Design Life: Sarah’s Island 2.0: Be Our Guest (Ep. 22)

Design Life: Sarah’s Island 2.0: Be Our Guest (Ep. 22)


Sarah: Remember when you’d go back to school
and the teacher made you write out what you did for your summer vacation? Well, here’s
what I did. The three R’s: Look at this – rot, more rot, Alex: The roof is totally shot.
Sarah: …and renovation! The crew has arrived and a couple months later, I am pleased to
report that the end of last week the crew was finally able to take their
tools home and get off the island. And that means I can finally show you the
results. We’re starting with the guest bedroom, the bathroom, and the bunkie.
Today is reveal day! I’m Sarah and every day, my life revolves around design. this
is my journal of what’s happening right now in my world as a creator an
entrepreneur partner and a month and I’m sharing it with you so let’s go today
another chapter in my design life when it comes to guestrooms I am a true
believer that they should have everything you need and nothing you
don’t I also think you should know your audience and why do I say that well
because after years and years of using this room as a guest room I realized
something it was rarely slept in by two people it was usually occupied by one
person and we’d had years this is a very compact room and we’d had years of teeny
tiny narrow side tables and the room always felt cramped so I thought hey if
this room is almost always occupied by one person why not slide the bed over to
one side and have one good-sized bedside table now the room has much more space
to walk around and you can’t talk about guest rooms without a guest so look
who’s here Sarah as a designer is constantly bettering herself so every
iteration of her own homes when they go through another transformation those
iterations and those new versions of things are always improved upon because
she’s so thoughtful about her process when she looks at a guest room she’s
examining the redesign of that space with all of the knowledge of the
questions that she’s asked prior guests the things that have come up and so yeah
it’s better but it’s still the same it’s still the same place it still has all of
the sentimentality all of the family memories just gets better it gets better
with age here’s a couple things I did in this
room instead of wasting precious floor space with a big bed frame I decided to
go with a wall-mount headboard panel that runs from side to side so it’s just
one continuous swath of fabric and this is a playful fabric and it’s all in
greens and one of the key things when you’re in this room is that you look out
and you look out to the grass to the trees and to the lichen growing on the
rocks so I always found that green was the absolute perfect starting point for
the foundation of a color palette in this room the side table is something
that I picked up for a deal it was $60 in rattan and for quite a while we used
it as a side table in the living room when I replace the side tables in the
living room presto this one became available the dresser is repurposed from
the cabin or the bunkie call it whatever you want nobody ever used it out there
and it took up too much space and just didn’t work with the new layout so it
found a new home here above the dresser you’ll see that there is a woven mirror
and what’s interesting about this is this is a story about mixing materials
but creating harmony because they are the exact same color palette if you’re
wondering how best can I mix an antique pine dresser with a different mirror
look at how this works the woven mirror and the antique pine dresser are the
exact same tone so it’s really harmonious and I always like the look of
a round mirror on top of a dresser it creates this balance between the boxy
shape of the dresser and the softness of the circle it’s a nice mix and also it
creates a tapered effect from the wide dresser below to a narrow mirror sitting
above it does that make sense to you I hope so
key things that are important to me when it comes to guestroom you need to have a
comfortable bed a comfortable mattress is the most important starting point
soft pillows I like a combination of one foam pillow and one down or down
alternative pillow and that means that if somebody wants a soft pillow or a
more firm pillow they’re gonna have a good night’s sleep the last thing you
want is tired guests who didn’t sleep well how do you ensure good night’s
sleep great sheets sheets don’t have to be super expensive but they do need to
be soft and silky to the touch and I like them to be natural material these
are actually bamboo sheets from my own collection and they are just so cool and
smooth and soft and one of the really fun finishing touches in this room I was
on a shoot for one of my partners for Marcel and we were shooting at the Four
Seasons Hotel in Toronto and I saw these great shams which were embroidered with
the logo from the hotel chain as a treat my client bought and gave me a pair of
the shams and I just thought how fun would it be if a guestroom at the
cottage had shams from the Four Seasons Hotel what I love is change
I love evolution and I think it’s something that’s built into me as a
designer and it’s definitely something that’s built into Sara as a designer and
is why we work together so well we know that a good house is never finished and
the reason is you change over time your family involves and grows over time so
the changes that have happened here over the years are important changes in the
sense that they just make this place a better place to receive guests cottages
are all about sharing sharing experiences sharing adventures great
meals and in most cases a lot of people sharing a bathroom and this cottage is
no exception we have five bedrooms and we have
