First, I just want to say a big THANK YOU to all of you who have been praying for me. The past month has been a really challenging one in my life, but I have seen the Lord carry me through it. I have faith and confidence that He is not done working in my life and I am trusting him everyday. Thank you all for being so kind and understanding in my absence. I really do have the best community of friends around me!


Today I have some exciting news for all of you! I have decided to completely re-do my master bedroom (along with changing/adding a few other things around the house). As a designer I always have my eyes out for furniture items that I like and I feel like I am always hypothetically designing and redesigning my own home in my head. I am excited to get some new pieces for myself and really see my room come together. I decided to really go all out dream-girl on this bedroom. I am planning to use a soft pallet of colors in light, blush pink tones and maybe a few pale blue or mint green shades thrown in. I am planning to keep the furniture very neutral with a mix of antique items with a few more modern ones.

Here is what I am thinking as far as accent colors:

Sarah Barksdale Design

And here is my design board for the new room. I am still finalizing the furniture selection but this will give you an idea of the look I am going for:

Sarah Barksdale Design

What do you think? Its still a work in progress and will take a couple months to get everything pulled together. Keep checking in for updates!

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Sorry that I have been really MIA on the blog recently. About 2 weeks ago I got some really devastating news in which I wont go into detail, but just know that I haven’t been trying to ignore any of you readers! I am relying a lot on the Lord right now to get me through this difficult time. I have been spending a lot of time with friends and family and I would appreciate it so much if any of you feel led to pray for me. I believe that God hears our prayers and he knows what the future holds. He holds all things in his hands including heartbreak and fear. I know there is power in the Lord and power in His children joining together in prayer.

Thank you all for being patient with me and my absence of blogging during this time. I promise I will have some great new posts for you coming soon!

About a year and a half ago I started working with some friends of mine who wanted to turn an upstairs attic space into a master bedroom. This was a really fun project for me because it is always fun to work with good friend, but also because these clients are super DIYers who could pull off just about anything I suggested. The space had a lot of potential to become a really nice bedroom, but as with any older home, there were a few quirky spaces to work around.

Here are a few of the before pictures:

Sarah Barksdale Design

This is the area that we turned into the main bedroom

Sarah Barksdale Design

We converted this side of the upstairs into the bathroom.

There were a few challenges that we needed to work around in this space. For one, due to where the pipe lines were we had to put the toilet next to the chimney wall. That put the toilet right smack in the middle of the bathroom. Also, the staircase is located almost in the center of the space which meant that we needed to work around it in order to have a logical flow between the bathroom, bedroom and closet.

I stopped by their house one evening and took measurements of the space along with some pictures to refer back to as I worked on a layout. Here is the plan that I came up with:

Sarah Barksdale Design

We decided to build the closet into the side of the space next to the stairs, creating a hallway into the bathroom on the other side. We built a short wall behind the toilet to create a little more privacy from the door and did a corner shower. A family friend built them a vanity that we located near the window in the bathroom.

Here was our inspiration for the bathroom:

Sarah Barksdale Design

My friends loved the rustic look of this vanity and the octagonal tile in the bathroom. One thing we wanted to achieve was to make the space light and airy…. very different from the attic space it had been.

And here is out finished product;

Sarah Barksdale Design

Isnt that vanity amazing?! We used a 3″ octagonal marble tile for the main floor and painted the walls a light gray. The bedroom is also painted gray, but in a slightly darker shade.

Sarah Barksdale Design

Sarah Barksdale Design

In the shower we used small octagonal tiles for the floor and inset, then we used a larger subway tile for the walls. All of the tile is marble. I love how the glass shower really allows the space to feel large and open.

Renovation projects like this are always fun to me. I love the challenges that renovation of old homes brings and the satisfaction of seeing the finished product! Thank you to my friends for letting me help with this renovation and for letting me share it here!

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Are you wearing your green today? I must admit that I dont own very much green… so I always struggle on St. Patrick’s Day to come up with an outfit that will keep me from getting pinched. ha! Today I thought it might be fun to share a few of my green interiors. I hope you enjoy!


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I love the bold pop of color that emerald lamp gives to this otherwise neutral room! I think emerald green is a really fun and elegant accent color.

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I love the wall color in this room!

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This sea-green color is really soothing. I love it in this living room.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

[Originally Posted On 11/04/2011]

Here is a modern spin on the stair runner… lose the rug and grab some paint! I have seen this technique done quite a bit lately and I think it is really creative. Painting a runner down the middle of your stairs adds interest but is much less expensive than buying a rug and it also allows you to use any color you want (maybe even some of the leftover paint from painting a room in your house?)

