DESTINATION STORE CHAPLINS
Sometimes, bigger is better. This London-based emporium of modern furniture stocks a breathtakingly broad selection of design brands
What’s the store’s history? James Chaplin opened his eponymous furniture shop in north London in 1993. It may have been small to begin with, but rapid expansion saw it upsize to its current 2,322-square-metre home in Hatch End. Its mission is to vanquish the need to visit multiple stores for every different brand or product on your interiors shopping list. Today, it is known as a tried-and-trusted stockist. What will I find there? The latest collections by heavyweight brands, such as B&B Italia, Porro, Ligne Roset, Porada, Cattelan Italia and Hulsta, alongside classics by Panton, Le Corbusier and the Eames, plus a few new collections from emerging designers. The standard is consistently high: ‘If any piece cannot stand on its own on a plinth and be considered something of beauty, then it will not make it into our selection,’ says James Chaplin’s son Simon, who now runs the company.
Chaplins may be big, but its staff are knowledgeable and passionate enough to ensure that only the best of modern design makes it onto the shop floor
What makes it unique? Its size. The impressive scale of the store means that Chaplins can stock a lot of any given piece – in different colourways, materials and dimensions. ‘ We also have the freedom to buy into trends quickly, without having to constantly analyse figures,’ says James Press, Chaplins’ head of marketing. What makes it a must-visit? Unusually for a shop housing large furniture, roomsets change regularly and rapidly – there will be something new to see on each visit. This might explain Chaplins’ mix of customers – as Simon Chaplin tells us: ‘Our clients range from young footballers to retired couples looking to refurnish their homes now that their children have flown the nest.’ And if I can’t make it to the store? If you aren’t based near London, we recommend using Chaplins’ richly stocked online store. The ‘Live Chat’ puts you through to members of the team who – rejoice! – actually exist and are happy and speedy to assist. 477–507 Uxbridge Road, Hatch End HA5 ( chaplins.co.uk)