one full bathroom and a water closet so when it’s a full house this can be a
crowded and popular destination so if you’re dealing with a single bathroom in
a small space you need it to be as efficient as possible and I always
thought I loved our bathroom the way it was and something to remember when
you’re renovating is you need to make sure that you are making classic
decisions timeless decisions and selecting materials you love that will
last for the long haul why am I saying this because everything
I installed 11 years ago here when we first renovated I still love I love the
tile I love the Ming green split face wall
that runs behind the bathtub the white milk glass tile in the shower with the
band of bar dillio and Ming green just as an accent the Calico Divisie own a
home floor that’s on the main bathroom floor and the pebble floor that’s in the
shower check check check check check I still am
a hundred percent double thumbs up on every single one of these choices and
that’s important because when it comes to renovating the expensive elements are
the installed ones so make sure you spend the time think about it agonized
over those tile decisions as you know I do and then you’ll be set for the long
haul but then let’s talk about how how can you refresh how can you change it
after more than a decade if you feel that you want it to feel ever so
slightly different yes you can make it feel completely different without
renovating let’s talk about a few little things
that we did in this bathroom that made a huge impact I always thought that the
original vanity was great and when we did this cottage I was eight months
pregnant with a toddler and shooting another TV show back in the city so to
say that Alex and I had a lot on our plates back then was an understatement
really nothing’s changed we’re still busier than ever but the
vanity we had before it was a plant stand that I found and I turned it into
a vanity and at the time it was the best solution look how cute it was however in
the new iteration of the cottage I really just wanted things to feel a
little bit crisper and a bit more streamlined so I opted for this vanity
which has storage it has a very simple profile it’s a shaker drawer just two
big drawers tons of storage you can add your own hardware it came completely
assembled as a wall hung vanity with a sink and counter already installed
easy-peasy couldn’t have been more simple until we tried to install it
getting the backsplash off from the old vanity be a bit of a challenge I hear it however Chris persevered and voila we
have a new vanity and I’m so glad we do because it just feels a bit more crisp I
didn’t change any of the plumbing fixtures the original tub filler a
shower system and even the lavatory faucet well I changed one tiny
these faucets all the plumbing fixtures in here are 11 years old but this
particular design is still being manufactured so I kept the handles and
all I got was a new spec and it changes the look of this vanity makes it better
but let’s talk about how to stretch your dollar as far as you possibly can and
change only what you need to and nothing else I swapped it the hooks these are
really really really neat I’m going to show you something because I have one
that I haven’t installed yet look at these hooks I absolutely think they’re
fantastic they’re made of solid marble and they just screw into the wall so
this is a great solution whether you want to use them in your bathroom or you
could install them in a mudroom in a bedroom so many places that these offer
great storage and what I like about hooks in a bathroom is when you’ve got
five bedrooms and lots of people sharing one bathroom you know what there are
lots of towels and nobody is taking the time to fold them up and lovingly hang
them over a towel bar so let’s skip that let’s not pretend anybody’s going to and
let’s just give everybody hooks it makes it easy you know which hook is yours and
everyone can keep organized and none of the towels aren’t up on the floor well
at least I hope they don’t what else what I need to tell you about here I
change the light fixture the key is here in this bathroom this is about little
changes that make a big difference I change the art I change the light
fixture I change the mirror I change the vanity and that’s really about it what I
want you to see and be inspired by with this bathroom is if you make the right
choices the first time in the fixed elements in the tile and the parts that
you can’t change things like the layout it’s easy to adapt it for the future and
make it work to suit your tastes as they change and growth and next up the new
and improved bunkie welcome to the bunkie new and improved
nothing much changed when it came to the structure of this building in fact
nothing about the structure change we restained the interior and the game
changer in the sarah’s island 2.0 reimagining of this bunkie is all about
the furniture after more than a decade we had the
opportunity to think about how to make it work a little bit better let me tell
you a story this bunkie came to be because I grew up
going to grandparents cottages that had tiny sleeping cabins on them and they
were such special places and they had such a special sentimental spot in my
heart that I really wanted to be able to build one on our little island and as
log happened I happen to have some old windows well they weren’t that old
they’d never been used outside and they were left over from an install I’d done
at the interior design show so I had windows and a door and that allowed us
to have all of the fenestration we needed to build this teeny-tiny little
cabin or bunkie call it whatever you will a bunkie is a really unique
structure it’s removed from the main house and it’s a standalone building
