Q&A: Meet Our London Showroom Manager, Gabriel

26th August 2015

If you haven’t yet visited our London showroom yet – situated at 4-5 The Parade, St John’s Hill – get yourself along! The premises’ manager, Gabriel says you’ll love our range. It’s already delighted some hundreds of customers, with the newly-created Wandsworth and our old favourite, the Hampton, taking centre stage.

Here, we put our Gabriel in the spotlight in a light-hearted Q&A about our new store, the collection and Distinctive Chesterfields’ plans for the future. Enjoy!

So Gabriel, how’s it going in the London showroom? Any big highlights since the launch back in June?

So far, everything’s gone better than we predicted. It is so nice to meet so many people that love the chesterfield design and know the Distinctive Chesterfields brand.

Of course, here in our West Yorkshire showroom we see patterns in people’s chesterfield-buying habits, with some models a lot more popular than others. Which pieces have been a big hit in London? Is there a particular sofa or chair that’s catching the public’s eye, for example?

The Wandsworth is very well appreciated for comfort and design. Also the Hampton, London sofa bed and Cambridge have seen a lot of interest. It is very hard for me to say ‘this is working better than that’; I can say that all the models are doing well and I am very happy with the feedback for our beds. Our customers know the value of handmade and made in Britain. What’s more, they are very confident when they invest their money in buying a Distinctive Chesterfields sofas.

Your background is in interiors; you’ve spent many years in the industry – including some time working for another big name furniture retailer. What brought you to Distinctive Chesterfields and what do you love about the brand?

A few things attracted me to become part of this story; first it is a brand that invests in quality and customer service, which I think it is very important these days, when everyone is racing for figures and money. Also, the company is investing in staff and this is another thing that makes me proud of being part of this story behind the brand.

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Above: our brand new London showroom

If you had to choose a Distinctive Chesterfields piece to get comfy on tonight, which one would you go for and why?

I can’t choose only one! I would like to have a house big enough to accommodate all of them, I love chesterfield design.

Tell us something we don’t know about you, Gabriel. Any interesting hobbies or party tricks we should know about?

There still  are things that I don’t know about myself, every day I am learning something new or I discover something that I didn’t know  about myself. I like Indian cuisine, I’m not an expert but I would never say no! Also I like to travel –  new places , new cultures and trying everything that’s new at least once.

What would you say your own interior style is? Do you go for all things modern, or are you a fan of traditional pieces, like the chesterfield couch?

I am a daydreamer and  every day I’m designing my dream house and changing bits and  pieces in my dream house

I would my style is a mix, I like to play with colours, shapes, emotions and ideas. When it comes to chesterfield sofas, it is such a versatile design; it’s timeless I would  say, created  more  than 250 years ago still complements any style, as  long as  you know  how  to mix and  match. I became a  big fan and soon I’ll change  my sofas in my house back in Romania – I don’t know which design I’d go for, though.

When do you see the biggest influx of customers in the London showroom? And which leathers/wools are doing well?

Over the weekend we are very busy. as everyone down here is working Monday Friday 9-5, but weekends they are out. Regarding the leathers I can say that our customers are going for ‘’on trend’’ colours and textures; premium and antique are the best-selling leathers, as are texture distressed leathers – the ones with character are very popular.

Finally, where would you like to see the brand in a couple of years’ time, in terms of its new London showroom? Do you have any goals in mind, or any plans for the showroom?

In a couple of years, I’d like to see a second, bigger show room in London. I’m very excited to start hosting events for customers and interior designers; we are still working on this but I’m sure it will be a big success.

So there you have it  – all the latest from our own Gabriel Barbalata: our London showroom manager. Want to know more about our range? Visit the man himself in our flagship premises at 4-5 The Parade, St John’s Hill, London. Gabriel can’t wait to meet you!

Until next time…


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Comfy Sofa Limited FRN: 670602 trading as Distinctive Chesterfields are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. We are a credit broker not a lender – credit is subject to status and affordability, and is provided by Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC. Terms & Conditions Apply.

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