DES­TI­NA­TION STORE CHAP­LINS

Some­times, big­ger is bet­ter. This Lon­don-based em­po­rium of mod­ern fur­ni­ture stocks a breath­tak­ingly broad se­lec­tion of de­sign brands

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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)

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