London furniture buying guide: the best design in town

Digital shopping is great. But nothing beats the hands-on, tactile pleasure of browsing the best furniture showrooms in person. To make the most of what the UK capital has to offer, follow this district-by-district guide to furniture shopping and window shopping in London.

Port of Chelsea Design Center

Visionary, London furniture store in the Port of Chelsea, with soft color palettes and a large marble dining table with chairs

Visionary, Port of Chelsea

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It’s your one-stop-shop for all things interiors. London’s premier furniture shopping destination for interior designers, Design Center Chelsea Harbor features 120 design showrooms, and a tour of its bright domed spaces promises great inspiration and resources in interior design material.

The offering includes sophisticated Italian design by the likes of Gallotti & Radice, Visionary and Flex form (opens in a new tab)a wide selection of textiles by the best in the sector, among which Kvadrat, Dedar and Romeand bathroom inspiration from leading brands such as Victoria + Albert Baths (opens in a new tab).

South Kensington

Boffi De Padova London Furniture Shopping Showroom, exterior, South Kensington with glass and steel

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Furniture shopping in London can’t be complete without a few visits to showrooms in South Kensington, and more with new openings in Spring 2021. Boffi and De Padua took over a three-storey building in the neighborhood (72-74 Sloane Avenue) for their new loft-style showroom combining Boffi kitchens and De Padova furniture (including its minimalist collection created in collaboration with the Japanese brand Time & Style (opens in a new tab)), presented through immersive interiors.

Living room interior with pink and white furniture and geometric rug by Giorgetti in his London showroom

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Longtime residents of the area also include Molteni & C. (245-249 Brompton Road), whose showroom was opened in 2019 and designed by Vincent Van Duysen, B&B Italy (250 Brompton Road), also offering lighting by Flos and Louis Poulsen, Cassina (238 Brompton Road), Kartell (223 Brompton Road) and Meridiani (10 Place Thurloe). Local design destination The Conran Store (81 Fulham Road) is also nearby, selling iconic furniture and designer items as well as books, accessories and gifts.

Officina Gullo

(Image credit: Officine Gullo)

A little further south are new showrooms by kitchen brand Officina Gullo (62 – 64 Fulham Road) and Giorgetti (54-58 Fulham Road). Italian design companies complete the rich furniture shopping offer in the region. Poliform (278 King Road) and Lema (183 King Road).

Fitzrovia

The interior of the Minotti London furniture showroom

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In the heart of the city is Minotti‘s (77 Margaret Street) offering the brand’s sophisticated collections such as Nendo and Marcio Kogan (opens in a new tab)while UniFor (12-16 Fitzroy Street), part of the Molteni & C family, features a full portfolio of office furniture designed by the likes of Aldo Rossi (opens in a new tab) and AMO.

A little further east, on Wigmore street, are the kitchen showrooms: Gaggenau, Bulthaup, Boffi and Siematics are all close to each other.

Clerkenwell

Five colorful wood and wicker chairs by Carl Hansen and Son

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Contract Furniture Heaven Clerkenwell includes immersive furniture shopping destinations such as Carl Hansen & Son (16 Bowling Green Lane), Cappellini (150 Saint-Jean Street) and Arper (11 Clerkenwell Road) and Ceramic Irises (61-67 Old Street), as well as a multi-brand store Viaduct (1-10 Summers Street) selling pieces from a wide range of contemporary brands and designers.

Among the latest openings in the region is the outdoor furniture specialist Kettal (115-16 Dufferin Street).

Shoreditch

Brick facade of SCP furniture store London

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Heading east, the final leg of this London furniture-shopping journey takes us to Shoreditch, where independent design showrooms offer an eclectic glimpse of contemporary creativity: SCP (135-139 Curtain Road) is perhaps the most exciting location in Shoreditch, with its own furniture designed by Philippe Malouin and Michael Young, as well as a wide selection of lighting and furniture brands, as well as objects and design curiosities.

Jasper MorrissonThe own boutique is a short walk away (24b Kingsland Road), selling a curated selection of the British designer’s items as well as his eclectic finds. Scandinavian design specialist Skandium has also opened its latest location nearby (14 Bacon Street), selling one of the best selections of furniture, accessories and objects from London’s Nordic brands and designers.

The latest to arrive in the region is Vitra (32 Rivington St), which has taken over the area’s former Tramshed to present its contemporary and historical collections.

Interior of Aram store in London with arched window

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Also worth mentioning are several independent boutiques that have helped make London an exciting design destination. Among these are those of Islington twenty-one (274/275 High Street), Store at Covent Garden (10 Drury Lane) and Tom Dixonthe design universe of King’s Cross’ Coal Drops Yard (4-10 Bagley Walk), which has recently expanded to accommodate Porro showroom in London.

About Gertrude H. Kerr

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