Spend the Holidays With Sarah Richardson

Dressed in snowy whites and frosty blues, designer Sarah Richardson's weekend home is a warm, welcoming and dreamy place to spend the holidays. HGTV Magazine takes you inside.
By: Jessica Dodell-Feder

Photo By: Bjorn Wallander

Photo By: Bjorn Wallander

Photo By: Bjorn Wallander

Photo By: Bjorn Wallander

Photo By: Bjorn Wallander

Photo By: Bjorn Wallander

Photo By: Bjorn Wallander

Photo By: Bjorn Wallander

Photo By: Bjorn Wallander

Photo By: Bjorn Wallander

Photo By: Bjorn Wallander

Photo By: Bjorn Wallander

Photo By: Bjorn Wallander

Photo By: Bjorn Wallander

Photo By: Bjorn Wallander

A Winter White Home

As soon as mid-December rolls around, Sarah Richardson heads north to her weekend getaway in Creemore, Ontario, with her husband, Alexander, and their daughters. "It's two weeks of nonstop baking, family visits, and snowy adventures," says Sarah. Since she decorated their full-time home in Toronto with lots of bold hues, the host of Sarah 101 picked a quieter palette of white and blue for this winter retreat. "I love icy colors year-round, and they work especially well in this house," says Sarah.

Living Room

Sarah designed the marble-top coffee table and the sofa and chairs, which are upholstered in sturdy, $7-per-yard cotton twill. The chandelier and most of the other pieces are flea market finds. The walls are painted pale blue-green on top and light gray on the bottom. For a similar look, try Opaline and Popular Gray, both by Sherwin-Williams.

Holiday Decorating

The family's tree is a 7 1/2-foot-tall Fraser fir that Alexander cut from their property. Daughters, Fiona, 5 (left), and Robin, 7, helped decorate it with white lights and handmade, vintage, and heirloom ornaments in silver and gold. "It makes the room feel like a wonderland," says Sarah.


Shutter-style upper cabinets, walnut floors, and vintage pendants keep the kitchen feeling homey. "We bake a lot, so I wanted durable countertops," says Sarah. She chose white quartz for the counters and cream and gray quartz for the island. "Spilled wine, hot pots, even paint haven't harmed them," she says. The lower cabinets, from Lowe's, came in this soft gray.

Dining Area

The family eats every meal in this room off the kitchen. The aluminum lantern, which holds a candle, is from Pottery Barn. Two pairs of vintage chairs that Sarah repainted and reupholstered sit around the table, which is made of salvaged barn wood and columns.

Banquette Seating

The girls love to sit on the window seat, which is topped with a heavy-duty leather cushion and a mix of pillows made from cotton fabric remnants from Sarah's office. “This is our only dining area, but the cushiony banquette is so comfortable, we often just hang out in here like it's a lounge,” says Sarah.

Guest Room

Sarah's mom, mother-in-law, and many of the family's Toronto friends often stay over, so the spare bedroom is always visitor-ready. The four-poster bed, from a consignment shop, is dressed with a Macy's quilt and IKEA duvet cover. The walls are painted cream on top and gray-green below with 6-foot-high molding in between.

Mixing Things Up

For a little pattern, Sarah chose an 8-foot-by-10-foot diamond-print wool rug by Elte (elte.com for buying info) and a pair of square stools upholstered in yellow ikat fabric (for similar, try thibautdesign.com).


Even a space that stores coats and ski gear can be pretty. Sarah picked a soft green-blue paint (try Tidewater by Sherwin-Williams) for the closet doors, and added a vintage light fixture from a Toronto flea market. Since the closets are short—only a bit over 5 feet high—baskets on top are easy for the adults to reach. Wall hooks, on the other hand, are mounted low so the girls can hang their own jackets. The honed limestone floor stands up to snowy footprints.

Kids' Room

"It's their little hideaway," says Sarah of this nook-turned-kids' room that Robin and Fiona play in when it's not being used for young guests. Sarah designed the built-in bunks and hung a Pottery Barn Kids pail from a rope and pulley so the girls can pass books and flashlights back and forth.

Cohesive Design

The cabana-stripe wool rug is from Elte (elte.com for buying info), and the flea market dresser, painted Icy by Sherwin-Williams, carries out the house's blue and white color scheme. Above it are topographical maps of Canada, which Sarah hung with wallpaper paste and accented with upholstery tacks.

Sarah’s Scrapbook

"No holiday is complete without hot chocolate and a little bubbly in our shed," says Sarah. "We call it the Sip Shack!"

Outdoor Fun

“We love this big hill in front of our house,” says Sarah. “You can toboggan right from the front door.”

Playing in the Snow

Robin lends her mittens to a snowman, and Fiona makes her mark with snow angels.

Winter Races

The family spends hours zipping around on these old restored snowmobiles.

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