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Sartorial style was the gateway to cultivating my admiration for design. I’ve become inherently interested in, more than, just what I was wearing, and visual and physical tactility have become the focal point of my world. It’s rooted in my everyday life, whether it’s something I wear or an exceptional cocktail enjoyed at my favorite local stomping ground, The Post House Inn. I am the type of person who is stimulated and inspired by my environment and every detail that creates it, brings this passion, attention to detail and storytelling into the spaces I design.


– Emily Sanford, Founder

Sanford Collective

I started right where you might be today, dreaming of a home that would fit my lifestyle, budget, and aesthetic but frustrated by the path it would take to achieve it. When my husband and I purchased our first home, a 17th-century Dutch Colonial that needed a lot of rehabbing and renovating, I became keenly aware of how oft-fragmented the process can be. As a veteran of the fashion industry, I approached the project with many of the same principles and practices I’d learned from years of closely observing the design process and its runway culmination. I found that so many of the same skills I used in my work life—like managing and coordinating crucial day-to-day details, timelines, budgets, and schedules—were vital to the process of creating a home. That skillset, coupled with my organic passion for design, built the foundation of what has become Sanford Collective. 


Our homes have taken on a much greater role in our lives throughout not only the last decade, but in the past year especially. Rooms must transition from show to go, with areas that pull double-duty or transition brilliantly from an entertaining space to an on-the-fly meeting room. I’ve experienced that personally, watching ours become office space for my husband and myself, as well as a catch-all for everything our young daughter needs. That idea—that a home is so much more than a house—has laid the groundwork for our studio’s approach. With a keen understanding of context, relevance, and functionality, we discover the best solutions for each space, informed by and reflective of the nuances of your lifestyle and aesthetic. Each project is a culmination of directional design mixed with uncompromising comfort and appropriateness. 


I’ve seen time and time again how good design sits at the intersection of understandable and approachable; creative but livable. In one breath a room should feel current and timeless, sophisticated and inviting, modern yet refined. I believe that all design choices should be grounded in the basics -- form, color, and texture. From there, each ought to be compelling in its proportions, tweaked and layered to find the just-right tension between heightening drama, softening a space, or adding visual depth. At odds with a formalized style and eschewing fleeting trends, every space I’ve designed encompasses simplicity of form and attention to detail; durable materials, layered textures, and objects that drive functionality are all prioritized. Inherent to everything is a reverence for both the past and the future.

We’d be honored to help you curate, improve, and elevate the everyday backdrop of your life.

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