Grand Illusions was created by Nick Ronald and David Roberts in December 1987, initially with just one small store in St Margaret's, Twickenham. The mission was to promote gifts, cards and accessories of good design and taste at an affordable price - still very much the core business ethic to this day.
Shortly afterwards, they discovered and developed a paint range that was to transform their lives. In those days, painted furniture was something of a rarity, and a twenty two drawer chest painted in one of the new paints caught the eye of 'Homes & Gardens' magazine - the small feature resulted in over a thousand telephone calls and the seeds of the highly acclaimed furniture collection were sown.
This also led to the publication of three Grand Illusions books on decorating techniques and design inspiration, published in five countries by Ebury Press and accompanied by guest appearances on BBC2's Home Front and various local BBC radio stations.
They published their first mail-order catalogue in 1990 which was immediately voted as one of the top 200 catalogues in a new worldwide review and several issues later, they were awarded the contract to operate 'Country Living by Post' on behalf of the magazine, in addition to their own unique programme.
Today the company's activities are concentrated almost entirely on wholesale. All the products are designed or selected by the duo and supplied to over 500 stockists across the UK and Ireland.
The company is also the exclusive distributor for Mr Plant of Sweden.
In January 2012, Grand Illusions became part of the Virginia Hayward Group of companies.