Episode 7: Sarah Richardson – Buying and Designing: Lessons Learned in Real Estate

Erin: Welcome to REAL TIME. A podcast for REALTORS® brought to you by CREA, the Canadian Real Estate Association. We are all about sparking conversations with really inspiring people about all things Canadian real estate plus topics that impact REALTORS®, really all of us. I’m your host Erin Davis. I’m so glad to be here especially for our very special guest for episode seven of REAL TIME. 

Let’s just say if the name Sarah Richardson, I don’t need to go into an introduction but maybe you’re not yet a follower of home improvement and design shows. You will be. Here we go. Sarah Richardson has been a key fixture of the Canadian design world for two decades carving a niche in the world of design TV by sharing her practical, endearing and inspiring approach to decor and design with viewers.

She launched her first TV series for HGTV in 2000, Room Service. All these years later Sarah is the host co-creator and co-producer of way over 250 episodes of design television that span seven hit HGTV series and they’re targeted directly to the needs of a contemporary audience. We are so lucky to have her so let’s go. Sarah, welcome, it is such a pleasure to have you here on REAL TIME. I can tell you that you’ve been on our wish list here for all of 2020 and to have you to be able to sit down with you virtually and at a safe distance is just a joy so thank you. Thank you for everything you’ve done to make our lives more beautiful and for helping us here today to make this podcast a little more beautiful too. We are so grateful to you.

Sarah: I’m so excited to be here chatting with you. Both of us from the comfort of our own homes.

Erin: Yes, but yours is more comfortable than mine. Let’s not lie.

Sarah: Well, you never know. You never know.

Erin: You are Sarah Richardson. Come on, it’s got to be better than mine. Now, I do have to say we hear you have a small addiction and that is to the REALTOR.ca app. We had a chat a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been reflecting on everything we talked about over and over but first and foremost, you talked about the REALTOR.ca app. Let’s just dive in with A’s and the app and there what do you think?

Sarah: Well, you’re right. I think of it more as my most fun and my most expensive hobby but fortunately, to this day, the REALTOR.ca app has never led me astray. It’s never led me down the wrong garden path, but I will say that it has set me off on some really great adventures. It’s funny because I’ve been using it for a really long time. I probably open it at least a few times a week and I find it to be such a fun, exploratory tool. It really gets my creative juices running.

Erin: It also has expanded your horizons in taking you to places that you hadn’t previously considered, thanks to the app.

Sarah: That’s absolutely true. I think one of the most interesting things for me is that if I’m traveling, if I’m in a different location, if I’m driving, if we happen to be — my husband flies a small floatplane and if we happen to be flying over and I think, “Oh, that looks like a pretty area down below.” I can open up the REALTOR.ca app and I can zoom in and see what’s available for sale in the area that I am. That’s probably one of my favourite things about it because I think in the old days you used to have to look in the newspaper or you had to know exactly what your search criteria was, where exactly do you want to be?

What I find so interesting about the app now is it gives you this giant map view and you can zoom it in. You can zoom it out to be as broad as you want or you can zoom it in. If you need to be on a specific street or in a specific neighbourhood or maybe you just know that you want to be somewhere in a district, in a township, it gives you all that flexibility. On the large scale it can it can seem like there is a myriad of possibilities which there is but one of my favourite elements is the filters and the search tools.

Interestingly, on my most recent project which I just did for my YouTube series which was our retro ranch reno, I knew that I wanted to tackle a new project and I knew I wanted to buy a property, but I also knew that we wanted to be careful about the price point. The area in the country where we spend a lot of time prices had started really rising up. I thought, “Well, what if I set a price limit, and what if I lowered the limit and expanded the search area that I was looking for?” Sure enough, it led me to an area that I never would have normally put within the map area of where I was looking. Based on the price point I was looking at, it introduced me to a terrific property on a beautiful country gravel road that is quiet, that is minutes away from all the local amenities that we love, and literally minutes away from our own farm. Without that app there’s not a chance I ever would have found that property. Yet it ended up being just a fantastic spot and exactly what I wanted.

