Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tonight is the final episode of Sarah 101 – 9:00 p.m. EST on HGTV Canada.  Where did those 13 weeks go?

In this episode, Sarah and Tommy created a lived-in, urban look in a brand new, generic condo with no architectural details.

When she walked in, Sarah immediately thought of black and white photographs as a feature on the long wall. This became the jumping off point for the colour scheme of black, white and grey.


Would you believe that Sarah took all of those photos herself?  She simply spent a few hours walking around Toronto photographing old buildings, churches, fences – anything that looked interesting.  She shot the photos in black and white which makes for a much crisper image than shooting in colour and then printing them in black and white.

I think you know by now how much I love gallery walls and this goes to show, once again, that art/photographs on a wall can transform a space.  She used inexpensive Ikea frames but had mats cut professionally.  In the episode,  fast moving frames of how the photographs were arranged on the wall were shown. Sarah started from the middle and placed them randomly with uneven spacing between each photograph.

The gallery wall is dramatic yet so doable!  I’m sure most people have photographs of trips they have taken but if you don’t, spending an afternoon shooting interesting images in your city, is all it takes.


See the art hanging in the hall in the photo on the right (above)?  Well, Sarah and Tommy painted it using vintage printmaking letters dipped in black paint and pressed onto an inexpensive primed canvas from an art supply store.  It was then professionally stretched and framed – ingenious DIY!


A contractor was hired to scrape off the stucco ceiling – very reasonably priced too!  (You can do this yourself by spraying on water and scraping it off but it is a messy endeavour.)

I loved the vintage pendants hung in front of the window and the gorgeous 12-light chandelier over the dining table.

So, what were some other lessons from Sarah?

  • use a mix of new and vintage furniture pieces to add soul to a basic space. Every piece of furniture was found at vintage stores except for the new sofa.
  • when buying vintage or used upholstery pieces, check under the seat cushion for the label of the manufacturer to see if the piece is worth re-upholstering.  Oh, and a tip from me – make sure that you replace the foam too!   (Have seen many DIY upholstery makeovers where the gnarly foam isn’t replaced.)
  • use grey to temper the black and white and only use black as accents on side chairs, cushions and throws
  • bring in warm wood tones and natural elements when using a monochromatic colour scheme
  • have vintage pieces professionally refinished and repaired
  • rub wool together to see if the fibres pill – good test to see how it will wear as upholstery

I thought the condo was perfect for its single, male homeowner.  What did you think of tonight’s episode or the show in general?

If you missed any episodes, you can watch them here.  You can read previous posts on the show here, here and here.    And, stay tuned for Sarah’s House 4 which airs in the Fall.  I have seen the house in person and it is stunning!


Post a Comment