I love the colors in this one. I like how they gave the runner a border of a darker color.

This is interesting, it is kind of the opposite of painting a runner. Instead the “runner” is left unfinished and the rest of the staircase has been painted.

What do you think? I would like to try this one day.

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Working with Rachel Halvorson is so much fun because we get to take on all kinds of different projects. Some of my favorite projects are the more modern and trendy ones. I think I like those projects because they are different from my own personal design style… which makes then interesting and challenging for me.

Today I want to show you a little sneak peek at a boutique hotel that we are working on int Nashville. We typically only take on residential projects so it has been fun to work on a project that is a little more commercial. This hotel is comprised of 6 units that will all be leased out as extended stay apartments for people in the entertainment industry coming to Nashville for various jobs. This is just the 1st unit and it is not quite finished. I am really pleased with how this space turned out and I am excited to get started on the others!

Sarah Barksdale Design

Sarah Barksdale Design

How fun is that orange door? Its the perfect mix of edgy and trendy.

Sarah Barksdale Design

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Sarah Barksdale Design

The furniture was sourced from multiple different antique stores, trade vendors and flea market finds.

Sarah Barksdale Design

That art wall is almost completely made from flea market finds…. so really anyone could recreate this look no matter what your budget. All you need is some time to hunt and a good eye.

Sarah Barksdale Design

Sarah Barksdale Design

Like I said, this is just the first unit. It will take several more months before they are all finished and open to renters. I think we are of to a good start though don’t you think?

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I am sure a lot of you have hear about the new iPhone all Waterlogue. It has been all the rage in the blog and instagram world over the past month and for good reason. This new app ROCKS! It is definitely one of my new favorites.

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For those of you who haven’t heard about Waterlogue…. it is a photo editing app that will turn any picture from your home into a water color. And let me tell you…. the water color pics are good! They could pass for real watercolors (at least to my untrained eye)

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This is one of our engagement photos…. I love how it looks in water color!

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I also love how dressy my interior pics look in water color.

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There are several different “filters” of water color that you can choose from. You can make your water colors bold or muted. One of my favorites is the Color Bloom.

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This is the bike Matt gave me fro Christmas!

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Doesn’t this bedroom look dreamy?

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It even makes a cold, rainy day in the office look bright and beautiful!

You can download Waterlogue from your App store and get started editing your pictures right away! Have any of you ever printed your Waterlogue’d pictures? I would love to print a few of mine in a 5×7 size or bigger and frame them…. but I am not sure they will turn out well or not since they were taken from my phone. Has anyone tried it? How did it turn out?

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Bathrooms and kitchens can be some of the hardest spaces to design when it comes ot building or renovating a home. For starters, both bathrooms and kitchens need to be highly functional as well as beautiful. We spend a lot of time in these spaces and usually these are the spaces that can be some of the bigger selling points when looking for a home.

I am currently working on a bathroom renovation for one of my e-clients, and while brainstorming layouts over the weekend I got to thinking about what makes a bathroom (in my opinion) both functional and beautiful?

Bathroom design inspiration | Sarah Barksdale Design

I love when a bathroom is bright and airy. Using light colors and  soft textiles can help a bathroom seem more spacious and bright. Plus, who wants to put their make-up on in the dark every morning? I also love the built-in storage in this bathroom… storage can be such an issue in bathrooms so its always a good idea to find ways to create more storage while keeping consistent to the design (No Wal-Mart plastic bins allowed)

Bathroom design inspiration | Sarah Barksdale Design

Another one of my favorite things to do in a bathroom (if you have the space) is to add a piece of furniture. Not everything needs to be built in.  think adding furniture, whether it is a bench, shelving unit, or chair can make the bathroom feel more like an actual room.

Bathroom design inspiration | Sarah Barksdale Design

Shower curtains can make or break a bathroom for me. Nothing kills the look faster than a cheap-looking curtain hung about 2 feet below the ceiling. Be thoughtful in picking your curtain and always make sure to hang it as close to the ceiling as possible. (I wrote a whole post on this a few years ago)

Bathroom design inspiration | Sarah Barksdale Design

I love this bathroom for so many reasons; its bright, has furniture and art on the walls, the curtains add a soft airy-ness to the space. I could settle into that tub with a good book just about anytime.

What do you think about bathroom design?

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10 ways to update your home today | Sarah Barksdale Design

Sometimes I think the idea of updating our home can be overwhelming… we start imagining renovations and decisions to be made and timelines and all new furniture… and the next thing we know we give up. Well, updating your home doesnt have to be a HUGE task! Sometimes doing little things here and there will make all the difference. That’s why I came up with a list of 10 easy things you can do to start updating your home today.

