Sarah’s Blog

Mother’s Day

Thoughts on Home

There are moments with my family when my thoughts recede and I feel as though I’m viewing a scene through the eyes of my future self. When I’m “looking back,” the peripheral drama and frustrations fade away and I see only the visceral beauty in a particular snippet. The mental separation also brings the fleeting […]

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Town and Country

Thoughts on Home

The other day, the sound of chainsaws on my Portland street, and the accompanying scent of freshly cut tree limbs, instantly transported me to my family’s first home in Buxton. I only lived in the small ranch my parents built in the rural town until I was five, but the memories I have of stacking […]

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Building on an Island

Home Building

I am excited to introduce guest blogger, Laura Serino, who is currently toughing out a home building project on North Haven island. Laura will be contributing a series of posts, starting with this one about the challenges of building in an isolated location. Leave a note and let her know what you think of her […]

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Rainy Day Reflections

Kitchen Reno

Nine years ago, on the September day Hurricane Kyle was upgraded from a tropical storm and blew in from Bermuda, Mark and I were married on Portland’s Great Diamond Island. Watching the weather forecasts inch closer to “100 percent chance of precipitation” during the week before the event, I fell into a deep despair. How […]

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The Reveal

Kitchen Reno

Last Saturday — precisely four weeks after Mark and his brother demoed our kitchen — Ben and Mike put in a 10-hour day and largely wrapped up the renovation. Once again, they had plenty of help: Here’s how things looked before and after: Note how we used to use the top and sides of the refrigerator […]

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Stealing the Show

Kitchen Reno

For my first job after college, I worked at In Style magazine in New York as an editorial assistant — a role that encompassed answering phones, ordering lunch, fact-checking, writing short pieces, and covering celebrity events. At 23, I didn’t excel at these tasks, and routinely hung up on callers when attempting to connect them, […]

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Progress Report

Kitchen Reno

I have never created a space of my own. In the apartments I’ve inhabited, and in our current home, I’ve decorated, of course, but when it comes to the layout and structural components of a room, I’ve largely lived with other people’s decisions. And so, after Ben and Mike spent 12 hours on Saturday installing […]

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Dialing Back Dinner

Thoughts on Home

The most efficient professional women — the ones who balance career and family demands while also finding hours each week for exercise and leisure activities — don’t give much thought to dinner, time management expert Laura Vanderkam told me for a story I wrote a few years back. Analyzing hour-by-hour time logs from 143 working […]

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A Clean Slate

Kitchen Reno

So this happened over the weekend: Mark and his brother pulled everything out of our kitchen, revealing the second-floor joists and planked subfloor, along with layers of wallpaper and an adorable vintage flue cover I’d never seen before: Meantime, I spent the weekend on an emotional seesaw, alternating between giddy excitement about the new space and […]

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Photo courtesy of West Elm

Shifting Out of Neutral

Decorating

A few years ago, I wrote a paint color story for Real Simple that had me psychoanalyzing all of my friends. “People who use warm tones tend to be friendly and nurturing — they love having others over,” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, told me for the piece, which certainly applies […]

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