Sarah’s Blog

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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Absence and the Heart

Thoughts on Home

Last week, Mark was away at a work conference for four days and four nights, not that I was counting. Sensing the void, and vulnerability on my part, my older son requested pancakes for dinner on the first evening, which we followed up with a maple syrup-fueled dance party to the Trolls soundtrack. Things started […]

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Wonders Never Cease

Thoughts on Home

We went to Sugarloaf Mountain for three days during school vacation last week and returned with changed children. The 4- and 6-year-old who had never skied independently began snowplowing down the bunny slope with confidence after a couple of half-day lessons. Cautious and quick-tempered, our kids don’t always take to athletic endeavors easily — both […]

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New Direction

Kitchen Reno

Before I got distracted with kids’ birthday cakes, Ben presented us with a revised kitchen plan! Reimagined without faux posts and beams, the room now incorporates solid upper cabinets on the western wall, as well as the open shelving I wanted. Losing the supports allows us to mount three 9-inch-diameter pendants over our 7 ¼-foot-long […]

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Birthday Party Pondering

Thoughts on Home

William Carlos Williams had his red wheelbarrow; for me, the object “so much depends upon” is a child’s birthday cake. I am not a skilled baker, nor am I particularly crafty or proficient with frosting, and, like most working people I know, I have almost zero free time. And yet, twice a year, I spend […]

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Back to the Drawing Board

Kitchen Reno

Periodically, I have to be reminded that I don’t live in a centuries-old farmhouse. Although I like to imagine our family in a Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn type of place on acres of land, we have chosen to live in Portland for the convenience and the community we have found here. (How […]

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