...because home doesn't happen overnight.

If you’ve been following along over the years, you’ve heard me tout professional designers like Jessica Helgerson, Emma Reddington and Amber Lewis. They are some of my favorite women to turn to when I’m looking for decorating inspiration or in need of interior eye candy. I study their work and take mental notes on everything from paint colors and furniture placement to artwork and textile mixes. Even though they’re usually working with a bigger budget, their designs can be a sounding board when I’m making selections for my home or a client’s.

I’m always looking for other designers to follow and in 2015 (I wrote 2016 when signing off on the kids’ homework yesterday and it felt so strange!), I fell in love with Samantha Sacks.

sam sacks design 2

This modern-meets-vintage kitchen is what did me in but, really, I’ve been admiring Sacks’s work for years and just now put two and two together that the same person is behind many of my favorite spaces.

sam sacks design 1

When I think of Sacks’s designs, the words modern, mixed, natural, global, unique and livable come to mind – with emphasis on livable. Being a mom of three with a fourth furry “kid” underfoot, Sacks has a knack for creating family-friendly interiors. Busy kids, big dogs, muddy boots, backpacks, homework, toys and even snack time are all taken into consideration.

Hard-wearing materials like oiled wood, natural stone and durable upholstery are utilized often. IKEA products reside amongst splurges like statement lighting. Architectural elements are balanced yet rarely exactly symmetrical to keep things from feeling too perfect. Accessories and artwork are brought in in carefully considered quantities to achieve a personal yet uncluttered vibe. Mixing new and modern with vintage and global keeps everything feeling warm and interesting. (Sacks is particularly fond of upcycling old doors.) All these elements work together to create interiors that really speak to me and my love for all things casual and cozy.

Sacks’s work has been featured in past issues of House & Home and Style at Home but I especially love touring her rooms in video form. The video tours give a better sense of floor plans and scale, and I almost always notice a thing or two not evident in still photos. Here are some virtual room tours from Samantha Sacks for more inspiration. They include client spaces along with Sacks’s current and previous homes. It’s fun to see the pieces that made the move from her previous home to her current one. Proof that truly great pieces are extremely versatile!

A Modern-Meets-Vintage Kitchen

An Elegant Midcentury Modern Mix

Sacks’s Current Tudor Home

Sacks’s Previous Rowhouse Home

Sacks’s Previous Family Kitchen

Is there a designer you find yourself turning to time and again for ideas and inspiration? I’d love to hear your favorites.

P.S. – See my roundup of favorite real home tours from last year. I still ogle them.

images: 1) Donna Griffith 2) Michael Graydon, Samantha Sacks

43 Comments

05.January.2016

I 100% agree with you on all of your inspirations! Though she’s not a professional interior designer, I pull a lot of inspiration from Sarah Sherman Samuel. (http://sarahshermansamuel.com) I love her style and what she’s done with her home.

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replied on January 5th, 2016

Yes, yes, yes! Sarah is another fave. (Emily Henderson and Lauren Liess don’t have formal design educations.) Have you read Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book Big Magic? She talks about how formal educations can sometimes even stifle creative careers by landing writers, designers, makers, artists, etc. in big debt and wiping away their unique voices and visions. Such an interesting thought!

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replied on January 5th, 2016

No, but I need to after your description! I’m a graphic designer that did go through a formal college program, but know some very talented designers who are self taught. Thanks for the book recommendation!

PS…your home is also a constant inspiration to me–style, function and livability :)

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replied on January 22nd, 2016

Hi ladies, thanks so much for the kind words and thinking of me! Although, I wanted to say I actually am a formally trained and professional designer. I went to college for 5 years (thanks to a change in majors from fine art to design and that is far too long not to get credit for. haha) so I do have my bachelor’s degree in design. Although in graphic design too. xx

replied on January 26th, 2016

Thanks for chiming in, Sarah! :)

05.January.2016

Emily Henderson is one of my favorites!

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replied on January 5th, 2016

She’s so good at mixing vintage + Target!

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05.January.2016

Well known in hgtv land – I love Genevieve Gorder – organic design that’s livable. I was so excited to hear she’s going to be designing a line for Land of Nod. I also love Sarah Richardson and am really mad at hgtv for not airing her shows in the US anymore. Amy Morris and the team behind Studio McGee are my favorites outside the hgtv world

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05.January.2016

Roman Alonso and the team at Commune Design make beautiful, unique spaces that are unrivaled in originality, and what I would call “authenticity.” http://www.communedesign.com/portfolio/residential

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replied on January 6th, 2016

Love Commune as well. Do you have their book? It is soooo good. Chock full of inspiration.

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05.January.2016

Thanks for sharing! Always love learning about designers I’m not familiar with and getting new inspiration!