Erin: I find it incredible that in these days when we feel so locked in, cooped up and that we’re safe at home or staying at home, so many of us still that this allows you to not even needing a floatplane, you can soar just by using your fingertips. It’s an incredible thing.

Sarah: That’s absolutely true. That is the thing is that you can — I always say when I think about when people ask me where I find inspiration, so often I will say that I find it in social media. I love being able to tour and see where people are and what they’re seeing and what’s inspiring them whether it’s being on Instagram or being on Pinterest. What’s really interesting about the REALTOR.ca app is you can almost do that same thing where you can just dare to dream. You can look and say, “Oh, I’ve always thought it would be nice to consider, maybe we should consider living on the water. ” You can zoom around. Exactly as you’ve just described it Erin, you can fly like a bird and zoom in on whatever property you want. You can swipe through, you can see the photos, you can get the information, you can forward it to a friend. If I’m not looking for me, I make myself feel better by thinking that maybe I’m looking for a friend.

Erin: That’s wonderful. I just love it. I would love to have a friend like you who was always keeping an eye out for great properties or fixer uppers or the next forever home.

Sarah: Yes.

Erin: Coming up we’re going to land that plane and look at what home means to us in this year of huge uncertainty. Plus, the many demands that we are making on our homes in 2020. If you haven’t yet taken advantage of all of those clicks on the REALTOR.ca app, many of them from Sarah it seems, what are you waiting for? There were 1.6 million searches for REALTORS® on REALTOR.ca last year alone. REALTORS® make the most of those visits with the REALTOR.ca tools provided as part of your CREA membership. 

Now, back to our chat on REAL TIME with HGTV Sarah Richardson as we land that floatplane and head towards home. Let’s cozy down into the nest here and take a look at what home has come to mean in 2020. It’s always been where the heart is. It’s always there’s no place like home and all of that but home has really, really taken on a new meaning in 2020, hasn’t it, Sarah?

Sarah: Oh, I think it absolutely has. I think that I have a career that’s based on people having a shared goal and a desire to live in style and love their home. That is the passion behind the work that I get to do every day. It is what fuels me and inspires me and excites me. I think that for all the challenges that as a global community we faced in 2020, I hope that one of the silver linings can be that people embrace the importance of home and realize that this isn’t just a place to throw in some furniture and toss a few pillows on, this is your safety zone. This is your nest. This is really the only place that you can control and right now the only place that you don’t have to wear a mask and you get to decide who comes in and you get to decide what it looks like and what it feels like. I think that people are realizing now more than ever how important that investment is to make sure that you surround yourself with things that make you feel calm, that make you feel comfortable, that make you feel welcome, and that really help you feel safe and happy.

Erin: Something that you’ve said in an earlier conversation that has just been on my mind ever since is that suddenly our homes have taken on all of this multitasking. Like you mentioned, it’s not just a place to throw your furniture and your pillows and just live in it but now it is your restaurant, your gym, your office, your asylum, it’s all of these things. People I think are now asking their homes to step it up a little bit and what can we do for our homes to fulfill all of those needs that we’re asking from them?

Sarah: It’s a tall order definitely and I think that if money were no object and space was unlimited, then everybody could have everything they want but we all know that that’s not a reality and I think one of the greatest challenges is how you balance space, the space you have available with the needs you have. I think the demands we’re putting on our home have never been greater. That’s potentially a bit of a puzzle for people to try and work out in this newfound approach to how we live at home and work from home and try to relax at home and share the space. I think that it’s taking it all up a notch and making us re-examine it.

One of the biggest elements is looking at it and if you’re feeling that there’s elements of your home that are not working, it’s time to get rid of everything that isn’t useful, that isn’t beautiful, that isn’t helpful and bring into your space only things that help you and make you feel good. There’s a quote that I’ve always loved for years and years and years and I’ve probably repeated this quote a thousand times. It’s from William Morris who was the founder of the arts and crafts movement in the ‘1900s who said, “Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” I think that’s a really good guiding principle for us all to follow right now.

Erin: We’re talking with Sarah Richardson and we’re focusing on the inside of the house for a moment but getting back at looking at location, COVID-19 has changed the way we think about where we want to live as well. Do you think that it served as a catalyst for homeowners to decide that, you know what, maybe this isn’t even the neighbourhood for me, that maybe we do need to spread out or move on? It’s amazing what this virus has done in terms of making us stop and think, isn’t it?

