And they are still delivering…. Way back BV (Before the Virus – BC sounded a little too far back) I met the team behind Neptune and we decided to work together for a year on a mix of projects that would include in-store events (they will now take place later in the year) – product consultancy and development and writing about it. Neptune is a family-run business based in Wiltshire and for today’s Wednesday Ad Break (been a while since we had one of those) I wanted to tell you not just a little about them but also to let you know that they are still operating and you can buy not just furniture and kitchens but also paint and fabric from them.
Their paint is made by a well-known UK brand and it’s great quality with lots of lush colours. In fact it was this image that first stopped me in my tracks as it was so different from their usual styling not to mention the same colour as my own sitting room. This is called Walnut by the way and it’s available now. There are are 32 colours to choose from which I like – a tight, well-curated collection is so much easier to work with than 100s of variations on a theme.
I had already worked with them a little on their quarterly magazine, Stories, and will be doing so again on their Journal – the online version which has taken precedence for the time being and is a lovely magazine. And before we leave the paint story let’s not forget this gorgeous saffron, which is new this year. I saw a kitchen the other day which had the base units in a similar shade and the wall cupboards in a soft plastery pink – it was heavenly and is definitely taking up a little space in what the 16yo used to call my Saving Space in my head.
That said, Neptune will also paint furniture in the colours of your choice – this is also still happening but may take a little longer than the standard two week delivery. So you could have a dresser like this, painted in their rose pink, and put saffron on the inside to give you a visual treat when you open the doors or provide a contrasting backdrop to the plates and objects displayed on the shelves.
This may also be a good time for anyone who has a sewing machine in the back of the cupboard. I do, although the tension seems to have gone wrong and I can’t get it right again. But I reckon it would be good enough for a cushion – not sure I’d trust the stitching on a pair of trousers…
One friend has told me she is finally going to take down the blinds she hates, buy some new material and re-use the parts to make new blinds. I’m in awe of that talent and it sounds like a really good idea to refresh a room. Also custom-made window dressings can be expensive so if you have the skills – and it is mostly straight lines – and the tools then it might save a significant amount of money.
In addition to kitchens, for which they are, perhaps, best known, Neptune also sells furniture for the rest of the house. At the moment they are doing online consultations and even video calls and have sold an entire kitchen this way – to be fitted at a later date. They told me: “The current situation means that we have looked to evolve our service in a way unseen before, in an attempt to bring all the unique and personal details that a customer would get in-store, online.
“We are trying to keep as similar to our in-store experience as possible and continue providing an expert and personal service for our customers.”
So there is a free creative consultation which starts with an initial conversation via video (using Microsoft Teams / Zoom) so the home designers can do their usual fact-finding to discover more about a customer’s project and what their likes and dislikes are. But instead of the at-home visit the designers will need the customer to do their own measurements and will tell people what exactly they need to measure via webcam.
Now usually the designers go through A3 hard copy presentations in-store to produce a moodboard, sample board and to-scale sketches. Now, however, they are sharing the same presentations in a digital format and talking them through with customers using webcam and the ‘share screen’ service. And the installation and styling services will take place once the lockdown is over.
In terms of delivery and those working in offices, you can read all that the safety measures in place here but essentially the distribution team have moved from their desks to a large open plan space to maintain distance, vans are loaded one at a time with two people – always in the same pairs to minimise any spread of infection – with gloves and a full clean between loads and all deliveries are contactless.
So do have a look at what they have if you fancy a little refresh of walls or windows – or even a new cushion. I shall be continuing to interrogate my new found attraction to this shade of yellow, after all it looks like I’ve got time to ponder it.
This is a sponsored post for Neptune and you can read about my collaboration and sponsored post policy here. I will be writing about a couple of their new product launches in due course and the plan is that I will host a few book related events in their stores around the country as soon as that is permitted.