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05.January.2016

WOW!!! Super fun to see video clips of actual homes and hear the voice of the designer!! Love Samantha’s style…: )
Happy New Year Dana!!
Leah: )

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05.January.2016

Also from H&H: editor Suzanne Dimma’s island cottage (http://houseandhome.com/video/suzanne-dimmas-cottage/), my all-time favorite cabin. And I like what Naomi Stein does for her One-Room Challenge projects, especially this one: http://www.designmanifest.com/inspiration/one-room-challenge-the-lounge-week-6/.

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replied on January 6th, 2016

Yes and yes to both of those!!

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05.January.2016

Emily Henderson and Young House Love are my Tier 1 for inspiration. I can spend hours on those sites, they’re like Wikipedia.

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05.January.2016

I recently discovered that first kitchen photo and loved it so much, I shared it with my boss (we work in residential construction)! Thanks for letting me know who designed it.

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05.January.2016

The images in your posts recently have been super low resolution (blurry and hard to see). Not sure if you’ve made any changes to the blog but thought you should know. I’m on an iPad in case that makes a difference.

P.S. I love your blog!

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replied on January 6th, 2016

Hmmmm…everything is clear on my laptop but I do see what you’re talking about when I try to view the posts on the iPad. Let me see what I can figure out. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

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replied on January 6th, 2016

It appears that the current version of WordPress is to blame. I have had so many issues after updating to the 4.4.1 version. Blurry images aren’t the only problem. Grrrr…going to see what I can do. For what it’s worth, it looks like images are appearing correctly on computer screens and iPhones. It seems it’s only an issue on iPads…is this what you’re seeing on your end as well??

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replied on January 11th, 2016

I read on an IPad also & have been complaining to my husband the pictures are blurry lately. I’ve dropped it a few times so I thought that was the problem. (And hoping he would buy me a new one.)
Since he hasn’t, I guess I should switch to the computer if I run into problems with other blogs.

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replied on January 11th, 2016

Are you still having issues with blurry images on your iPad?

replied on January 12th, 2016

Everything is good. Now if I can just get my other blog reads to do whatever it was that you did.

replied on January 12th, 2016

On my end, it was a glitch in the newest version of WordPress. Maybe passing along that info will help?

replied on January 6th, 2016

Okay, fingers crossed, I think I’ve resolved the issue. Images on the iPad should be clear now. Let me know if you have anymore problems! Thanks for the feedback and, as always, thanks for reading.

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replied on January 6th, 2016

Yep, it’s all good now! Thanks :)

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replied on January 6th, 2016

Great!

05.January.2016

Beautiful photos :)
Maria V.

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05.January.2016

Lauren Liess and Thom Filicia!!!

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replied on January 6th, 2016

I have heart eyes for them as well!

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05.January.2016

I have never heard of Samantha Sacks. Thank you for sharing her work. I find she pays a lot of attention to detail. Every piece is carefully chosen and has a unique shape like the light fixtures to the original stool and chair shapes.

I find the placement of the area rug in the living room (third pic) very interesting. I would not have thought of putting the coffee table in front of the area rug. Very nice!

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05.January.2016

Ooooh never heard of Sacks but these are fab. I can totally see why youre drawn to her. You know im a total maximalist so i pretty much love every space touched by Anna Spiro, Jamie Mears, and Abigail Ahern.

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You are making me fall in love with her too! I also love Emily and Lauren!

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05.January.2016

Some Canadian gals !!! Have you seen Sam’s cottage – done on a dime and it’s a stunner

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replied on January 6th, 2016

Yes! Love it as well.

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06.January.2016

I have an eclectic taste, so I’m drawn to many different designers. I love Palmer Weiss, Blackband Design, and Studio McGee!

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06.January.2016

This isn’t a designer I’m familiar with and her aesthetic is a bit more bohemian than what I’m typically drawn to, but liveable + light and airy speaks to me. Thanks for this introduction!

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06.January.2016

that kitchen is stunning. i love the warm wood tone with the classic white subway tile. dream kitchen for sure right there!

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06.January.2016

as a fellow Canadian, so stoked Samantha sacks is being recognized for her designer brilliance! that kitchen in the top picture- perfection!

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06.January.2016

oh my gosh I adore that light fixture. and this kitchen. We are getting ready to re do our kitchen – def pinning this one to our inspiration board!

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07.January.2016

Thank you for sharing. I love how collaborative you are.

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10.January.2016

Beautiful inspiration, Dana!

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12.January.2016

Hi Dana, thanks for the awesome shout-out. Such a thrill to see people like my work. Can’t thank you enough!
Sam

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replied on January 12th, 2016

Oh my! I’m equally thrilled that you took the time to comment. I love your work! Thanks for all the inspiration. xoxo

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