BHS talk to us about their new revamped style, their key lighting looks and what they have in store for spring/summer 2018
For many of us, BHS stood for more than just a store - it was a British institution.
Loved by shoppers, it was sad day when the stores' doors shut for the last time, but the BHS story didn't end there.
Launching as an online-only retailer at the end of 2016 was an immediate step-change for the brand - quickly shaking off the image of the unloved stores.
Wtih an exciting new range for spring summer 2018, we find out more about their stunning new lighting collection, their work with independent designers and their money-saving lighting tips in our interview with their Buying Manager, Helen White and Junior Buyer, Scarlett Hampton.
Plus, they drop a few hints at what they might be showcasing in our Good Homes roomsets at Ideal Home Show. We're seriously impressed.
Which key lighting trends should we be looking out for in Spring/summer 2018?
Scarlett: For SS18 we have some exciting trends coming through. Our first trend to launch this spring is a Quartz trend collection. This is a fun, fresh trend with lots of colours and textures.
Perfect for adding a pop of pattern and colour into your home. The next trend to follow will be our Miami trend. This will be lots of statement ceiling lights with sophisticated brass detailing with frosted glass globes.
We have also added some exciting, eye catching easy fit shades, printed with tropical palm prints and geometric shapes.
Describe BHS’s new style and how it’s changed
Helen: BHS was always known as an interior designer’s secret for lighting and we want to carry this through into home, and let more people know about it.
We are trying to change the way the customer thinks of us, thinking of us for contemporary lifestyle products rather than traditional favourites.
Talk us through BHS’s key trends for SS18
Helen: Quartz is our first trend, it’s a mix of terrazzo and marble and we have used the patterns on hard goods and textiles. The palette is cool, with a touch of pink, the materials are dry and the shapes are geometric.
Miami is our second trend, and it launches in March. It has a bohemian vibe with mandala prints and shaggy wall hangings. The palette also uses pink, as this is a key trend of the SS18 season but the shapes in Miami are inspired by the '70s.
Where do you find your inspiration for collections?
Helen: As buyers it’s our responsibility to predict the upcoming trends for the season, often forecasting the trends months before we sell them. We keep our eye on fashion designers and look to the catwalk for shapes, prints and patterns and it gives us a good idea on what the customer is in to.
We also visit a lot of design fairs, which is like the catwalk of home and interiors. We are lucky enough to travel and this year have visited Paris, Frankfurt and will be popping to Milan in March. We also work closely with our factories and suppliers as they are always coming up with new and exciting finishes and materials which we can use in the range.
What are the key pieces from BHS’s lighting collection?
Scarlett: This season we are introducing some beautiful, contemporary chandeliers. A key light in the collection is the Doral Chandelier which has a canopy of brass rod detailing with curvaceous, clean white lamp heads. The beauty of this light is that it is suitable for most rooms as it has a short drop rod and so you don’t necessarily need a high ceiling.
Another key piece we are adding to the collection is the Razzo Drop cap pendant. We are very excited about this light as the design has been developed exclusively for BHS. Razzo is a multifunctional pendant that you can use as a standalone piece with a statement vintage bulb or you can unscrew the bottom section and use it with your favourite easy fit shade.
Can you share any of your expert mood-boosting lighting advice?
Scarlett: Lighting is such an important feature within your home and many of us don’t tend to think too much about it. A few light changes in your home can increase your wellbeing.
A bedroom with cool, white tones will encourage you to feel calmer. If you struggle to concentrate within a home office or study, then try a medium yellow light that will re-create sunlight and will help with you to feel happier and be more productive.
Affordability is a key selling point of BHS’s products. How do you create a designer lighting scheme at home without breaking the bank?
Scarlett: Our lighting collection offers lots of different styles and price points so whether you are looking for a decorative table lamp to give your living space a new lease of life or a statement ceiling lamp to add some glamour there will be something to suit all budgets.
For many interior designers lighting is a key tool they use and when this light is used correctly you can really transform a room. The right lighting will really highlight key features and furnishings within your home.
My tips for creating a design led lighting scheme would be to create layers with different tones and hues of light. Really make sure you look around your room and see exactly what areas and furnishings in the room you would like to highlight. Light up hidden, dark corners and highlight textures and shapes.
What trend would you like to see the back of in 2018?
Helen: Plain white rooms! I used to love this trend, but we are done with pared back living as it’s not practical, easy to do without your house looking clinical and lacks warmth.
I think it’s time we inject a little bit of colour and personality into our plain rooms and be a little braver.
This season you are adding exciting independent makers to your collection. What can we expect to see from them and what sets them apart?
Image: Bare Bones, BHS
Helen: We have taken a conscious decision to introduce British designers and makers into the range this season. This isn’t a trend or a fad and it is something we are going to have as a permanent fixture on the website. We want to support British manufacturers and small businesses, giving them a platform to showcase their products.
Laura Aston: Knits beautiful Merino wool cushions and throws from supersized wool. They are super soft and come in a range of colours.
Bespoke Verse: Joanna, the brains behind the brand has used her Oxford degree to produce bone china mugs and make up pouches with specially selected poems and sayings, like “rude without food” and “stroppy without coffee”
Bare bones: Bare bones are a lighting factory based in the Midlands where they spin the metal as well as painting and plating it creating iconic industrial shapes.
Quirk Shades: We have started our collection with two hand rolled shades, matching in with our Quartz trend. Choose from our terrazzo print shade or the marble print with a copper inner.
East End Prints: This factory is based around the corner from the office and so we are rather attached to them! They print and frame in the UK and source amazing artist for us to work with.
Talk us through what we can expect to see from BHS at our roomsets?
Scarlett: We know our customer loves a chandelier and so this year we have focused on developing our range to include some beautiful contemporary chandeliers. We have put a new spin on the classic chandelier with a mixture of brass detailing and statement forms.
This new collection incorporates the glamour and sophistication of brass and the soft, feminine forms of frosted glass globes to create some real show stopper lighting pieces.