Sarah Herron

"Pin like a boss."

Sarah is the HGTV.com Programming Coordinator. For Design Happens, she tracks online trends and shares treasured family recipes. Sarah is also HGTV’s in-house Pinterest guru. When she’s not pinning like a boss, she can be found in the kitchen cooking or on the couch folding a pile of laundry. She and her husband are raising their two boys in the historic district of Maryville, Tenn. where they’ve filled their Victorian-style home with antiques and Legos.

Sarah Herron ON PINTEREST

POSTS BY Sarah Herron

  • Tell Your Friends

The new Jan./Feb. 2013 issue of HGTV Magazine is on stands now!

HGTV Magazine, January/February Issue

The new issue is packed with ideas for adding style to your home on a budget. Get easy makeover ideas using stuff you already own and 9 low-cost kitchen updates. The issue also features 82 ways to add pops of color in every room. Plus, you don’t want to miss HGTV’s Meg Caswell’s transformation of America’s most embarrassing living room.

Do you have your subscription to HGTV Magazine? Tell us what you think!

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We’ve seen a spike in the number of online readers searching for tips on how to paint furniture. It’s a quick, inexpensive way to give old pieces a dramatic new look, which can transform an entire room.

Designer Tyler Wisler says, “Painting is always the easiest and quickest way to give any outdated piece of furniture an instant makeover, but the key to all of it, regardless of the color choice, is to prep. Prep, prep, prep those pieces correctly! Just grabbing a can of paint and having at it will inevitably end in cracked and peeling paint in no time. A good once over with a fine grit sandpaper, then a thorough wipe down with a damp cloth to get rid of any dust particles, is the simplest way to get the paint to stick to the piece and will last so much longer!”

How to Paint Furniture

Get the Steps and Creative Painting Ideas

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For me, shopping is a year-round sport.

Stores drop prices and offer promotions throughout the year but knowing when and why retailers are highly motivated to clear their stock is a critical part of my buying strategy. Often stores keep old inventory when new models hit the floor but once the new year hits, retailers get aggressive about discounting and moving last year’s stock.

To that end, major appliances are typically at the lowest price point in January, with the exception of refrigerators because most new fridge models roll out in the summer.

Sub-Zero Refrigerator

The majority of furniture companies release new products twice a year — in February and August so January and July are great times to buy floor models.

I’m a big believer in shopping for off season items. For instance, now is the best time to buy air conditioners and grills. The only downside is that the selection is usually limited.

Electronics that weren’t purchased during the holidays are also deeply discounted. In fact, retailers will be running promotions for HDTVs and home theater systems for the Super Bowl.

Home Theater Room, Designed by Christopher J. Grubb

One way to take advantage of increased competition during these promotional seasons is to scour ads for deals and ask for a price match from a store that offers free delivery and installation.

I’m a pretty tough negotiator and follow the old adage that ‘it never hurts to ask.’

I don’t consider it a win unless I get at least 50% off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP).

Having such high bargain standards requires a great deal of research and patience but waiting for the right time to buy is always worth it.

What’s the best deal you ever scored?

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Raise a toast to the New Year by entering for a chance to win HGTV Dream Home 2013, a gorgeous, low-country Zen farmhouse with a modern twist in Kiawah, S.C. The nature-lover’s escape is just minutes away from historic Charleston.

Watch the special tonight at 7 p.m. EST with host Monica Pedersen and try making the HGTV Dream Home 2013 signature cocktail, The New South.

HGTV Dream Home 2013 Signature Cocktail

Photography by Jeremy Higgs, Charleston S.C.

It’s a sophisticated southern drink made with North Carolina-based Troy & Son’s Oak Reserve Whiskey, created by Charleston mixologist John Aquino who shared this how-to video:

YouTube Preview Image

Get the Recipe

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Over the past few days, the HGTV online team, contributors, Design Happens bloggers and special guests have shared their favorite designs, trends, ideas, tips and projects from 2012 on Pinterest. See what we loved: HGTV 2012 Favorites.

