Design Life: Sarah’s Island 2.0: Change is Good (Ep. 6)

Design Life: Sarah’s Island 2.0: Change is Good (Ep. 6)


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, a partner and a mother and I’m sharing it with you, so let’s go! Todays another chapter in my design life. It’s sight check day and this is so
exciting all of the doors and windows are in. I am standing in the living room,
honestly this is just such a game-changer. I cannot believe the
difference of removing those latter bars that were at the top of the doors and
windows. The views just seemed so much better than they ever were and quite
honestly we got lucky with the install! The guys were able to peel off all of
the original, trim not one piece broke, they were able to reinstall it! So that
is awesome, but our big challenge right now is deciding what to do with the
walls so, what you can see is that the new windows are clear pine. When we
originally did the cottage, we did a whitewash stain on here and I know you
guys love the whitewash stain because it has been one of the most popular
articles on my website for the past five years! The question is, what do we do now? Because, as the board’s behind have darkened, some of the finishes looking
kind of streaky and a lot of people who come in and seen this fresh have said, “Oh looks kind of dated. Are we painting this out?” So, we have a big decision to make
right now and that is, what do we do? Do we decide to just take all of the walls
and make them a solid paint or do we try to stay with the sort of whitewashed
effect? So what do you think we do keep the ceiling as is and paint the walls or
try and keep everything whitewashed? I need you guys to tell me which one you
think we should do because this is probably one of the biggest challenges
facing me right now! One of the things I love about building is there’s always
something new to learn and so the new product that I’ve just been introduced
to by our window installer is called Versatex and it is a solid PVC trim
board and it comes in sheet good format just like MDF or plywood and they can
cut it to any size they need. So if you look up there on the dormer, you can see
it’s all fully trimmed up and yes it’s white it’s not going to stay white
can be painted any color. Apparently I’m told that the advantage over wood is
that it doesn’t retain any moisture, so you can get better adhesion with the
paint and it’s gonna last longer. Since all the rest of our trim rotted after 10
years we are willing to try anything and one of the challenges we have is that in
a lot of places we need trim that is wider than a normal window trim would be,
so the fact that it’s available in sheet goods means that they can cut it to suit
exactly the size we need so that’s kind of exciting! So, our install of doors and windows is
going swimmingly well, the building of the decks is going amazing, but you know
it’s not going so well? This! This was our screen porch and our easy-peasy smart
idea was that we would just replace all the screens with doors and windows. We
have all the doors and windows here on site and why are they not installed you
asked? Because the whole roof is rotted! So now what we’ve decided is, we never
used the roof deck, we don’t want the hassle of a flat roof, so now we have to
apply for a permit to build a peaked roof right here. Bad news! We’ve wasted
time, we’ve lost time and the project just got more expensive so that’s too
bad. But, good news is it’ll end up matching
what we have at the south end which in the grand scheme of life is not going to
be a bad thing. I’m gonna love it ten times more I’m sure! It now means I can
have a really nice light fixture hanging in the room and I think the room will
feel taller and it’ll feel awesome so we tried to do the money-saving roof we
tried to work with what we’ve got, but the reality of it is we are so exposed
out here that sometimes there’s just no choice, so onward we go! Well the crew has been busy working on all the gritty parts, I
have to start thinking ahead about what’s happening next. So, I’ve started
doing a little bit of shopping, I found this pair of lamps, check them
out! Vintage leaf lamps one hundred and seventy-five dollars the pair! The other
thing is I am trying to decide on new dining chairs and if you watched along
from the very beginning you’ll remember that way, way back I had blue painted
bankers chairs, I had upholstered chairs at the head of
the table and then I had a bench and that was all awesome, but you know what
happened? We ended up always being too many people to fit at the table and so I
had a bigger table made last summer and I really loved it. Chris our carpenter
made it for us, I stained it, the base of it is made with some leftover barn
pieces from our Sarah Off The Grid project and now I’m looking at chairs! So
today I’m testing this chair, what do you think? This chair I tell you some worried
about this chair. This is my Nick chair and I tend to name my custom furniture
after my clients believe it or not I designed this chair 21 years ago for my
client Nik. Now some of you will know who my client Nik was, Nik Manojlovich
the host of Savoir Faire, who I worked for behind the scenes back in the 90s
when I was starting out in television! That is a long time ago and I’ve always
loved this chair because it’s really comfortable. It’s got a nice wide seat,
it’s got a curved back! What I’m thinking is, I’m gonna upholster these in leather
so that they’re super durable and wipeable
or maybe vinyl, maybe I go with vinyl! Something that won’t be a problem with
wet bathing suits or messy visiting kids and then put a nice fabric on the back.
What do you think? Like them? I think I do! I know some of you are probably feeling
this is a little bit alarming to see change in this cottage, but I want you to
remember repeat after me, change is good, we are thinking about the
future and the future is only going to involve more people at my table because
it’s good to open your doors and have friends over. I have that feeling now
that maybe summer is just around the corner, but the heat is on because we
really want to be able to enjoy this for summer, so follow along! I’m gonna have
new updates for you every single week. I want you to follow along cuz guess
what’s gonna happen next? We have to wait and find out!


