With wise quips and upbeat optimism, there's a reason why so many have turned to @saraparsons for daily inspiration. A photographer, avid gardener, and mother of three, Sara documents life with her family in Washington with refreshing honesty. Alongside her many talents, all it takes is a quick peek at her charming abode to see she also has a knack for mixing styles with simplicity and ease. Finding ourselves enamored with her elegant aesthetic and positive energy, we caught up with Sara to learn more about her creative approach, dreamy gardenscape, and Schoolhouse favorites.
Tell us about your home! How long have you lived there, and what was it like when you moved in?
My husband and I designed and built our home a little over 14 years ago. We had it framed and then my husband did the majority of the work himself. We had two kids at the time, the youngest being only a year old. It was a busy and exhausting season in life, but I feel so fortunate we were able to do it.
How has the pandemic affected you and your family these past few months?
We’re living in such a strange time right now. It can all feel so overwhelming. I’m the type of person that needs to focus on the good and try to find a silver lining. I think 2020 has definitely brought our family closer together and given us a new appreciation for where we live.
You’ve been a long-time fan of Schoolhouse! What initially drew you to our brand?
The first thing that drew me to Schoolhouse was the clocks. I wanted one for my kitchen for a long time. It was a very happy day when I finally got one. I think that might have been 7 or 8 years ago now!
Where do you find inspiration for your home?
I've been getting tons of inspiration for my home from Instagram lately. Back in the old days, I used to always create mood boards by cutting things out of magazines. I think I still have the ones I made before we built our home. Now, I just click the "save" button on Instagram whenever I see a photo of a room I love.
What’s your favorite room in your home and why?
When we first moved into our home, my favorite room was the kitchen. Then, around four years ago, we finished off our attic space and converted it into our bedroom suite, and that quickly became my favorite room. But, last summer, we started building an addition off of our living room, and it easily became the favorite spot in the house for everyone. The wall of windows and the cozy feel of the space make me never want to leave the room.
You have one of the dreamiest bathrooms on earth, and your bath time setup always looks so cozy. What are your favorite self-care tricks for a calming bath?
Our old bedroom downstairs doesn’t have a bathtub, so I knew when we were designing our new bathroom in the attic that I wanted a claw foot tub. Taking a bath has truly become one of my favorite things to do. I love putting a few drops of essential oils in there, lighting all the candles, and just relaxing. Honestly though, taking a shower in our new bathroom is almost as good as taking a bath. Our bathroom has become our little oasis.
What does an ideal summer weekend look like for your family? Is it different this year?
We’re pretty spoiled with where we live. We love taking drives on our little island and going for hikes or ending up at our favorite beach for a barbecue with friends.
Tell us about your garden! How long have you been gardening and what are you currently growing?
I’ve always loved gardening. I grew up watching my mom tend to hers. There’s something so satisfying and beautiful about starting something from seed and watching it grow. I grew a lot of flowers this year, and I think my favorite out of all of them is my stock. It smells so good. I think my husband needs to make me a little flower stand so I can bless people with some garden bouquets next summer. Along with flowers, I grow strawberries, a lot of lettuce varieties, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, green beans, onions, sugar snap peas, blueberries, and raspberries.
What are your top 5 favorite Schoolhouse items?
Out of all the Schoolhouse items I have in my home, I think my favorites are the entryway light, dining room light, and the Luna Pendant in our new room addition. If I could choose any two items I wanted right now from your catalog, it would be the Andy Stool for by my piano and the Equestrian Sofa for the family room upstairs (that I never show photos of because it struggles!). Or maybe, I’d get two Ray Sconces for our stairway wall...or the Popcorn Grid Coverlet. Basically, I love and want everything from Schoolhouse!
What are you most looking forward to still this year?
My husband and I have a few projects we hope to start and finish this summer. One of them being a greenhouse, which I’m super excited about! Also, this fall, my oldest is going into her senior year of high school. It’s hard to know how the rest of this year will unfold, but I’m choosing to remain hopeful.
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Photography by Sara Parsons