The 2012 Design Star fan favorite and finale runner-up Britany Simon also shared her favorites.

I included the most popular pins from readers as well. The top three most pinned photos from HGTV.com in 2012 are:

Vintage Drawer Storage

Candle Display

Outdoor Fireplace

What were your favorite trends and ideas of 2012?

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We’re revealing what we loved most this year on our HGTV 2012 Favorites shared Pinterest board. From now until the end of the year, join the HGTV online team, contributors, designers, bloggers and 2012 Design Star fan favorite and finale runner-up Britany Simon on Pinterest.

Britany Simon of HGTV Design Star 2012.

You can also follow along on Twitter #PinFaves2012. Join us as we pin the designs, trends, ideas, tips and projects we loved most in 2012.

See you there!

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Making crockpot chicken is a great solution for the burned-out holiday cook, especially if you still have guests. I like crockpot recipes that require very little prep work. In fact, I’m philosophically against cooking something over a stove before throwing it in a crockpot.

Two of my favorite crowd-pleasing crockpot chicken recipes are Swiss Chicken and Cream Cheese Chicken.

Easy crockpot chicken recipes

 

Get the Recipes

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With all of the stuff that comes with the holidays, it’s no wonder that storage and organization topics are trending on HGTV.com.

This year, I’ve vowed to upgrade my Christmas decorations storage. This list of 12 Holiday Organizing Essentials has been extremely helpful and inspiring.

Store Christmas decorations

This is also a great time to clean out and organize your pantry.

Pantry Organization

With two kids, making space for new toys is always a challenge for me. This Christmas, our son added to his vast collection of Legos. If you’ve ever stepped on a tiny toy, you know the importance of having plenty of buckets, baskets and bins.
Kids' room organization and toy storage
How do you stay organized?

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If your holiday guests include babies or toddlers, take a few steps to make your home safe.

As a mom who has made (and survived!) several overnight trips with babies and toddlers, I can attest to the importance of creating a child-proof space. Plus, it will be a much more enjoyable visit for everyone.

Make your home safe with a few child proof tricks and tips..

If babies are on the move, be sure to keep these things out of reach:

  • Medications
  • Household cleansers
  • Sharp kitchen utensils
  • Window blind cords
  • *Choking hazards

*It’s considered a choking hazard if the object fits through a toilet paper roll.

Rubber-coated hairbands serve as quick-fixes for cabinets with non-lethal contents, like games or pots and pans. (You’ll want stronger locks for cabinets containing cleansers, alcohol or medications.)

Child-proof door latches can be pricey and hard to install. One inexpensive and simple solution is to place a washcloth in between any interior door and frame while closing the door. To open, pull on the washcloth while pulling open the door.

Also, make sure kids can’t access the tops of staircases. You can purchase a safety gate for as little as $12.

Outlet covers (about $5 for a pack of 12) are another worthwhile investment. Placing them over unused outlets keeps kids from sticking objects into the outlet. Electrical shock and even electrocution can occur.

Don’t forget about the fireplace. I know there are child-proof gates, locks and tricks with pool noodles but do mom a favor and just barricade it with furniture. With kids and fireplaces, it really is like moths to a flame (even where the fire isn’t lit).

Holiday decorations add even more challenges to making your home safe for little ones. Christmas trees are especially dangerous with breakable ornaments and metal hooks.

So as you prepare a space for holiday guests, both big and small, make your home as safe and as stress-free as possible because spending the holidays with a baby or toddler can be a truly magical experience. Enjoy it!

Do you have advice for creating a safe place for babies and toddlers?  

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Need a break? Unwind throughout the season by pinning with us on @hgtv Pinterest. If you’re new to Pinterest, check it out.

