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Rooms that Inspire {Sarah & Tommy}

by | Aug 18, 2013 | Decorating Inspiration

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Rooms that Inspire {Sarah & Tommy}

Sarah Richardson

hello, friends! 

I’m glad to be back blogging, missed a couple days there while my son and I recovered from the flu. Who gets the flu in the summertime? Apparently we do.

But while I was laying around feeling like all the energy was drained from body, I did spend some time online just browsing the internets for ideas. I ran across these awesome rooms from none other than two of my favorite TV designers, Sarah Richardson and Tommy Smythe. So I thought I’d share today and we can chat about ’em and be inspired!

The children’s bunk room, above, caught my attention for a few reasons.

One was the big green striped run. So fun! There is something about a boldly striped rug that makes a statement like no other rug can. Then I started noticing some other things I loved. It is such a small room, but the built in bunk beds (at least they look like they are built in) are fantastic use of the small space with their nice clean design.

Bunk beds can be so hard to make (I mean make in the sense of the bedding, not construction of the beds), so these would be much easier to work with because of the simple design (and assuming the kids aren’t prone to falling out of bed or are old enough to sleep up there without all the protective railings. Ha!)

Also I love the built in reading lights, the cute hanging bucket, and of course, I love the maps on the walls!

Rooms that Inspire {Sarah & Tommy}

Sarah Richardson

Then there was this entryway. I of course love the bench and the light but I also love that the ceiling is a natural wood color, it adds a touch of warmth to balance a room with tile floors.

Rooms that Inspire {Sarah & Tommy}

Sarah Richardson

Then I spotted this lovely dining room. I remember when I was a kid my mom had a dining room and a couple of powder rooms that were wallpapered. I still remember how different those rooms felt from the rooms that simply had painted walls. The wallpapered rooms were so pretty and much quieter and cozier due to the added texture of the paper.

I am happy to see people wallpapering again. I know some of you still bristle at the thought, but today’s wallpaper is much easier to strip than that stuff from 30 years ago. Gotta embrace what you love now so don’t let the fear of removal someday stop you! This room is what it is because of the striking wallpaper! Sometimes we need to be a bit more daring to make a real impact on a room.

Rooms that Inspire {Sarah & Tommy}

Style At Home

Speaking of great wallpaper, I have loved grasscloth for years — one of these days I will have it again in my home! I just love the texture. My last house had it in a bedroom but it was so old and yucky it had to go. This warm and cozy bedroom room and the fantastic kitchen, below, were designed by Sarah’s fun sidekick, Tommy Smythe.

I found a quote by Tommy that I wholeheartedly agree with:

Rooms that Inspire {Sarah & Tommy}

He really hit the nail on the head there on what makes a room come alive for me too!

In fact, reading his words got me inspired to keep on adding layers to bring that balance to my home. I’m pretty excited to dive more deeply into decorating other rooms of my house now that my kitchen is complete!

Rooms that Inspire {Sarah & Tommy}

Tommy Smythe


  1. Vee

    Your comment about the new wallpapers makes me want to go looking for some. I have a room that needs help and I find wallpaper less of a mess to work with and I love the look and always have. The quote you shared is excellent. Whimsy and trends can only take one so far. A little bit goes a long way.

  2. Kelly - Talk of the House

    Oh dear. The flu in summer is strange! I hope you both are feeling much better. Thank you for sharing Sarah’s lovely rooms. That children’s bedroom is precious. As far as wallpaper goes, I just can’t quite commit to it yet…although, like you, I keep saying that one day we will have some grasscloth here. I keep wanting to put it in a bathroom, but I am afraid the high dose of daily steam from a shower would send it right off the wall. Would it stay up there?

  3. Kacey @ Shes.No.Martha

    do you ever just run out of energy or hit a slump? I can’t seem to get out of mine! Seriously, I can’t get a single project started OR finished!

  4. Mya

    WOW, that dining, room is to die for! I would never have picked a wallpaper with that print or color palette but this designer made it work and it looks SOO gorgeous!

  5. Cynthia

    Sara and Tommy are my favorite designers. I love their ideas and style. I also love the way they play off one another. That dining room is just STUNNING!!! I can’t say enough about them.


