Guest Bloggers

Sarah Hardaker: Favorite Things

August 26, 2009

A few of my favorite things: Sarah Hardaker

Hi, I am Sarah Hardaker and I am visiting while Holly does her big move. I am a fabric designer from the UK and also the co author of Hardaker and Pope blog and these are a few of my favourite things at home…

Sarah Hardaker: Favorite Things

My dining room is one of my favourite rooms in this house. It is flooded with light all day and evening, it has floor to ceiling windows which look out over the garden. It has a vintage chandelier that has moved from 4 different houses and never hung until we moved here, french linen sheets as curtains and a panel of my chinoiserie grand wallpaper on one wall. This room has seen so many lovely meals with friends and family, and I sometimes work in here if I fel in need of sunshine.

Sarah Hardaker: Favorite Things

I love original paintings, I never seem to have the time to sit and paint myself. This one is by my husbands uncle Robert Lee- Wade RA, It is of the footpath above our house in the snow earlier this year. I like to create little ‘still life’ settings on surfaces, our old house had lots of interesting nooks and shelves and was perfect for these little vignettes. This house is not so good yet, but I am slowly bending it to my will and creating some little spaces. It appears after taking these photos I have something of an addiction to Diptyque candles…. I get one every year from my lovely husband in my christmas stocking – Cannelle is my favourite.

Sarah Hardaker: Favorite Things

I had thought I would only photograph the house for this post, but our garden is such an integral part of our lives here, all of the rooms have big windows or doors out onto it. We grow lots of our own fruit and vegetables, and if I need a break from designing I will often go and potter around in the green house or the vegetable garden with the children. They both have their own little patch!

Sarah Hardaker: Favorite Things

From fork to fork! from the garden to my plate. I LOVE to cook. I find cookbooks a huge source of inspiration. I have a shamefully large collection, I like to sit in my chair under the shelf and have a good read, especially on a Saturday morning after a trip to the farmers’ market. Food is definitely a big part of who I am, and how I live.

Sarah Hardaker: Favorite Things

The Rose Garden. I sit here and think about new designs. Lots of my fabrics and wallpapers are based on natural elements, such as flowers and seed heads. I find great colour inspiration here and it changes throughout the seasons. The smell is amazing too.

Sarah Hardaker: Favorite Things

Colour. As I have said, lots of my designs are inspired by nature, I love the pure colour you get in flowers. This is a David Austin William Lobb rose, and I drew its shape over and over when I was doing my chinoiserie design.

Things that inspire me… This is a really tough one as I am a very visual person and feel inspired by everything and anything, from awesome architecture to the mundane things around me. I love colour even though I use it sparingly in my home. I love accents and unusual combinations. You can’t beat nature for this, the beauty of a dark pink Gertrude Jekyll rose with lime green alchemilla mollis – perfection. I use the flowers in my garden all the time for design inspiration and also for colour inspiration. I have been incredibly lucky to have traveled extensively both with my family and for work. India and Italy totally blew me away. I always look at colour and pattern when I am traveling. Food plays a huge part in our lives, we grow a lot of it and I think its really important that my kids know where their food comes from and are happy to try new and exciting flavours. I always think that cooking is very like designing, in that you have a palette of flavours rather than a palette of colours, but it works the same in that you have to understand what goes with what or it will be a mess. I have a shamefully huge cookbook collection!

I could talk for Britain so am constantly inspired by people around me, I love having Jo in the studio with me to talk about ideas. I think blogging is a great outlet for anyone creative and is also a great source of inspiration too – its almost like working in a big communal studio. If I am feeling uninspired my top three (not including decor8 because that’s a given) are lobster and swan, sam’s notebook and snippet and ink. All three have the ability to infuse my with creativity. I was incredibly fortunate to work with Nina Campbell and Anthony Little both of whom taught me so much about how to design, they are amazing people. They always remembered the little things about people and would treat the lady in the printworks canteen with the same respect as the CEO – a great rule for life. I love art and if I were a wealthy lady I would buy a lot of it. My favourites (probably because they inspire me) are Kate Loveday an artist based in Stroud in Gloucestershire, my lovely uncle Robert Lee-Wade RA, and Elaine Pamphillon. All of them totally understand colour.

My favourite advice is, “Nothing is ever irretrievable” from Antony Little, and he is right, no matter how bad something is, or how wrong its gone, you can usually pick yourself up and start all over again.

Also from my great friend Versha (CEO Intelligent Exhibitions) “If you want to play with the big boys, you’ve got to look like the big boys… even if you are actually running your company from your dining table, they don’t know that!!”

Thank you for having me here today Holly and everyone else tuning in! – Sarah

(images: sarah hardaker)


  • Reply Judit Gueth August 26, 2009 at 8:16 am

    Beautiful designs. Thanks for posting!

  • Reply sam August 26, 2009 at 8:52 am

    Great post Sarah! Your garden looks gorgeous, and what a great cookbook collection!
    .-= sam´s last blog third arrondissement =-.

  • Reply carol August 26, 2009 at 9:05 am

    love your style!
    I also am inspired by everything from fine art to the mundane…

  • Reply Shanon August 26, 2009 at 9:18 am

    Hi Sarah! I have a similar vintage chandelier, only I wish my dining room looked out over the garden. =) Great wallpaper, your life sounds wonderful. So nice to meet you!
    .-= Shanon´s last blog ..My Home Away from Home =-.

  • Reply Laura August 26, 2009 at 9:24 am

    These photographs are amazing, so so stunning.

  • Reply ruxandra August 26, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    hello!the photographs are amazing, as well as the stories.your life sounds like a story.thanks for sharing pieces of it with us…
    .-= ruxandra´s last blog ..You don’t need a doctor for a broken heart, she’s enough… =-.

  • Reply Minnie August 26, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    oooh, i love these glimpses. i’m particularly enjoying your cookbook collection for the random way they are placed indicating they are used often and your beautiful rose and tomato garden. all lovely images.
    .-= Minnie´s last blog ..Store tour: Funky vintage store =-.

  • Reply leslie August 26, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    What a dining room wall! Gorgeous! And I just love your garden photos! -Thank you for an inspiring post!!!
    .-= leslie´s last blog ..Pinks, Melons and Peach =-.

  • Reply sarah August 26, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    thank you for your lovely comments everybody, and thank you holly for having me here, I have loved seeing everybody elses homes. xx
    .-= sarah´s last blog ..teddy bear’s tea party =-.

  • Reply Petergaye S. Kisielewicz/Yahgie August 26, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    I love the wallpaper.
    .-= Petergaye S. Kisielewicz/Yahgie´s last blog ..The Grotto Bay Beach Resort Project =-.

  • Reply Melissa August 26, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    Your dining room is just beautiful!
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..Railway Home =-.

  • Reply Jennifer August 29, 2009 at 12:59 am

    Such a beautiful print in the first photo!! I’m in love with it!!

    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..The OC Fashion Haul =-.

  • Reply Liam August 31, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Love that wallpaper and the chair. Where did you find the chair?

  • Reply Penny Patten September 3, 2009 at 8:46 am

    It’s so fun to have a peek into so many different lives across the globe. I’m so glad that Holly invited so many talented and interesting people into our art rooms, offices etc. I really enjoyed seeing these snippets of your home and life. I really like your dining area, and I too have a large collection of cook books. My newest one was Curtis Stone. Thank You for sharing.

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