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…
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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)