What is your favorite part of the design process?
I have a few favorite parts of the design process — I enjoy the concept stage where I can come up with ideas and inspiration for my clients by research, sketching, and sharing images online. Nowadays, with Pinterest, it’s so easy to see just what a client is responding to aesthetically even if they don’t know the names of flowers or have a hard time explaining what they like. I think I do a good job of helping them articulate what they are after and then I show them how we can execute their look with seasonal flowers that fit their budget.
My other favorite part of the process is after all the flowers are picked, delivered, prepped, and ready to be arranged… There is always a fair bit of anxiety that maybe the design just won’t come together. I love the moment when I finally put all the pieces together and it works! Huge sigh of relief.
Where do you get inspiration when styling and designing?
I find inspiration all over the place. I try to follow trends in fashion, interior design and architecture, but mostly I just try to stick to my instincts and do what feels right for the moment and for the particular client. Nature is obviously a huge inspiration for me. I like my designs to feel wild and natural, not overly constructed. I’m not a matchy-matchy person who wants everything tied up perfectly in a bow. I’m always wowed by the imperfect beauty of the natural world and try to emulate it to what extent I can. I also like simplicity and sometimes it’s hard for me to amp things up to the degree that some of my clients want me to — but I’ve learned how to do it!
What do you think are color trends right now in events or floral designs?
In the last few years we’ve seen a major focus on blush tones and grays… which is still popular but a lot of my clients are finally opting for bold pops of color. For example, they may choose a base of lush greens and creams but then add pops of deep jewel tones, coral, or even oranges and yellows. Greens and creams never go out of style.
Photo by Iris Photography
Did you study to become a floral designer?
No, I was an English major in college and worked in the media in the city before deciding to start my own business in Litchfield. I’ve ALWAYS loved flowers and learned the technical aspects of floral design from side-jobs helping wedding florists when I was in my twenties. My mother is a wonderful entertainer and my father is an antique collector with a great eye for design, so that certainly helped, but I am self-taught. Working in television production was definitely great prep for the events business…. Each wedding is like its own production so there are more similarities than one would think!
What would you like people to know about you or your business?
I’d like to make the distinction that I’m a Floral and Event Designer, not a florist with a shop where you can go to buy flowers. I work on a custom basis with clients who hire me to design their event or wedding and sometimes plan various aspects of it as well. I’m currently involved in helping to develop a one-of-a-kind event space in Morris called The White Barn at South Farms. Working with the owner of The White Barn, a fabulous historic dairy barn recently renovated to host large events, to develop this world-class events venue, has been a fun project and natural progression of my business. It’s much easier, especially as a mom, to have a home base than to travel all over doing events. Whether it’s South Farms, Winvian Farm, or a private home, I’m lucky to have some of the most amazing places to work right here in Litchfield County!
Another question I often get is, “Where do you get the flowers?” … The answer is not straightforward, as it entirely depends on the event and the season. I have a number of amazing wholesalers who can ship me flowers from all over the world, but I also have developed relationships with local growers and farms over the years and I try to support them as much as I can in season. I am also a big forager and almost always supplement my designs with materials I find in nature — shrubbery, wildflowers, branches, sometimes even weeds!
Contact Sarah Worden Natural Designs at email@example.com or by phone at 917-751-5979.