100 thoughts on “Design Life: Sarah’s Island 2.0: Change is Good (Ep. 6)

  1. I like the ceiling as it is, but I would definitely paint the walls. However, even if you decide to paint the ceiling I'm sure it'll still have charm.

  2. I like the ceiling as is and paint the walls….having said that I know that whatever you decide, it will be fabulous!!!

  3. I would love to see the walls and trim in a aqua or very light blue, the color of the ocean behind you when you asked us what we thought. Wouldn't that be pretty…and different? Can't wait to see what you decide. The ceiling should be white washed.

  4. Hi Sarah. Whitewash the ceiling…….and using a gray weathered stain for the walls. I think on certain days the walls will blend in with the water and the white washed ceiling will keep things light. Love your channel❣️

  5. Keep the ceiling, paint the walls. The walls will continue to age even with freshening up the whitewash for now so you'd end up with the same problem a few years down the road. Loving this series and the views 😍

  6. Sarah,
    I would White Wash the Ceiling & Walls.👏
    I think the Blue💦 Water will stand out even more.
    I find the Pine Wood look is just to distracting for me.👀
    🙋🏼

  7. The wood is distracting from that view so I would start with paint on the walls, then decide if the ceiling deserves a blue shade (I mean I would paint the ceiling…but that’s me). Those windows create these lovely cropped views of the lake that deserve to be front and center like fine art on a wall without all of the distraction of multi-directional woodgrained everything. You are one of the few leading true talents in the design field…HGTV USA viewers miss you.

  8. i so remember nik and that show … ive been watching you since then and have learned soo much …. love your creativity ….. you rock!!

  9. Even though I loved the white washed look it’s time for a fresh new look. Leave the ceilings and paint the walls!

  10. I think the ceiling and walls should be the same, whether painted or kept white washed. That way everything blends together nicely. Personally I would paint a nice light color.

  11. Love those chairs, the vinyl is great! We did that with our dining chairs, easy cleaning after granddaughter’s play dates!

  12. 🙈 I used to watch Nik on savoir faire! That also means I’ve been watching you for almost as long Sarah! Wow! P.S. paint the room

  13. Love the Nik chair and I think that you could use some of that breathable fabric like Nike's Dri -Fit. My husband said his shorts are made out it and they're comfortable and they wick away moisture. Tommy Hilfiger and Haggar make a softer fabric that's similar to the Nike one. I think you should paint the ceiling and the walls matching the water to have one continuous line of sight. Love you and have
    been following you for years. Love the series.

  14. Pale walls like the rocks, leave the ceiling light for reflected light. Love the windows letting in the blues, greys, greens- and light!

