finish choices without curbing creativity was my mission, while layering in colour and character was my secret weapon for success!
With a young family at home, and a love of pattern and colour, I think urban living should embrace a spirited sense of fun. Since my home is my “lab”, I embrace the opportunity to experiment with new colour palettes whenever the urge strikes. Why live life in black and white when you can surround yourself with a spectrum of colours that deliver youthful, family-friendly style at home?
Welcome to our home, summer style! While expecting our second child, my husband Alexander and I renovated our remote yet idyllic, off-the-grid island getaway (with lots of help from Tommy) in a TV series entitled Sarah’s Cottage (aka Sarah’s Summer House). With endless inspiration from the natural surroundings out every window, a modern cottage was infused with authentic island style by blending vintage treasures with my favourite cheerful summery hues.
Sarah’s opinion about Interior Design
When designing interiors, I think about how I can offer a unique experience to every client so they are left with a completely customized home designed just for them. When creating television programs, I strive to offer inspiration, education and empowerment so that viewers at home can embrace the ideas and interpret them in their home and be their own designer (with some helpful advice from me). When it comes to product design, I want to ensure that every item designed by me is something I would be proud to have in my own home, and fulfills the goal of a blending of design integrity, quality and value. And when it comes to my brand, I’m 110% invested in every aspect of what I share with my audience.
I’m known for creating interiors that are classically and casually elegant. We create modern interiors informed by a classic perspective, and combine our love for architecture and antique/vintage furnishings with the latest product innovations. My work is not exclusionary or elitist, it’s just meant to engage viewers and introduce them to new concepts and ideas, and hopefully encourage them to experiment and try a new design direction.
Good design is thoughtful, original, passionate and never too serious. You need to have a sense of humour in design. I like design that works, that isn’t demanding or pretentious, and will stand the test of time. As a Mom of young kids, if it’s practical to boot, I’m delighted!
Sarah’s House – TV Show
Sarah Richardson, host and designer on HGTV’s Sarah’s House, started her television career more than 15 years ago as a behind-the-scenes prop stylist and set decorator. As the world of design television expanded, Sarah quickly found herself in high demand as an on-air personality known for sharing her practical and inspiring approach to interior design with viewers.
Interesting Facts about Sarah
- Was born in Toronto, Ontario.
- Had the nickname “Mother” as a teenager (taking care of everyone).
- Received a B.A. in Visual Arts from The University of Western Ontario in ’93.
- Started her television career as a behind-the-scenes prop stylist and set decorator.
- Runs the successful design firm Sarah Richardson Design Inc.
- Has hosted the 5 shows: Room Service, Design Inc., Sarah’s House, Sarah’s Cottage (called Sarah’s Summer House in the U.S.) and Sarah 101.
- Has a paint collection that’s available in Canadian Lowe’s stores.
- Is married to childhood friend Alexander Younger, the founder of Design Lab.
- Lives in Toronto with her husband and their daughters, Robin and Fiona.
Sarah Richardson answer some questions
As a self-taught designer, what advice can you give other aspiring designers who also don’t have a formal design degree to hone their skills?
The fact that your education isn’t a design degree does not mean you can’t be well educated and well versed in the world of design. You should continually educate yourself by studying history of art, architecture, design and furniture, as well as studying the work of the great talents in the design world past and present to be inspired and educated by their knowledge and their tricks of the trade. If you have the passion and the knowledge to back up your craft, you can succeed, but there are fundamental rules and knowledge you need in order to trailblaze in an industry that you do not hold a degree in.
Have you made any mistakes along the way?
Of course – lots! The key to making mistakes is being accountable and taking responsibility. Everything is quickly forgotten if you step up, learn from your mistake and make it right immediately. Never try to blame others, and always remember that your reputation relies on your clients feeling that you treated them with respect and had their best interests in mind. If you add up the cost of all the mistakes and the real life lessons learned, you’ll likely reach a total that is still far less than the cost of school, but you’ll have gained true experience in your chosen field.
What do you see has been the greatest motivating factor in your success?
I love what I do and I love the people I work with. I try my very best at every project and everything I do and never rest on past accomplishments to carry me. I care deeply about every job I take on and want to leave people with a home they love.
As an entrepreneur, designer and creative genius behind your very successful business, how do you maintain the home/work/family balance? What is a typical day like?
No two days are ever the same, but they are always busy. I’ve found the best thing to do is streamline my work day and cut out anything that isn’t work related. Personal calls and lunches out will just result in a longer day. When I’m at work, I’m completely focused, but when I’m home with the kids and my husband, I try to turn my work brain off. And I don’t work on weekends (though I do sometimes need to go back to work after the kids go to bed, but that’s the reality of running your own business, and my husband takes the same approach).
Are there any colours or design trends you have tapped into or are wanting to try but haven’t had a chance to yet?
I always have a list of colours and fabrics that I can’t wait to use – that’s the best part of my job! Everything changes quickly and there’s always so many new and exciting products to play with. I really don’t like brown, but every other hue is fair game! Right now, two of my designers are pulling together schemes for a home in Florida so I’m feeling energized and uplifted on a cold November day by the beautiful palettes I see around me. Coral, yellow, mint, aqua, lavender….yum!
See also: Top Interior Designers | Jeff Andrews
Being surrounded by inspiring design on a daily basis, how do you decide the design direction of your own homes?
I try to tie the home to the landscape and the architecture in every project I tackle. Being aware of your surroundings and being sensitive to the architecture and the overall style of the home is so important to me. Our farm is inspired by the fields and the landscape, the cottage is all about a reverance for the water and the sky, and our house is a mid-century contemporary residence in the heart of the city, so each has a distinctly different outlook.
What is next for Sarah Richardson Design? Anything exciting in the near future?
Launching a line of fabric for Kravet in 2013, working on a new TV show, a book, and lots of exciting product lines….so it’s a busy time, but I love every minute!
Top Projects Gallery