Fresh from Glastonbury, on Tuesday I headed down to London to the B&Q Aw14 Press Day. On a lovely sunny day I was greeted at the door to the event by Father Christmas – all quite surreal in July!
B&Q are aware that they’re currently perceived as a destination for practical help and advice rather than for interior style inspiration and their Christmas collection really demonstrates the work that they’re doing to try and change this.
I dove right in to the full Christmas experience, first viewing the new collection of Christmas trees. The range this year has expanded from the traditional imitation trees to include more pre-lit and pre decorated trees to make it easier and more fun for the customers. Everyone’s had arguments whilst untangling the lights right? There are even pre decorated trees that are formed from one long spiral of wire and simple drop down into position with no complicated assembly required! One of my favourites was an indoor/outdoor twig looking tree with coloured berry lights. The lights can be changed to a variety of colours and wouldn’t look out of place in a summer garden with the purple and blues setting which can then be changed to the more traditional red and green at Christmas.
On the theme of lights, B&Q also highlighted their
They have also increased the range of smaller trees for people who don’t have the space for a large tree (or want to introduce a bit of Christmas into every room!) which also includes pre-lit options. There was also a range of novelty outdoor lights for the people who like to go the whole hog!
The collection of baubles and tree hangings has also expanded into new colourways so that they complement any interior design. They’ve also added some pieces that wouldn’t look out of place hanging off door knobs or drawer handles all year round.
There were a number of example room sets each with a Christmas touch in quite distinct themes, the Prelude collection is full of opulent fabrics and luxury colours like rich purples, golds and teals. I love the peacock print cushion and baroque style mirror. There was also a gorgeous table lamp made out of copper wire which I fell in love with!
My absolute favourite setup was the traditional Christmas room complete with steamer trunk, plenty of stag head prints, upcycled crates and neutral and red colour tones – the perfect shabby chic Christmas!
Throughout the room displays there were also lots of quirky little styling tips like battery operated fairy lights or baubles in glass jars which were very cute.
I also liked the display for “Alternative Christmas Essentials” based on Christmas bestsellers which included toilet seats – not just your plain old white toilet seat though, or even wood – a sparkly toilet seat! Hell yes!
They’ve also beefed up the range of wall art with contemporary prints with colourful tones. I particularly liked the red glitter lips canvas.
They also showcased some of the new wallpaper designs for the season including a lovely gold metallic paper that can just be seen on the end of the below picture.
Another focus of the day was to highlight B&Q’s focus on sustainability and ethically sourced wood. A lovely guy called Pete talked me through all the effort that has taken place over the last 20 years for B&Q’s product range to use 100% sustainable wood from paint brush handles and picture frames to timber.
This is a fantastic achievement! Not just content with that though, B&Q have reduced their carbon emissions by 20% since 2006 and aim to reduce them by 90% by 2023 really demonstrating their commitment to the health of the planet.
The final part of the press day was the announcement of the launch of Valspar which will be fully rolled out to all B&Q stores by October. Where the Dulux colour matching system matches a sample to the nearest colour in their range, Valspar matches colours to what the eye can see i.e. identical! I’m so excited for the launch of the Valspar range – the paint will cover most surfaces (including laminated wood) and comes in a varity of finishes and the range also boasts wood varnishes too! The possibilities for this collection are endless – it’s about time that a multi-surface paint is available in the exact colour that you need!
The event really demonstrated the transition that B&Q is trying to make from a hardware retailer to a full service interior design specialist and I was very impressed with some of the new innovations. I also came away with a lovely goodie bag! 🙂