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Sarah Whit Interior Design is a local interior designer firm owned and operated by Sarah Vaile and her sister Whit. They offer clients a multitude of design services to fit each client’s needs. / Image courtesy of Sarah Whit Interior Design // Published: 3.15.18

Sarah Vaile Turned Her Quarter-Life Crisis Into A Dream Interior Design Business

Blood, sweat, and chairs make Sarah Vaile, local interior designer and co-owner of Sarah Whit Interior Design, tick. And she's brought her fresh, yet classic style to homes around the Tri-State since she was just a grad student.

Sarah's love of interior design began early. As a little girl, she says she liked rearranging the furniture in her room. It wasn't until her late-twenties that she decided to turn her talent into a successful career.

"I called it my quarter-life crisis, and I decided it was time to pursue my passion," she said.

Sarah quit her job in advertising and enrolled at Parsons School of Design, launching Sarah Whit Interior Design with her co-founder and sister, Whit, soon after. From there, Sarah did some serious multitasking by taking on school, her own business, and working with another designer to learn how to run an office with employees and multiple projects.

"I had this feeling that since it wasn’t my initial career right out of college, there was no time to be wasted," Sarah said. "So I maximized the opportunity of education, fellowship training, and entrepreneurial ventures all at the same time. It was a really fun ride!"

Since starting the firm in 2008, Sarah has expanded the Sarah Whit offices in Cincinnati and Chicago. She offers everything from coming up with a comprehensive design scheme to interior renovations to collaborating with architects and builders for new construction. But how exactly does she start a process that seems so daunting to the rest of us?

"The process is a deep dive into the client’s life. How do they live? Do they have children? What have they collected along the way? How do they plan to utilize the space?" Sarah explains. "You really want the layout and furniture to reflect the way the person will utilize it."

And Sarah Whit has its own strong sense of style. Sarah describes it as a fresh take on classic — or Not-Your-Grandma's-Traditional — that incorporates elements from other genres, like British Colonial and retro mod of the '60s and '70s.

But she says the key to a good design is to fuse that style with things from the client's life, like a piece of furniture or art or things collected from traveling or work.

"I think those inspiring elements can really help personalize a home," Sarah says.

And when it's all finished? Sarah says one of the most rewarding responses is crying (from happiness).

"Believe it or not, we have gotten tears at an install before. Nothing says happiness like crying tears of joy."

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To learn more about Sarah Whit Interior Design, visit the website.