Don’t even try to put Sarah Sherman Samuel in a box. In fact, ‘in the box’ thinking is exactly what drives the designer nuts. While the LA-based designer has a polished modern aesthetic, her design philosophy is rooted in a very fashionable freedom. The designer is known as a color and pattern aficionado, effortlessly layering unique shapes, textures and subtle uses of color to create distinctive spaces. One of Sarah’s most recent clients, actress Mandy Moore, landed a recent cover of Architectural Digest with her newly redesigned digs. (See the kitchen in our interview with Mandy here!)
Last month, Sarah launched a jaw-droppingly cool collection of rugs and pillows with home goods producer, Lulu and Georgia. We can’t get over a few of the minimalistic patterns, some of which feel like instant classics. The retro colors and textures Sarah used throughout the collection (you probably need this pillow) inspire us on a whole new level as we look to the approaching fall season.
Ever inspired by Sarah’s aesthetic, we asked the designer to spill a few insights on her process, her favorite projects, and a simple design tip that doubles as a rule for life…
DESIGN STYLE IN THREE WORDS:
Can’t box me in. (That’s four words but really I don’t think you can package it up in three words. Different aspects of it are simultaneously consistent and ever evolving.)
FAVORITE PROJECT OF LATE:
I’m working on a new build hotel which I’ve been keeping under wraps for a while. Excited to be able to talk more about that soon.
FAVORITE PIECE IN THE COLLECTION:
Oof I can’t pick just one! Essentially all six designs are my favorite distilled down from the many many sketches I drew throughout my design process.
TREND YOU’RE LOVING LATELY:
Arches are suddenly everywhere which I’m not mad at because I’ve used them a lot. (Hello, arches rug!) They symbolize new beginnings.
TREND YOU CAN’T WAIT TO SEE GO:
How about the “copy exactly what you see on Pinterest/Instagram trend”. Just stop!
CURRENT DESIGN TREND YOU THINK WILL LAST:
Plastered walls, I still can’t get enough.
TIPS FOR DESIGNING An adaptable SPACE:
A few favorites are removable wallpaper; starting with neutral foundation pieces, like the rug and sofa; installing an art shelf/picture ledge so you can easily swap out art by just leaning them against the wall.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE ASPECT OF THE Mandy Moore PROJECT?
That project was a dream all around. The mid-century architecture, the location (those mid-century masters had a real way of selecting build sites), the clients, the poured terrazzo flooring, the built-in sofa, the marble master shower, the kitchen, the natural light in that house! I could just keep going.
WE ALSO LOVED THE GARANCE DORÉ PROJECT. FAVORITE ASPECT THERE?
Oh man, this one too. So many favorites. Clearly I’m not great at picking favorites but all the custom furniture I put into this house: the built-in sofas, the built-in banquette, the built-in headboard in the master bedroom and the bed I designed in the guest bedroom. It transformed the new build into a more bespoke space that better fit Garance’s incredible style (see TCM’s interview with Garance here!).
DESIGN INSPIRATIONS LATELY:
I’m never not observing or educating my eye in design, which, in turn, is constantly inspiring. Art, magazines, restaurants, hotels, visiting new cities, getting out in nature, vintage shopping, boutiques, fashion, architecture. Cliche but true—inspiration is everywhere.
I’m probably wearing a jumpsuit.
FAVE WELLNESS HABIT:
A bath before bed. Every night.
BEST DESIGN TIP:
Measure twice, cut once.
Meet more designers we love in our series here + throughout the site!
Who is inspiring you lately?