Fabulous Autumn Florals with Sabine Darrall

Fabulous florals for autumn with expert stylist and designer Sabine Darrall

Fresh floral displays create a welcoming, stylish atmosphere and provide a real feast for the eyes (and sometimes nose) at any occasion. With autumn upon us, TOAST talks to expert floral stylist and event designer Sabine Darrall about her illustrious career and distinctive floral style, as well as her top tips for creating fabulous florals at home this season.

Autumn is a truly gloriously time to entertain; the season’s food offering is comforting and cosy, chilly temperatures make for inviting nights spent around a candle lit table, and it’s a good opportunity to get together with friends and family before the craziness of Christmas begins.

Nothing helps to create a welcoming atmosphere and a seasonally stylish setting more than fresh flowers, and as luck would have it, we have expert floral stylist Sabine Darrall on hand to talk us through this autumn’s fabulous florals.

I’ve always been fascinated with flowers - I chose floristry over university!” says Sabine. “Over 30 years later I’m still doing the job I love. To work in a creative environment, connected to the seasons and a living form where every day is different is not a job, it’s a joy.

Sabine Darrell Autumn (1)

(Image credit: Sabine Darrall Floral Autumn)

Sabine started her own business in 1995, and after a few years working on large corporate events she realised, that although the work was very profitable, she wasn’t happy.

I missed the creative connection that comes with designing for an individual.  I’d also become bored of London life, so gave it all up for a life in the country. At the time it seemed a crazy thing to do, but being based in the countryside has enabled me to create the kind of designs I love - using truly seasonal flowers and materials in a natural uncontrived style”.

“I’m constantly looking for any element that makes a design unique - from a sprig of oak leaves to a trail of wild clematis. It’s important that my work looks well constructed and balanced, as well as free flowing. It can be a hard look to get right, and it certainly doesn’t involve picking a few flowers and shoving them in a jam jar!” 

Sabine3weddingsseptember2 Untitled 4884 (1)

(Image credit: Sabine Darrall Floral Autumn)

So when it comes to selecting the perfect table flowers for autumn, what does Sabine suggest we should be looking for?

Buying in season will always be better quality and better value” says Sabine. “This autumn is all about foliage and berries - I love rosehips and dark viburnum berries combined with flowers like the delicate nerine. I also love adding fruit or vegetables into a table center or even just grouped around a design.”

In the past Sabine has worked on pretty much every kind of event you can imagine, from themed parties to celebrity weddings. “It’s about trust, vision and detail” she explains.

This vision and attention to detail is what gives Sabine’s customers confidence in her ability to transform any space, and makes her work stand out, whilst continuing to evolve. “Although my style is a natural one I’m constantly looking for ways to update it. That can involve different vessels, different coloured candles and/or linens, an unusual colour mix, ribbon or anything else that sets it apart.

“For colour I’ll start with the pantone colour of the year* and I look at how that works with flowers. I’ll then look at catwalk fashion and the type of fabrics being used, and I’ll also look at furniture trends.”

Sabine Darrell September Tablescape

Sabine Darrell September Tablescape2

(Image credit: Sabine Darrall Floral Tablescape)

These days Sabine designs flowers for a limited number of events each year, as well as running a program of courses and classes on floral design.  

There has been a huge amount of interest in flowers and floristry in recent years, and I teach lots of new and established florists. I don’t run career courses - it’s just not possible to learn and perfect floristry skills in a matter of weeks! My courses and classes focus on specific techniques and style."

And so, before the holly and the ivy truly arrives, who better to tell us what floral delights should we be adopting this autumn. Read on for Sabine’s top tips for creating fabulous florals at home this season… 

Sabine Darrell Autumn Florals

(Image Credits: Sabine Darrall Autumn Florals)

Sabine Darrall's Top Tips For Autumn Floral Styling 

Choose your florals

Look out for ferns, berried eucalyptus, copper beech, nerines, dahlias, crocosmia and chrysanthemums. Chrysanthemum blooms and dahlias are in season – they are perfect for single stem vases for a simple but cost effective table center or mantel piece.

I also love adding fruit or vegetables into a table center or even just grouped around a design. Small gourds, plums or figs are perfect for an autumn table.

Colourful inspiration

For autumn I prefer the more subtle salmons and golds, with a touch of rust and marrone (a chestnut colour). If you want to match florals to your home, then look at small colour elements within a room i.e. a cushion, a painting or perhaps your curtains, and then try and match that up with a single flower and incorporate it into your arrangement, or use enmass!

Mix it up

Create a feeling of variety, that can involve using different vessels, different coloured candles and/or linens, an unusual colour mix, ribbon or anything else that sets it apart. For Autumn, try using low bowl shaped vessels like compotiers and soup tureens, instead of vases.

Location location location

Aside from the table, always have something floral to greet guests as they arrive and always a little something for the powder room! When placing flowers on the table keep an eye on height – they should be low enough to see over or high enough to see under.

Release The Runner

Long or rectangular tables are becoming more popular, and I love a foliage runner. Use plenty of different foliage in many shades and textures and add masses of candles. 

Sabine Darrell Floral Styling

Sabine Darrell September Wedding

(Image Credits: Sabine Darrall Floral Styling, Wedding Tablescape)

Sabine Darrall Floral is available for a select number of private event commissions each year and next year will be holding a series of masterclasses in their new natural light studio in their beautiful orchard at Lyne Down, Herefordhsire with 18 acres of organic land, a wild flower meadow and cider apple orchard as its backdrop.

As a passionate teacher, Sabine will also be expanding her classes to include other creative skills such as natural dyeing, forging and photography.

For more information about Sabine Darrall you can visit TOAST’s Little Black Book or visit her website www.sabinedarrall.co.uk.

*In 2016 a blend of Rose Quartz and a soft blue called Serenity was chosen the PANTONE Color of the Year


Posted in Spotlight

by Sophie Farrah
on on 13 October 2016

  event flowers, floral styling, wedding flowers

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