Sarah's Suburban House: New Home, Classic Style

See how Sarah's House star Sarah Richardson turned a cookie-cutter suburban home into a one-of-a-kind designer showpiece.
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April 21, 2015
By: Liz Gray

Anything But Builder Basic

You'd never guess it, but HGTV star Sarah Richardson created this stunning subdivision home using the builder's standard options with a few designer upgrades. Tour it top to bottom to see how she created a custom look in a brand new house. Here, Sarah makes a statement in the entryway by using a few high-end cipollino marble tiles alongside standard hardwood flooring.

Clutter-Free Storage

The entryway is a magnet for clutter, so Sarah added a sideboard to corral items big and small.

Durable Mudroom

A mudroom just off the entryway provides storage space for coats, shoes and backpacks. Sarah added tongue-and-groove paneling on the bottom half of the wall to make this highly-trafficked area more durable.

Bold Powder Room

Though Sarah prefers to use neutral hues in most spaces, a tiny powder room is the ideal spot to go bold. Here, she combined bird-patterned wallpaper, overscaled French lighting and a shell mirror to create a fun, eclectic space.

Handbag Holder

This vintage Moroccan shelf provides a space for guests to stow their handbag or touch up makeup.

Lilac Living Room

The bright living room's color palette was inspired by the lilac-hued shell balls featured on the coffee table.

Custom Sofa

Sarah custom-designed this sofa so she could get high-end details, like the nail head trim and curved top, on a prefab budget. Wheels make it easy to move for parties.

Seating Times Two

Sarah used the long, thin living room to create two separate seating areas — one just off the kitchen and one in front of the fireplace.

Old World Charm

In a new home, it's important to add warmth through time-worn details. Instead of a brand new mantel, Sarah found this ornate vintage version in a salvage shop.

Pattern on Pattern

To keep this neutral space interesting, Sarah layered subtle patterns throughout the room.

Open Floor Plan

One advantage of a brand new home is the opportunity to tweak the floor plan prior to construction. Sarah asked the builder to remove several walls to create an open floor plan that's ideal for entertaining.

High-End Kitchen

Sarah saved money in other rooms to put her home upgrade dollars where they'd really be noticed — the kitchen. The result: A stunning designer kitchen on a builder budget.

Cozy Dining Space

A fresh coat of white paint gives a tired wooden table and bamboo chairs new life.

New Neutrals

White is a favorite kitchen hue, but Sarah went for an array of gray hues to add warmth while keeping the space neutral. Honed granite countertops feel softer and more subdued than the traditional polished variety.

Custom Details

Molding stretched from the cabinet tops to the ceiling creates the look of custom cabinets at a fraction of the price.

Kitchen Accents

Open display shelving — a Sarah Richardson kitchen trademark — keeps dishes in view, but glass doors keeps them protected from stove splatters. The windows end halfway up the wall, but Sarah mounted the Roman shades near the ceiling to create the illusion of soaring windows.

Dishes on Display

Though you don't typically see etageres in the kitchen, this stacked shelf is a natural spot for Sarah to store (and show off) her favorite serving dishes.

Stylish Family Room

Just off the kitchen, Sarah created a cozy family room that's full of stylish-but-durable accents. A striped custom sofa anchors the space. To get the look of custom drapery for a fraction of the cost, Sarah added the striped sofa fabric to the edges of pre-made panels. Balusters from an architectural salvage shop form a base for an antique marble coffee table.

Customized Storage

Storage is crucial in the family room, but a custom-designed media console can cost you. Sarah's solution? Transform a row of kitchen base cabinets into a one-of-a-kind console by adding legs, hammered brass pulls and a white granite top.

Bold Dining Room

This dining room is a gathering space designed for fun. Blue grasscloth serves as a backdrop for graphic equestrian artwork, while a burst of turquoise beneath the chair rail adds unexpected boldness. Stripes on the rug and chair upholstery provide even more graphic punch.

A Room in a Teacup

This turquoise and gray tea set inspired this room's bold color picks.

Art Deco Details

A curvy art deco sideboard adds interesting character (and ample dish storage).

Metallic Details

Sarah combined golden-hued light fixtures with vintage brass accessories.

Flexible Seating

When the dining table is fully extended, this velvet-upholstered sofa can be moved along the side for extra seating.

A Crafter's Dream

Sarah transformed one of the bedrooms into a crafting space where the whole family can explore their creativity. A fabric tackboard doubles as focal point.

Blue Sky Hues

Sarah's color inspiration for this creative space? Blue sky thinking.