We’ve had a blast with our HGTV Pinterest Pinners this year. If you haven’t joined us, this is what you’re missing:

We have virtual pinning parties where you can chat with HGTV celebrities, like Monica Pedersen, host of the HGTV Dream Home 2013 special.

HGTV Dream Home 2013 Pinterest Pinning Party

Get More

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Have you seen HGTV Dream Home 2013?

HGTV Dream Home 2013
You’re invited to the HGTV Dream Home Pinning Party for an insider’s look tomorrow, 7-9 p.m. EST on our Pinterest board: click here.  Take a grand tour and chat with members of the HGTV Dream Home team in the comment fields of our pins. Meet the architects, carpenter and HGTV show producer for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the home that could be yours! You can also talk to Monica Pedersen, host of the HGTV Dream Home 2013 special, which airs on New Year’s Day at 7 p.m. EST. Enter daily for a chance to win starting Dec. 28 at 9 a.m. EST.
HGTV Dream Home 2013 Pinterest Pinning Party

New to Pinterest? To sign up, go to www.pinterest.com and select the button “Join Pinterest” at the top of the page. You can register via Facebook, Twitter, or an e-mail address.

At the virtual Pinterest party, we’ll be serving (ie: pinning) the HGTV Dream Home 2013 Signature Cocktail: The New South. Troy Ball of Troy & Sons, a North Carolina-based distillery specializing in finely made whiskeys and heirloom moonshine, commissioned John Aquino to create the cocktail. He is the mixologist at Wild Olive on Johns Island S.C. near Kiawah Island, the location of this year’s HGTV Dream Home.

Plan to mix a New South of your own tomorrow night and join us for this interactive event!

Get the Cocktail Recipe

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Have you seen HGTV Dream Home 2013?

HGTV Dream Home 2013
You’re invited to the HGTV Dream Home Pinning Party for an insider’s look tomorrow, 7-9 p.m. EST on our Pinterest board: click here.  Take a grand tour and chat with members of the HGTV Dream Home team in the comment fields of our pins. Meet the architects, carpenter and HGTV show producer for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the home that could be yours! You can also talk to Monica Pedersen, host of the HGTV Dream Home 2013 special, which airs on New Year’s Day at 7 p.m. EST. Enter daily for a chance to win starting Dec. 28 at 9 a.m. EST.
HGTV Dream Home 2013 Pinterest Pinning Party

New to Pinterest? To sign up, go to www.pinterest.com and select the button “Join Pinterest” at the top of the page. You can register via Facebook, Twitter, or an e-mail address.

At the virtual Pinterest party, we’ll be serving (ie: pinning) the HGTV Dream Home 2013 Signature Cocktail: The New South. Troy Ball of Troy & Sons, a North Carolina-based distillery specializing in finely made whiskeys and heirloom moonshine, commissioned John Aquino to create the cocktail. He is the mixologist at Wild Olive on Johns Island S.C. near Kiawah Island, the location of this year’s HGTV Dream Home.

Plan to mix a New South of your own tomorrow night and join us for this interactive event!

Get the Cocktail Recipe

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Our HGTV Pinning Party on Pinterest was a blast last night!

Pinners mixed and mingled with editors, bloggers and specials guests Meg Caswell, Sabrina Soto, Britany Simon and Tyler Wisler, along with HGTVRemodels House Counselor Laurie March and DIYNetwork blogger Emily Winters.

We shared some of our best ideas for holiday decorating and entertaining. Here’s a digital album of highlights from the pinning party:

It was full of wonderful surprises, like a visit from HGTV celebrity Sabrina Soto.

HGTV Pinning Party celebrity guest Sabrina Soto chats with Pinterest pinners.

More Highlights

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You are cordially invited to our HGTV Holiday Pinning Party on Pinterest this Sunday from 7-9 p.m. EST!

