Autumn at Neptune

Images above: Jane Cumberbatch; Jane’s garden

Interiors stylist Jane Cumberbatch will be joining journalist Fiona McCarthy at Neptune homeware store on Chiswick High Rd on Thursday 30 September and again on Thursday 14 October to talk about how to create a style for your home and garden that makes the most of what’s around you and finds beauty in the simple and everyday.

Jane has a string of books to her name; the latest Pure Style in the Garden, extends her style philosophy to a property’s outside space.

“It is about making the home and the everyday both beautiful and functional without scrimping on the essentials, like white sheets and a good loaf of bread” she says.

“From baking a cake and growing beans, to rejuvenating a room with a lick of paint, a brightly coloured blanket, or a revamped junk shop find, Pure Style is practical and creative”.

Image above: This season’s colour palette: Clove

Autumn colours at Neptune

She will feel at home at Neptune. There is no doubt the homeware store exudes style. The homeware company is in now in its 25th year, having been set up by two friends in the Cotswolds, John Sims-Hilditch and Giles Redman, in 1996.

“The design aesthetic is more and more versatile” says Neptune’s Daniel Boden-Wilson. This season’s colour is Clove – a rich, dark berry colour. They don’t actually expect people to repaint their homes every season, but they do look to offer something fresh and seasonally appropriate if you’re in the mood for a freshen up.

Clove goes beautifully with Old Rose, Mustard and Moss, a pale grey-green, in their existing colour palette. Paint colours and fabrics complement each other regardless of the season and show off the contemporary take on country style which typifies their furniture.

Images above: Wycombe collection

Autumn collection

They’ve brought out the Wycombe collection this autumn, described as ‘Arts and Crafts revival’, including the Wycombe bench featured in the shop window, a high-backed bench of solid oak with a woven paper seat, which you can dress up or use as it is depending on whether you’re going for a cosy or a stripped back look.

Selling everything from fitted kitchens to paints and fabrics by the metre, Neptune has its own in-house designers and its own factory in China. Like everyone else they are facing supply chain challenges, but they at least are able to oversee every step of the production chain.

The creator of their autumn fabric range, Francesca Wardle, is a new young designer just starting out. Each season they are looking to add more UK suppliers, says Daniel, such as the Kersey throw made by the Bristol Weaving Mill and Isla velvet, woven in the UK.

The Chiswick shop is surprisingly large, divided up into a series of rooms with a patio space out the back where they show garden furniture. It’s laid out to feel as if you’re wandering through someone’s home, with a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living spaces leading off more conventional shop space at the front, with artfully placed accessories on a big table as you walk into from the High Rd, kitchen ware and candles and a body collection of lotions with fragrances developed in-house also.

Image above: Chiswick Store leader Anne-Marie Tavros

Store leader Anne-Marie Tavros tells me that since the pandemic people have tended to walk more up their end of the High Rd. She’s aware that they have suffered from being at the end of the High Rd which has less footfall, but once people find them, she says, they tend to come back.

I met Francesca and Peter in the ‘design library’ – an area with the floor space the size whole shops on Turnham Green Terrace, which is a quiet area where people can play around with fabric samples and paint colours and formulate their ideas without feeling the necessity of talking to one of the staff about it.

They’d bought their kitchen from Neptune and some other bits of furniture and were now looking at bar stools. In a moment of fun, Francesca said, she had bought bar stools with tractor seats in a playful nod to her husband’s suppressed desire to move to the country. Big mistake. They may look quirky and witty, but they’re really uncomfortable to sit on. Hence the return to Neptune and the sanctity of the design library to choose a fabric for their kitchen bar seats.

Image above: Francesca and Peter in the design library

“It’s brilliant because you can do it in your own time, not reliant on an assistant and there’s the space to mix and match and try things out”.

I confess to having gone away with a little pot of Clove Eggshell myself. Never let it be said that Chateau Osborne is not à la mode.

Jane Cumberbatch’s sessions are the first of a whole programme of events with makers, cooks and designer types, designed to entice us into the store.

Tickets £10. Price includes a copy of Pure Style in the Garden and a welcome drink. All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the charity Crisis.

Thursday 30 September, 6.00 – 8.30 pm – Register here.

Thursday 14 October, 6.00 8.30 pm – Register here.

305-307 Chiswick High Rd,
London W4 4HH

Tel:  0203 814 1220

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