In the words of the great Garth Brooks: “Life’s a dance you learn as you go.” Sometimes I feel as if truer words have never been spoken. I have had to learn the hard way recently that it doesn’t matter how many plans you make for you life, sometimes the dance falls apart and things no longer look even remotely like that are supposed to. That is what makes me so thankful to serve a God to goes before us. He knows the plans he has made for us and he knows what our dance is going to look like far before we do. Praise the Lord that I do not have to do this life on my own! I am far too much of a mess to be trusted with my own plans and my own future. Jesus take the wheel… please!

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This quote was written by a good friend of mine and when I saw it the other day it hit my smack in the face. This is how I feel!!! Is anyone else with me? Its crazy to by put in a position in life that tests your faith beyond anything you have ever experienced…. and to come out of it still holding on with a tight grip. I have wrestled with God so many times over the last 7 months (bless all of you who have sat with me during those times and gave me words of wisdom and encouragement). Courage really is exhausting. And sometimes faith is too vulnerable of a position to live in day in and day out. But man, we serve a God who loves us so much more than our little hearts can handle. He looks on us as his children in our times of fear, anger, doubt, grief etc and he doesn’t expect us to have it all together…. he wants us to live by faith in him and sometimes that means not have all any of the answers but trusting him to take care of us anyway.

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Last week was a tough one for me in terms of doubt and fear. I doubted God’s power and plan for my life because it seemed as if nothing around me made sense. Nothing was fair. Everything hurt…. I told my mom that I felt like I was trapped on an island with the Lord… God was with me in my bubble, and I was safe, but as far out as I could see in any direction looked like dark, evil shark infested waters. “When do I get to be taken to the promised land Lord? I feel you here with me, but all I can see is a waging war of sin everywhere and it is wearing me out!” I need a vacation from this. GET ME OFF THIS ISLAND! (who has been there?)

Well, I have no doubt that the Lord heard my cry… because the second half of last week I learned a lot about my “island” and why I am still there. I need to learn to let go of hurt and forgive. (gulp) I need to hand my future over to the Lord and trust him with it. Not just say I am trusting him, but really do it. He cant bring me to the promised land if I am constantly fixated on my hurt and basically handing Satan all the ammo he needs to wage a full on attack against me. The Lord has, and is protecting me through my struggles…. I know he is. He can shower me with light, but I wont feel it or see it unless I learn to let go of the darkness. Man, talk about a life lesson.

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As soon as the Fall rolls around I start getting the itch to bust out some plaid. Everywhere. There is just something about plaid that makes me feel like snuggling up with a warm mug of cider on a brisk day. I would say my favorite plaid is the classic red, but I also love a good hunter green or navy blue too. One of the best (and easiest) ways to make your home feel warm and welcoming for the Fall/Winter season is to add a few plaid throws here and there.

Plaid Throw | Sarah Barksdale Design

You can drape them over a chair in the dining room. Or drape one over a sofa in the living room.

Plaid Throw | Sarah Barksdale Design

I love how this one is just peeking out from the basket under the table. Notice how everything in this room could work during any of the seasons… you dont have to redecorate your home to make a seasonal transition. Its all about finding ways to accent the pieces you already have.

Plaid Throw | Sarah Barksdale Design

I absolutely adore this plaid blanket on this bed. It just warms up the whole room and accents the brass bed from so well. I would honestly keep this blanket on the bed year round in this room to keep that cottage feel.

Plaid Throw | Sarah Barksdale Design

…Of course… there are always way to go way overboard on any design idea. Thats a whole lot of (permanent) plaid.

Sarah Barksdale Design

Did I also mention that I love to wear plaid in the Fall? Well, I do. This scarf is amazing.

If you are looking for a couple plaid throws to add to your Fall decor, Pendleton is a great resource. You can also find vintage ones on Etsy. Cable knit throws are another great option if plaid really isn’t your thing. Pottery Barn has a great selection of those.

Cable Knit Throw | Sarah Barksdale Design

A couple months ago nfocus magazine contacted us about wanting to feature one of our projects in this months issue. It is always so rewarding to see our projects get recognized, not to mention it is fun for us and our clients to see their home in print! We knew there was a chance we might end up on the cover and when the issue came out last wee we were thrilled to see that they had chosen us!

This home is one of my favorite projects. Our clients live out in Franklin, TN and have a beautiful modern farmhouse surrounded by plenty of land for their children to play. We used a lot of natural tones in the house to give it a soft, calm feel and help it blent with the natural scenery that surrounds the house. I hope you enjoy!


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If you live in the Nashville area pick one up!

