Country Homes & Interiors

Sarah Bainbridge, Sarah Blythe


Sarah Bainbridge grew up in Australia, where she loved to collect and paint flowers as a child with her grandmothe­r, Joan. After moving to London in 2015 to study textile design at Chelsea College of Arts, Sarah carried on producing botanicall­y inspired work, eventually creating her own technique for preserving flowers on textiles. This became the basis for her business in 2016. She works by hammering petals into cotton or linen.

‘The natural pigments become the paints,’ says Sarah. ‘It’s lovely to create work from something that would otherwise be thrown away and to make its beauty last.’ Sarah photograph­s the pressed petals, then creates prints to decorate cushions, silk scarves and lampshades. A popular product is her Wedding Bouquet Smash, where the colour and aura of the real flowers are carried through into decorative keepsakes.

Sarah now lives in East Grinstead, West Sussex, with partner Jon, but runs her online business with her mother, Sharon, who contribute­s new techniques from back in Australia. The business name of Blythe – Sarah’s middle name – pays homage to Joan, who has always called her by this name. ‘It’s great to keep the home connection­s strong,’ says Sarah. ‘Mum and my grandmothe­r are always sending photograph­s of beautiful flora.’

With business flourishin­g, the mother-and-daughter team have opened a shop in Edenbridge, Kent. ‘When you love what you do, the hard graft is worth it,’ says Sarah. ‘The award has made me even more motivated.’

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