In the last decade, Julian Chichester has established an enviable reputation for classically inspired, quality English furniture. Our influence has come from the great furniture designers of the 19th and 20th centuries, interpreted in a unique and contemporary way.
It is hard to imagine but Julian Chichester began his career in the City, the British equivalent of Wall Street, as a stock broker. He didn’t find the work gratifying so he took off to travel, heading first to Thailand and Burma. There he stumbled upon beautifully made and reasonably priced teak furniture – and, inadvertently his next career, importing the pieces to the U.K. He found a partner based in the Far East, Richard Forwood, and together they launched a business. Sales grew slowly at first, until 1988, when staring at a photograph of a glazed front bookcase, Chichester had an inspiration. Instead of serving as a middle man, why shouldn’t he design and create his own pieces? He headed to Asia again, this time Vietnam, to locate craftsman able to execute his new ideas. Almost immediately, he found the right match. “We just gave him this design, and he came up with our first piece of garden furniture” says Chichester.
As it turned out Chichester and Forwood had a natural eye for the work, and over the next five years, they moved slowly from the elaborate carved outdoor pieces that gave them a start in the business to elegant, more formal indoor items inspired by Gustavian furniture and style masters such as David Hicks and Jean Royer. Design magazines began covering the line, and soon the duo had an enthusiastic following among high-end decorators.
Soon they opened a showroom in the Old Imperial Laundry, a design outpost in the Battersea district of London, and by 1995 they had created a complete collection of furniture and lighting. Laura Kincade is proud to offer the entire Julian Chichester collection.
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