Temperature Design is launching the internationally renowned British Furniture brand Ercol in Australia.
The new range features a range of stunning wooden furniture pieces, as well as selected designs by the amazing Sir Terence Conran. Here Nick Garratt, Managing Director of Ercol, talks exclusively about the new range and about the benefits of wooden furniture, what trends to expect, and how to incorporate wood in your decorating scheme.
What are the benefits of wooden furniture?
Wood is the ideal material for use in furniture making. Unlike other materials such as plastics and metals , provided it is sourced correctly, solid wood is a natural regenerative material that has no negative ecological impact. It is of course very versatile and the ease of shaping and finishing enables designers to create a myriad of styles of really beautiful pieces of furniture.
What type of wood do you mostly use and why?
Ercol uses elm as the single most common wood and it was selected because it is a very durable hard wood with a beautiful grain structure. Elm also provides a very rich finish when polished. The selection of this wood dates back to when England had plentiful sources of elm which were regrettably wiped out by Dutch elm disease. The elm is now sourced from naturally regenerative forests from North America.
What trends are big in wooden furniture this year?
In the European market there is still a dominance of light timbers with oak particularly dominant. Although the light timbers have been dominant for a number of years a recent trend is a move towards more natural finishes with more use of oiled or waxed finishes and in some areas this is extending to more aged finishes such as driftwood/weathered.
What is the best way to look after wooden furniture?
Solid wood furniture should normally be dusted with a dry cloth. Spillages can be wiped with a damp cloth and dried with a lint free cloth then be dusted with a damp cloth . Surfaces should be polished approximately twice per year with a natural bees wax. These notes apply to ercol furniture.
How can you break up that “wood overload” feeling that can sometimes come from a house with a lot of wooden products?
One of the strengths of wooden furniture is its versatility. It is possible to have a home filled with wooden furniture that all looks very different. There are huge number of different timbers and combined with different finishes the spectrum can go from clear such as the ercol Treviso desk to a matt black painted ercol plank table. Designers can of course create modern, contemporary or classic styles from wooden furniture to change the look in the home.
How can you furnish small rooms with wood and not make them feel too cluttered?
It is essential to check out sizes and plan carefully. Furniture makers are very aware of the restrictions of small homes and have been clever with furniture designs to make them work well in any environment. For example ercol produces a gate legged version of its Windsor tables and this folds to a very compact size & the ercol originals nest of tables has a small foot print but is 3 stacking tables.
What is your favourite piece in the range and why?
My favourite piece of furniture is the Treviso desk. It is a stunning, desirable contemporary design created by the renowned British designer Matthew Hilton. It shows many elements of furniture craftsmanship in its construction and with its solid oak construction & it is very robust and durable.
Ercol Treviso Desk from Temperature Design (pictured), RRP $1790, Temperature Design.