Sarah Maarek Discusses Summer Trends, Her Favorite Furniture and Decor Brands, and Decorating a Cramped Space

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What patterns, colors, or materials are trending for this summer?


For this summer, the “under the sea” and the “flower power” trends are my favorites. They allow us to use all the beautiful, vivid, and saturated colors, from the turquoise and the navy, to the pink, coral, yellow and greens. The patterns don’t really matter, as long as we feel relaxed. My mojo for the summer trend is “comfort.” When everything is hot and sticky outside, you want to feel the breeze and stay cool inside.


Are there any furniture or décor brands you tend to gravitate to the most when designing a space for a client (perhaps labels that well-represent your personal design aesthetic)? If so, which ones?


Each project is different and I love to use antique unique pieces, so I can’t really refer to one brand. But when it comes to nursery design, the bed is the most important piece in the room. I tend to work a lot with European brands for their quality and aesthetic, as they are fresh, classic, and modern all at once. When you buy a crib for a nursery, you also buy all the sweet memories that come with it: the first night, the first smile, the first everything. And for that, you want a piece that will last a lifetime. I team up with Woodwork a lot. They deliver excellent quality and design.


What is the first question you ask your clients even before you begin the design process, and why is it the most important one to ask?


The first question is always “what do you have in mind?” When a client comes to me they usually trust my judgment and my taste. We are already on the same page. They hire me because they love my universe. But what is very important is to stay true to your client’s way of embracing life. There is a little bit of me in all my projects but much more of my clients. From what they love and what they dislike—and a little bit of my magic—we create a dream.


What strategies would you employ in decorating an exceptionally cramp space (such as a studio apartment, a tiny living room, a small office, etc.)?


The key to a small space is storage. I am obsessed with storages. Everything needs to be perfectly organized and structured. Small space does not necessarily mean small furniture; you just need items that are perfectly scaled for the space. It can mean that some pieces will be oversized to create the illusion of a larger space. My advice: just embrace the space. Don’t pretend—we all know where the walls are. Use the vertical of the wall, as it will give the impression of heights; make it a cocoon, a place where it feels good to leave and relax. Small trick I like to employ: Stick some mirrors all around the window frame. It increases the light and adds volume to the space.




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