6 Things with Sarah Lyon Freelance Design Writer and Stylist

Based in NYC, Sarah is a freelance design writer and interior stylist with bylines in MyDomaine, Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, Apartment Therapy and more. She received her bachelor’s in sociology at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and completed her master’s in higher education at the University of Pennsylvania. Sarah also works with designers and brands to assist with marketing and creative work such as blog posts, media lists and press efforts, SEO, ghostwriting, and more. Sarah draws upon her creativity and 10+ years of journalism experience to bring brands' stories to life and drive traffic to their websites.

1. What started it all for you?

I always loved to write and after taking a journalism class in high school and working on the school newspaper, I knew that I wanted to continue to explore this passion in college. I served as editor in chief of my university's weekly paper before going on to work as an editorial assistant in NYC after I graduated. I ended up leaving the city to pursue a master's degree in higher education, which had always been another interest of mine, and worked at a university in Washington, DC for several years. During my time there, I began freelancing for a number of design publications in my spare time, working with a number of people whom I met while interning and working in the city. What started out as a side project really began to grow during the pandemic, as people began to really focus on revamping their homes. By spring 2021, I was in a place where I felt confident leaving my day job to pursue freelance writing full-time. I relocated to New York City that summer, where I continue to write for publications including Architectural Digest, Apartment Therapy, MyDomaine, The Spruce, and others.

While I spend my days writing about other people's design projects, I have always loved to decorate on my own, too! Even as a little kid, I was always moving furniture around in my bedroom and couldn't stop rearranging toys and accessories. Now, I enjoy sharing my home design with my Instagram followers and writing about some of my own projects for the publications to which I contribute. I also serve as a stylist on the side and work with designers to prep spaces prior to photoshoots.

2. What drives your creative spark?

I am very goal-oriented, and I really appreciate that working for myself allows me to set professional goals and just go for them, even if that means sending emails into the nighttime hours and Googling a ton! I love that in my role you never know what the next week or month could bring in terms of opportunities. Of course, there are always challenges, but I find that they're outweighed by amazing projects, meetings, and relationships that come about to be so motivating. If one or two exciting things happened, then there must be more coming, right?!

3. Most treasured home decor item?

It's hard to choose just one! I am constantly on the hunt for vintage and thrifted pieces that bring me joy. I would say that my faux mantel in my bedroom, which came with me from DC to NYC, is my most treasured piece. I love how it adds so much character to my rental apartment and can be brought to wherever I go next, too. Plus, people who come over are always surprised when they learn it isn't original to the apartment—it definitely is a pretty convincing fake!

4. What’s the best advice you've ever received?

Growing up, my mom would always say, "Be your own best friend." And this piece of advice is so true: It's so important to be able to feel confident in and support yourself. Ultimately, you have to be there for yourself, both personally and professionally!

5. It's 5 o'clock at home. What would you be pouring?

I'm a margarita lover through and through, so I'm most likely whipping up a homemade version with lemons and limes from the local fruit stand and topping it off with Red Clay spicy margarita salt on the rim—it's life changing!

6. What are your favorite 6 accounts that you follow for inspiration?

@shoppalomaandco: I absolutely love designer Paloma Contreras' online shop (and am guilty of placing way too many orders). I'm always loving the vignettes and products that the company shares on Insta.

@luluandgeorgia: Lulu & Georgia is another one of my all-time fave stores for all things home. Their page is chock full of inspo for every room, which is great if you're in a bit of a design rut.

@shannonclaire: Designer Shannon Claire, who I now call a friend of mine, has been one of my longtime favorite follows! Her spaces are oh so chic and perfectly combine modern and classic elements.

@_harlowejames: I love how Chrissy decorates her Bay Area home. It's the epitome of California cool (and clutter-free, which is ultra inspiring!).

@madisonandsuch: Madison creates such beautiful spaces in her home and is always revealing Etsy treasures, innovative DIYs, and ways to make the every day feel more glam.

@artfullywalls: I'm a major wall art fanatic and occasionally host workshops with Artfully Walls. They're an excellent resource for stylish yet affordable prints!


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"Of course, there are always challenges, but I find that they're outweighed by amazing projects, meetings, and relationships that come about to be so motivating. If one or two exciting things happened, then there must be more coming." -Sarah Lyon