Top-end furniture and homewares retailers are not uncommon in the more chichi parts of central London. And many of them still seem to favour minimalism.
Top-end furniture and homewares retailers are not uncommon in the more chichi parts of central London. And many of them still seem to favour minimalism of the kind that put the kibosh on Marks & Spencer’s ill-fated Lifestore pretty much before it got away from the starting blocks back in 2004.
Not so the upscale Conran Shop on Marylebone High Street, which creates in-store roomsets and vignettes of the kind that may not grace every home, but which it is nonetheless conceivable that you might wish to live in.
The store has in fact just emerged from a makeover that involved recreating the interior, and on each of its three levels it is a homage to visual merchandising.
From the moment you look at the window, which features outsize wooden shipping crates with one side removed to display the brightly coloured contents, to the point at which you arrive in the ‘apartment’ on the third floor, it’s hard not to want to examine everything. There is little doubt that most of the items that are on offer appeal, but it is the manner in which they are combined that makes the sum of the parts much greater than its individual components.
The other point is that there is enough merchandise at the lower end of the affordable (but still not cheap) scale to tempt the more parsimonious, and shoppers can walk through the door without the sense that the bank account is about to be emptied.
The shop has been around for a very long time but the revamp has given it a new lease of life. And in terms of roomsets, the kitchen area on the first floor does take some beating.