My visit to the ercol factory by Louisa Blackmore

Long established British furniture company, ercol, opened the doors to its showroom and award-winning factory last week and I was lucky enough to be invited along to view their latest furniture collections (Image below: Pinto bedroom, Ercol).


Founded in 1920 by a young Italian designer, Lucian Ercolani OBE (affectionately known as “Old Man” in the company), ercol has long been renowned for its exquisite wooden furniture that not only demonstrates industry-leading design, but also outstanding quality and functionality.


Celebrating its 10th year in the heart of the Chiltern Hills, ercol’s 160,000 square foot headquarters is set in a lush, leafy area, with the factory, showroom and design studio all sitting under one roof. The environment is highly creative and you get a real sense of the pride that is taken in their work. Walking around the factory and viewing the different stages of furniture making (most of which is still done by hand) was an incredible insight into the exceptional quality, care and passion that goes into designing and manufacturing ercol furniture.

I was thrilled to see the craftsmen at ercol demonstrate the art of steam bending which is where they take a piece of solid timber and using just moisture and pressure, they bend the wood into such extreme curves that it’s difficult to believe what you’re seeing. ercol have developed and refined their steam bending techniques over the years and it’s used for many of their chairs including the hugely popular Windsor and Quaker chairsAs well as their iconic furniture ranges, ercol have launched several new collections including the new Artisan Additions. Designed by James Ryan, the new Artisan desk is crafted in solid oak and has subtle detail and clean, sleek lines (below).

Another new addition which I absolutely love are the Originals bar stools. Made from ash and beech, the design is based on the stools used by draughtsmen to sit at their drawing boards in the ercol design studio during the 50s. The design has been brought up to date to make a stool that is ideal as breakfast bar stools, perfect for use in any modern kitchen.If you’re an ercol fan and find yourself in the Chiltern Hills, I would definitely recommend a visit to their showroom to look at the collections, they also have a factory outlet on site which has amazing value offers on ex-display items, returns and seconds.