1. DE-CLUTTER! If you don’t read any other part of this post; read this. Clutter is your enemy. No hoarders allowed! What I mean here is not that your home should be perfectly spotless all of the time, thats not realistic at all. What I mean is that you shouldn’t have an item in every single nook a cranny of your house. Having more stuff doesn’t necessarily equal more style. The key to style is having well placed, thoughtful items to fill you home. SO what you can do today is go through your home and purge items that you think might just be “space fillers”… It can actually be kind of therapeutic!

10 ways to update your home today | Sarah Barksdale Design

2. Add greenery…even if you have to fake it! Whenever we do photo shoots of homes we design we ALWAYS add some greenery to at least a handful of the shots. Whether we use cut flowers or a tree or plant on a table, adding greenery will make you home feel much more inviting and lived in. If you are planning to add live greenery (which I absolutely recommend) do a little research and talk to your local nursery to make sure that you get a plant that will be successful in your home. If you want to add some fake greenery, make sure to get something of good quality that doesn’t scream”Hey! I’m not real!”

3. Update your artwork. Swap out photo frames with current family photos or add some fun prints to the mix. There are so many great resources online (Like Etsy) that have really beautiful and affordable artwork you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a few new pieces to add to your home.

4. Rearrange. That seems pretty straight forward. Think outside the box a little… just because a certain chair or table has been in one place in your home since the day you moved in doesn’t mean it has to stay there! There are no rules!

10 ways to update your home today | Sarah Barksdale Design

5. Accessorize. Now… before you get too excited about this one… this doesn’t NOT mean go out and buy a ton of nick-nacks to fill up your house (See tip #1). Thoughtfully accessorize your home. Add greenery, swap out throw pillows, add a new entry rug, get new artwork, change the curtains, etc. Accessorizing could even mean moving around existing accessories to highlight more special items. The main thing to keep in mind here is to accessorize you home thoughtfully.

We are halfway there now…. take an intermission if you need it. We’ll be here when you get back.

6. Paint! To some of you this might seem scary… and if you fall into that category then start small. Paint a piece of furniture, or a small powder bathroom. The thing I love about paint is that it takes some time and a little effort… but the payoff is so worth it! Painting a room can totally change the game, and it is relatively cheap if you do the labor yourself.

10 ways to update your home today | Sarah Barksdale Design

7. Maximize light. We tell our clients all the time that lighting is one of the most important elements in a home. It makes all of the difference. Darkness doesn’t do you home any favors. There are a few ways to maximize light in your home: You can add lamps or swap out light fixtures for ones that are more attractive or give off more light. Also, swapping out dark draperies for lighter ones can help, or even adding mirrors to rooms or spaces that don’t get a ton of natural light will help with the illusion of more brightness.

8. Swap out hardware. next to lighting, I think hardware makes the most impact when it comes to updating. Take a stroll through your home and see if there are any spaces (Kitchen, bathrooms, built-ins) that could use fresh hardware. Once you decide where you want new hardware do a little searching around for some really great hardware. Anthropologie, White Chapel, and  Restoration Hardware are some of my favorite places to look.

9. Add rugs. Do a quick scan of your home and see if there are any spaces that could use a rug or any rugs that might need swapping out. Rugs can get a little tricky, but there are lots of options out there that span all sorts of styles and price ranges. Rugs can make a big difference in adding warmth (both literally and figuratively) to your home.

10 ways to update your home today | Sarah Barksdale Design

10. Personalize it! None of us stay exactly the same over the years so why should your home? As you and your family grow and change your home should reflect that. Think about what makes you happy and then think of ways to add more of that to your home. If your home is a reflection of you then you will LOVE living in it.

I hope this tips and tricks help you get started updating your home today! Even if you just tackle one step, be encouraged that updating your home can be fun and exciting!

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Working in the design biz’ I am always resourcing new places to find furniture, rugs, fabric, hardware, lighting…. you name it. Well today I wanted to share a new website that I found called Hunters Alley. Have you heard about it?

Hunters Alley

Hunters Alley is a spin off website from the creators or One Kings Lane. This is a site (kind of like but a little more on the affordable side) where people can buy and sell their vintage stuff! They have everything from furniture, lighting, home accessories to jewelry and art! Everything on their site has been inspected for quality by Hunters Alley to insure that what you are buying is in good shape (unlike taking a gamble on Craig’s List….. no disrespect to Craig)

Here are a few items that caught my eye while perusing the site last night

Hunters Alley

I am in LOVE with those emerald chairs… they are so unique! The next time you are hunting around for that perfect piece for your home, give Hunters Alley a visit! I know I will be using them a lot from now on.

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