Monday, 2 December 2013

Why Ercol Windsor?

Since starting this Blog I have been surprised and rather pleased to see the number of daily views that I get and Google Analytics shows that it is often searched for information on Ercol restoration and repair. There is obviously a good deal of interest in old Ercol connected to the fashion for all things retro, (though for me at nearly 60 it's just contemporary furniture and some of mine was bought new by me). That's probably the answer; that Ercol produced some timeless designs in the Windsor range which still look good today without having to be post-ironic like much retro/junk shop furniture. That and sticking to a theme and a process of design evolution rather than coming up with dramatic re-vamps every few years. For us it meant that when we we were able to afford a couple of extra dining chairs years after buying our original dining set the identical model was still available. Ercol themselves have recognised the popularity of some of their classics and have reissued some heritage items in their Ercol Originals Range. Latterly our Ercol collection has been augmented by pieces found on Ebay and this has been one of the great factors behind its continuing popularity. A heck of a lot Windsor was made over the years and much has survived in good condition. Thanks to Ebay most of the more common pieces can be found easily so provided that you don't live on Orkney you shouldn't have to wait long seaching for a particular item. Unusually for interior design items, Ercol furniture has a certain level of bloke appeal. Anyone who grazed their knuckles in school woodwork classes can appreciate the perfect dovetail joints on cabinet corners. Rather than hide joints away, they have been made a feature. Not that these have been made by horny handed old craftsmen chiselling away, Ercol is the product of machines and an assembly line. Engineering in wood. Light finish is the most popular and the fabulous grain on natural coloured pieces goes well with wood floors Wear is particularly unkind to dark finish which polishes through to bare wood after years of elbow contact. It is also easier to refinish in a light colour and many dark pieces have now been stripped or may be revived by painting in bright colours. Even the comparatively unloved dark Old Colonial designs have had a bit of a renaissance by stripping dresser tops and painting drawers and cabinet with Farrow and Ball pastel colour paint. There is no need to be too precious about Ercol Windsor it's not rare or enough to obsess about preservation, it's about well designed and servicale furniture to be used and enjoyed in a family home. Postscript. We recently had a pile of recent house decor magazines passed on and leafing through revealed a lot of Ercol Windsor, if not featured as items then in the background dressing the room. Looks like us Ercol Windsor fans are surfing the Zeitgeist :-)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Anthony,
    I've just acquired 6 Quaker Chairs and a Refectory Table for a great price on eBay - yet to pick them up but looking forward to seeing them on our new wooden floor. To celebrate I've just been to the factory and bought another piece from the outlet shop. Not such a bargain but considering how much a piece made with veneer (or worse) would cost it's a positive bargain.
    I'll keep an eye on your blog if I need to restore any of the pieces over the coming weeks.