  15. Hard to believe it’s been 10 years! I would paint the walls and leave the ceiling. Love the chairs👍

  16. I’m loving your show. Loved you when you were on tv. I think you should leave the ceiling. Paint the walls light gray, light sea blue, or white being my favorite as you can add your color in through your accessories. Painting it white will brighten it up and not compete with your beautiful view. Can’t wait to see what you decide to do. 😃

  17. awesome!
    looking forward to seeing your changes!
    great chair! looks to be so comfortable to sit on.
    ceiling and walls will be the best of transperent white to keep wooden surface and to have ideal background not attracting attention, with this splendid view especially.
    what other colour to choose depends on what the goal you wanna reach.

  18. Paint the walls. Love the Nick chair!So comfy for sitting around the table after a meal or playing games.

  19. I’d paint it white. I get exactly why everyone saying that could be boring but white will frame the blue. I’ve always been against white but lately I’ve been painting things in my own home white and I am shocked at how fresh and liberating it feels! Whatever you do it will be gorgeous, no question about it!

  20. I love the ceiling as is, so just the walls and the chair is great. Sarah I love watching you and Alex and the girls. The two of you seem to have so much fun together.

  21. Use the wicked chairs from your home and use one of your custom pieces at home! The not so old cottage chairs are 10/10

  22. Sarah, I would paint the walls and ceiling white. Colour would distract from the amazing view. Love the Nick chair (white leather or vinyl is awesome). I love the changes to the cottage and I really like your shirt! Good luck with everything. 🙂

  23. I am currently building a 16 x 24 foot cottage for myself and am having the same dilemna.Do I leave everything pine, or white was everything?My son thinks that I should leave the ceiling pine and white wash the rest, but my place isn't as large as your cottage and I fear it might look too cut up. And if I do white, what is an eco friendly white wash to use, that isn't too expensive? I have heard that one can just water down white paint , half and half. I am so confused, that I may just wait to see what you do, and totally copy-cat you, because I am already having decision fatique over what fawcetts or kitchen sink and cabinets to use and I have always loved your designs. I will defer to everyone else on here, because I am just as confused as you are.I actually have carpal tunnel from brousing Pinterest,LOL.

  24. Just love ya Sarah, I say whitewash the whole room ceiling and all. I think if you do this your room will disappear and the view will take over. I think your idea for the chair is spot on! I can't wait to see the finished result! Jojo

  25. That's a tough decision (re: paint vs. white wash). I think it's really a matter of personal preference. What do you want to see when you walk in your cottage? On one hand, you'll still have the knots and rustic feel from the ceiling so painting the walls doesn't get rid of ALL the rustic. But on the other hand – if you paint the walls it really is an 'all in' decision because there's no going back from that unless you replace the wall boards in the future. Would some kind of hybrid of the two work? Eg. Opposite walls get opposite treatments? (N-S are sanded and white washed, E-W are painted???). Or, maybe, since you're going to have a mirror-image of rooms on each side of the cottage soon, one room can be painted and the other white washed? Without being in the space I don't know if something like that would work or not.

    DISCLAIMER: I'm not a designer (only in my dreams 🙂 ) – so I always feel a bit awkward sharing my opinion here as if I know what I'm talking about because I really don't. But I LOVE watching your work and I've watched you for years. Thank you for being in this venue and opening your life and projects up for real-time interaction. I am loving it.

  26. Paint everything, same colour but different finishes. Walls – eggshell, trim & base – semi-gloss but finish the ceiling in a high gloss.
    Though high gloss is not typically a ceiling finish it would be great in this application and will reflect light

  27. We at VERSATEX are big fans of your work, Sarah, and we can’t wait to see the finished renovation! Thanks for the great explanation of VERSATEX and it’s advantages. Please let us know if we can help in any way.

  28. Paint the ceiling white and the walls a light green. I love the way you use greens in your projects, they’re always light and fresh looking, but anything you you do is beautiful!

  29. I like the idea of painted walls with the ceiling left as is, but that is what you did in the sunny bedrooms don't pick white.  It does sort of look now like the "pickled walls" that were big a decade or 3 ago.  I like the idea of bringing in aqua or some other colour that reflects what you see through the window.  It seems like that would blur the inside/outside barrier.

