Summer Inspiration: Sarah's Summer House

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Sarah's Summer House Logo 

Having worked in Design Television for over a decade, I have a sincere appreciation for “old school” design shows -- you know, the ones that educated as well as entertained.  

Someone that I have admired for several years is Sarah Richardson.  She has that girl-next-door likeability and is able to easily communicate and explain her process.  She and her design associate, Tommy Smythe, make great “old school” Design Television. 

Just in time for our summer inspiration, HGTV is bringing us a new series where Sarah and Tommy are renovating Sarah’s summer house -- hence, the title of the show.  

The first episode was jam-packed with tips from mixing patterned fabrics to white-washing knotty pine walls.  It even included a little drama when Sarah selected two different window styles for the exterior of the cottage. 

It is truly special to see a designer engaging the audience in her real process -- mistakes and all.  Sarah and Tommy will entertain and, yes, educate too.  Here are a few of the rooms from Sarah’s Summer Cottage.   

Sarah's Cottage Dining Room 

The dining room is a wash of subtle sun-drenched colors which accentuate the stone fireplace as the room’s focal point.  The candelabra chandelier can be raised and lowered through the use of a pulley which is attached to the ceiling. 

Here are a few of my candle chandelier picks that have a similar look. Click on the image for more information.



A few more tips from the show.

Sarah's Cottage Sitting Room

In this bedroom, the colors mimic the lake. From aqua blues to algae greens, they emulate the tranquil setting.  The room has the feel that it has evolved over time. 

One of the elements that creates this feeling is the bedside task lamp.  Its vintage look and weathered patina exudes the feeling that it has been in the family for a while. 

Sarah's Cottage Bedroom

Here are a few task lamps that have vintage appeal -- like the one in the bedroom. All you have to do is click on the image for more information.


Sarah’s Summer Cottage airs on HGTV, Saturdays at 8:00 pm.

Inspiration images courtesy of


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  • Sarah's designs are super!  She is a very gifted designer.

Summer Inspiration: Sarah's Summer House