Sarah Richardson Complete Interview

CANADIAN HOME TRENDS’ STYLE EDITOR, MARC ATIYOLIL:
Congratulations on the new series, Sarah’s Cottage. What can viewers expect to see this premier season?

SARAH RICHARDSON:
They’ll see what it really takes to build an off-the-grid solar-powered oasis in the middle of nowhere. We are 17 miles from town by boat, so just getting to the island is a challenge all in itself. The project was a large scale renovation: an addition to a small, existing, 10 year old cottage. We were under very tight time line pressure to complete both the project and the TV series as we were shooting another series (Sarah’s House, airs Tuesdays on HGTV), and I was about to have a baby.

MARC ATIYOLIL:
With Sarah’s House going on another season, Sarah’s Cottage being launched and the new baby, how are you finding time for everything?

SARAH RICHARDSON:
Right now I’m trying to focus on taking a few months off and dedicating most of my time to my daughters and enjoying watching them grow. When I’m in production on my shows I juggle, delegate and prioritize. If I can’t get it all done during business hours I go back to work after the kids go to bed if needed. I never work on weekends and thrive on the family time we spend together.

MARC ATIYOLIL:
What are your favorite design trends for 2009?

SARAH RICHARDSON:
I try not to focus on trends because I never want my work to seem dated. In order to maintain a classic, timeless appeal I design from gut instinct and select materials and styles that resonate with me. I’m too busy changing diapers right now to even know what’s on trend for 09 – but I’m pretty up to date with kids’ books!

MARC ATIYOLIL:
What are your least favorite design Trends for 2009?

SARAH RICHARDSON:
Without knowing what they are I can tell you that I generally dislike anything disposable, and would hope that consumers embrace the use of sustainable products and buy Canadian made goods whenever possible.

MARC ATIYOLIL:
If you could bring back a design trend from the past, which one would it be?

SARAH RICHARDSON:
I’d like people to have reverence for quality and craftsmanship. I think it would be wonderful to see consumers supporting the investment of time and materials necessary to create handmade pieces as opposed to mass-market mediocrity.

MARC ATIYOLIL:
What is your favorite room you have designed in your home? Explain why?

SARAH RICHARDSON:
I love my living room. It has a full wall of windows on both the East and West sides so I get to enjoy both the sunrise and sunset at this time of year. It’s a big room with my favorite pieces of art, comfy, lounge-y seating for snuggling up and enjoying the fire or reading books to my daughter, and a cozy little dining area for romantic dinners.

MARC ATIYOLIL:
What are your thoughts on “green/eco friendly” design?

SARAH RICHARDSON:
I think it’s about time we started focusing on using sustainable materials and thinking about how to reduce our footprint for the future. Green can be incredibly chic and there’s no excuse for polluting our world.

MARC ATIYOLIL:
What are your favorite colors to use when designing a room?

SARAH RICHARDSON:
I love the full spectrum, but I take a great deal of inspiration from my surroundings and natural materials. I like to try and connect the palette of the interior room to the exterior views and colors.

MARC ATIYOLIL:
How did you choose a career in design? If you were to do it all over again, would you change anything?

SARAH RICHARDSON:
I didn’t really choose design…it chose me. I was always a very creative little kid who loved to sew and cook and draw and play around with design elements, but I never went to school for design (though I do have a Bachelors degree in Visual Arts). I spent so much of my time at university decorating my apartments, sewing gowns for formals and throwing dinner parties that an acquaintance thought of me when a TV show she was working on needed a prop stylist. She called me to see if I was interested, despite my lack of experience, and the rest is history….that was in 1995 and I haven’t stopped working in TV and design since! It’s been filled with lots of hard work, but I love my job and have a fantastic team who I am lucky to be able to collaborate with. The wonderful thing about creativity is that it seems like fun, not work.

Written by Canadian Home Trends

Canadian Home Trends

Canadian Home Trends magazine gives you a personal tour of the most stunning homes and condos across Canada. You’ll be inspired by a selection of accessible home décor products, trend reports, simple yet stylish DIY projects, and much more. In each issue, you are given the tools to recreate designer spaces you’ve always dreamt of having at home, in-depth renovation and design advice, colour palette and furniture pairings, and Canada’s best places to shop.

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