  6. Diane Amick

    Love Sarah and Tommy whether separate or as a team. Just had grasscloth added to my DR, bed wall in the MBR and an accent wall in my breakfast area – love it, love it! My last home had grasscloth in the Master bath and we never had any problems with moisture. Haven’t updated new home baths yet (accumulating funds first) and haven’t decided about grasscloth for there – think I have enough in this smaller home.

  7. Elizabeth

    I love both Sarah and Tommy and always inspired by their designs.

    Happy to see you back!

  8. Robin

    I am sharing your flu too! No fun at all but it does give us time to browse the net in search of our passion! I love Tommy & Sarah too and find their style timeless, yet fun and very inspiring–just like your blog. Wishes that you are mended too!

  9. Stacey

    Sorry to hear you got the flu! Definitely not fun in the summer.
    I love Sarah and Tommy. Love both of their designs together and separately.
    I, too, love grasscloth wallpaper and must find a place to put it in my home.

  10. Diane | An Extraordinary Day

    Tommy’s kitchen is an all-time fave of mine. I love seeing it again. :)
    Sometimes it’s the little things….like the styling in that sweet bunk room with the whimsical horse standing over his big ‘drink’….that make a gal smile.
    Sorry you had the flu. That is so summer wrong. Hope your rest gave you renewed energy.
    Best wishes for an Extraordinary week!

  11. Sarah

    Great quote by Tommy and I completely agree as well. Enjoyed your post as always. Have a great rest of the weekend.

  12. Mindy

    Hands down Sarah Richardson is one of my most favorite designers and I love her and Tommy together! Thanks for sharing some of their looks!

  13. Lorrie

    Sarah is my all-time favorite designer. I can hardly wait until her new show begins in September. I hope you’ll be able to see it in the USA. Tommy’s quote perfectly describes the effect I want to bring to my decorating, too.

    Hope you and your son are soon completely over the flu. Ugh. Not fun any time of the year, but especially in the summer.

  14. Tricia @ Simplicity in the South

    I’m glad to see that grass cloth is making a comeback. I was determined I was going to have it somewhere in my home so I wallpapered above the wainscoting in our hallway. It wasn’t the easiest DIY project I’ve ever done, but I love the texture and color. Glad to hear you’re feeling better!

  15. Andrea E.

    Is there a special website for grasscloth wallpaper that is not too expensive? Thanks for the reply :)

  16. Sandy Coughlin

    I totally agree! I don’t like trends. I’d much prefer mixing vintage with modern.

  17. Laurie at Laurie Jones Home

    I love both of these designers so much but if I had to pick one it might just by Tommy…I love his quote and hits home for me today, I sometimes I feel out of the loop because my house and my design style is a little off trend with what I see so many bloggers do and I find myself second guessing myself, his quote made me realize to stop second guessing myself!! So thank you!!

  18. Julie {Lilacs & Longhorns}

    Oh…Sarah and Tommy!! I love their designs so much. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! I adore that quote from him. that’s what I strive for also. I admit, I do get sucked in by some trends but I am trying hard to stay as timeless as possible. I love layered rooms and their are simple, beautiful, timeless and layerd — just lovely! Thanks for sharing the great pics. So glad you are feeling better! Getting sick in the summer is an extra bummer. :(

  19. Julie S

    I have loved that Tommy Smythe kitchen forever – it is my primary inspiration picture – yet have no idea who he is in the context of things. I love the bedroom you posted about too. I better go find out what else he’s done!

  20. Cottage Katie

    I love Sarah and Tommy and all they create together! I love that whatever room Sarah does, she adds this layer of comfort. It never looks too perfect, or scripted, it always looks like real life. Its an amazing talent to be able to pull off both beautiful design and everyday life.

  21. urban Gypsy

    Tommy Smythe is right on the money when he mentions that a space is not complete without a mix of modern meets vintage. I love Sarah and Tommy’s passion for things that are different. A home needs heart and soul, this encourages enjoyment of a home where you cannot wait to get home and get comfy and where your guests don’t want to leave. I prefer a simple classic with a touch of modern sofa that sits on a vintage rug, a moroccan pouffe with a vintage tray of coloured tea glasses on top. Modern side tables with vintage lamps. All these need to be same hues of the same colour. Add a pop of colour with accessories.


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