Vacation in Designer, Sarah Richardson’s Island Cottage

A few days ago I turned on the TV while having lunch and there was a show on HGTV I had never seen before. A woman who I thought was probably a real estate agent, was showing a young couple several fixer-upper homes that could be renovated and redesigned into the home they really wanted.

As I watched, I kept thinking how much the agent looked like Designer, Sarah Richardson, but I knew it couldn’t be Sarah since she’s not a real estate agent. The more I watched, the more I couldn’t get over the resemblance. I had no idea what show I was watching and didn’t watch it to the end. I almost never see all of any show I watch on TV since I usually just watch during the 15 minutes I’m having a quick bite to eat.

Pat who reads BNOTP, knowing I’m a Sarah Richardson fan, left a comment recently saying Sarah had just designed a new home on Lake Erie and that it’s being featured in the July/August issue of Country Living Magazine.

In the process of Googling for more info. I found that there’s a good reason the woman I saw recently on the house hunting show looked so much like Sarah…it was Sarah! She has a 6 part series called Real Potential that I think has been airing on Canada’s HGTV since last September.

I guess they are just now starting to show it on HGTV here in the U.S. ย Have you seen any episodes? Did you like it? I’d love to see it again now that I know that was Sarah. I really like her personality.

Real Potential with Sarah Richardson


In my Googling, I also discovered another pretty stunning makeover Sarah completed. She purchased a 1950’s cottage and gave it a full renovation with plans to rent it out to vacationing families. So if you like what you see in this post, you can rent it out and stay there in person! The rental site indicated there are only two weeks left available, looks like business is good!

Sarah Richardson’s Rental Cottage

The cottage Sarah purchased is on a remote little island located in the Township of the Archipelago, District of Parry Sound near the Sans Souci area of Georgian Bay. It’s a 30 minute boat ride from Parry Sound. Can you imagine doing a full renovation when you’re that far from stores and shops. Talk about a challenge! No quick runs back to town when you realize you’ve run out of something you need.

This was the exterior of the cottage before the renovation.

Sarah Richardson's Rental Cottage Before Renovation


Here’s how it looked aftewards…I definitely see some changes, especially with the steps/porch area.

Fully Renovated Rental Cottage Belonging to Sarah Richardson


Let’s go inside and take a look at this transformation that took Sarah just six weeks to complete.

Sarah Richardson's Rental Cottage Before Renovation Makeover 1


This was probably a popular look in the 1950s when the home was built. I guess over the years, someone tried painting the cabinets white to brighten it up a bit. Looks like the floors were painted at some point, too. Wonder why they didn’t just refinish them.

Sarah Richardson's Rental Cottage Prior to Makeover


The original kitchen…again very dark. Definitely has that cabin-like feel, doesn’t it?

Ready for the “After?”

Sarah Richardson's Rental Cottage Kitchen Before Renovation


The home is now bright and light-filled and bright! Sarah decided to paint the floors a really pretty green.

Sarah Richardson's Cottage Living Room on Georgian Bay


Amazing views!

Sarah Richardson's Cottage Living Room on Georgian Bay, Parry Sound


How do you like the dining table with its tree branch legs? Fun!

Sarah Richardson's Rental Cottage on Georgian Bay, Parry Sound 18


I’m so glad they didn’t change the fireplace, I love that it looks well used and well-loved.

Sarah Richardson's Living Room, Cottage on Parry Sound


The kitchen saw a dramatic makeover, too. Now it’s open to the living room where the cook can enjoy the beautiful views along with everyone else.

Sarah Richardson's Kitchen in Rental Cottage on Parry Sound, Georgia Bay


Sarah made all her decisions about this renovation knowing it would be a rental property once she was done.

Sarah Richardson's Renovated Cottage Kitchen on Georgia Bay


Some trees were cut down to open up the views to the water. I love how bright and light-filled the master bedroom is, although it would be a challenge to sleep-in, wouldn’t it? Just have to wear once of those eye mask thingies.

Sarah Richardson's Master Bedroom Rental Cottage, Georgian Bay


The views make up for not getting to sleep in!

Sarah Richardson's Master Bedroom on Georgia Bay, Parry Sound


Master Bedroom, Sarah Richardson's Rental Cottage


The guest room with a wonderful deck to enjoy the views with your coffeeย in the morning.

Guest Bedroom in Sarah Richardson's Cottage Home on Parry Sound


I wonder if there’s a small bathroom or shower behind the wall with the skis. I don’t think it is…not enough room.

Guest Room in Rental Cottage Belonging To Sarah Richardson


I’ve always loved Sarah’s choices of color for her designs. She isn’t afraid to use bright colors. Sarah says, “I embrace the opportunity to experiment with new colour palettes whenever the urge strikes. Why live life in black and white when you can surround yourself with a spectrum of colours that deliver youthful, family friendly style at home?”

You can see that philosophy at work here in this adorable blue and white bunk room.

Sarah Richardson's Rental Cottage Blue Bunk Room Getaway on Georgia Bay


This room has lots of sleeping areas. I could see two families renting this cottage together, with the adults getting the larger bedrooms and the kids all bunking in here. I think the top bunks may need safety rails, though. I wonder if they were added later.

Bunk Room. Sarah Richardson


This island cottage also has a mosquito free zone via this cute screened-in porch.

Sarah Richardson Cottage for Rent, Back Porch


Love the soft colors Sarah used here, very soothing!

Sarah Richardson's Rental Cottage Porch


A lovely spot to watch the sun set on another perfect day.

