Thursday, October 13, 2011

10 Reasons Why I Love Sarah Richardson's Cottage

It could be that seeing summer end has made me a little nostalgic for the relaxed carefree days at the cottage.  Whatever the reason, I have recently found myself thinking about Sarah Richardson's cottage - which is one of my all time favourites.

There is so much to love about her cottage and I know that I'm not the only one that feels that way.  Of course, the location is divine - with windswept pines and gorgeous granite rocks.  The scenery is very familiar to me as our family cottage is also out on an island in Georgian Bay.  However, it is far more than the familiar setting that has my heart going a pitter-pat.  

When I looked through the pictures and watched the shows (which you too can watch online - check here to see the episodes), I tried to put my finger on what it is that appeals to me.  Sarah's cottage is decorated in a style that I find pleasing and welcoming.   Me, being me, I had to think about it, analyze it half to death, and come up with a list of reasons why I find her cottage so attractive.

So, what is it that makes Sarah's cottage so amazing?  Here's my list:

My number one favourite range of colours to decorate with are pastels so I love that Sarah uses soft easy-to-live-with colours in her cottage.  (I'm also tickled that I own one of those banker's chairs that she has in her dining room - although I painted mine black).

Blues rule for me - I love every shade, tint, and hue.  I know that one of the reasons I adore Sarah's cottage is that she used blue in every room (and yes I looked to make sure).  Her living room with all the different blues is especially divine.

I'm not one of those people who could live in a neutral house with only beige, black, and white everywhere.  I like that I can buy a turquoise bowl, or a red vase, or a yellow box and find a place for it in our house.   I noticed that Sarah's cottage has accents of almost every colour I can think of, with the exception of brown, orange, and purple - which suits me fine as those are my least favourite colours.  

While there is a predominance of blue throughout the cottage, several rooms also have quite a bit of red in them.  The main bedroom is dreamy with hits of pure fire engine red.

And red is used on the cupboard doors leading to the bathroom.

A bright green is used as an accent colour in the west guest bedroom,

Love of Family & Home
and in the children's bedroom.

Yellow is used on the chairs in the lounge.

Love of Family & Home
A bright floral in the east guest room combines red, yellow, and green.

I love how paired down the decorating is.  Detail and interest are added through texture and layering rather than embellishment or fussy details.   In the kitchen, Sarah incorporates a simple collection of milk glass footed bowls and glassware with muted tone-on-tone cabinets and back-splash tiles.

What could be simpler than this corner of the living room - a chair, some flowers, and a gorgeous view.

The mix of antique and vintage finds with new furniture is what makes her cottage feel like it was decorated over time.  Sarah added interest to the kitchen by mixing the vintage weathered boards around the exterior of the kitchen cabinets, the antique corbels, and the "groceries" sign, with the new appliances and cabinets.

The mix of cheap-and-cheerful and high-end furniture are a signature Sarah look and can be seen all over her cottage.  The straw hat collection on the wall in the lounge area contrasts with the chairs that I'm sure are more cheerful than cheap.

Mixing refined pieces with simple rustic finds is another feature typical of Sarah's decorating. Here in the main bathroom, the elegant Venetian glass mirror contrasts so nicely with the rustic chair and the simple baskets under the sink.  

Sarah is the master of mixing fabrics and you can see that in the cushions in the living room and the pillows on the beds.  Check out the guest bedroom below - I spy six different patterns used in this bedroom - and all in some of my favourite colours.

While I like both natural wood furniture and painted wood furniture, too much of either can be too much of a good thing.  Sarah has found the perfect balance of wood and painted wood in her cottage.  Along with wood furniture, she also has wood walls, ceiling, and floors to contend with.   While some of the rooms have white-washed wood walls, others have been painted, and others have natural wood walls.  In the bedroom below, Sarah has found a wonderful balance of white-washed walls, painted floors, and both painted and natural wood furniture.

Sarah's cottage is located in an absolutely gorgeous setting and she has decorated the cottage to take advantage of that in several ways.  I love that Sarah incorporated the colours of nature and lots of wood throughout her cottage to blend the indoors with the outdoors.  With the beautiful views out the windows, she used the perfect simple window treatments so that the scenery is the focus.  She also used simplified modern florals on many of the cushions and fabrics in the cottage.  

So these are the ten reasons I love Sarah's cottage.  What about you?  Why do you love it?


  1. I love Sarah's cottage also, all the soft colors she uses makes you want sit down and stay awhile. I also love how she mixes the old with the new!

  2. I love Sarah's cottage. However I wouldn't want to have to clean after every weekend of guests & change all those beds! I hope she has a cleaning service! But her cottage is lovely and I only dream of having a cottage...but a much smaller one that I could clean in a morning! Angie xo

  3. I totally understand your love. It is so fresh and fabulous!

  4. It is my favourite space of hers. I love the colours and use of mismatched fabrics. The kitchen is my favourite.

  5. It is also my favourite 'Sarah' space. The location of course, but I also love the kitchen and storm room for the simplicity and colours, as you mentioned. Thanks for the enjoyable read this cool and rainy fall day.

  6. I'm a big fan of Sarah's. You see the old wood in the island of the kitchen? That's exactly what I'm going to do whenever we redo our kitchen. As soon as I saw it, I knew I was going to save some turquoise painted boards that are in the ceiling of my back porch (that would be torn down for the redo.)

  7. I agree that Sarah found the perfect balance of painted wood and natural wood. I love the natural and pickled pine, too. I could live in a cottage just like it year round!!!

  8. Oh yes! I love Sarah's cottage. I really like how it is not at all like a rustic cabin, as so many cottages are, it is more country.

  9. She really is my favorite designer! I have never not liked something she has done. Can't get enough of her!

  10. Love her cottage! Decorating my own now -
    And hers is my inspiration! Love that I don't have to stick to a certain "theme". If I love it -it's going in!