For Sarah Hartman, sourcing quality furniture and home decor for a fraction of the original cost at estate sales or online is a challenge — and a thrill — that helped her furnish her Overland Park ranch.
“I believe I can find anything on Craigslist,” Sarah says. “And I bet I can find it for $50.”
From rugs to light fixtures to an upholstered bedroom headboard, Sarah knows how to sniff out a deal.
“Every transaction has been a crazy weird exchange between strangers bargaining,” she says.
She also has a natural ability to integrate these found items into her home with aplomb. She calls her design aesthetic “midcentury ’80s,” and she adores anything brass and the color teal.
“I don’t like everything to be new,” says Sarah, who purchased only her living room couch at retail price from a store.
Sarah’s penchant for thrift and vintage came in handy after she and husband Mick bought their house in January 2015 from an ideal seller: Someone who invested in a new furnace and windows but hadn’t touched the interiors in decades. It was all dark wood paneling, mismatched 1970s appliances and red carpeting — perfect for a couple who wanted to update, but not redo the entire place.
Mick removed a wall with a pass-through between the kitchen and living space to improve the traffic flow. They ripped out the bathroom to the studs, but kept the kitchen’s U-shaped layout and original wood cabinets. Then they painted the paneling white and lightened the peg wood floors to blond.
“We like things simple and clean,” Sarah says.
But she’s not afraid to experiment with unusual pops of color in textiles. Sarah lived in Uganda for two years, which lends a global influence to her style, mostly seen in fabrics.
“I didn’t want to bring home touristy crafts,” Sarah says, so she sought out local artists and made a hobby of visiting fabric markets, returning with three suitcases full.
The textiles featured in the home clash in pattern, from bold tropical leaves to a subdued kilim ottoman, but that doesn’t bother Sarah at all.
“In Africa, everything goes together,” she says.
That’s also true in this suburban house, which mixes eras, continents and heirlooms into a cohesive, comfortable home with stories in every corner.