Sarah from Sarah Sofia Productions is an event planner and a home decor blogger. She actually worked in the government for a while – first as a supreme court judge’s aide and then as a lobbyist – and all of her life she has excelled in high-stress situations. So she brings this experience into her event and wedding planning business. We asked her about her favorite projects and have some incredible shots to show you.
Let’s dive in.
1. How many years have you been blogging?
I started my business and blog in the fall of 2010 and have been blogging for 9 years.
2. What is your favorite DIY project that you’ve ever done?
As an event and brand stylist, as well as a DIY and home decor blogger, my DIY projects range from event backdrops, balloon garland (before it started trending years ago), tablescapes, seasonal home decor signs, to stenciling walls and placemats. I’m always learning something new. My favorite DIY home decor project is our guest bathroom. I removed the dated wall to wall mirror and learned how to use removable wallpaper all on my own. We wanted to maximize our budget so instead of a new vanity I simply found custom knobs and painted the vanity white. Adding new light fixtures and a round mirror added style and function. These are all relatively simple DIY’s to refresh a bathroom. We ended up retiling the shower/bath and adding new fixtures to complete the look and function.
My favorite event DIY is creating a floral runner for a Friendsgiving using seasonal fruit and flowers. I also made DIY place cards using mini white pumpkins painted gold with calligraphy placecards tied in purple ribbon.
3. Which project are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of refreshing our family room in a 6 weeks design challenge called One Room Challenge. We moved into our home 4 weeks before our youngest child was born and it took us three years to finally have the budget and time to refresh the space. Let’s just say when my husband said “this room is stunning” and couldn’t believe how painting the fireplace, adding custom reclaimed wood mantle, finished gallery wall, designer fabric and a talented upholster can bring new life into our worn furniture I knew I nailed it!
Many people, including my husband, thought this room looked just fine, and it did except for the stained and torn 16-year-old sleeper sofa, broken and non-existent coffee table, and no mantel. Not to mention the hand me down recliner was outdated and the wing back chair I inherited from my grandparents had seen better days as the fabric was beginning to tear at the bottom.
4. What does a day in the life of a DIY blogger look like?
As a creative, my brain is constantly churning with ideas! I’m always planning my next project and content for the blog, finding the right décor, styling, creating a DIY, photographing, editing photos, and writing blog posts. I love to sit and be inspired in my Glam office, with all my party décor. I’m actually starting to re-design this space after 3 years.
5. What kind of lighting do you have set up for your work?
My favorite light is natural bright light. You learn over time when the best time to shoot according to the sunlight. You don’t want a space to be too dark but you also don’t want a space (interior or exterior) to be too bright because of shadows. I use various lighting options to transform a space and add ambiance for an event such as a string of lights, chandeliers, colored spotlights. The same goes for lighting in my home design, using table and floor lamps, chandeliers, overhead lighting, lanterns, etc. Lighting is an easy way to transform a space.
6. Have you ever used a lamp or string lights in a project? If so, please tell us about it.
Adding a string of lights to a child’s bedroom adds a personal and define a space. In my youngest daughter’s bedroom, I added a pink string of lights around the teepee to create a reading nook. In my oldest daughter’s bedroom, I created a girl cave and finished the look with a pink string of lights. I love how our DIY outdoor paver patio turned out, especially defining the space with an outdoor string of lights.
I use lamps all the time for function and design, from tabletop to floor, depending on the space.
7. What is the greatest tip that you could give?
Time, budget and skills are the main reasons obstacles for people doing a DIY project. Start small on a DIY project. Plan your project, including time and budget for materials, as well as design inspiration. Once you complete a small DIY project and realize you can do it, you’ll be motivated to try other challenging projects.
8. What is the hardest thing about doing DIY?
Carving out time and having the budget to do what you want to do. My husband isn’t a DIYer, which means I’m on my own for most of these projects.
9. What’s your secret to staying motivated & inspired long term?
I’ve always been a highly motivated individual. However, my motivation ebbs and flows with my work schedule and juggling family life. In a world that’s 24/7 with social media and new trends popping up all the time, it can be difficult to keep up with it all. Knowing when to shut it off and recharge your battery has helped me to stay motivated. I’m always finding inspiration online or in magazines and saving them in folders for each room in our house, the outdoors, or events. Then I look at my folder and create my own custom look for my home or event from all the various inspirations.
10. What do you think had the biggest impact on making your blog a success?
Blogging has changed significantly since I first started 9 years ago where a blog was on a separate site than your website. I had to learn on my own how to blog. Today, almost every website domain has the option for you to add a blog. Additionally, there are so many college courses on blogging and social media as well as conferences, that didn’t even exist 9 years ago. High-quality content and photography are what make any blog successful. I’m also very social, as in sharing my content on all social media channels. This allows my content to be seen by a much larger audience.
We hope that you enjoyed this awesome interview. If you want to read about other really cool interior designers check out our interview with Michele that bought and renovated her own farmhouse and Christina’s dream of becoming an interior designer.