- Hand painted items of furniture
- Childrens toys
- Cookware items for sale
- Gifts for all occasions
Pastures New has been established for 25 years in a historic High Street building that was once the paymasters office of the former Woodhams brewery on nearby Star Hill, that had been converted into a drapers shop. The female war artist Evelyn Dunbar, who was educated in Rochester and is known to have sold her work locally, was the sister of the previous proprietor.
Sue Hyland originally started the business with a fellow teacher because they both enjoyed painting as a hobby. Sue seized the opportunity to move on to "pastures new" by developing specialist skills in hand painting items of wooden furniture from her husband's business.
Sue has also branched out into cookware, with a wide variety of essential utensils and accessories displayed on the ground floor of the shop. She has noticed an immediate response by customers to stock items endorsed on television by celebrity chefs or featured on programmes such as "Come Dine with Me".
Hand painted items of furniture, which are made to order on the premises, continue to be the mainstay of the business. In the upstairs showroom and painting studio on the first floor, you will probably have the opportunity to see the painstaking work of hand painting in progress on current commissions for yourself, together with samples of recently completed items.
The possibility of commissioning a charming hand-painted item for a child's bedroom is popular with customers of all ages. Everything from toy boxes to height charts, chests of drawers or beds, can be hand painted and inscribed with the child's name and appropriate decorative motifs, with prices starting from under £30. If you are interested in commissioning an item it's essential to visit the showroom in person to discuss the design. Ideally 6-8 weeks notice is required for larger items of complex design; but there is some flexibility for smaller items to be created at shorter notice, for example as a christening gift.
Sue has recently noticed a trend for customers to commission hand painted boxes as a unique keepsake for a happy couple on the occasion of their wedding, with the box decorated with motifs specific to the individuals involved, and the date of the wedding inscribed on the inside of the lid.