Furniture expert Richard Forwood and designer Julian Chichester founded Julian Chichester in 1988. In 1987 they went travelling, with the idea of buying furniture in Thailand and Burma, which they would then bring back to their shop in Portobello Road. Already, Chichester’s distinctive point of view included eclectic pieces from four-poster beds to teak sculptures and ikat silks.
Dakota oval dining table
Other sources of inspiration for the designer include cultural trends, and also re-interpretations of pieces created by celebrated designers such as Jindrich Halabala and Jean-Michel Frank. It is Chichester’s understated glamour and contemporary edge that caught our attention at Decorex a few years ago. Their unexpected use of materials such as églomisé glass, gesso, vellum, faux stingray, and aged brass cladding made their furniture stand out from the crowd. And there is a timeless and undeniably English appeal to every piece.
Royere long cabinet
Julian started trading shares in a suit in the city, but by 1987 he’d had enough. Travelling to the Far East seemed like a natural step to liberate his creative mind and begin a journey that now spans over three decades. The business grew organically from there on, moving out of Portobello, starting to design their own 18th and 19th century garden furniture, and by 1995 Chichester had diversified into an interior furniture collection. It launched to great acclaim at Decorex in Chicago with just five pieces all in black with gilt detail.
Anna cabinet in ebonised oak or bleached oak
The great thing about the Julian Chichester range is that you can’t really pigeonhole it. It’s not just one style; it ranges from very classical pieces, to more informal, undulated and contemporary designs. Mixing styles is important to the company and is the perfect match for The Longest Stay’s design aesthetic. For instance, the Regency long wave cabinet is a standout piece that can be made to your own specification. It is also available in a smaller version, and a chest of drawers with an equally stunning design.
Henri tall cabinet
Bacco tall floor lamp
Royere small cabinet
Their eclectic approach and deep interest in innovative finishes has seen their furniture showcased around the world. Including London’s Berkeley Hotel and The Astoria in St Petersburg, Russia, to The Twelve Apostles in Cape Town, South Africa and the Ritz Carlton, Laguna Beach, USA. Julian Chichester pieces have a balance – the right mix of functionality, a great look, and made to last. Now, that is our certainly our cup of tea.