Sarah: I think it is. It is truly amazing and I think it has been eye-opening for thousands if not millions of people to look at it and say, “I always thought.” When I did my Sarah’s House series in 2006 which went to air in 2007, we said, “You can change everything but location and location is everything.” That was at a time when it was really important for people if– I live in the city of Toronto so if you live in the city, being in the city was important, it was important for your business, it was important for seeing clients, it was important for access to retailers.

If I think from just a personal perspective how much the world has changed since then, how much is now available online so you can hopefully still support your favourite local merchants but also you don’t have to be in an epicenter, you don’t have to be in a major urban center in order to have access to the best in the world of design, of style, of anything you could imagine because we now live in an online world. Even more fundamental in that is that when it used to be more important for school districts or opportunities for work because of proximity to an office, what we have now had proven to us in such a demonstrative way through COVID is that people can work from anywhere and I think we will see a large exodus from major urban centers to go a little further afield, to get a little bit more land, a little more space, a little more freedom, a little more flexibility and then juggle that work-life balance. For so many years we’ve talked about work-life balance but maybe that balance has still, for so many of us, been skewed more to work and less to life.

Erin: Back with Sarah Richardson in a moment. Don’t you just let that William Morris quote, “Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” My new mantra and I’m putting it on a coffee mug in my head right now. What a great way to remind us all about CREA Café, it’s created for REALTORS® and includes insightful new content put together weekly. Join the conversation at CREACafe.ca. I hope you’re enjoying our conversation with Sarah Richardson. Really, she was such a pleasure to talk with and just the latest guest in the REAL TIME Podcast series. Don’t miss an episode, click to subscribe, okay? 

Back to Sarah on the thrill of the hunt. Designing according to a frame of mind. Jamaica anyone? Sarah’s cleaning snits for real. Real talk on REAL TIME. For those folks for whom moving, actually picking up, or relocating is not a practicality right now or maybe they just don’t want to move, I think you get some inspiration from Ralph Lauren in terms of creating the home that you want by simply living in it. Can you share that philosophy just a little bit?

Sarah: Sure. Let’s be honest and say there are tons of people who would love to make huge changes at home and it’s not in the budget and so I believe that living in style, loving your home, it should be attainable for everyone. I also think budget and style are not mutually exclusive and I think that you can achieve great results on a small budget. I’ve always said, it’s not about where you shop, it is about what you choose to introduce into your home. I think you always should focus on quality and buying things that are made of natural materials, that have intrinsic value because they were well-made.

I have always supported artisans and craftspeople and anybody who’s ever watched one of my shows will know that one of my favourite things is the thrill of the hunt and finding vintage elements that are affordable and re-imagining them. If you said to me, “Sarah, I have absolutely nothing to spend, what could I do?” I would say, “The first thing you need to do is edit.” You need to empty out that room, you need to clean out the clutter, the old stacks of magazines, the newspapers, the books that nobody’s going to read, the junk that’s collecting, just the stuff. When was the last time you actually had a good old fashion as I call it cleaning snit where you sort of–

Erin: No. 

Sarah: That’s why they got called in my office years and years ago. People always say, “Oh boy, she’s having a cleaning snit.” The best results come from it. The funniest thing was we were visiting friends at a cottage, not that long ago and I said, “The funny thing is you have some good ingredients in this room but it just doesn’t quite work as well as it could.” My friend said, “Great, what do you think we should do?” I said, “I think we should rearrange all the furniture.” We moved things from here to there and literally we didn’t introduce a single new thing, we just rearranged what was there.

At the end of it, they said, “I can’t believe this. It feels bigger, it feels brand new.” Literally, we didn’t change a thing in terms of– We didn’t bring one new piece in, we just moved it all along and we refreshed it. I think that that’s a fabulous tactic for people who want to stay rooted where they are but they feel a bit stuck. Maybe because of COVID you’re working from home, maybe you’re not using your dining room but everybody’s using the dining room like a home office, maybe it’s time to just turn that space on its head and let it be what you want it to be and what you need it to be to help you succeed.