that is just a bedroom and how dreamy is that to have your bedroom removed from
everything else you can go to bed when you want you can wake up when you want
and you can be completely oblivious to what is happening in the cottage I think
that is the ultimate guest experience my favorite thing about coming here is how
rested I feel as soon as I get here I think that has a lot to do with a few
different factors first of all my hosts are easy and I never feel I’m in the way
or I’m a bother which makes me immediately feel relaxed
but it’s also the physical things that you encounter when you come here it is
the incredible mattress that I sleep on in the bunkie whenever I sleep here on
the island it’s the ability to open the windows and
have that cross breeze from the lake and the winds that are so special to this
part of the world the other thing that makes this bunkie
the ultimate guest experience is it has windows on all four sides and it has
some pretty sweet views if I do say so myself I mean hello morning dip water
right there it couldn’t get any closer well in fact we hope it doesn’t get any
closer because the water is so high right now
the waves are basically crashing at the side of the building but it does make
for a very nature inspired deep sleep here’s the thing when we were doing the
original bunkie I ran around and I bought a bunch of furniture and the size
of it was kind of in flux at the time and I just assumed everything would fit
well I had left the island to deliver a baby by the time the room got assembled
and the bedside tables were a bit too big and so my original furniture plan
didn’t work here we are 11 years later and the
furniture is exactly where I originally wanted it to be because we got all new
furniture I got rid of the four-poster bed which I always loved I thought it
was charming and lovely and sweet and wonderful but you know what it took up a
whole lot of space and it’s space that we didn’t have if you have oodles of
space and a giant bedroom by all means get a big hulking bed that makes a big
statement however if you’re tight on space I recommend trying to keep all of
your furniture as streamlined as possible so in this case we now have a
mattress no boxspring sitting on a bed base you can just order
these bases online they will ship directly to you at no charge one of the
best things about them is you can choose a wood finish that ties together with
the rest of the room in this case I chose a wood finish that ties together
with the floor so it’s a really nice seamless transition what I really like
about this bed frame is that it has a tall leg so if your guests come with
bags that they want to stash away during their stay they can just tuck right
underneath the bed at this point every single bedroom in the cottage has an
upholstered headboard panel that mounts to the wall or mounts
directly to the bed frame in this case it’s a channel headboard covered in
cream linen and this means that it sits beautifully below the transom window
that sits above the bed so you can have light streaming in over your head but
don’t worry if you’d like to sleep in this is north light so you are not
getting woken up at an unreasonably early hour in this cabin in fact I will
say everybody who sleeps here sleeps in we have no problems with early risers by
getting rid of the original bed frame it allowed me to move the bed on to the
north wall where I always imagined the bed would be and these bedside tables
used to be in our house in the city they were a pale gray and I had them
resprayed in this really yummy rich blue and the thing I liked about them and the
reason I wanted to bring them here is there’s carved detail on the bases it
looks like waves to me and I thought they were perfectly appropriate people
don’t need storage in here they don’t need extraneous stuff they just need a
nice big surface where they can lay everything out originally this room felt
a little bit softer maybe you’d say more romantic definitely more feminine and I
wanted to change it up I wanted it to be a bit more contemporary and as soon as I
found this fabric this is a cravat fabric printed on linen to me it felt
like summer does it feel like paper airplanes does it feel like sailboats I
don’t know but to me it felt perfectly appropriate
to a room on the water and it’s this layered palette of many different shades
of blue that all work together so in thinking about what I wanted to have for
my guests I wanted to make sure there was a surface there’s a certain group of
people that are regulars in this cabin and so if you have a guest room that is
commonly being used by the same people over and over again I encourage you to
think about what they need how would they feel most comfortable in this room
and I decided a desk would be the solution we have lots of people that
come and are here for a getaway but might still need to stay connected and
might still want to use their laps so therefore this little desk that sits
at the foot of the bed offers just that space this is the manager of the pub
next sort of apartment hello what do you want to use it as a dressing
table whether you want to use it as a place to lay out your stuff or as a desk
it can be any one of these functions you know being up here for two days is proof
positive that the world cannot function without me I think it’s just it proves
itself everything this room also gets to act at a little getaway office for Alex
or for me when we need it because sometimes we need to take a conference
call or spend some really focused time doing work and this is that getaway you
can close the door you can close the windows and you can be in here and
really focus so this room is now one part ultimate guest escape and one part
home office for us so we can get the job done even when we’re here in our
favorite place


