Hampden Furniture Collection
Whilst employed by Marks & Spencer I worked on a project with the buying and merchandising team to design a new, modern oak range. The aim was to create something with real longevity, that didn't necessarily associate with any passing trends, and that could become a 'core' collection with in the M&S furniture offer. I started looking at bestselling ranges across the industry to try and identify specific patterns with the design or styling that I could use for my own inspiration. My search eventually led me to famous Danish designs of the 50's and 60's like Hans J. Wegner and Arne Vodder, as well as timeless furniture companies like Ercol and G-Plan. I was heavily influenced by their use of materials, and the quality of the manufacture. Each piece was created to last. I wanted to give my own design the classic Scandinavian look and feel, while still keeping it current and stylish.
I started looking at the classic furniture pieces from Hans Wegner and Lucian Ercolani (founder of Ercol). Most of their designs are still in production, with the "Wishbone Chair" designed in 1949 by Wegner , having been in constant manufacture for over 65 years. For me this is the definition of 'timeless' and something that I wanted to try and replicate with the style of my collection.
The first thing that is obvious from the famous Danish furniture of the 50's is the quality. Every piece is made to last, with a real focus on materials and attention to detail. So many of these pieces still exist today due to this quality. I have an Ercol Plank dining table that is nearly 70 years old and it is as good as the day it was made.
The range itself is made using European oak and oak veneer, with a satin, lacquered finish. The legs are completely solid oak and are turned on a lathe to produce the soft curved profile. The top panels have rounded corners, a throw back to the mid-century styling, and also a curved edge, to really soften the silhouette of the furniture. The solid oak handle is the detail that really completes the design, with its round shaping and subtle curved back adding to the tactile feel. The drawers themselves have round scooped cut-outs to create a recess for the handle to sit - this helps reduce the distance the handles protrude.