At the very beginning of this you mentioned Ralph Lauren and I’m sure people thought, “Huh? What’s she talking about a fashion designer for?” I’ve grown up admiring Ralph Lauren styles since I was a preppy kid, wearing a shirt with the polo horse on it. One of the things that I once learned about how he approached his process of design and style was he would say, “It’s six o’clock in Jamaica, how do I feel?” To think about making sure that you– Listening to that, helped me realize how I feel about when I’m designing a home. That is, I always want it to feel connected to its surroundings, to feel like it’s in the right place, to feel like the outdoors and the indoors connect flawlessly and cohesively.

People might talk about the way I approach cottage style and for me, that’s because it’s on the water. For me, that means it’s the blues, the greens, the grays, it’s soft. You probably won’t see me injecting a lot of red into a cottage because that’s not the way I feel there and I’m always really wanting to dive in and think about the architecture of the home, the personality of the homeowner, and what they’re trying to achieve and how they want to feel. That’s where that’s, “It’s Jamaica. How do I want to feel?” How do you want to feel in your home? Then I want to think about the surroundings and think about how we can draw the outside in, bring in some nature and just make it feel like it all connects cohesively together.

Erin: Beautiful. I love the thought of that, but you do give me pause just for a moment. If I’m lucky enough to be Sarah Richardson’s friend, do you find yourself like a doctor at a cocktail party where somebody will come up and say, “Doctor, I’m a little worried about this growth on my finger, what do you think?”

Any place you go, do you feel that people are thinking, A, “Oh my God, Sarah Richardson is judging my room.” Or B, “I wonder if I can ask her if this colour would go here?” How do you approach being such a design and style maven and just living your regular life? Sarah, I’m fascinated to know.

Sarah: Well, I think the most important thing is that if you invite me to your home, I’m not coming to judge. I think that nobody should be afraid of entertaining. I always want people to feel comfortable having people over. If you invite me over and order-in pizza, I’m going to be happy because I didn’t have to make it. There’s nothing more joyful to me than having that opportunity to be a guest in somebody else’s home and it’s not something I take lightly. I think it’s important that everybody have different style and everybody should have their own personal and unique style. Your style might be completely different than my style but that doesn’t mean that mine is right and yours is wrong.

Erin: Amen.

Sarah: It’s about who you are. What is your story? Where have you come from? Where are you headed? Where have you traveled? What mementos have you brought home? What are the influences? What makes me feel calm and happy at home is a very light palette, which everybody knows, that’s no secret but that isn’t necessarily what other people like rich dark colours. I like light, airy, fresh, and bright and crisp but that doesn’t mean that rich and dark and textural and ornate is wrong. It literally is if you go to a restaurant and you look at the menu, you may choose something wildly different than what I choose. That is what makes us who we are. That is what makes us individuals. I always want people to strive to create their personal best and something that is a reflection of them.

I would rather have somebody decorate and design a home that has nothing to do with trend and is completely unique and different rather than have it looked like a cookie cutter version of the latest trend. I guess in terms of if people ask me questions, there’s lots of easy questions. I can answer favourite pink colour. What would you do here? Would you paint that? What do you think about that? Always happy to answer those questions. It is what I do is truly my passion so I never mind. Fortunately, the advice I give isn’t nearly as important as what the doctor will tell you. I can’t go at your peril, take my advice and I may be thinking the question you have, I may already be thinking about.

Erin: The passion that you talk about, you can see it on your shows and on YouTube and on the page, of course, and I’m holding in front of me, a beautiful, I don’t even want to call it a magazine. What do we call it because this is–

Sarah: It’s a book.

Erin: It is a book.

Sarah: It is a book series.

Erin: It’s gorgeous.

Sarah: Thank you.

Erin: It’s softcover and it’s just beautiful to touch and to look at, and it’s something that you can tuck away and carry with you if you’re lucky enough to travel. It’s called Collected by Sarah Richardson. This is City and Country, fresh rooms and new ideas for the best of both worlds, Simon and Schuster. Where can other people pick it up?

Sarah: You can get it through any online retailer or you can get it through your local bookseller if you’re popping on your mask and heading out to shop and you can get autographed copies through my website.

