Thursday, May 27, 2010

Home Tour with Sarah Nielsen

It's no secret that Sarah Nielsen is one of our favorite people. We love her shop. We love her style. We love her.

Today we get to take a peek inside her home. We love Sarah's home because it is well-designed and lovely, a reflection of her taste, but also because it is practical and real.

I love the details of your home, specifically things like the pennant banner above your boys' window, the metal (locker?) baskets beneath your family room bench, the family room bench -- where you do collect these things? Are you always on the lookout for things for your home?

Yes, I am. I keep a mental list of the kind of furniture and containers I wish I had. My husband teases me because I have an obsession with containers. I usually have more containers than stuff to fill them with. I made the banner for Cooper's birthday a couple years ago with craft paper I had on hand. The metal baskets are from Lowes - one of my favorite impulse buys! I spotted them in the kitchen organization section. The bench is a garage sale find that I painted. The desk by the front door was also a garage sale find that I restored (and absolutely love!).

What about the stained glass panels above the couch in your study; how did you come upon those?

Craig's List. I just got lucky. Aren't they the perfect things? They are windows from old houses.

Love the light above the table in your breakfast nook - where did you get that?

A local light shop here. I've had much better luck with locally owned stores than big chains for stuff like that.

The frames and clock on your mantle are perfectly arranged. Tell us about the process to get that (and other arrangements) just right. Do you look for something you like in a magazine/on a blog first and then imitate? Do those perfectly spaced arrangements just exist in your head? Is it trial and error - play around with different spacing/combinations 'til it's just right?

I'm always on the look out for inspiration but I never copy something exactly. Gathering and arranging is part of my nature so making displays comes naturally to me. I gather all the materials I think I want to include, lay them out on the floor, stare at it for a while, and then the right combination comes to me.

The sideboard in your media area is beautiful, tell us about how/where you got that? And what about the chair? A lot of the pieces in your home retain their original rustic/worn look. Do you intend to refinish them or do you like the character and charm of the original well-worn wood?

Again, Craig's List. I had to really fight for the sideboard, but I got it! The wood is beautiful - I will never paint it or stain it. I got the chair and the coat rack (that is actually for hanging mugs and pots in the kitchen) from an antique dealer. When I first got the chair, I took the seat off to recover it. After removing the fabric, I found the original leather (lucky!). So, I'm keeping that. The coat rack was in bad shape with a crazy blue paint on it. I sanded and stained it. I love the warmth stained wood adds to a room.

Thanks for letting us have a peek at your workspace. It's always inspiring to see where artists do their creating. I love how you have tin cans holding your office supplies in your studio. Are there any other naturally occurring household items/containers that you like to incorporate in your organization/decor?

Those are formula cans! I saved all of mine when Cooper was a baby so they are everywhere - they hold the markers, they are in my boys' clothes drawers keeping the socks and undies in order, they keep my ribbon organized (just to name a few). I like to use jars and cans wherever they fill the need. That makes one less container impulse buy!

Where do you gather inspiration? Fave magazines/design blogs?
There are so many! In real life: my boys, nature, talking things out with my sister, window shopping. In blogland: Little Green Notebook, Whatever, Knock-off Wood.

Anything else you want to tell us?
Our home is still a work in progress since we do almost all of the work ourselves (inside and out) but we love it here! Currently we are updating our master bed and bath: new tile and marble bathroom, new paint, building a headboard, etc. I love working on projects with my husband and boys - it makes us all feel like we belong here. And that feeling is worth all the hard work.

Sarah, thanks a million for opening your doors to us!


Natalie said...

I think these home tours are one of my favorite things on Bloom, I always get excited when I see one! :) Thanks for sharing.

sarah/book bound bindery said...

thanks for having me, anne and em! you gals are the greatest!

Jesslyn said...

Love the house tours as well! Very inspirational and today's was great. Thanks, Sarah!

Anonymous said...

Sarah I loved your home.

Anne and Emily, Bloom is so much fun. The home tours are a favorite. Thanks

blueeyedfreckle said...

I LOVE SARAH too!!! and I am so jealous of that studio. I think I will be saving my cans....