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The Arts & Crafts Maximalist Home & Fishermans Cottage – Sarah Laming

May 29, 2020

Today we get to swoon over not one but two incredible homes of Sarah Laming. Sarah aka @ahometomakeyousmile was our April @eclectically_made winner over on Instagram. Her talent for creating unique and beautiful homes is evident at first glance. But more importantly, Sarah has taken into account the style and character of each abode.

The Arts & Crafts Maximalist Home & Fishermans Cottage – Sarah Laming

Arts & Crafts Maximalist Home - living room decor Inpso

Sarah’s main residence is a London Arts & Crafts property, the other an English seaside cottage. Each property has been sympathetically designed to suit location and period style. It’s something that a lot of us forget to consider when decorating our homes. An example of which is the abundance of DIY wall panelling to modern houses that perhaps should be kept to those Victorian/Georgian properties with taller ceilings. Of course, it’s all down to personal preference but I do love that Sarah has been mindful of each properties architecture, era and location.


Arts & Crafts Maximalist Home - living room decor Inpso

Sarah has lived in their Arts & Crafts London home with her husband, two teenage children and two dogs for the past 15 years. It’s a totally unique property and was originally commissioned for the Village doctor.  About 12 years ago Sarah and her husband completely renovated it but were mindful to keep the original artisan features. It’s Sarah’s love of her unique and distinctive home that has instilled her passion for Interior Design.

Sarah’s Maximalist Arts & Crafts London House

Arts & Crafts Maximalist Home - living room decor Inpso

You’ll discover two very different design approaches to Sarah’s London Arts & Crafts home to that of her Broadstairs cottage. Which is a wonderful reflection of her consideration to their location and architecture. Her main London residence is filled with colour and pattern. And I love Sarah’s interpretation of the Arts & Crafts movement in her home.

I work hard to ‘listen’ to each home, to understand their heritage and story and build on their own features.

Sarah Laming – @ahometomakeyousmile

Fisherman’s Cottage…

Fishermans Cottage bedroom using vintage shutters with newer decor and subtle colour palette
Old French Shutters that form a headboard are paired with pretty prints and delicate colours to Sarah’s Fishmeman’s Cottage bedroom.

Sarah and her husband also own a small Fishermans Cottage by the sea in Broadstairs, Kent which they have also renovated. Their future plans are to let it as a holiday home, although they keep putting off as they love to be there themselves. And I’m not surprised.

Fishermans Cottage bedroom using vintage furniture with newer decor and subtle muted colour palette

Filled to the brim with vintage treasures their Fishermans Cottage has a distinctive relaxed charm to it. Sarah has sourced from antique fairs, eBay and an Instagram favourite @fabulousvintagefinds.

Fishermans Cottage bedroom using vintage furniture with newer decor and subtle colour palette

A softer more muted colour palette sets the tone for Sarah’s cottage by the sea and is perfectly suited to the properties age and location. There’s definitely a more calm unrestrained holiday vibe and must be a dream to visit.

Fishermans Cottage bedroom using vintage shutters with newer decor and subtle colour palette

Texture is an amazing design element to help create a desired look and feel of a property. I love how Sarah has used rustic and aged textural details that contrast beautifully with delicate pattern and soft muted tones. These design elements not only create interest but help to create a wonderfully calm and inviting ambience to the cottage.

Sarah’s Style…

Green Arts & Crafts Dining room maximalist style decor
The Green Room at Sarah’s Arts & Crafts London home

Having studied Interior Design at the prestigious Chelsea College of Art and Design, Sarah has developed a real passion for English Country Houses and Cottages.  Her favourite classic designers are Ben Pentreath and Daniel Slowik.  Their use of old fashioned colour palettes of blues, yellows, pinks and greens have inspired Sarah to introduce them into her home/s. And if you have the same passion as Sarah, you might want to join her following @bibleofbritishtaste where you’ll find an abundance of inspiration from the likes of  @theworldofinteriors @countrylifemagazine.

Arts & Crafts Home yellow Kitchen decor

One of the core characteristics of the Arts and Crafts movement is the value of simplicity and inherent beauty of the material. Sarah has definitely taken this onboard whilst designing her home. Her choice of colour and floral detail (another nod to the Arts and Crafts movement) adds to the overall aesthetic and charm of their home.

I love to mix old and new, pattern and texture, and I love to use colour.  I enjoy layering and am drawn to ‘quirky’.  When you walk into a room of mine, I want your eyes to be spoilt for choice as to what to look at and enjoy. There will always something else to see.

