Sarah Richardson Embraces Playful Approach to Design With New Book

November 26, 2015 Updated: December 5, 2015
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TORONTO—Sarah Richardson says she likes to add a bit of “quirky personality” to the spaces she designs and encourages other decor enthusiasts to embrace their playful sides—and throw out the rule book.

“Home is your personal space, and you get to control who you invite in and you get to control how you use it,” says the designer.

‘I want my time at home to be as relaxing, calming, and fun as possible. That means choosing materials that work and having a few fun touches.”

Richardson is once again inviting the public into her own home with her new book “At Home: Sarah Style” (Gallery Books).

The HGTV host has turned the lens on her personal dwellings in the past with popular series like “Sarah’s House” and “Sarah’s Cottage.” With her new decor guide, she’s sharing insights about her creative process and hopes readers will get some ideas to incorporate within their own homes.

A playroom showcased in her revamped city home balances practical elements like a daybed and bookshelf with whimsical large basket swings attached to the ceiling for her daughters to play with.

“I don’t know if we’ll have them forever … but that was something for me that was a touchstone, that I remembered something very similar from my childhood,” says Richardson, recalling cherished memories of swinging at her aunt and uncle’s cottage.

Richardson also goes beyond design and into cuisine in the new book, with a collection of treasured recipes to prepare and share with loved ones.

Richardson says readers can expand their style boundaries by selecting items for the home that are visually interesting, like a more eclectic choice for a lighting fixture or scouting out preloved items.

“I like a home that has personality, that has a history, that tells a story.”
— Sarah Richardson

“I like a home that has personality, that has a history, that tells a story. And I think elements that are vintage that are unique or handmade—those pieces have intrinsic soul and personality and they take your home to a whole other level,” she says.

“Yes, by all means you can go and one-stop shop at a big box store and take it home and set it up and you will have a home.

“But for us, we’ve always enjoyed the thrill of the hunt. And it’s going out in search of what those pieces are and bringing them back and finding their mates and creating never-before-tried combinations.”