  30. I love the ceiling! Leave it exposed I can't believe the roof rotted. I remember being a kid and I couldn't wait for this house to be on air. I loved watching it with my mom. Sometimes I wished we lived in Canada just to see you on TV more frequently. Omg I am a big fan from Texas (:

  31. Leave the ceiling as is and do white on the rest. Painting is best but if you have moisture issues, paint will peel – a heavy stain will not.

  32. White wash looks beachy loved this cottage the first time you did it your babies grew up where is the bedroom you built outside?

  33. change is very good! we just uprooted from Ohio to Arizona and beginning a whole new life. Whew!

  34. Second time around as great as the first- my parents have an Island on the Kawartha Lake System in Ontario too ( Stoney Lake). I have so many fantastic memories growing up there fishing for bass and muskie.Watching this series originally and again now brings back memories of those great times!! Thank you – Oh the walls and celings- White Wash:)

  35. It's coming along beautifully! I agree with the other comments – paint the walls and leave the ceiling.

  36. I totally agree with a lot of the other viewers. I would paint the walls and leave the ceiling white washed. The cabin is beautiful and I love the scenery.

  37. I would love to see you try a different treatment on the pine. Perhaps having the ceiling contrast the walls. Keep sharing I’m enjoying following your reno

  38. I’d try to whitewash the walls and ceiling in this bona-fide cottage. Usually I’d go with paint and whitewash ceiling, but you’ve got something special in this place and the wash effect seems so charming and will connect to the outstanding natural view.

  39. White walls will make the new views of the outdoors and the lake just pop. The views will be the backdrop to all the white. Like a living wallpaper and the walls are just the molding and trim around those picturesque views. Leave the ceiling because the wood will warm it up especially on the colder nights giving you a cabin vacation warmth. Too much white will make it feel cold. The wood ceiling balances it all out, connecting it to the wood and water nature outdoors in the window views.

  40. I prefer painted ceiling by practical reasons or at least clear cover paint. I also have a cottage by the sea and the wind and moist is there around 24/7. Non finished wood will become spotty grey and yellow by it's time. Nick chair I would choose vinyl. Leather doesn't pay of of it's cost in seasonal use. But there are vinyl that looks like a leather, so why not?

  41. The round wood sturdy coffee table at the consignment store you should also do in the same paint treatment as the dining room table, since you love how the dining room table turned out. The two pieces will be juxtaposition-ed and tie into each other in the grand scheme of things. And, as you said, with all the kids and guests that table is great for that exact reason. Also as I mentioned before, it can turn into a kid stage for jokes, cherades, stand up comedy, karaoke night, board games, card games etc.

  42. I like the Nick chair, vinyl might be too sticky in Summer, you can have linen seat covers made that are easily washed. Putting the table against the wall and having built-in seating will maximise the head count at the table and you could leave the bench seat plain timber. That would protect your chairs from kids and wet bathers too.

  43. Totally watched savoir faire! That’s were I first started following you when you had your little projects!

  44. Keep it all whitewashed. My grandparents built a gorgeous coastal Maine home with pine walls and ceiling and your house reminds me of that. I love the Nik chairs, due to to the wide seat and curved back (if it is not too tight a curve). People are bigger these days and getting bigger as we get older (you’ll see, when you suddenly have 4 adults at your table, not just two).

  45. Is white the perfect color for art? Because that's what you have looking out all of those Windows…Nature is ART. 😊❤

  46. I just discovered you tonight and have been binge watching. Love your style choices but I love the conversational tone of the videos even more. Other designers are coming across as too fake in their presentations as they try to create a following. I feel like I'm in the room with you and we are talking one on one.

  47. Dont paint the walls or ceiling!! The wood looks beautiful and natural with the water as the back drop. Use your fabrics as the pop of color only. my two cents.

  48. Sara I love everything you do. So glad I found u. The cottage is beautiful. I'd leave the ceiling as is and paint the walls.

  49. I would leave the ceiling white washed and then maybe do a light color or white or off white on the walls or one of the new stains

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