A Wonderful Day with Next Home

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Last Thursday I set off from home to meet up with a few other Northern bloggers at the newly reopened Next store in the Gemini Retail Park, Warrington. The store has been rebuilt and expanded following a fire which severely damaged a section of the store. The newly extended store is now the home of the third Next Home and Garden Store to open, and the first of that kind in the North West.

We were met by the lovely ladies from Next's PR team who treated us to a tour of the new home and garden sections of the store. We had Next's themes for homeware explained to us and were shown how the themes echoed throughout the different collections for each room and into the garden. I was quite surprised to find out that Next Home and Garden stores sell a range of exclusive products only available in those stores, including carpets, tiles and flooring, paint, fencing, decking, bulbs and seeds. Basically everything you would need for the perfect home or garden. They also offer a home design service which allows customers to bring in images and dimensions of their rooms and be supplied with practical design ideas and a shopping list.

The store is arranged by room and features lots of mini room arrangements throughout. This is a really visual way of exploring and explaining how all the different collections work together, from lighting through to paint and wallpaper and soft furnishings. The displays are incredibly attractive and it is great to see how easy it is to achieve effective results using the Next range.

Next Gemini Homeware

I was particularly interested to see the garden centre  as this part of Next's range was completely new to me. We were accompanied by the head buyer for Next's garden range and she explained how the range had been put together and their aims in doing so. She wants it to be easy for customers to identify the plants that will work best in their gardens so they are arranged by the kind of conditions they like - simple but effective. I was surprised to see a good range of basic gardening supplies there, who knew Next sold compost and mulch? It's really clear that Next are real exponents of the 'garden room' trend as their range included beautfiul garden furniture, ornaments,lighting and pots, many of which echoed the main homeware trends.

Next Gemini Garden Centre

My favourite thing in the entire store was this magnificent summer house. I'd love to have something like this in my garden. I can just imagine sitting out there with my laptop and a pot of tea, catching up on blog posts and enjoying the peace and quiet. It would be bliss!

Next Home and Garden Summerhouse

We were treated to a £50 giftcard to spend in store and I really was spoilt for choice. We're currently working on the house and there were so many different items I could have chosen for a new home somewhere in mine. In the end I plumped for a beautiful birdhouse lampshade for Little Miss' room, her new soft furnishing and wall stickers all feature little tweety birds so this will be perfect (watch out for how it all comes together in a blog post soon). I also bought a calendar clock which allows you to change the date everyday. As well as being attractive I think this will help Bud to learn the days of the week and it is going to look great in our kitchen. I even have a little left on the giftcard so I'm going to take Red Rose Daddy with me to choose something for our bedroom with the remaining balance.

Next Birdhouse lightshade and calendar clock

Following the tour we were whisked down to the Cottons Hotel and Spa in Knutsford and treated to afternoon tea, spa treatments (I had a manicure and an amazing facial) and then a wonderful evening meal where the wine and chat flowed freely! It really was the most perfect day, time spent with some bloggers who are already friends and the opportunity to meet some new friends. Having a day to be Pippa rather than Mummy is a very rare treat for me these days and one where I was spoiled rotten, like I was by Next that day, is even more so. It really was a wonderful day.

Disclaimer: I received a £50 Next voucher, day at the hotel, evening meal and goodie bag. I was not asked to write about the day and all thoughts and opinions are my own.