Tonight the newest series by Sarah Richardson, Sarah 101 launches on HGTV and I, among many, am quite excited . Sarah remains Canada's own design darling but her appeal has spread far beyond our borders. With her down to earth approach and fresh sense of pattern and colour, she has won over our hearts and you'll be happy to hear she's just as delightful in person. I was excited to be among a few bloggers invited to interview Sarah and Tommy about their new show, just a few weeks ago. It was a completely delightful afternoon - always the perfect hostess, we arrived at Sarah's offices to find her in a simple grey knit dress and tights paired with red Ferragamo heels and a long beaded necklace. She warmly greeted us all and then proceeded to make us all tea in her in-office kitchen, complete with a plethora of treats they'd picked up for the occasion. We then assembled in the living area, on chairs from Sarah's own collection to chat about the new show, her other projects and all the fun behind the scenes.
Sarah's shows have each strived to show a different perspective. In Room Service, the concept was simply about re-imagining and designing a single room in a space; Design Inc focused on the behind the scenes work - including all the trades involved in pulling a design project together; Sarah's House was a wider view on work behind designing an entire home from start to finish; and now Sarah 101 is taking things back to the very basic building blocks of design. Showing design wary home owners how to approach the spaces in their home they find most challenging, showing them where to invest their money and why.
Here are some fun facts from our afternoon with Sarah + Tommy:
· -Sarah and Tommy have known each other since high school (Perhaps this is the standard for all the main men in Sarah’s life – as this also applies to her husband Alexander, who was a school friend of her brother’s)
· -Tommy’s sister is Christie Smythe, (co-owner/designer for Canadian design label Smythe: Les Vestes), whose covetable jackets Sarah frequently wears.
· -Tommy is way more hilarious in person (I’d love to see an adult rated version of the show – I think his humour would be twice as fun! ;) )
· Sarah lured Tommy away from his position at Toronto boutique L’Atelier to come and work with her on her first show, with only two requirements: a car and a cell phone (he had neither at the time)
· Sarah’s day starts at about 7am with phone calls to Tommy and her design assistant Lindsay, en route to drop off her daughters. While she tries to keep a ‘normal’ schedule and maximize any time with her daughters, she’s often up past midnight working, designing – or moving her own furniture around – a perpetual hobby.
· If they had to choose another designer to design their space (other than each other) it would by Thomas O’Brien (a close friend) for Tommy, and for Sarah – perhaps a mix of Victoria Hagan and Miles Redd.
· Sarah and Tommy have a policy of never repeating any fabric or pattern – if it’s been used once before, it’s no longer an option (no matter how much they love it). This helps to keep them fresh and creative.
· Sarah’s design genes must have rubbed off on her daughter Robyn – she recently woke up in the middle of the night upset because her walls were too white and she ‘needed more colour!’
Thank you again Sarah + Tommy! For a fantastic interview + a most lovely afternoon!
Be sure to tune in to Sarah 101 tonight on HGTV at 9pm EST
and follow along what is sure to be a fun + very educational season.