Many of you might be wondering, what is a pinning party? Basically, it’s an opportunity for us to interact with you as we gear up for the holidays. During the party, go to pinterest.com/hgtv/holiday-pinning-party where we’ll be pinning our favorite decorations, handmade gifts and holiday recipes. You can interact in the comment fields of the pins with our HGTV.com editors, Design Happens bloggers and special guests: HGTV’s Meg Caswell, Emily Henderson, Britany Simon and Tyler Wisler as well as HGTVRemodels.com’s House Counselor, Laurie March and DIYNetwork.com’s blogger Emily Winters.

HGTV Holiday Pinning Party

We want to hear your ideas and questions about holiday decorating and entertaining. Tell us about your family traditions and what you love most about the holidays.

Plan to grab a glass of wine or hot cider and join our Holiday Pinning Party anytime from 7-9 p.m. EST this Sunday, Nov. 18. If you’re on Twitter, we’ll also be live tweeting with the hashtag #hgtvholidays.

Even though we’ll have several HGTV celebs at the party, we consider you — the HGTV Pinners — our VIPs!

See you Sunday!

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The December issue of HGTV Magazine is on stands now.

 HGTV Magazine, December 2012

It’s packed with fresh, new holiday ideas, gorgeous home makeovers and fast fixes. Get a sneak peek now!

A designer shares her quick tricks for holiday decorating in the living room, kitchen and dining room; plus download these printable JOY tags.

HGTV Magazine's printable JOY tags

Are you planning a remodel? See how a top caterer created an organized, pro-style kitchen on a budget. And check out the dramatic small space transformation of two outdated rooms becoming one great room — a bright kitchen and living room combo.

HGTV Magazine's From Bad Rooms to Great Room, December 2012

Design Star judge Vern Yip shares his tips for choosing and hanging the right chandelier and HGTV Magazine sheds light on 9 different looks. Update your bedroom year-round with 15 simple bedding elements — sheet sets, blankets and throw pillows — to create 22 different layered looks.

Have you picked up a copy? Tell us what you think!

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Yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the New York Times that her favorite television show is HGTV’s Love It or List It, saying “I find it very calming.”
Hillary Clinton's Favorite Show
The show follows homeowners who have a big financial and emotional question: renovate or sell? In each hour-long episode, realtor David Visentin and designer Hilary Farr compete for the homeowners’ final decision to stay or go.

The reporter, Gail Collins, says it’s befitting that the HGTV show appeals to Clinton. She writes, “After a lot of hard work and the final commercial, there’s a happy ending.”

It sounds as though Hillary might be interested in a happy ending of her own on HGTV.

When asked what her next move will be after this next presidential term, rather than express interest in a second run at the White House, she says, “Maybe I’ll get a decorating show.”

Would you like to be on HGTV? Click here to learn how. (Hillary, that includes you!)

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For many of us, company is coming soon so it’s no wonder that kitchen updates are especially popular on HGTV.com right now.

Nancy Fire, Design Director for HGTV HOME, says there are many ways to get a fresh new look, like a new tile backsplash in updated colors and geometric layouts. “Also, galvanized steel flat sheets can make a backsplash updated with a modern flair.”

Stainless Steel Backsplash from HGTV

Nancy says many homeowners are painting the inside of their glass-front kitchen cabinets with a contrasting color or using wallpaper.  “Patterns like stripes and geometric two-color patterns are trending.”

A simple way to update the kitchen is swapping out the cabinet hardware. “You can really change the feel by using a new metal finish. I am seeing a lot of brushed nickel and bronze because metallics and metals are a huge trend right now.”

Square Kitchen Cabinet Knobs, HGTV Dream Homes 2011

If you need additional storage, Nancy says bar carts are a hot trend. “So many people are repurposing vintage carts and using them to showcase dinnerware and vintage cookie jars as well as appliances.”

There are many ways to update your space. Give your guests something unexpected in the kitchen this season. Nancy says, “My favorite trend these days is anything creative and unique.”

DIY Vinyl Photo Backsplash from HGTV

Let us know what you would like to update before the holidays…or just keep clicking.

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