What’s exciting you in the world of contemporary design right now?
The beauty of design is that it is always moving. Fashion has a major influence on interior trends and consumers are seeing the importance of accessorising current interiors with signature pieces. Fashion houses are now collaborating with major furniture brands to bridge the gap between fashion and home interiors.
What are your best-sellers?
Our collection covers 100 years of contemporary furniture design. There are loveable pieces that have become a permanent fixture to our store, such as the Maralunga sofa for Cassina designed by Vico Magistretti in 1973, which has endured due to its simple design and comfort.
How do you choose the pieces you’re going to feature in the showroom?
We visit the major international trade shows then edit the 150 different manufacturers we work with, choosing the very best and livable pieces that will appeal to our client base and set the trend for the coming years.
Where do you see the most innovative designs coming from?
The Italians still have the edge, taking risks in using new materials in their productions. They are also integrating modern technology into their furniture design especially with regards to entertainment systems, such as the new AV collections from Acerbis.
Is your own house full of contemporary pieces?
My house is an eclectic mix of old and new design. Every piece at home represents a chapter in my life and has a story behind it. Many of the newer items are replacements of items I grew up with, such as the Togo Sofa from Michel Ducaroy, which first arrived in our household in 1973!
Do you think appearing on Big Brother ruined the Fritz Hansen Egg Chair?
Not half as much as seeing the copies in McDonald’s. Big Brother has always shown the authentic and licensed pieces, as such they brought awareness of them to the masses. The problem is when poorly made copies are made and the general public and unaware of the differences.
If you had a pick a design to be an antique of the future, what would it be?
Launched earlier this year the DS 9045 side tables from De Sede are a cert. Made from laser cut aluminium they will look as beautiful in 50 years as they do now.
I’ve got £1,000 to spend on a very special Christmas present. What do you recommend?
Calling it a lamp would be underselling it. The versatile design allows you to have it flat like a pizza or standing tall and proud like a cobra ready to strike. Ron Arads PizzaKobra light
If Simon Chaplin didn’t sell contemporary furniture, he would be a….
Racing driver… My love of petrol has always been there and to travel the world doing something I love would be almost as good as designing beautiful homes.
SIMON’S LITTLE BLACK BOOK
Nicholas James Jewellers – Hatton Garden, EC1N
They share the same design ethos as us. Manufacturing some of the most beautiful contemporary jewellery.
Crazy Bear – Beaconsfield
This boutique restaurant/hotel’s flamboyant interior always makes me smile when I walk through the doors. Their cocktails are good too!
I love wearing his shoes. Their mix of classic design with contemporary twists suit my lifestyle perfectly.
*Interview with Simon Chaplin taken from the January 2011 edition of Country & Town House Magazine.