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Sarah Richardson's Ways to Personalize a Kitchen

Sarah Richardson's Ways to Personalize a Kitchen

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"I'm an eager beaver who just wants to make things right," says interior designer Sarah Richardson. "Hopefully, people learn from my mistakes." A TV star in Canada with her own lines of paint and furniture, Richardson brings her girl-next-door vibe to the US on the HGTV shows Sarah's House and the upcoming Sarah 101. A democratizer of kitchen design, Richardson believes that people shouldn't have to spend a lot on high-end materials. Her shows teach viewers the small touches that give a kitchen personality, like adding bold colors, mosaic tiles and fabrics. She might upgrade stock cabinets, for example, by playing with wood grains and paint colors. While other designers have a signature look, Richardson seeks out simple but sophisticated design solutions that allow anyone to customize a kitchen, as in the rooms on these pages. She's a D.I.Y. cheerleader: "The main point of my shows is, 'Don't just buy someone else's renovation — do it yourself.'"

Mosaic Tiles

Richardson loves mosaic backsplashes, like the "Sunflower" pattern here, made from different types of marble: "Backsplashes are a wonderful place to integrate color and pattern into the kitchen."

Salvaged Wood

To add style to stock cabinets, Richardson had them professionally spray-painted and added details like reclaimed wood. The tongue-and-groove paneling on the island, from an 1860s schoolhouse, influenced the room's colors.

Maximizing Storage

Richardson added drawers and a low countertop under the window to create a baking station, which both preserves natural light and uses every available bit of space.

More Kitchen Tips from Sarah Richardson

Ted Allen's Top Kitchen Design Ideas

What Chefs Know Best: Chefs' Value Guide

A New Kitchen's Vintage Style

Best Ice Cream Spots in the U.S.


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