Everything in its Place

Ribbons, pencils, buttons and baubles — everything has a home in this uber-organized space.

A New Use for Spice Jars

Craft rooms are full of tiny embellishments; keep them organized and in clear view by repurposing magnetic spice jars.

Customized Cabinet

Sarah transformed this plain Jane storage cabinet into a unique accent with tonal paint and custom drawer pulls.

Label, Label, Label

Drawer labels keep larger craft items out of sight but easily accessible. Originally meant for the kitchen, this cabinetry is dressed up with custom drawer pulls and a butcher-block top.

Contemporary Boys' Room

Forget blue walls — this black-and-white, industrial-inspired space is boy-friendly from preteen to adulthood. A chevron headboard and patterned pillows and throws add graphic (but not girly) punch.

Eclectic Workspace

An art deco desk, a midcentury chair and an industrial mirror create an eclectic workspace in this adult take on a kids' room.

Boy's Bathroom

Sarah spent a large chunk of the home's upgrade budget to outfit each of the bathrooms with natural stone tile. A graphic stripe and vintage-inspired lighting continues the bedroom's industrial vibe.

Bright and Airy Girl's Room

A swatch of rainbow polka-dotted fabric inspired this room's design, but white furniture and walls and globally-inspired prints create a space that's anything but childish.

Old Bed, New Life

When Sarah found this Eastlake-style bed, it had a dark, tired finish. She added a coat of white paint to give it a fresh new look.

White on White

The bright white furniture and wall hue keeps the array of patterns from overwhelming the eye.

Bold Hues

These playful vases pick up a few of the hues featured in the dotted rainbow fabric.

Playful Workspace

This airy alcove is the ideal spot for homework. A burst of orange on the ceiling highlights this room's vaulted ceiling, along with the vintage white chandelier.

Wall-Mounted Desk

Sarah found these Victorian-style porch brackets at an architectural salvage store, the painted them bright pink to make a base for a unique wall-mounted workspace.

Eastlake Makeover

Sarah revived another Eastlake-style piece to use for this room's desk chair; she added white paint and upholstered it with the same polka-dotted fabric.

A Stylish Girl's Bathroom

Sarah carried the brights-on-white theme from the bedroom to the bath. Here, she repurposed a vintage dresser as a one-of-a-kind vanity.

High-End Details

Marble countertops and an ornate mirror give this bathroom sophisticated, girly style.

Thrift Store Storage

Vintage milk glass vases serve as stylish countertop storage for bathroom essentials.

Stylish Shower

Subtle stripes in soft, buttery yellow add warmth to the shower.

Master Bedroom Getaway

This room's forest and river views inspired Sarah to create a bedroom retreat full of natural hues.

Traditional and Modern

A traditional botanical fabric inspired the room's color scheme, but Sarah brought in modern, graphic patterns to give the room timeless style.

A Desk With a View

This modern writing desk overlooks the water and greenery below.

Added Architectural Interest

To give this brand new house a feeling of history, Sarah brought in a pair of columns scored at an architectural salvage store.

Spa-Like Master Bathroom

Sarah splurged in the master bathroom on soft green marble tiles and a freestanding soaking tub.

Customized Vanity

Instead of paying for a custom-built vanity, Sarah added curved legs, mirrored door fronts and glass pulls to builder-grade cabinetry. The result? A one-of-a-kind piece for a fraction of the cost.

Repurposed Accessories

A bubbly glass paperweight and antique candy dishes look right at home atop this double vanity.

A Place to Unwind

Sarah used full-length curtains to give the illusion of a picture window behind the soaking tub. A patterned table holds bathtime essentials.

Tile Detail

Instead of splurging on marble tile for the stand-up shower, Sarah opted to add a small row of decorative pieces and keep the rest basic white.

A Finished Basement for the Family

Sarah spent extra money to finish the basement and add a walk-out feature with large windows. The result? It's bright and airy enough to host family fun, day or night.

Casual But Sophisticated

This room's red Persian rug inspired the color scheme and adds classic style to the room, but it's practical, too: its bold pattern will hide stains from spilled sodas and dropped popcorn.

Lots of Light

With huge windows and lots of natural light, it's hard to believe this airy family space is in a basement.

Chic and Cozy

Sarah custom-designed this couch to be comfortable enough to curl up on, then loaded it with pretty (and cozy) pillows and throws.

Billiards Room

Sarah wanted to include a pool table in her basement, but didn't want it to be sitting in a corner by itself. A place to sit alongside a scoreboard and storage shelf makes it all click.

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