Table doting…

I’m hoping that by starting off with an appalling pun, you might actually be reasonably relieved that I haven’t posted here for so long. I had thought that my new-found status as a full-time cardie would afford me lots more time for this kind of thing but not a bit of it. Tsk.

Anyway, a shortish one today:  I’ve been meaning to do it for a while and a visit to Habitat today reminded me, hence the sudden engagement of boot with bum.

On a recent trip to the Royal Festival Hall, I stopped by the Terrace shop to, um, have a look at the new items and not to straighten my cards up (ah-hem), and while I was there I had a good old nose around the newly-expanded shop. It’s full of lots of truly lovely things but my eye was nearly yanked out of its socket by this nest of  Ercol tables:

Arrrgh! Have you never heard of coasters??

Probably most famous for perfecting the steam bending of wood, Ercol exhibited at the Britain Can Make It exhibition of 1946 at the V&A Museum, and then again at the Festival of Britain at the Royal Festival Hall in 1951. According to Wikipedia, ‘Ercol’s mass-produced furniture found a ready market in post-war Britain, which demanded smaller pieces with simpler lines than their chunky pre-war counterparts.’

So were these cheeky walnut beauties original 1950s Ercol pieces I wondered, as I caressed their organic curves and wondered if I could reasonably fit the small one under a cardi in a Bag For Life? Well I can tell you, dear readers, that they are not! By happy coincidence, the 60th anniversary of the Festival of Britain coincides with the 90th anniversary of Ercol who are (happily for us) reissueing a range of their most iconic designs, a lot of which are available from the new retro renaissance shop of choice, John Lewis. Here are just a few pieces – click for a better look:

Ercol for John Lewis – Butterfly Chair

Ercol for John Lewis - Studio Couch

Ercol for John Lewis - Chiltern Coffee Table

Ercol have also reissued the iconic nest of tables in ‘a contemporary mix of rainbow hues’ but I’d quite like to have words with whoever picked them … from the top, the peach one must look like some kind of gland (*shudder*)

Ercol nest of tables, painted

And as if all this retro furniture loveliness wasn’t enough, Habitat have only gone and jumped on the 1950s  nest-of-tables bandwagon with their ‘Wilf’ range. They’ve chosen their colours a little more carefully than Ercol, and I like the fact that they’ve varied the shapes. The tapered legs and black edging really makes for a nice retro feel.

Habitat 'Wilf' table, large

Habitat 'Wilf' table, medium

Habitat 'Wilf' table, small

So there you go – I’ll gladly accept any of them as gifts, but remember, if it’s the Ercol you go for next Christmas, I prefer the plan walnut ones. You’ve been told. It’s Progressive Greetings Live next week so hopefully I’ll be back with tales of trade show shenanigans sometime after that. Adios!

PS. I completely forgot to post this lovely picture of another Ercol piece in the Royal Festival Hall shop, adorned with lovely cushions in limited edition Festival of Britain fabric designed for the anniversary. There’s anniversay wallpaper behind it too.

4 responses to “Table doting…

  1. Hello! wondered where you’d been!

    Love those nested tables nice, I notice you don’t say the price though, eek!

  2. Oh, I’ve still be tied to my desk but just busy on Other Stuff… The Habitat tables around a-r-o-u-n-d the £100-£150 mark (each) but I have no idea what the Ercol ones go for – rather more, I suspect…. Only thing that lets the Wilf tables down is the pattern on the laminate top. Pity. Still, it’s a start!

  3. Hi Sue, Glad you liked the special tables. The butterfly chair and studio couch are on sale, with the rest of our Originals collection, through our Independent stockists whilst the Chiltern range is an exclusive for John Lewis.
    We also have a new patriotic version of the painted nest in red, white and blue, to celebrate British manufacture, with the 60th anniversary of the Festival of Britain.
    The walnut or painted nest have a RRP of £530.

    thanks again for this post,

  4. Love these tables, very nice! Bit out of my price range though, so I’ll keep on booting and see what I can find! :))
    The fabric and wallpaper is also devine! ♥

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