Renovation, Inspiration

Interior And Exterior Design Services

Sarah Edwards, interior and exterior designer and owner of Renovation Inspiration, displays a tray of samples. Photo by Beverly Kehe-Rowland

SUGAR GROVE — When Sarah Edwards was a child, her artistic talents and passion for design had already shone through. She remembers moving the furniture when her mother was away from home.

“My artistic flare started at a young age on the farm. I would play in the hay bales and arrange them like floor plans,” said the Sugar Grove woman. “My parents inherited the family farmhouse and my mother would let me assist in making renovation decisions at thirteen (years old).”

After graduating high school, she studied interior design at Art Institute of Pittsburgh, graduating in 2001. From there she began working at Lakewood Furniture Gallery, where she can still be found on Thursdays for appointments. The interior and exterior designer started Renovation Inspiration in 2009, which has been growing every year.

“I am passionate about what I do and helping people. I enjoy learning about people and consistently meeting new people.” she states. “Homes are intimate spaces. We unwind, entertain, grow up, connect with people and make memories in them.”

Her business provides functional, durable and personal interior and exterior design solutions and home design expertise. Assistance with kitchen and bath design, finish selection, color consulting and built-in cabinetry, along with fireplace design, custom furniture, fabric selection and window treatments are all services she provides.

Family Pastry is easy to prepare. It may serve as a delicious dessert or a breakfast pastry. Photo by Beverly Kehe-Rowland

“I love to work with fabric,” she declares and adds, “There is no project too big or too small. I am inspired to create beautiful, comfortable, inviting spaces from lake cottages to new builds.”

She gets to know the client, many of which work with her for six months to one year, on a very personal level.

“A lot of my clients become lifetime friends. I want and need to know the details of my client. I let the details soak in and marinate and sleep on them. Sometimes inspiration wakes me up. I get a lot of ideas during the night.”

She is inspired by many things, including food, architecture and nature.

“My blessing and curse is I’m always noticing what small changes could make a difference,” she says. “I feel that way about everything.”

This beautiful Beet Salad is an attractive dish to serve dinner guests. Photo by Beverly Kehe-Rowland

Her personality is bubbly, but she feels she comes across as reserved, even though she “can have the loudest laugh at the party.”

Her own home has a warm, welcoming feeling with many personal touches, where old has been mixed with new, along with a bit of unique. A beam from her family’s 1862 barn serves as a mantel above the home’s fireplace. Three bottles found during trips to Lake Erie sit on that mantel. In the dining room, a basket made of chicken wire holds numerous old clock parts. Some of the designer’s artwork is displayed on the walls. “I like to incorporate texture and age to create warm, comfortable living spaces,” she says.

The largest percentage of her business is done in Bemus Point, Lakewood and Chautauqua Institution, although she will travel anywhere up to an hour drive. Many clients live outside of New York State with a local home.

“I can be their project manager when they’re not here.”

She has experience working with local vendors, enabling her to connect the client with their services. One of the businesses she works with is Working By Design owned by Meg Lilja, who creates custom window treatments.

She has three daughters. Maya is a freshman at Jamestown Community College, Paige is a freshman at Eisenhower Middle-High School and Layla is in fifth grade.

“They’re my life,” she said.

Although her work and her children are her main interests, she has many others, such as doing mixed media abstract art, sometimes incorporating found objects, such as architectural trim pieces, clock parts and old bottles. Designing wire and leather jewelry are other hobbies.

“I can hang out with the kids and sit on the sofa and pull out (jewelry projects) at the same time,” she said. “I like to keep my hands busy.”

She loves to flower garden with both annuals and perennials and spend time outside in fresh air with her hands in the dirt, arranging flowers in the ground.”

She had a good mentor in her Grandmother Lawson, who won many ribbons at the county fair for flower arranging.

Ms. Edwards started baking with her mom, Sherry Lawson, when she was between eight and ten years old.

I always liked baking because I have a sweet tooth.”

She remembers eating strawberry-rhubarb pie with Grandma Lawson.

“My aunt and Mom always used her recipes,” says the granddaughter. “I still make strawberry-rhubarb pie.”

She has included a few recipes that her family enjoys.

“The Pineapple Souffle compliments ham nicely or is lovely served warm with vanilla ice cream.”

Renovation Inspiration has a great Facebook page with many design pictures. Sarah Edwards can be reached at renovationinteriors@gmail.com.

Beet Salad

4 beets

1-2 T EVOO

3 T favorite balsamic

salt

pepper

5 to 6 c arugula

2 oz crumbled bleu cheese

2 T walnuts or pecans

Scrub beets and boil in water for 40 minutes. Remove peel under cool water. Mix balsamic and EVOO and heat on low until simmering. Add sliced beets and S&P to taste. Remove from heat allow to cool. Divide arugula between 4 plates. Put beets on lettuce. Top with cheese and nuts. Serves 4.

Pineapple Souffle

3 eggs

2 T flour

1 1/2 c sugar

20 oz crushed pineapple, drained well

1c butter

5 slices white bread, cubed

Beat first three ingredients with electric mixer. Fold in pineapple and set aside. In large frying pan, melt butter and toss in bread cubes. Coat all bread and absorb all butter. Stir bread cubes into pineapple mixture. Pour into a 9-inch by 9-inch buttered baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until dish is set. Serves 6 to 8.

Spinach Tortellini Soup

60 oz chicken stock

1/2 c chopped onion

1/2 c chopped celery

1 c chopped carrot

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp red pepper

1 bag baby spinach

frozen tortellini (cheese or meat)

Combine all ingredients in large pan, except tortellini and spinach. Boil for 25 minutes. Add Spinach and tortellini slow boil for 5 to 8 additional minutes. Serves 6.

Family Pastry

Crust:

1 stick butter

1 c flour

3 T water

Combine and then divide in half. Spread each half on its own cookie sheet.

Filling:

1 c water

1 stick butter

1 tsp vanilla

1 c flour

3 eggs

Bring water and butter to boil. Reduce to simmer. Add vanilla and then boil for one minute. Remove from heat and then whisk in flour until well combined. Add eggs and whisk until combined. Divide in half. Spread filling on crust. Bake in 350 degree oven for 35 minutes.

Frosting:

2 c powdered sugar

1/4c soft butter

11/2 T milk

1 tsp almond extract

sliced almonds or mini chocolate chips

Combine ingredients and beat well. Spread over cooled pastry. Top with almonds or chips. Serves 10.

Berry Bread Pudding

4 large croissants

1 c blueberries

1/2 c raspberries or blackberries

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

2/3 c sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 c milk

2 T powdered sugar for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan. Cut croissant into 1″ pieces and add to baking pan. Sprinkle with fruit. Beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Slowly add milk and beat till combined. Pour over bread and fruit. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until puffy and browned. Remove from oven. Cool for five minutes. Dust with powdered sugar. Serves six.

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