So Canadian Eh? : Sarah from Re-Designing Sarah

I love coming across a blog where the author has taken a leap of faith and followed their heart.
This week's guest is no exception.

Please welcome...

Sarah Hepburn-Smith from Re-Designing Sarah

She is
Sarah is one inspirational gal, you find out that not only is she enjoying re-designing spaces, her blog is also about Sarah re-designing herself. She has taken a leap of faith, following her heart, abandoning the corporate world to embrace the design scene. If only I could be so brave....

Her blog is her place to share snippets of what inspires her, projects on the go and bits about family life.

Not only has Sarah been following her dream but has been embracing her life as a mom to three kids, included in the mix are some twins! 

 Sarah and her adorable family.

 Being a Canadian gal, this is what Sarah sees in the middle of winter. Sparkly snow and sunshine!

A stool she re-upholstered. Funny story behind this one, as they were opening the boxes they came in, the leather top was sliced. Ingenious solution to a unpleasant situation, re-cover and add some nailhead trim. They look better than the original.

An ingenious solution to her client's shower, a fold down teak bench!

Her creative solution to bringing a bit of Christmas to her outdoor planters.

Her office nook, made from fabric and sewing by Tonic Living. Would you believe the bench is an antique carriage seat?

Love the fabric.

Tell us a bit about yourself, your background, your education, has design always been something you are drawn to?

I have an Honours degree in Political Science from McMaster University and worked in the financial services industry after graduating. I did a ton of project and process management work and managed large teams of people too. I wasn’t hugely inspired by what I was doing but the money was very good, the people were great to work with and I travelled periodically which I enjoyed. Once I had kids though my priorities changed and I began to question to constantly buzzing BlackBerry and why I was working so hard at something that I didn’t feel passionate about.

I’ve always loved design. The tipping point for me was doing a two-storey addition to our home while I was on maternity leave with our third son. I officially became obsessed with all things design and I loved every aspect from planning to sourcing and marching all over the construction site (complete with baby on my back!). I enrolled in the Interior Decorating Program at Seneca and haven’t looked back.

What made you decide to start blogging?

I had been reading design blogs for a while and had images in my head of all sorts of beautiful spaces. I started blogging as a way to explore different design ideas and keep track of the things I saw and loved.

What have you enjoyed about blogging and what has surprised you along the way?

I have enjoyed connecting with others through my blog – old friends, people around the world I’ve never met and meeting others in the blogging community. What has surprised me most is that blogging has reignited my love of writing. I’m addicted to it and blogging has become a real therapeutic outlet for me!

Where do you go for inspiration for your blog?

Other blogs for sure. I love seeing what people are drawn to or spaces in their homes they share. I also love exploring the websites of various shelter and online magazines. I love to wander through shops and see how displays have been designed. Sometimes I am inspired to do further research based on an article in the newspaper (especially the Friday Globe & Mail Real Estate section).

What do you do for work? Is it design related?

Right now I am in school part-time and working as an interior decorator & project manager part time. I am hoping to more fully launch my business, Spruce Street Projects, once my youngest starts school full-time in September.

What are your hopes and dreams for your future?

On a business/career level: fully launch my decorating business in September and longer-term combine my decorating business with my passion for helping small business owners achieve their goals. At a personal level I hope that my boys follow their dreams and pursue their passions as they grow up. My job is to guide them along that path.

How would you describe your design style?

It is hard to pick one way to describe my design style. I love a space that has carefully chosen pieces and one that reflects the personality of those who live there. I love clean lines and am not a fan of clutter. I love colour and in particular pops of colour to add life to a neutral room. I am a huge fan of combining old with new – respecting the past while looking to the future and creating new memories.

Tell us one thing about you that would surprise us!

I was the goalie for the McMaster Women’s Waterpolo team when at university.

If you were given the opportunity to meet anyone or do anything, what would it be and why?

I would love to travel more. There are so many places I want to see for the first time or see again. A family of five makes extensive travel tricky but that doesn’t stop me from dreaming! London is my favourite city in the world and I am dying to go back to Paris and Rome. High on my wish-list is Prague, pretty much any city in central Europe, hiking in South America and seeing parts of India.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I have three very active young boys so we get them moving as much as possible. Hiking is a favourite family activity (complete with stick sword fights and Indiana Jones moves). At a personal level, I love art galleries, museums and the ballet – yup a girlie girl with all boys. I’m sure I will get to hang out in galleries more as my boys get older.

What are your views on the role Canadian design plays in the world design scene? Do you feel that Canadians have a unique sense of design?

I think Canadian design reflects the diversity of our country. I’m not sure that I could look at a photo in a shelter magazine and say “that’s so Canadian”. From what I see in Canadian designers and other bloggers there is an understated approach to design. We create spaces that are beautiful but also livable and functional. With the growing popularity of online editions and various apps it has made it easier for Canadian shelter magazines to feature and promote Canadian design at a global level. It has been great to see the success of designers like Sarah Richardson and Brian Gluckstein on the world stage and the digitization of design has really helped get the message out about the fantastic talent here in Canada.

Thank you so much Barbara for featuring me and my little blog on your So Canadian Eh series. I am humbled to be featured amongst such esteemed Canadian talent!

Sarah, thanks for giving us a peek into your thoughts, sharing your family, your inspirations and your journey as you re-design Sarah!

XO Barbara


  1. What a great interview! Fascinating history that got her here to the design arena!Great pictures of her work! Yeah Canada! Thanks Barb!

  2. Great story! It is so nice to meet other Canadian bloggers and design enthusiests as I get going again.

  3. Many thanks for featuring me Barbara! I am so honoured!

  4. I LOVE Sarah's blog and what a lovely lady she is unfortunately we've never met - me being in New Zealand :-)

  5. Happy Mother's Day Barbara!
    xo Nancy

  6. What an inspiration Sarah is! She's kind of living my dream, and so cool to find another design blogger with twins. Can't wait to check out her blog!

  7. Great to learn more about Sarah! Another awesome Canadian....

  8. Now that is one busy & creative lady! (Just like yourself Barbara!). I wish Sarah all the best with the launch of her new business. You go girl!

    Happy Mother's day dear Barbara. It is going to be another sunny and gorgeous week in the North west. Finally!

    Warm hugs to you. Talk soon?



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