Erin: That’s sarahrichardsondesign.com. It really is a lovely book. I’d share it with everybody, but I don’t want to let it out of my hands and I know I wouldn’t get it back. There’s so much more with Sarah to come, including the importance of loyalty, to and trust with a REALTOR® and to stage or not to stage. Her answer might surprise you. 

A lot of us love to watch Sarah’s shows for inspiration, but here’s another place to find people who inspire realtorscare.ca. REALTORS® Care is the national brand that celebrates the great charitable work by the realty community in Canada. Help raise awareness for the charities and causes closest to you by sharing your story @realtorscare.ca. 

I’m Erin Davis. Good to have you with us today. Now, back to Sarah Richardson on REAL TIME. Sarah, what about staging? What do you feel about staging a home before selling it?

Sarah: I think there’s tremendous value in staging because everybody can imagine. Personally, I love walking into a cluttering mess ’cause I think, “Oh, this is so good. I’m going to get a deal on this one, ’cause nobody else is going to want it.” Which really underlines the importance of staging, the value of staging. I guess the question is, do you need– you can hire a professional to do it. You can count on your REALTOR® to do it or you can do the hard work first, do the purging, do the cleaning out, do the touch-ups, get it as clean and streamlined, as clutter-free, and as functional as you possibly can because you’ll get paid. You will be rewarded for that service. If you have to hire a professional, you’re going to pay that professional. Yes, they are a professional and they should do a great job for you. The question is, if you’re trying to save money, you should be able to do it yourself. 

I think that when it comes to making choices I would say, try and keep it as simple as possible, try to make those choices that will appeal to the greatest number of people. If you’re about to sell your house, should you put super bold wallpaper in the powder room and make that decision for the next purchaser? Maybe not. Maybe this is a time to try and create spaces that feel light, airy, open, and allow the potential homeowner to come in and imagine themselves in that home and think about what they would do, what personal tweaks and changes they would make to enable them to feel like it’s going to be theirs.

Erin: I love that. You have said that staging, isn’t hiding, it’s creating a world of possibility and it’s so true.

Sarah: That’s the whole goal is the reason I think homes are an emotional purchase. I think if you are in the process of working with your REALTOR® and you are out there house hunting as challenging as it can be during COVID, it’s that moment of stepping across the threshold and there is you really can’t describe that feeling when you can imagine yourself living in that home and it feels like you need to be there and you can cast an eye across a room and either think, “Oh, this is perfect. I want to live in it just like this or I know what I would do if this was mine.” It’s chemical. It’s really buying a house is about chemistry. It’s about feeling, it’s about energy. I am always so drawn to buying houses that make me feel happy. I’ll never forget the first time walking into all of the houses that I ever bought. There was something about the way they made me feel. It was about the light. It was about the sunshine. It was about the happy vibe that I could just sense in the home that made me feel like I needed to be there.

Erin: Well, let’s get back to talking about REALTORS®. We started talking about REALTOR.ca and I happened to know that you are an extremely loyal person and you continue to work with REALTORS® both professionally and personally. What is it that keeps you coming back?

Sarah: Oh my gosh. It’s no secret that I love to buy a diamond in the rough and fix it up and either keep it forever or move on and that journey for me, I guess it really started in 1996. My mom’s sold the family home that I’d grown up in for 26 years. That started a really interesting journey for her and for me, where we renovated a bunch of houses as we explored new locations and new ideas. What I have learned and maybe not what I’ve learned, what I’ve appreciated, time and time and time again is the value of having a trusted ally in any real estate transaction. I could fill a full podcast with stories on each of the purchases of many different homes and really why I like to think of myself as a loyal person in terms of the tradespeople I work with, the team members but the same holds true for REALTORS®.

In the city of Toronto, I’ve worked with the same REALTOR® since I sold my first house in 1999. My REALTOR® has become an ally and a confidant and a friend. Amazingly, I remember seeing when services were popping up of, “Sell your own home.” All I could think is why would you want to do that? The role of your REALTOR® is to be in the know. They are an expert in the same way that I can be an expert about what fabric you should put on your sofa and tell you all the stories of all the different experiences I’ve had. Your REALTOR®— and obviously in a much more important way, because sofa fabric versus the price of a house– let’s talk about two opposite ends of the spectrum there.

