Today we are talking with Sarah Fogle, creator of The Ugly Duckling House. The blog chronicles her progress as she renovates the house she bought over a year ago that needed a little TLC.

  • Where does your passion for design / DIY come from?

  • My whole family is a DIYer in some way. My Pop (Mom’s dad) used to construct intricate toy villages from paper and toothpicks; we used them for years every Christmas as part of a winter display (they were too precious to play with). My Granny (Mom’s side) spent hundreds of hours creating beautiful works of art from cross stitch and beading. My Grandma (Dad’s side) knitted blankets and sweaters. My Mom used to have us help her with painting and wallpapering the house growing up. But my Dad is probably the biggest influence of all; he was always working on some (usual multiple) home improvement projects around the house and owned several rental homes. He would pay my sister and I our allowance by making us help him, including building our three-car garage from the ground up.

  • What do you do to keep current on the design trends?

  • I read home blogs daily and fashion magazines every now and then. I don’t have much of a chance to watch a lot of HGTV.

  • What is your favorite design trend right now?

  • (Tie) Kaliedoscope and painterly styles, like abstract and watercolor. ne is taking geometric to the next level; one is free-form. Nuts about both, and really like seeing the two mixed together in a room.

  • How do you keep from getting overwhelmed with renovating an entire house?

  • My day job requires mostly sitting at a computer; I find that working with my hands helps relieve stress and uses a different part of my brain. I skip around to whatever I feel like working on. The house is usually pretty messy with so much going on at once, but if I get bored, it helps to switch it up: sand walls, paint the exterior trim, plant new flowers, create new wall art, etc.

  • Do you watch any DIY programs? What are they?

  • Not really. I don’t have a lot of time with my schedule, and I’m too cheap to spend money on large cable packages (Netflix and Hulu pretty much cover the bases, except for DIY programs – they should probably get on that!). I will say though that Rehab Addict is definitely one of the best. Love Nicole Curtis’s passion for saving old homes. She’s a self-taught risk taker, and I really admire that.

  • What was your most complex project that you’ve done and why?

  • Hmm, tough one. My problem is that I never consider a project truly done. I suppose the guest bathroom is the most complete, so I’ll pick that one. I learned lots of new things, like how to plan, cut, and install tile flooring; install a new shower head; fix a leaking faucet; replace old grout; remove wallpaper; repair drywall; and install a new toilet.

    About Sarah: My immediate family consists of me and my dog, Charlie. I love to travel, web design, outdoor activities (hiking, kayaking, running), crafts, and craft beer. Craft beer can be considered a hobby, right?