I am a relative novice when it comes to furniture.
My parents bought very little of the stuff.
When they moved into their first home together my grandmother moved in with them, bringing her heavy, dark furniture with her.
I didn’t like it. In fact, as a child I was convinced that something evil lived in her enormous wardrobe.
I used to run downstairs without looking back towards the door to Nanna’s room, which was forever ajar, in case I caught a glimpse of whatever dwelled there in the darkness peeping at me.
For a long while I didn’t have enough money to buy furniture and made do with hand-me-downs and cast-offs and bits from Ikea.
Then I got all grown up and started to furnish the house we had bought.
I had time to think long and hard about what I like.
I like vintage Ercol furniture.
You just can’t get elm in quantity nowadays, since the Dutch Elm Disease epidemic of the 1970s killed so many of our trees.
I like that it is neither heavy nor dark, yet it is nonetheless substantial and exudes quality.
I like that it is not imported from Scandinavia, or Italy (although Lucian Ercolani, the firm’s founder, was from Tuscany), but was made in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.
I like its elegance. The tapered legs are shapely, not spindly. The wooden seats are subtly shaped to fit your rear.
I like that it stands up to the knocks and bumps of everyday family life and is not spoiled by the resulting scratches, scrapes and scars.
I like the clever design details.
The little ridge around the trolley shelves, to stop things falling off the sides.
The useful magazine rack under the coffee tables.
The studs under the dining chairs, to which the seat pads are attached to stop them from sliding about.
Yes. I do really like my Ercol furniture.