Deborah Meaden's Home Truths - on leaving mugs around the house and fixing her own toaster

Our favourite Dragon reveals her home truths, from her DIY prowess to her love of baths

Head shot of Deborah Meaden
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Dragons’ Den star and businesswoman lives in Somerset with her husband Paul and their five dogs.

What's the first thing you do the second you walk through your door?

I get completely jumped on by our dogs. I wish they were slightly less exuberant when I come home. It's like they haven't seen me for months. After I’ve fought my way through the front door, I take off my shoes.

What's your favourite time of day at home?

I am terrible in the mornings. People expect business people to be up at the crack of dawn. I don't take important meetings until 11am because my brain doesn't function until then. 

I love the evenings, especially in the summer. I can work until midnight if I need to but I will take a break in the evening, grab myself a cup of coffee, take my shoes off and wander around the garden, just to get my feet on the ground, fresh air in my lungs and remember what's important in life. I start every day barefoot in the garden, whether it's rain, snow or ice.

Head shot of Deborah Meaden

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Where’s your happy place?

My bath. I have an office at home so I shake off work with a bath between work and relaxation. My husband knows when I'm there, I’m not to be disturbed! I love bath products but discovered about two years ago that I'm allergic to them so I’ll drop some in some essential oils, like rose hip, geranium or eucalyptus.

What's your favourite homeware store?

I'm an internet shopper. I’m always buying with my ethics in mind, which definitely helps me make my decisions in Dragons’ Den. Investors never should forget that they’re consumers, too. I went for months without buying any clothes and after that my entire approach to shopping has changed. I now think, ‘Do I need it?’, spend time finding the right thing and will return if it's not. If you don't get a little heart leap when you open something, you probably ought not to keep it.

Do you have a bad home habit?

I'm a mug leaver. I put the mugs down to go and do something else and Paul is forever taking them back into the kitchen, muttering to himself.

Do you think you’re a good host?

I hope so. I'm a very relaxed host. We have a big enough kitchen where we serve drinks. I love that moment when Paul and I stand back, everybody’s having a party without us and I think, ‘Excellent! Another successful dinner party!’

Do you try your hand at DIY?

Yes, I'm pretty good! I’m the sparky in the house. Years ago, I ran a bingo hall and amusement arcades for a while, so I’m very comfortable with electrics. I’m not saying I would rewire a house but I’ll change plugs and check out fuses. We received a Dualit toaster for our wedding 30 years ago, and when two elements went down, I ordered two more and set to! 

What do you miss most about your home when you’re away?

My bath, my husband, my animals and fresh air!

Dragons Den Deborah Meaden wearing a cream jacket

(Image credit: BBC Studios/Simon Pantling)

In the hot seat

Shoes on or off?  Off.

Eat at table or laps?  I should lie but I can’t. Paul and I usually sit on the sofas eating supper.

Lighting - bright or moody? Moody. Bright light reminds me of offices.

Quick shower or long bath? Quick bath and very shallow. I usually come out with a red line half way up my leg.

Colourful or neutral? Probably neutral.

Neat or creative chaos? Creative chaos.

Music, radio, tv or quiet? That depends. Sometimes I want music on, then other times I want to be quiet and contemplate things.

The new series of Dragons’ Den is on BBC One every Thursday.