After ascending to interior design stardom on social media, amassing a celebrity-studded client list, and producing extensive collections of nearly every home product you can think of, it’s hard to imagine anything Sarah Sherman Samuel hasn’t done. But when the vacant lot adjacent to her Grand Rapids, Michigan, home went on the market, she was presented with not one, but two, entirely new opportunities: For the first time since founding her eponymous interior design firm in 2014, Sherman Samuel became her own client as she designed a home from the ground up.
This exercise evolved into a four-bedroom showhouse that the AD100 talent has spent the last three years perfecting. “It became my design laboratory, an off-site workspace, an art gallery, and a glorified guest house…all while saving the trees and view from our current home in the process,” she notes. Dripping in delicious details, each carefully curated room captures the duality of the Sarah Sherman Samuel brand by directly combining her unquestionable knack for interior design with her extensive product range. “It feels like the most pure expression of myself,” she says. While it would be impossible to honor all the clever moves that make this home so swoon-worthy, here are our eight major takeaways from the SSS Showhouse.
1. Materiality as currency
While carte blanche may seem like a designer’s dream come true, having zero constraints to work from presents its own challenges. As a practice focused primarily on the renovation of unique, often historic, properties, SSS had to find a way to imbue the inherent charm and character of an existing build while staying within budget. Leaning into the power of materiality, Sherman Samuel opted for a varied palette of woods, metals, and stones. “Combined with thoughtful, out-of-the box applications,” she notes, “I think incorporating a healthy mix of materials can communicate a sense of luxury that doesn’t have to cost a fortune.” In the showhouse kitchen, relatively simple applications of bold, chunky marble; warmly grained wood; brass fixtures; and painted cabinetry coalesce to form an elegant composition that feels grander than a mere sum of its parts.