Hanging around.

When I arrived in the business all the way back in 1987 the world seemed to be covered in wallpaper.

My mum was a decorating enthusiast and it seemed to me that every month something was changing in my house.

Usually, that meant a new wallpaper somewhere.

But when I started working in the shop I was still amazed by how many patterns and styles there were.

And many of the companies that were the most popular back then, Hill & Knowles, Sue Stowell, Crowsons and Doshi are no longer around.

Crowsons Wallpaper
Sue Stowell Border

We had a big trend in the New England style, there were plenty of stripes below dado and plains above, paper borders often acted as the dado and shaped borders added a touch of flair to any ceiling line.

Anaglypta was colourwashed and toiles were adding art to sumptuously decorated rooms.

And then the world of wallpaper seemed to disappear almost overnight!

I blame the early 1990’s recession.

We all started to simply paint our rooms and plain became the name of the game.

Changing Rooms hit our screens in 1996 and encouraged us to paint anything that didn’t move.

Wallpaper was off the table, quite literally!

I must confess that I thought it would never return.

And then the feature wall turned up.

10 years ago a feature wall was the biggest statement that could be made in a beautiful home…

And then glitter wallcoverings arrived and added an unmissable sparkle to so many homes that suddenly plain paint just wouldn’t do anymore.

And just a few years ago the world remembered the beauty of an entirely papered room.

And so we’re back, full circle.

Now with Focus, Decorex & Design week showcasing beautiful wallcoverings from all over the world and companies such as Arte, Omexco, Today Interiors & Osborne & Little, leading the way, the wallpapered house is once again an art piece, ready to show off to guests and be enjoyed every time you relax in your favourite chair.

I’m glad it’s back.

Do pop in and let us help you create your own perfectly papered palace ( or place ) from our thousands of beautiful patterns available to view in both our Buckhurst Hill or Harlow showrooms.

Be well.


Bring the outdoors in

Osborne & Little

As we move from summer into Autumn, nights get darker & days get colder. We often find ourselves spending a lot more time inside than out. But with nature playing a big role in our lives, why not use indoor foliage & botanical prints to bring the outdoors in.

We are continuing to see a trend of tropical designs, whether it is through wallpaper or fabrics. Even accessories such as vases have proven popular in shades of green. With science studies showing that looking at green hues can decrease your heart rate & alleviate stress, it’s no wonder we are all drawn to it! Who doesn’t want to alleviate stress?

It’s not just wallpapers & fabrics though, the industry have also seen a rise in green kitchens. This could be just the island or all units, green has been a hit either way.

So here are a couple of my favourites to inspire your own botanical themed interior:

New paint, old tins

Many of you probably realise that we are an old company.

We’ve occupied our shop in Buckhurst Hill for the past 52 years since 1969.

And while we’re really proud of our heritage we don’t just stand still and wait for the world to go round without us.

Mr Johnson was a paint rep for Manders paints before he started the business.

Manders were the Zinsser of their day, problem solving and innovative paints were their bread and butter.

He instilled this ethos into me when I joined the firm in 1987.

I’ve never stopped looking out for new and better ideas to bring to my customers.

I’ve seen the demise of lead paint and the rise of acrylics.

The death of VOC unfriendly paints and the move to replenishable cleaner solvents.

My son, Ryan, discovered Benjamin Moore paints while he was on holiday in America.

He was the first person I ever heard say the name Tikkurila.

And he brought Graphenstone, the Greenest White paint in the world to our business!

I like to think that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

When I moved into our new premises at Harlow, my daughter created the mural you can see here for me from old paint adverts.

Worryingly, I can still remember a lot of them when they were new!

And my old paint can collection which I have in my office has the first paint I ever used in it, (Aquaseal 77) and the first paint I ever tested, (Dulux Weathershield Gloss Moorland)

Our new showroom at Harlow has my collection of old paint adverts and posters on display.

It’s fair to say, I love a bit of paint history.

However, we’ll always look forwards.

Paint spray technology, dustless sanding, and new site lighting are among the things we’ve brought to you over the past few years and the future will certainly be steered by those…

But what about paint drones, self cleaning paints and whatever sci-fi decorating tech is just around the corner?

Well, we’ll keep a keen eye peeled and keep you informed!

Be well!