In a former life, Sarah Hingle was an editorial illustrator working on client briefs an in-house designs for publications around the world. When she had her son, she wanted work that could be easily scaled up and down as her parenting demands fluctuated.
‘I was motivated to start something of our own so I’d have flexibility as our kids grew,’ Sarah explains. ‘I wanted to nurture a business that I am passionate about, could dip my creative toes into and that we could grow organically, alongside our family!’
In the beginning, Sarah kept up her freelance illustration, but soon These Walls became big enough to sustain itself. With the addition of her husband Mike to the team (thanks to a pandemic pivot!), it’s now a full family affair.
Sarah creates nearly all the hand-drawn designs herself, sometimes collaborating with local artists such as Llewlyn Mejia and Mia Taninaka for different collections. Each pattern is created with ink, pens, charcoal or watercolour and then scanned and turned into a repeat pattern. From there, the colourway is chosen and designs are printed on either matte wallpaper or Belgian linen.
Conscious production is central to the These Walls ethos. All their products are designed and manufactured locally on materials that are 30% recycled post-consumer waste and 70% renewable cellulose fibres (which are derived from plants, not plastic).
The designs are also made-to-order, eliminating excess stock and waste.
On the design process in general, Sarah likens herself to a bowerbird, who is ‘constantly collecting colours, patterns, textures and images and stashing them away for when a creative brainstorm occurs.’
When that happens, a theme tends to emerge – and she can act on it for a new collection. The designs are earthy, calm and reposed – distinctly hand-drawn and textured with brushstrokes. Finally, these delicate designs are carefully selected to be consistent with the textures of the materials they’re rendered on. Heaven!
These Walls products are available to order here.