I am convinced more and more every year that Nashville is the best city to live in. There always seems to be something going on around town and new ideas popping up left and right. I love living in this creative city because I always feel inspired. One thing that I am really proud of Nashville for is that we are a city who whole heartedly embraces local design. We have SO many fantastic local restaurants, bars, shops, boutiques and designers here that you wont find anywhere else (and I am not talking about the honkey tonk strip downtown either). Whether you are a tourist in from out of town or you live here its fun to enjoy the uniqueness that is Nashville. Here are a few of my favorite Nashville designers that I am loving lately:

Miriam Designs

Miriam Designs is a local jewelry company that was started by one of my best friends Gracie. I have a bunch of her pieces and I just cant seem to get enough! They are coming out with a clothing and home goods line this Fall so be on the lookout for that!

Imogene & Willie

Imogene and Willie started as a shop that specialized in custom jeans, now they offer a wide range of clothes and home accessories too. I freaking live in these jeans… they really are the best.


Nisolo is a store that sells the most beautiful, hand crafted leather shoes and accessories. I just bought my first pair of boots from them an I cant wait for the weather to cool down so I can wear them all the time.

Consider the Wildflowers

Consider the Wildflowers is another local jewelry shop. They make very pretty, simple jewelry that goes with anything. And they have a great assortment of simple stacking rings.

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[originally posted on 9-5-13]

Fall is DEFINITELY my favorite season. I love so many things about it. I try my best to enjoy the last few days of Summer each year, but as soon as Labor Day is over I am ready to bring on the Fall in full force (even if it is still in the upper 80’s in Nashville). Here are a few of the things that I am excited for this Fall…

I can’t wait to go to the pumpkin patch and pick out a few really pretty pumpkins and gourds. (yes, I still love going to the pumpkin patch)


I love seeing all of the porches in my area decorated for Fall


I just ove Fall decor


Mmmm. I really love fall cooking. I could go for some cider right now for sure.


or some pumpkin bread. YUM!

Fall fashion is definitely my style. I love wearing skirts with leggings.


And sweaters with boots.



I am probably the most excited about the leaves changing and the weather getting cooler.

Nashville is absolutely beautiful in the fall. Just look at this photo I took at Radner lake near our house last year.


Fall really is my favorite time of year. I am so excited for all of the things that the fall brings.. football, fashion, good food, great decorating, holidays, and beautiful, perfect weather. Oh and last but not least….

I am PUMPED that the Pumpkin Spice latte at Starbuck is BACK! (I am enjoying one right now actually)

Happy start to Fall everyone! What are you excited for this season?

Things have been busy around here lately… sorry for my absence on SBD. So often when life throws you a curve ball it seems as if things stand still for a while, as if you can’t move forward and you don’t think you ever will… and then BAM! Everything picks back up all at once and there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to take care of anything. Have any of you ever been there before?

Well, here is a little summary of what has been going on with me in nashville lately. Follow me on Instagram (saymo1) if you want to keep up with whats going on here in Nashville.

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My Beautiful, amazing sister spent the whole summer living with me in Nashville and I cant even begin to tell you what a blessing she was to have here. I havent lived with her in almost 10 years and we had the best time. She has been such an amazing support to me in so many ways the last few months and i miss her already!

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I have been gardening my little heart out lately and recently bought this book to learn more about how to grow more and use what I grow. I am hoping to have a Fall garden this year for the first time… so we will see how that goes!

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We found these beauties on Etsy recently. They are 1960’s Hollywood Regency chairs and they will be getting a little bit of a make-over soon. One of my favorite things about my job is when we get to hunt down really unique items and give them a little face lift. The end results are ALWAYS special.

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Of course there have been lots of installs and client projects keeping me busy lately. This room has really come together nicely. I am so crazy about that Cloud light fixture. It kills me.

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I am pretty in love with the tile detailing in this bathroom too.

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I have also been working on several art installations. We recently hung that large piece over the sideboard in this room. Funny how things come in waves sometimes.

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Of course Lacy girl has been living the dream. I dont think Lacy even knows what a bad day is… she is always the happiest dog.

My family recently harvested some honey at our farm. Its amazing how much honey those tiny little bees can produce in one summer. I am planning to write a whole post on that soon because the harvesting process is really interesting and I got some great pictures. So stay tuned for that!

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This seems to be the story of my life lately. haha… things have been going better and I cant tell all of you how blessed I am to have so many of you praying for me and sending encouragement and love my way. This has been a weird Summer to say the least… I’ve had lots of really great memories and lots of really hard times too. It truly means a lot to know that so many people care. So again, thank you, thank you, thank you. I am convinced that I have the best blog fans on the web.

How has summer been going for you?

