Hebden Home Office_Colour Zoning_01


The versatility of Chawton

The versatility of Chawton

Chawton isn’t a new topic for us here on the journal. And rightly so: as a storage design that you can build up piece by piece to be configured exactly how you need it, and that’s also made from solid timber and hardwood ply with refined details like black-bronze hardware and oak interiors, it’s a pretty special design indeed. But, while we’ve interviewed its designer, Henry, about its reason for being, and talked about how it can fit into your home as a bookcase (here), we haven’t yet delved into some of the other ways it could form a very valued part of your life. So here we go: four ways you might use Chawton, and how its versatility will ensure its place for decades to come.

The living room centrepiece

Focal points are an essential part of interior design, and when it comes to the living room or snug, chances are that, these days, it’s your TV that everything revolves around. Rather unfortunately, we think, as all that technology isn’t necessarily the most lovely thing to immediately attract your eye when you walk in. Hiding it is one option (which is where our Henley TV dresser and Lynton TV mirror come in), but if you’re not keen on that idea or your space calls for something else, Chawton could be the answer. We added a TV section to the family a few seasons back, which means you can integrate your screen and its paraphernalia into a cabinetry design that also includes books, ornaments and other accessories, creating a feature that’s as much about personality and decoration as it is TV watching.

The kitchen workhorse

Freestanding furniture is definitely having a renaissance in the kitchen, valued as much for its old world aesthetic as its practicality (i.e. you can move homes with it, or just move it around your home). Chawton, therefore, makes a great choice for a kitchen if you’re looking for a more contemporary alternative to a dresser. Its neat cubbies and combination of open and closed storage make light work of organising and displaying everything from pantry ingredients and wine (thanks to the optional oak X-shaped shelves) to cookbooks and crockery. For the latter, you may find the glazed cabinet doors especially helpful, keeping fragile objects safe but on view, while the sliding door options in the base are ideal for when space is tight – beside a dining table for instance. And, with the recent addition of single drawers that elevate the base section to kitchen cabinet height, you can also now use Chawton in the kitchen as a prep surface. Just add either one of our painted sideboard countertop pieces, or a custom-made work surface of your choice. 

The linen closet

Speaking of old-fashioned furniture that we’re falling back in love with, let’s head upstairs to the linen closet. Now that many homes no longer have hot-water tanks to heat built-in airing cupboards, we’re looking again at freestanding pieces which offer not just storage but a decorative element as well. Whether you place your linen closet on the landing, a guest bedroom or the bathroom itself, can we make a case for Chawton? It’s space efficient, you can mix open and closed storage (the former for baskets filled with folded towels, the latter for spare shampoo bottles), you can expand on it in time (in case yours is a growing family, or a growing collection of linens) and, if you do site it in the bathroom, the oak will provide some much-needed texture and warmth.

The sideboard (for now)

A dresser-like design is certainly not your only option for Chawton. As we mentioned for the kitchen, you can opt just for a simple sideboard instead, without any of the upper sections. What marks Chawton out from other sideboards is that you still have lots of customisation options open to you: doors (glazed or timber) or drawers, and as long or as short as you need. Again, those sliding doors also make it incredibly useful in a tight spot, like a hallway for instance, or in that slip of a space between a sofa and the wall, where it could be doubly useful as storage and a place to situate table lamps so they cast a good glow onto your seat.

And what’s so brilliant is that, should you decide later down the line that you’d like to make your sideboard longer, not a problem. Splitting it up into separate pieces? That’s easy too, as each is finished as a complete item of furniture in its own right. As for graduating from sideboard to dresser, all you’ll need to do is swap out the work surface piece for one that we’ve pre-drilled holes into, then you can build on up as high as you please.

Explore the entire Chawton collection for yourself.