Erin: Unless you’re buying a really expensive sofa.

Sarah: Unless you’re buying a really expensive sofa which I’ll advise you not to do. Anyway, the thing is your REALTOR® it is their passion, it is their profession, it is their expertise. Most REALTORS® specialize in an area. They literally know everything about all of the listings that have come up. They know which sold, what has sold for what, which one’s been flipped too many times, which one has a leaky basement. There is so much information that they hold that I really believe that you need to craft a relationship that’s built on trust.

I guess it’s different if you’re a serial purchaser, like my husband and I are so that you have that opportunity to do multiple transactions, versus if you’re only taking one shot and it’s one home and it’s done and it’s forever. It is such an important relationship to feel that you have a foundation that’s built on trust and respect and feeling like they have your best interest at heart because, ultimately, they’re going to lobby for you, negotiate for you, advocate for you. When the going gets tough, if there’s a snag along the way, they’re going to make sure it gets done.

Erin: Coming up on REAL TIME because inquiring minds, okay, mind want to know is Sarah Richardson a secret shopper when it comes to finding her next project? The emotions that come into play when we’re buying property and when you should look for the worst house? Really. Have you checked out REALTOR.ca Living Room yet? Come on in. It’s the source for all things home, from articles on market trends and developments in real estate to DIY and all things design right in Sarah Richardson’s wheelhouse.

We’ve got the inspiration you need in one place on Living Room. Oh, don’t miss our open house, fast questions and answers with Sarah Richardson. It’s on the way too on REAL TIME. Just before we get to that though, REALTOR.ca is the most popular and trusted real estate website in Canada, connecting local REALTORS® with Canadians to help with the biggest purchase of their life. Visit REALTOR.ca to meet a REALTOR® near you. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a relationship with your REALTOR® like Sarah has for all these years. 

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m going to guess that when you’re purchasing a home, let’s say a farm in Picton that the people owning it don’t know that Sarah Richardson is coming in, or you run the risk of them adding another zero or something to the end, would that be correct?

Sarah: It depends. I’ve bought stuff under my own name with my husband and also not but I think that– I hope nobody would add. They can’t really ask for more later and one of my specialties is I don’t really roll in hot on a bidding war. I’m not looking for the house that’s picture-perfect, all done, just move in. I’m looking for the ugliest duckling with good bones and hidden potential that I can work some magic on. The other thing is that I try not to get too emotionally invested and it’s so hard because anybody who’s ever tried to buy something, emotions run high, it is a passionate purchase, sometimes we’re at risk of being slightly irrational if you really, really, really want it. I try to find projects that I can take it or leave it because there’s no joy in feeling like you paid too much. That’s where your REALTOR® comes in to say “I wouldn’t go higher than that.” I tend to try and find that that place that’s been overlooked or has sat on the market for too long and really give it a fresh chance.

Erin: I love that your advice is to buy the worst house on the best street.

Sarah: Well, yes, that’s always a good strategy is if you can buy– if you’re thinking about neighbourhood and you’re thinking about school district, and you’re thinking about all of the benefits that come along with being in that place you want to be, absolutely try and find the worst house on the best street because then you get all the lift and all the upside of what everybody else around you has already done. That right there just makes good sense. That always makes good financial sense and I think that the important thing for people to remember is when you’re looking at real estate this is the largest investment you’ll likely ever make. This is always why I say it’s important to trust in a professional. It’s important to use a licensed REALTOR® who really knows because every single penny counts, every thousand dollars counts because that’s the money you’re going to need later to do what you want to do, and to be able to create the results you want to create and the changes you want.

Erin: Sarah, we could talk for hours, but I’m going to give you an open house here and just hit you with a couple of really quick questions here, okay? Tell us about your splurge/save approach.

Sarah: I always think I’m a practical person by nature. I always think that it makes sense to save every step of the way. To examine every purchase from the first purchase to the last purchase and make sure you feel good about it, make sure you feel comfortable. Because if you spend wisely throughout the process, by the time you get to the end there will still be something leftover that you can splurge on, something that really is important to you. Whether it’s a piece of art or a beautiful accessory, a little finishing touch. I’ve always said that there is no glory in overspending on the first thing you buy.