Sarah Laming @ahometomakeyousmile

Bold Decorating Choices…

Arts & Crafts House uses paint to create a a seamless backdrop to showcase art and book collections

I’ve written several times before about how painting in one colour helps create a sense of space blurring lines. Sarah has taken this concept one step further by including the ceiling and shelves to create a seamless dark backdrop. The result, her colourful book collection and art take centre stage with their vibrancy. I also love how Sarah has used a rug to create a visual pathway which also reinforces the impact of colour to this space.

Sarah’s eye for colour and pattern really shine through in her London Arts & Crafts home. And if there’s one thing you’ll have noticed it’s Sarah’s ability to go bold and use colour to its full effect.

When I was recently featured in The Spruce in their Top 10 Maximalist Interiors accounts, they wrote, “Sarah’s feed features her take on maximalist ideas in her home feel, which feels classic and timeless.  While it’s certainly maximalism, her photos still give off a peaceful vibe”

Sarah Laming – @ahometomakeyousmile

Sarah’s Floral Love Affair…

Part of Sarah’s love of English design includes a passion for floral detail something I can relate to myself with my own home. You’ll discover pretty floral fabrics and prints in both her homes.

I own three totally different floral sofas, a floral table, have lots of faux flowers mixed in with real ones, love floral paintings and am always on the hunt for vintage floral lamps. So far I have two!

Sarah Laming – @ahometomakeyousmile

Small Space Creativity!

Arts & Crafts home - cloakroom decorated with Faded Glamour Noir Floral wallpaper from Woodchip & Magnolia.
Apprehensive about hanging art on her newly decorated Pearl Lowe walls, Sarah decided to use an old bamboo ladder to add an additional layer of floral art to this room.

I’m particularly smitten with Sarah’s newly wallpapered cloakroom. Sarah has used one of my favourite designs from wallpaper designer, Pearl Lowe. It’s her beautiful Faded Glamour Noir Floral wallpaper from Woodchip & Magnolia. It looks fabulous against the dark woodwork and ceiling. I also love the detail of the art hung on an old ladder reinforcing Sarah’s love of all things floral.

STYLE TIP: Don’t be afraid to paint your ceilings and woodwork the same colour and add contrasting decorative wallpaper. Small spaces such as cloakrooms are great ways to experiment colour and pattern to gain your own colour/pattern confidence.

I spend hours trawling antique fairs such as Ardingly and Kempton for treasures, and far too long on eBay too.  I love objects and furniture that have their stories to tell and have lived their lives.

Sarah – @ahometomakeyousmile

Designing Your Home With Treasured Finds

Arts & Crafts Bathroom with vintage pink sink

Sarah’s love affair with treasured finds holds no boundaries especially when she has set her heart on something. This pretty vintage pink sink which came all the way from Maryland US.

In fact, you’ll find both Sarah’s homes are formed from a curation of found and treasured objects. Each piece holds meaning and/or purpose to Sarah and her family. They are formed of cherished, inherited pieces to quirky unusual finds her homes. Each adds character and interest to Sarah’s beautiful home.

Arts & Crafts home - vibrant children bedroom with trapeze
How much fun is this trapeze in Sarah’s daughters bedroom.

Great Homes Take Time…

Arts & Craft entrance hall with vintage finds and oversized ostrich feather pendant
Sarah’s entrance hallway where the huge pendant light made from Ostrich feathers adds softness and texture to this space.

Sarah’s main residence has taken years to create a home that reflects each of those that live there. It’s a home that lives and breathes the personalities of Sarah and her family, from its piles of books and quirky finds that add interest, meaning and purpose. It is lived in and is loved which is how a home should look and feel.

Each space is carefully curated and styled to perfection whilst allowing life to be lived fully.

Creating a home that you’ll love takes time something we tend to forget when we set about redesigning a space. Even when you’re done decorating, you’ll find that you and your home will change and adapt to your life’s journey. Both of Sarah’s properties are a great example of how great homes take time to come together. In fact, they really are never completely finished when you think of how much we grow in terms of our own personal style and personalities.

In some ways my design approach is to take the life and stories that are inherent in houses, rooms and decorations and intertwine them with my own personal life and story. The result is always a fusion of both.

Sarah Laming – @ahometomakeyousmile

The Arts & Crafts Maximalist Home & Fishermans Cottage – Sarah Laming

If you’ve loved exploring Sarah’s two homes today, you might want to go check out her Instagram account @ahometomakeyousmile. It is as Sarah so perfectly says, “recognition that we all are at our happiest where ‘we’ and ‘the world’ meet”. And, if you’d like a chance to have your home featured, don’t forget to follow me and all my wonderful cohosts over at @eclectically_made.

Until next time, thanks as always for stopping by!

Maria xx

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