At Floor Coverings International Intown Atlanta, we love to bring you creative insight and perspectives from some of the top influencers on the web. Our latest interview features Atlanta-based podcaster, blogger, and author Sarah Bragg of Surviving Sarah.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
In life now, I am many things—I am a wife, mom, writer, speaker, podcast host and decorator. As a child, I loved to create stories whether it was by writing or imaginary play. After graduating college and working for a minor league baseball team in Chattanooga, TN, I realized that story telling could be a job. From there, I eventually made my way to Atlanta, GA by way of southern California. Over the last 15 years, I have been telling stories by sharing my own life stories on stage, in a book called Body. Beauty. Boys. The Truth About Girls and How We See Ourselves, by decorating homes and hosting a weekly podcast show called Surviving Sarah. I want to come alongside others and help them find beauty and contentment in who they are and where they are. I am able to do that from speaking on stage, writing a blog, hosting a podcast show and decorating homes.
Why did you decide to start a blog? What do you enjoy about blogging?
I feel like a lot of women struggle in life whether it be in relationships, parenting, faith or self-worth which can leave women feeling alone. We often struggle to find contentment with who we are, what we do and where we are in life. I wanted to help women realize that they aren’t alone. I believe the two most powerful words in our language is “me too.” So, I created a blog and weekly podcast show called Surviving Sarah to give women the opportunity to hear from someone else surviving life so that they will be encouraged, inspired, informed and entertained to survive and to know that they aren’t alone.
How would you describe your design style?
I feel like my style is always changing as I evolve as a person. Currently, I would describe my style as Modern Classic. I want our space to feel comfortable and relaxed while having a simple, clean atmosphere and to feel like I can take a deep breath when I walk into the room. I want our house to not only reflect who we are, but also pay homage to who the house is. When we renovated our 100 year farmhouse, we wanted a house with clean lines, white walls and simple furnishings, but we also wanted to be true to what the house would have looked like when it was built.
Where do you find most of your inspiration?
Years ago, my favorite pastime was sitting in Barnes & Noble with coffee while looking through home magazines like Better Homes & Gardens or Southern Living. But between work and kids, I don’t have as much time to hop over to B&N so most of my inspiration comes from Pinterest, Instagram and blogs. Beyond that, the biggest inspiration for me on a daily basis is the outdoors. What I see outside are the colors that influence my home—white and gray clouds, green grass, blue skies, small pops of color in flowers.
Tell us about a recent project or story you’re proud of.
My most favorite project to date was renovating our farmhouse. Up until that point, we had never done a major design job so it was fun to tackle it together as husband and wife. Out of the renovation, our kitchen was my favorite project because we had a huge space to fill, but a small budget. Kitchen renovations can easily cost 50k without blinking. After researching and weighing our options, we decided to use IKEA for our cabinets and countertops.
We really wanted that modern farmhouse feel so we chose the Akurum cabinet and the Adel doors in birch since those doors were all wood and felt heavier than some of the other options. Our painter sanded each door and painted them to match the trim color in our house which is White Dove by Benjamin Moore. Our carpenter added custom molding to the top and bottom of the cabinets along with trim on the sides of the cabinets and island to mimic the design of the Adel fronts. We built our island out of three 36” drawer cabinets. One cabinet on each end of the island and one in the middle facing the oven. Our carpenter built panels around it to fill in the empty space and secured permanently to the floor.
We really wanted to go with Carrera Marble countertops but at the time of our purchase, Ikea had a deal that if you bought a kitchen you received 30% off custom countertops. That was a tough deal to beat so we purchased New Venetian Gold in granite from Ikea. The hardware, straight modern railing pulls in black, added the modern feel and brought out the pieces of black in the countertop. We chose a simple black knob for the upper, upper cabinets. We felt the railing pulls would have been too much up top. We choose classic white subway tile as the backsplash to mix classic with modern.
To keep with a farmhouse feel, we added open shelving and a farmhouse apron front sink with the gooseneck faucet in chrome. We scored all of our major appliances at local Sears Outlets spending a grand total of $6000 on ALL appliances (Electrolux stove/oven, KitchenAid dishwasher, KitchenAid counter depth fridge, KitchenAid Microwave/Convection Oven).
We were able to create our kitchen for around $15,000 total including cabinets, countertops, tile, hardware, appliances and sink.