81 thoughts on “Design Life: Sarah’s Island 2.0: Be Our Guest (Ep. 22)

  1. Welcome Home! That’s what this place says! Relax Refresh and Restore…soooooo happy to see what you’ve done…and thanks for no snakes allowed this trip! 🚤🏡

  2. Another lovely Sunday morning -Make the coffee and watch Sarah's video… and a special treat – Tommy is featuring also! Thank you for sharing with us again Sarah – everything you touch turns to gold (wouldn't that be cool…..) Cheers, DEBBIE T (NZ)

  3. In love with it all Sarah. Did you paint your shiplap or stain it?

    I agree with many comments… would love to be a guest in that space… what a dream!

  4. Beautiful and no snake's, ?we're do I found that company for the base of the bed am loking for one for my bedroom please please 💕💕💕

  5. I love this! I'm a huge fan. Last week I was drinking and watching shows on Amazon prime and just searched your name, and wow!, I found the season about you building the belvedere house. I've literally watched it no less than 8 times. If you can work out some deal with HGTV Canada and Amazon…PUT ALL YOUR SHOWS ON THERE! Have mercy! Post script, I'm from Kentucky, USA.

  6. I loved the bed frame in your bedroom..feels bigger. The green chair next to the window in the guest room it was moved from your bathroom?
    It looks the chair too close to the beautiful dresser. I bet Tommy will stayed in that bedroom as you special guest. He is adorable and you both seems to be a great team.

  7. Taking notes here Sarah!! Great renos on the guest bedroom, bathroom & bunkie (as our family tends to call them 😉)!!! I love how you share your thought process as well, which is similar to the internal monologue I always have as I go about decorating. 🤔😉👍 Looking forward to seeing the rest of the renos!!! Enjoy your family (Tommy included 💜) time up there … two days until Fall! 🎃 🍁

  8. Love, love, love! Thank you and Tommy both for sharing your design tips! It was your use of pebble stone in your cottage bathroom that has inspired my husband and I to use pebble stone as an accent in our own bathroom renovations. Since we’re in the city and not the country we’ve opted for a flat, white pebble stone (made from marble) as an accent in our niches. So, different than how you used it in your cottage, but inspired by you nonetheless!

  9. Breathtaking! Love everything again. Love Sarah and love Tommy. I remember in the first Reno Tommy putting dibs on the guest room and the bunkie.

