Mornin’ friends! I have a fun treat for y’all today. Another guest on my “Guess who’s dropping in for coffee” series. It’s the insanely talented Sarah Dorsey. Like many of my guests, I discovered her via Instagram, followed her, checked out the blog and couldn’t get enough. So, curious to learn more about her and where this great eye for design started, I asked to drop on by. I hope you enjoy this fun read with me!
1. Did you study interior design in college?
Yes, I have my MFA in Interior Design from George Washington University.
2. How did the blog begin?
I started my blog shortly after we moved to California. I wanted to stay connected to family and friends on the east coast and start something that I could easily bring with me wherever we would move in the future. I was itching to design our apartment, but since we were on track to move every few years – spending a lot of money on new furniture didn’t make sense. We started refinishing furniture and building from scratch – that way when we moved we could keep a few things and sell the rest – getting our money back or even making a little.
3. What was your first project? What did you learn from it?
A dresser that I used as a nightstand. It was my first real furniture paint project, I definitely made a lot of mistakes! I over brushed – so there were brush marks .. I also put the drawer fronts on the concrete so little rocks and debris made dents in it. So it required more sanding and wood filler than it should have! I also chose a gray with too much blue in it when I wanted a more neutral gray. So, I learned, 1. Don’t over brush, apply the paint thinly, only brush a few times and then let the brush marks self level as the paint dries. 2. Always protect the surfaces that you’re working on – use drop clothes and cardboard. Remember wood, especially soft woods will dent easily so always have drawers facing up 3. Look at the paint swatches in the room that you will be using it in. Colors change completely based on the light. Also, hold several similar swatches next to each other so you can easily determine the undertones. Grays are the trickiest, so take extra time to pick one out!
4. What do you find most challenging about design?
Having an idea and not being able to work on it right away. I’m not a fan of the planning and gathering materials process. Sometimes finding the correct materials is more difficult than actually completing the project.
5. You do a lot of e-design, what made you decide to go that route?
e-design is a great way to work with clients from all over. Since it’s all online, the client takes the time to purchase items and install the space, which makes it a more affordable option.
6. What has been your most challenging project? And, have you ever had a project that you had to part ways?
More complex upholstery projects have definitely made me want to rip my hair out, but we have finished all of them so far. A few months ago we finished turning a bulky radio cabinet into a nightstand, but the finishes weren’t quite right .. so I put it on the back burner, but I will fix it and finish it eventually!
7. Where do you find your inspiration?
All over! I love looking at my pinning trends to see what I’m really drawn too. I also like just walking around stores, I find my favorite ideas come when I least expect it!
8. What has been your favorite DIY?
I’d have to say our coral headboard and nailhead grasscloth wall. When we moved from California, it was really hard to part ways with. I’d love to make something similar once we’re settled into our “permanent” home.
9. If you could spend a day with a person of figure, style icon, celebrity, etc who would it be?
Dorothy Draper – she was a pioneer in the industry and her bold color and pattern choices still feels current today. Stripes, large florals and leaf prints are huge this year! I’d spend all day soaking up her amazingness!
10. If you could live anywhere and build your dream home, where would it be and how would it look?
Probably in Central Coast, CA (where we lived before ..) The weather is always around 70 and sunny, it’s relaxed with very little traffic, yet you’re still close to most major stores, and you can’t beat the sand and water! I’d love a Mid Century Modern home with large windows, variated ceiling heights, and a view of the ocean of course! Lots of white with natural wood and bright pops of color.
I hope y’all enjoyed getting to know Sarah as much as I did.