Behind the design,


Discover more about the artist and inspiration behind this popular cushion.

The story of Seraphine

The hand-painted, impressionist design of the Seraphine is much loved for the sense of atmosphere it adds to living spaces. We chat to Hannah from our Design team, who shares her journey into art and the inspiration behind this piece.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your journey in art? How did you get started?

I’ve been with the company 6 years now, most will know me as the NZ trade rep, but I’ve also been heavily involved in our Baya product development for the last 4 years. This includes assisting with the general creative direction for the brand and the art direction of our catalogues. It’s a wonderful, varied role. 

In terms of my own journey into art and design, it’s partly hereditary. My grandfather was a visual merchandiser and artist and my parents heavily encouraged my creativity. I ended up studying Spatial Design and have only recently begun exploring my own painting practice. It started as part of doing the art direction for our catalogue shoots and doing pieces for our sets.  From that I pulled some paintings into our new product development process. It’s been wonderful to see how well received the Seraphine cushion has been.

“I love the idea of art being accessible, and not having to be just on your walls”

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Inspiration really can (and does) come from anywhere. I’m drawn to a diverse range of art forms, obviously spatial design and architecture influence me heavily. Ultimately that’s where soft furnishings or paintings end up, occupying spaces. But objects are also a passion of mine, particularly ceramics and sculpture. 

Within Baya product development it’s a mix of trend forecasting, interpreting trends for an Australasian customer., and of course inspiration is always found in the design community of NZ & Australia. Colour, materiality, texture, and the process of making also heavily influence our development process. 

Image via: Colin King

Tell us about the inspiration & process behind the painting?

Seraphine was inspired by the mood and cloud formations that envelop the Waitakere ranges near my home in Auckland. Observing the weather approaching carries a genuine sense of beauty and apprehension.

image via: russellstreet

“With this painting, I was exploring the process of dry brushing, washes, and allowing the paint to drip down the canvas. It’s a gradual process, as layers of paint build up."

Colour choices

I love using rich taupe tones as they convey a sense of warmth and balance. The predominant shade here a muddy taupe with sage undertones. The addition of navy adds an element of elegance and sophistication.