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Sarah Sherman Samuel Swears By This Spray-Paint Trick

Intel from our first-ever Instagram Live.
Sarah sherman Samuel with kids in living room

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Sarah Sherman Samuel’s days include stretchy jeans and “Baby Shark” on repeat. Like everyone, the designer (and our Winter issue cover star) is adapting to new life indoors—and we got some insight into just what that looks like during our Instagram Live session with her on April 16.

The virtual hangout started with a mini tour of her recently completed house in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We walked through her son Archie’s forest green bedroom (home to the coolest bunk beds in the game) and made a pit stop at her daughter Clover’s nursery. We also chatted about everything from Samuel’s early-morning must-haves (hint: she’s not a coffee person) to her latest self-isolation project—in short, there’s a lot we covered, though if you missed the in-person discussion, don’t worry. We saved you the highlight reel.

What do your mornings look like nowadays? I start the day in my pantry. My favorite mug is from Stoffer Home, a local store. I have my electric kettle, tea, and milk nearby, and that’s the whole routine. My husband and I take turns getting up with the kids every morning; whoever wakes up with them also does the school in the morning, and the other one gets to have a quiet minute to themselves.

Why did you put the fridge in the pantry? It’s one of my favorite things we did during the renovation (we used California Closets). I wanted to be able to have an appliance garage so the rest of the kitchen could be clutter-free. Everything has its space: The healthy snacks are on the bottom shelves so the kids can easily access them.

Have you tackled any projects while you’ve been staying at home? The bookshelves in Clover’s room. I used painter’s tape just to get an idea for the rough scale. The most important was the top-shelf placement, because I wanted it to sync with the nearby sconce; the bottom was the second most important one, so Clover could reach it. Once everything was taped off, I put the screws in and leveled them out. I did the taping and hanging on separate days, but those only took about 15 minutes each.

Tell us about the ceiling in Archie’s bedroom! I eyeballed the stripes—I wanted them to not be perfect anyway. I used tape to get the corners, and it took a few hours one afternoon to paint it.

What’s the story behind Clover’s bright pink dresser? I have my own paint sprayer, so if it’s a big project (like kitchen cabinets), I just use that. But when it’s for something small like this, it sounded like a giant pain in the butt to drag all the equipment out. Sherwin-Williams will make you spray cans at the store. You just have to buy a specific kind of oil-based paint. I picked Audrey’s Blush, and it’s a really clean finish.

How did you hang the mirror above your bed? We stuck eye hooks in the piece and into the ceiling, tied together with fishing lines so it looks like it’s floating.

Shop the most-asked-about pieces from Samuel’s home:

Muse in u0022Desertu0022, Kate Zaremba Company ($5+)

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Nouss Nouss 1

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Light Wood Counter Stool, The Citizenry ($575+)

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See more from our favorite designers:  Jeremiah Brent’s Latest DIY Involves an Old Mirror and This Amazon Buy How Leanne Ford Is Keeping Her Kitchen Reno Moving During Quarantine Nate Berkus’s Clever Use for Leftover Marble Makes Low-Waste Look Luxe

Elly Leavitt

Writer and Editor

Elly enjoys covering anything from travel to funky design (tubular furniture, anyone?) to the latest cultural trend. Her dream apartment would exist on the Upper West Side and include a plethora of mismatched antique chairs, ceramic vessels, and floor-to-ceiling bookcases—essential to her goal of becoming a poor man’s Nora Ephron. You can probably find her in line at Trader Joe’s. You will never find her at SoulCycle.