We have a van. It’s not a particularly new or shiny van, but it does the job and we are proud of it all the same.
As well as allowing us to eat fast food without incurring any judgement from passers-by it also enables us to do most London deliveries ourselves.
Acting as both retailer and courier means that we get to see inside a lot of the capital’s homes.
It probably wouldn’t surprise you to learn that many of these residences are, well, small. It’s also hardly likely to surprise you that this can cause problems when you are delivering furniture.
We’d be lying if we said that we had never wrestled a table/ sideboard/ chest of drawers up several flights of stairs only to get it in position and be confronted by the reality that it is just too big for the space.
For this reason, we often feel nervous when we pull up at an address that looks anything but cavernous.
However, we almost never feel anxious when we are delivering mid-century Ercol furniture.
Made for London, in London
In our experience, Ercol furniture always looks right when it’s in situ in a London home.
Now, we are aware that that is a big claim to make and we are not going to waste any more time getting all misty-eyed about how a piece of furniture makes us feel.
Instead we would like to draw your attention to something that Lucian Ercolani, founder of Ercol, said in the introduction to his 1956 catalogue:
One of the secrets of the success of Ercol furniture, the reason people take to it on sight, is its very individual shape. This is due not only to the outlines and mass, but also to the delightful spaces revealed by its construction. These ‘space shapes’ help to make it lovely…
We’ll stop you there, Lucian. ‘Lovely’ is our sales-patter threshold.
Choice of language aside, we think we’re on Lucian’s wavelength on this one. It is these ‘space shapes’ that makes Ercol furniture look so good in smaller rooms.
It’s a pretty straightforward equation when you think about it. Less block = more light. It’s a winning combination and it can be seen throughout the entirety of our Ercol range.
We believe it’s what makes this furniture feel so deliberate in London. We’d also like to go on record to say that we think it highly unlikely that this is a coincidence.
After all, Ercolani grew up in the East End, was educated at the Shoreditch Technical Institute and eventually set up his factory in High Wycombe in 1920. (If trivia’s your thing, you might care to note that Lucian’s brother, Victor, was also the Chairman of Crystal Palace Football Club).
Ercolani, like many designers of mid-century furniture, saw the value of space and creating a feel of it when maybe it wasn’t there to begin with.
Add all this together and you’ll see why we feel Ercol furniture might just be about as London as it gets.
Works Outside of London
Before you go ahead and reach the conclusion that we are saying that Ercol furniture is exclusively suited to capital city apartments, just lend us a moment more of your time.
While we have made the point that it looks great in small homes, we’d also like to add that the craftsmanship and materials Ercol used mean it could look at ease in virtually any home, anywhere.
Again, we’ll let Lucian speak for himself on this one:
Every part… is made entirely from SOLID WOOD. Solid elm and solid beech… because there is nothing like the feel of solid wood, wax polished. You know instinctively, as you touch and handle it, that here is something that will grow in beauty as it mellows and matures through the years.
There’s not much more to add to that. Come into our shop if you want to see what he means (he capitalised the solid wood part, by the way. Just in case you thought we were trying to make a point).
So there you have it. That’s why we don’t panic when we pull up to a house with a van filled with Ercol furniture and why you shouldn’t lock your doors if you see us coming.
To see which pieces we currently have in stock, view our complete Ercol range.
If you'd like to know more about how to identify Ercol furniture, check our mid century makers guide.
If you would like to know more about what would happen if we delivered something to your home that didn’t quite look right, visit our delivery and returns page.