We spend a ton of time in our bathrooms during the week getting ready for our day, but somehow the bathroom tends to get the short straw when it comes to design and money. It is understandable since typically the bathroom isn’t a room that guests see a ton. But wouldn’t it make all the difference to get our days started in a room that we really like? Well you don’t have to gut your bathroom and spend a fortune to dress it up a little. here are 5 easy tips for dressing up your bathroom that you could pull together in a weekend (just in time for those in-laws to show up)

5 ways to update your bathroom | Sarah Barksdale Design

1. Swap our your standard bathmat for a rug with a fun pattern. It can be vintage or new… as long as it is interesting.

5 ways to update your bathroom | Sarah Barksdale Design

2. Hang a pretty mirror over the tub. Obviously this one is huge and most likely an antique, but you could find one with a similar look from a home goods store.

5 ways to update your bathroom | Sarah Barksdale Design

3. Use a basket to display extra towels. This is a particularly good tip for a guest bathroom because it will make extra towels easy for guests to find and give the bathroom sort of a “hotel” vibe. win-win

5 ways to update your bathroom | Sarah Barksdale Design

4. Use a piece of furniture in the bathroom, like a chair or a dresser or shelves for towels and bath supplies. Using a freestanding piece of furniture will make the bathroom feel more like a “room”.

5 ways to update your bathroom | Sarah Barksdale Design

5. Garden stools or small tables are amazing in bathrooms. Not only do they look nice but they add functionality. They can be used as a place to sit or as a table for a glass of wine next to a tub.

All images can be sourced from my Pinterest page.

Originally posted on 6-11-13

Lately I have been seeing terrariums all over the place! At first I didn’t pay them much attention but I must admit they are starting to grow on me. For those of you who don’t really know what a terrarium is, it is basically an indoor potted planter which usually houses several types of succulent plants. The best part is…. you don’t have to have a green thumb! Succulents are very low maintenance, just mist them with water them every once in a while and make sure they can get lots of light.

Depending on the type of plants you get, you can plant them in soil (for ferns), or in sand (for succulents and cacti) and add some rocks for an extra flare!

I love the layered look of terrariums. They would be perfect for any table, shelf or desk since they can be any size and require minimal care.

WOW! WHERE CAN I GET ONE OF THESE TERRARIUMS FOR MY HOME??!…. well, I am glad you asked! haha

West Elm has some great options out right now and they have everything you need to built your very own terrarium. It is like a one stop shop.

Here is what you will need to get started:

They have great options for cacti:

And succulents:

Happy planting!

Some of you may know this…. but last Spring I took a pottery class here in Nashville and I fell in love with it! I can’t say that I made any masterpieces…. but I had a great time and I cant wait to take the intermediate class in the Fall! Ever since my class ended I have found that I just love unique, handmade pottery! There is some gorgeous stuff out there and some really talented, creative potters. I would love to have a cabinet full of beautiful mugs, bowls, vases, everything! I have found that I am drawn to pottery that is a little more earthy and subdues in color… but once in a while I love a good pop of bold color!

Handmade Pottery | Sarah Barksdale Design


Handmade Pottery | Sarah Barksdale Design


There are so many good sources for handmade pottery. Pinterest and Etsy are great places to start your search.

Handmade Pottery | Sarah Barksdale Design


I actually have this little honey pot at my house and I love it!

Handmade Pottery | Sarah Barksdale Design


Handmade Pottery | Sarah Barksdale Design


As a designer I try to stress to clients the importance of making your home uniquely yours. I think every room should have something interesting in it and something out of the ordinary… like an antique or family heirloom. Handmade pottery fits that criteria perfectly and I cant wait to start a collection of my own (and hopefully make some treasures of my own in the future!)

Handmade Pottery | Sarah Barksdale Design


This mug has been on my wish list for a while!

Handmade Pottery | Sarah Barksdale Design


So has this bowl! I think this would look so chic on a breakfast table or coffee table. You cant tell from this picture but the inside is a really pretty pale lavender.

{originally posted 9/27/12}

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Fiddle Leaf Fig trees are EVERYWHERE lately, and for good reason because they are absolutely stunning! I always think it is a good idea to have a little bit of greenery in your home because it really makes your rooms feel much more alive (no pun intended) and welcoming. Sometimes all it might take are some flowers on the kitchen table or a small fern on a shelf to bring a space to life, but if you are in the market for something larger that will make more of a statement, look no further than the Fiddle Leaf Fig.

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They are tall, bright, and dramatic with nice large leaves. We used some in a big basket planter in a client’s dining room recently and they look great!

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I love how these trees can really fill up a space without being too overbearing.

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One thing to be careful of if you are planning to get a Fiddle Leaf Fig tree of your own is to make sure that it is in a place where it will get plenty of sunlight throughout the day. These need a pretty good amount of direct and indirect sunlight.

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