As we begin a new season, there is much to celebrate here at The Conran Shop. The 4th October is not only the birthday of our founder, Sir Terence Conran, but it is also the month that marks 21 years since our Marylebone store first opened its doors.
To commemorate these Conran occasions, we look back at some of Sir Terence’s best observations and delve into the history and origins of our store on Marylebone High Street.
FOR HE’S A JOLLY GOOD FELLOW
Today marks our founder Sir Terence Conran’s 87th birthday. Having now channelled his versatile creativity into design for over 70 years, Sir Terence Conran has consistently pioneered his ethos that good, accessible design improves the quality of everyday life.
As a man of unwaveringly good opinion, we thought what better way to celebrate the pioneer’s birthday than to collate a few pearls of Conran wisdom. Without further ado, we present a brief selection of the designer, taste-maker and restaurateur’s theories and aphorisms about life, food and, of course, design. Happy birthday Sir Terence!
The Conran Shop
“In 1973, I opened the first branch of The Conran Shop on the site of the original Habitat store in Fulham Road, Chelsea. I always thought that The Conran Shop should be filled with the very best and most interesting products and furniture from the four corners of the world. I wanted it to be a shop that sold more classic, modern furniture for a more informed generation, such as Eames, Bauhaus originals and Mies van der Rohe, alongside fine glassware and china, beautiful handmade rugs and the very best French cookware.
“It was my dream store. Simple functionality, considered design and the latest innovations are the foundation of its philosophy, as important today as it was in 1974.”
“The designer’s job is to imagine the world not how it is, but how it should be. Perhaps believing in good design is like believing in God, it makes you an optimist.”
“If our homes should provide anything, they should provide a sense of who we are and how we got here, a sense of connection balanced by a sense of direction and progress.”
“It is incredibly satisfying to be able to offer people the complete experience that a restaurant can bring: good food and drink, comfort, friendly service, conviviality, entertainment and companionship, all under one well-designed roof.”
A MARYLEBONE MILESTONE
Originally an abandoned stable at the north end of Marylebone High Street, in 1997 the building underwent a complete refurbishment under the pioneering eye of Sir Terence Conran to become The Conran Shop’s second London showroom. Now home to three floors of interiors inspiration, The Conran Shop Marylebone celebrates its 21st anniversary this month as one of London’s most iconic stores.
A once forgotten pocket of North London, Sir Terence Conran’s renovation of The Conran Shop transformed the area into what has since been described as a “hidden wonder of the West End”. Thanks to Sir Terence’s ability to spot the potential of an unsung area, Marylebone High Street is now a bustling metropolis of art, design and culture that has managed to retain its tranquil village atmosphere.
Yards away from the chamber music of Wigmore Hall and the handiwork of Diego Velázquez at the Wallace Collection, the addition of The Conran Shop Marylebone helped to complete a cultural trail that still delights visitors today.
Boasting three floors of iconic design inspiration, The Conran Shop presents a unique shopping experience in the heart of Marylebone. Showcasing a host of designs by mid-century masters and up-and-coming talents alike, The Conran Shop Marylebone proudly displays a carefully curated selection of contemporary furnishings, iconic pieces, one-of-a-kind vintage furniture, fashion accessories and innovative gifts.
Continually developing, the store now boasts additions like the new Rooftop Garden, an urban jungle which offers an outdoor space full of furniture, lighting, accessories, planters, pots and vintage pieces.
Also home to the Conran Kitchen and GREENSTORE on the ground floor, as well as the critically acclaimed Orrery restaurant run by D+D London, The Conran Shop Marylebone has earned its place on the London design map.
For more information about how to visit us at any of our stores, click here.