It’s hard to believe it has been almost three years since my family and I moved back to Dallas after an eight-year stopover in Florida. There are so many incredible interior designers in Big D, and it has been so much fun getting to know them and exploring their portfolios. Today, The Glam Pad is delighted to welcome Sara Johnson, founder of Sara Johnson Interiors, for a Style Profile Q&A. Despite being a native Texan, Sara’s classic style offers a nod to the East Coast, an homage to her family’s roots. She loves blending items, both old and new, and layering in textures, patterns, and colors to create a rich, revived, and edited look. Fun Fact: Sara and I both began college at SMU as journalism majors before making our way into the world of interior design. 🙂 Welcome, Sara!
Q: When did you know you wanted to pursue a career in interior design, and what did your career path look like?
A: I have always had an eye for design and architecture throughout my childhood. As a matter of fact, I chose SMU because of its architecture and the architecture and gardens of neighboring homes. Crazy but true! At SMU, I majored in broadcast journalism with high hopes of becoming the next Katie Couric, all the while keeping my dorm and off campus housing perfectly designed. After I graduated, a real estate opportunity arose to flip some condos near SMU, and the success of this endeavor solidified for me that my true love is in home design and decor. I sold homes for many years before forming Sara Johnson Interiors, focusing on design but always keep real estate assets in mind.
Q: How do you define your style and how has it evolved over the years?
A: I have always been very inspired by New England architecture and design. I spent my childhood summers in Stonington, CT, where my grandparents lived. The coastal, Connecticut homes influence my design and always create a sense of “home” for me. My style is comfortable and livable; traditional and a little modern; a mix of old and new; tailored and sophisticated.
Q: How do you ensure that your designs stand the test of time?
A: Design should always stand the test of time. Ideally, I like to incorporate as much existing furniture, artwork and/or collections a client has; especially if it has sentimental value or tells a story. I can easily breathe new life into existing furniture, and the story it tells or the sentiment it brings is what stands the test of time.
Q: Who are your favorite interior designers, past and present?
A: Jeffrey Bilhuber, Alessandra Branca, Andrew Howard
Q: Do you have any favorite go-to paints, wallpapers , linens, artists, etc.?
A: Thibaut wallpapers are usually my go-to as they are a good price point, which my client’s appreciate, there are a lot of choices, and installation is not complicated. For a high-gloss paint, I turn to Fine Paints of Europe. For tried-and-true paint colors, I love Farrow and Ball. Linens I typically keep simple, but a pop of D. Porthault is always fun! And for art, I like to commission pieces by up and coming artists.
Q: Has Covid changed the way your clients live, and what requests are you receiving as a result?
A: Definitely! For a long time, “open concept” living areas has been preferred, but with so much togetherness during COVID, clients now appreciate more defined and intimate spaces. And, not surprisingly, the home office is becoming a must have.
Q: What are some of your favorite collections and treasures within your own home?
A: My great-grandmother’s Baccarat chandelier that we transported from Connecticut and resized to fit in my dining room; a collection of sterling silver baby cups that were mine and my boys’, artwork we purchased from a local artist in Taos, NM, where we used to own a mountain home; and our beautiful wrought iron bed that we received as a wedding gift from my parents.
Q: What are 5 everyday luxuries you could not live without?
A: Down filled pillows, a steam shower, a turfed backyard so no more muddy shoes from my boys, Nest thermostat, and Amazon.
Q: When you aren’t busy designing, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
A: Estate sales and treasure hunting, afternoon naps, and watching my boys in their sports.
Thank you, Sara, for joining us today! Such a beautiful, timeless, and inspiring portfolio. To learn more about Sara Johnson Interiors, please visit sarajohnsoninteriors.com and follow @sarajohnsoninteriors on Instagram for ongoing inspiration.