Catching up with
Sarah Marie Interiors
Catching up with
Sarah Marie Interiors
Sarah Marie is no stranger to design. In fact, she started her studies back in 2007, after working as a nanny in both Vancouver and New York City, inspired by everything she saw. Since launching her design firm, Sarah is a firm believer in giving before receiving. She aims to give back in everything she does - and the results? Well, you’ll have to read more to find out!
An Interview With Sarah Marie
Take us back to where it all began - tell us a little about your background and what brought you to start your design firm.
I originally moved to Vancouver in 2002 to dance with a ballet company called Arts Umbrella. I danced with them for two and a half years, when a car accident uprooted my plans. From there, I was a nanny for a few years working in Vancouver and New York City. My love and appreciation for both fashion and design really blossomed during these years, and I began Interior Design School in Fall 2007 (although I also really wanted to go into fashion design)!
How would you describe your design style and aesthetic? If you have a few different styles, what’s your favourite style?
I would say that I’m a very muted designer. I love working with soft hues and earthy tones to build interest in my designs. My theory is to keep things very neutral, and to build upon them with textures and textiles. This will give the client more longevity with their home, along with the ability to freshen up their design without having to renovate their house again.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Nature mostly I would say! I almost always look for the palate that you look out at from my clients’ homes, and I build my designs based on that. If I am in an urban environment, sometimes I’ll turn to fashion trends. I find the colours, prints, and layers in fashion have an undeniable relationship with interior design.
Are there any upcoming design trends you’re looking forward to?
I am really loving the more organic tiles that are popping up everywhere! There is something so timeless about a hand cut tile. I am also loving all the earth tones that are currently trending in the textiles these days.
Which design movement is, to you, the most timeless?
I would say transitional. Anything that is classic. As much as most people are sick of the basic all-white-kitchens, they are here to stay! And I love them :0)
What do you love most about being part of the design community?
CF interiors of course (kidding not kidding)! I love all the people that it takes to build an exceptional home. There are so many fabulous people in the industry with years of knowledge. As a designer, it is so hard to be educated in every sector of design. It is my amazing clients, fellow design friends and wonderful sales associates that keep me thriving and loving this business!
If you could share one key design tip to really make a house feel like a home, what would it be?
Do not throw everything away!! I have been to so many consultations over the years where clients tell me a previous designer or friend suggested they start "fresh". This does not mean that you have to throw away your grandmother's dining room table - which could actually be the worst advice ever. Every person has something of sentimental value in their home, so there’s ample opportunity to keep it, refinish it, reupholster it, hang it and design with it. The client will always feel more connected to their space if there is something there that is part of their personal journey.
We’ve all had to do some adjusting over the last year and a half. What challenges have you faced over this period, and how did you manage to pivot? Any key learnings you'd like to share?
I’m actually amazed how much I could take on with just me and one other part time employee on my team! Less is more I have learnt. When Covid broke out, I was all of the sudden without a team, but I had a will, and that's all that really mattered. Without a lick of exaggeration, I probably worked 10-15 hour days for 4 months solid. I took my organization up a level, and rather than building a whole new design team, decided to partner up with other interior designers in my industry and referred designers to projects that I couldn't take on – I decided to give more.
A few months before COVID broke out, I read a book that was recommended to me. It was called The Go Giver (thank you to a fellow Interior Designer for this)! The idea behind the theory is that if you give as much as humanly possible to your business and your clients, everything will come back to you. I implemented the ideas into my business the day I finished it. I began saying YES to everything, and living with a "everything is figureoutable" mindset. I will be the first to admit, I didn't see much of a change right away, and things got worse before they got better. About 6 months later however, everything changed. Everything seemed to come back to me. I felt so appreciated by my clients, and everyone in my industry. In the end, 2020 to now has been my best years in the business. Period.