  10. Yes Sarah you did it again. I thoroughly enjoyed it all from beginning to end. Sarah and Tommy always a winner combo for me. Looking forward to the next vlog.

  11. Thank you very much for your video. I appreciate your views on buying the right basics in the beginning especially for the bathroom. The minor changes you made are amazing in the final look of your bathroom and as you said, are very affordable. We are about to undertake a renovation of our ensuite which is in original condition from when we moved in 18 years ago, complete with pink walls and dark green and cream hexagon tiles that have been falling off for 15 years. I hate hexagon shapes, so old fashioned, absolutely everywhere 20 years ago here in Australia.

  12. First off…. YAY!!!! TOMMY!!!!
    Second… One reason I’m drawn to Sarah’s designs is that her harmonious layering of colors, materials, textures and patterns is like a beautiful symphony. In a strange way I can look at these rooms and hear a melody, something soft, gentle and inviting.

  13. Thanks for the reveal, Sarah; for some reason I thought we were going to be "done out" of same! Silly me. You're such a pro at these shoots.
    Also enjoyed a glimpse of Tommy who seems to grow more darling with the years. (I'm sure his Mum will agree!) Looking forward to your next post…just another faithful fan from California. Happy Sailing.

  14. Love it, it's amazing, always loved the bunkie, love it even more now. It was one of my favorite reveals in the original show, and it's even more special now that it's really set up the right way for the space.

  15. I love the fixed elements of your bathroom too! Thank you also for sharing the links to some of your buying spots – I’m looking for a vanity and immediately paused the vid & got to see a new vendor website. Awesome! And since I didn’t live with the fabric headboard of your guest room it still looked great to me. Loved the ‘eye’ shape. I also love how you can change up the colour of your furniture, move it to another room and feel refreshed again. I think I’m stealing that idea 😉

  16. Thank goodness this came up on my feed. I've been wanting to access your design shows from Australia, but couldn't through HBO (?) channel. So happy!!!!

  17. OMG that turned out absolutely beautiful!!! Stunning! Gorgeous! So well planned and executed!! Wow Sarah you continue to amaze me with your talent, color choices, fabric choices and so on. Thank you for taking us along for the ride as I look forward to seeing the rest of the finished island cottage. Sigh…. xo

  18. As always, LOVE, LOVE!!! You are my Favorite Designer and i am a HUGE FAN of everything you do!!!! Looking forward to your next video.

  19. I have followed you for years and you never disappoint! Love your work.💫 The redo is amazing, and this coming from someone who loved, loved, loved the original!

  20. Just returned home from my cottage and was so excited to see your first reveal episode, beautiful, loved it. Now you have given me some ideas! Looking forward to more reveal.

  21. Love it! I instantly relax every time I see the cottage. And a video without Tommy would not be a video. Thanks for being there Tommy!

  22. So the light fixture is lower than Sarah's head in the main bath! Wouldn't it be better to have two sinks in there, instead of a separate tub? I would imagine a second sink would be far more useful.

  23. What special spaces you create Sarah. I have loved your shows since forever now utube enables us to watch whenever we please.
    Thanks for the utmost inspiration you always deliver.

  24. Sarah, I loved the bunkie 11yrs ago and I love it more today!!! wow so pretty and soft with those beautiful blues and whites!!! Is that blanket in your collection ? Ohh and your bathroom is so timeless and fresh and I love love the river rock in the shower!!

  25. The bathroom and bunky look great. I can hardly wait to see the living room area. All the time it took to select a paint/stain for the walls and ceiling. So many decisions. LOL!!!

  26. I remember her being one of my favorites on HGTV long time ago. I learned so much of her. She still amazing as always ❤️

  27. Fabulous!
    thanks for doing and sharing your magic!
    many years ago felt in love with your views and still loving it!
    keep going 👍

  28. Great advice about the bathroom. We gutted and rebuilt ours from the studs up ten years ago. I still love it and would not change a thing. I spent a great deal of time picking out the fixtures and the tile.

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