Erin: Should you live in your house during a renovation?

Sarah: You should never live in your house during a renovation. Not, if I’m your designer, you shouldn’t. I think it’s a terrible idea. I know people want to do it, they think they’ll save money. I can just describe it this way, dust is like gas. It goes everywhere. It takes longer. It costs more. It is a strain on your relationship. Your contractor, none of the trades want to meet you in your bathrobe every morning nor do you want to have them greet you. If you can afford to renovate, you need to figure out how to be organized, be efficient, manage what the workload is, manage your budget and go find somewhere else to live for the sake of your relationship. Please.

Erin: Yes. We’ve got this beautiful house we renovated and unfortunately, we’re going to be fighting over it in the divorce.

Sarah: Right. Exactly.

Erin: Your favourite design inspirations, you touched on them briefly, but they’re right at your fingertips. What do you like to open?

Sarah: Oh, I’ve too many inspirations. I’m such a tactile person. For me, there’s so much I love about the digital world about finding inspiration online, but I still love the glory and that tactile feel of books and magazines and just being able to dive in a printed page. Also, what inspires me is anything that is handmade, crafted with purpose and soul and passion. That always means something to me and natural materials.

Erin: Okay. Finally, your favourite design project, Sarah.

Sarah: Oh, my favourite design project is always the next one. I would always say, I don’t think I’ve ever done my best work. I don’t look back and say that was the best thing I’ll ever do. The next thing is always going to be the best thing because I learn and grow and get challenged and inspired every single day and I love what I do.

Erin: Wonderful. There’s a way to take a bit of this home with you today, other than the podcast, of course, and that is Collected by Sarah Richardson, City and Country, a beautiful book, Simon and Schuster. I’ve got volume one in front of me, fresh rooms and new ideas for the best of both worlds, city, and country. Of course, if COVID has taught us anything and it’s taught us a lot, we can blend a whole bunch of things in our lives. Now we don’t have to be in those literal and metaphorical cubicles anymore.

Sarah: Absolutely not. It is a world that is inspiring us to, it’s challenging us and it’s inspiring us, to figure out how to really create comfort and style and happiness at home.

Erin: Thank you. Thank you for sharing this with us and making staying home just a little more beautiful. Thank you, Sarah. We appreciate it.

Sarah: Thank you. I loved chatting with you today.

Erin: Don’t forget if you want to spend more time with Sarah Richardson, just go to sarahrichardsondesign.com. We want to thank her again for her time and her insight and sharing both of those here with us today. 

Now, just before we go, I need to ask you a question. What is the best piece of real estate advice you’ve received during your career? Has somebody shared the most brilliant marketing insights or profound thoughts on managing client relationships? We want to hear about advice you’ve received that had a positive impact on your career. Here’s the number to do it. Jot it down: 1888-768-6793, 1888-768-6793, and leave us a message. Hopefully, it’ll be shared in our next episode. Maybe a call like this one from Vivian in Markham, Ontario.

Vivian: Hi, I’m Vivian Reese from Royal Lepage Your Community. My best advice I ever got was ‘own real estate’. When you work, you make a living. When you buy real estate, you can make a fortune. I believe in this so much. I write about it in my book, Yes, you can. How my little piece of real estate saved me during a very challenging time. Advice: own real estate, guaranteed equity.

Erin: Lovely to hear from you, Vivian, and full disclosure I, narrated her audiobook, Yes, you can. Yes, I did. 

Hey, and if you have some advice you want to share with everyone, call this number, leave a message. 1888-768-6793. Thanks. Just before we go, here’s another reason you’re going to want to subscribe to this podcast. Up next, episode eight, Kelley Keehn, author, personal finance educator, guests from CTVs, Maryland Dennis Show, speaker, and REAL TIME guest. You won’t want to miss it. 

REAL TIME podcast comes to you from Real Family Productions and Rob Whitehead and Alphabet® Creative I’m Erin Davis, talk to you again soon, and don’t forget to subscribe.