View from Deck of Parry Sound from Sarah Richardson's Rental Cottage


Did you know Sarah wrote a book? It’s her very first and I really enjoyed it! You can read more about it here: Sarah Style

Sarah Style by Sarah Richardson


Update: Sarah has a new book coming out! Going on my wish list! It can be preordered at a savings here: At Home: Sarah Style

At Home Sarah Style by Sarah Richardson
If you would love to rent this cute cottage to enjoy it in person, you’ll find additional information about renting it here: Rent Sarah Richardson’s Island Cottage

See more of this cute cottage at HGTV Canada where these pictures were found, here: Sarah Richardson’s Rental Cottage

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  1. What an adorable little cottage! I am sure I could spend a few nights here enjoying the lake. I am a Lake Erie sailor in the summer and I just love being on the water! Thanks for sharing this, I will look for her home on Lake Erie in the upcoming Country Living. Hugs! Chloe

  2. I love Sarah R too Susan, always thrilled to catch one of her shows! Great tour, I especially liked the painted floors and the tones of blues she used in the bunk room

  3. Patricia says

    What is the color of the floor and the brand of the paint. Love the color.
    Thank you

    • Patricia, I’m not sure. I didn’t see that info in any of the articles on the cottage. There really wasn’t much information at all about the design itself.

  4. That cottage looks very cute and relaxing. I never heard of Sarah before, but she does great work! That sounds like a good show to watch also.

  5. Carol Lupiani says

    I miss seeing Sarah and Candace Olsen on HGTV regularly. HGTV runs their shows periodically from 7:30 am to 12:00 usually on Wednesdays. Sarah is so talented. She uses a neutral palate but adds color in just the right amount.

  6. Thanks for investigating and discovering Sarah’s cottage. Remember to take lots of pictures when you rent it ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. I love Sarah also. Did you see the series when she remodeled and decorated her husbands cottage on an island (I believe it was on an island). The home was her husbands before they married. The remodel was awesome. I believe they remodeled yje house for their use.

  8. I also love Sarah. Love her style of decorating and how she dresses. The green painted floors were great. Thanks for the post.

  9. I’m pretty sure that everything she touches turns to gold!

  10. Love Sarah! Have been watching her various shows for too many years! It would be fun to rent that cottage!

  11. Love all the colors and fabrics she used, very fresh and relaxing!! Those are water skies, not oars……….xoxo

  12. I love Sarah Richardson’s style and personality too, Susan. This cabin looks terrific with her touch. That soft green and the white resonates with me. I am still collecting things in soft yellows, greens and aquas for my someday cottage retreat or home. Someday.

  13. I am dating myself of course, but I think painted floors must have been a trend for cottages in the 50’s. I can see my aunt and her friend spatter painting the black floor in her summer place. They used all sorts of colors which they applied with tooth brushes run over a piece of screen. The result was very cool. I loved the colors and the patterns the spatters made. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Glad you reminded me about Sara I love her work too.

  14. Susan, I must have seen the same few minutes of Sarah’s show while having my lunch too. I thought it was her at first, but it didn’t seem like her kind of show so I wasn’t really sure it was her.

  15. Susan, I have followed Sarah Richardson for years and I saw the series where she actually transformed that cottage. It was amazing how she and Tommy and also her husband, managed to transport all the material. She also re-built a deck separate from the house, to sit and watch the sunrise which you have featured, it was just rotting wood when they began.
    The show you mention, I have not seen yet, so will have to watch for it. I also read her book. She is drawn to Blue and White, as many of us are. Her husband did the solar heating for the house.
    At one point, she and Tommy were sitting on a rock at the edge of the lake, swatting mosquitos away and she laughed and said *not a good advert for my rental property!!* ๐Ÿ™‚

    • lol I think I saw that in a promo video on her site. That’s what I love about her, she just comes right out and says it! ๐Ÿ™‚ I would love to have seen that series on this house. I saw the one on the other cottage…the one she remodeled while she was expecting. I had a feeling she might be drawn to blue and white when I saw the bunk room, thanks for clarifying that.

  16. Dee Anderson says

    In Seattle we got Sarah Richardson’s show regularly, though that was 7 years ago and I can’t remember if it was on a Canadian channel, or what. It was the ONE show I planned to watch, and she has done some pretty amazing houses! There was a farmhouse that is still my favorite house, ever, and a different island house. A city house, and more. Check those out! Amazing!

  17. Love Sarah too!….I have a lot of her “Sarah Sees Potential” DVR’d…and I am so hoping that there is a new house renovation series by Sarah and her ever so funny and talented sidekick Tommy… Love her designs…always so very fresh and “livable”….

  18. Marlene Stephenson says

    This would be a wonderful place to rent, it looks comfy and inviting.

  19. Beautiful property! I’d love to spend some leisure time in this lake side house. That deck out near the water is calling my name!

  20. Remember “Room Service??” She has “come a long way, baby!!” Luv her style!! franki

  21. I love the windows in the blue bedroom. Sarah was my favorite HGTV person, and I’m glad to see her back. She was always realistic about the cost of her renovation projects.

  22. Oh, adorable transformation! Thanks for taking us in Susan!

  23. I love the title “mosquito free zone”, until that one gets in and you can’t find it but you can hear it as it buzzes by your ear. With that being said, I would never leave that room in the spring or fall no matter the temperature outside

  24. $4500 a week to rent that?! Ain’t nobody got time for that!

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