Spring is just around the corner and summer will be here before we know it so let’s transform our homes with some fresh seasonal updates! To help, B&Q has launched a gorgeous new range of nautical and vintage-inspired cushions, just perfect for perking up our sofas.
We’ve been lucky enough to chat to Sarah Smith, B&Q’s very own soft furnishings buyer, about her favourite cushions from the range, where she gets her inspiration from and what a typical day involves. Choosing stylish cushions all day long sounds like the ultimate dream job to us!
Tell us about the new cushions from B&Q for Spring Summer
We’re launching 40 new cushion styles for Spring Summer, which arrive in stores nationwide and on diy.com this week. The offering incorporates styles that fall into the ranges; Multicolour, Authentic, Contemporary and Heritage – so there’s a style to suit every home.
What is your favourite?
That’s tricky – I love the whole collection! It’s hard to pick a favourite as there are so many lovely designs – but the Galveston cushion is definitely up there.
What do you think will be the best seller and why?
I think the Baltic Summer collection will be the strongest for us this season.
How long have you been a cushion buyer?
I have been a soft furnishings buyer for five years and before that I worked in fashion buying for six years.
How did you become a cushion buyer? Was it something you always wanted to be?
I wanted to be a textile or clothing buyer since University – I did a retail degree specialising in buying and merchandising. I spent the third year of my degree working in buying and merchandising at House of Fraser and that’s when I decided this was the career for me. I moved into buying soft furnishings (curtains, cushions and blinds) five years ago.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
All over the world! From trend shows and trade fairs to shopping trips – I’m always keeping an eye out for something to capture my attention.
What is the process once you’ve decided on a theme for a cushion?
The themes come from the overall trends that myself and the design team are seeing coming through from trend shows, sourcing and shopping trips.
What is your day-to-day role like?
It’s busy! I love that no day is the same – it’s hard work but a lot of fun. We have daily meetings reviewing best sellers and trading, and meetings with the design team and other buyers to work on new ranges.
How do you distinguish between a good and bad design?
You know a good design when you see it! If it instantly looks good then you know it will sell.
What would be your perfect cushion?
That’s a tricky one. You can never have too many!
If you weren’t a cushion designer, what would you be?
If I wasn’t a soft furnishings buyer I would have to do another job that involves travel – I love the travel and variety in my job and I enjoy visiting new places.
If you were designing a cushion for Style at Home, what would it look like?
It would have to be something fun that you could imagine your readers wanting in their home – maybe with a fun slogan on, something that would cheer you up every time you saw it.Read more →