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A new generation of home owners are discovering vintage G-Plan for the first time. Many people looking for quality furniture for their homes are turning to pieces from the 50s and 60s; in particular, G-Plan, as it was better made than modern copies and is bang-on-trend in a modern setting. Vintage pieces are now commanding high prices both on the high street and online.
G-Plan was launched in the 1950s and was actually a generic term used for modern furniture in the way we still use the name ‘Hoover’ for vacuum cleaners. G-Plan was not cheap, but it was the brand most people aspired to own. The family firm, E Gomme, had made traditional style furniture for many years previous, but in 1952 they brought the firm up-to-date when they launched G-Plan. This combined modern style, a recognised national brand name, and a clever concept.
Brandon – the first G-Plan range
Brandon was a contemporary style typical of the early 50s. Typically finished in light oak, it had a bright look and feel to its collection of tables, chairs, wardrobes and sideboards. Simple uncluttered designs, some with elegant splayed legs re-creating key styling of early fifties contemporary design. G-Plan borrowed many ideas from designers such as Robin Day, who pioneered contemporary furniture design.
Gomme ensured the style of G-Plan was updated throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s; the original light look of Brandon gave way to the glamorous and darker Tola, or African mahogany, with black ebonised legs and brass fittings. Sadly, 1960 was a bad year for G-Plan – the new range for the year was not inspiring; it was yet another variation on tola, black and brass, which was by then already deemed to be old fashioned.
Gomme introduced various new designs in an attempt to recapture the magic, resulting in the severe and functional Limba bedroom range designed by Leslie Dandy. Veneered in a straight grain wood to make matching easy, it should have been a best seller but it stood on metal legs so looked much like functional office furniture. Loved by the trade but hated by the public; Limba was too advanced for its time and retailers found they were lumbered with many pieces of the unpopular design left unsold. (image from Pinterest)
The Classic Wing-back Chair
In 1962 G-Plan launched a large wing-back swivel armchair that was available in several fabrics, but the classic 60s style buttoned black vinyl was by far the most sought after. Its very masculine statement could have come straight out of a 007 movie. The inspiration for the chair was probably the 1958 Egg Chair designed by Arne Jacobsen which was similar in shape, but a simpler and plainer creation. Gomme proudly proclaimed that the G-Plan wing-back was the ‘World’s Most Comfortable Chair‘ !
Ib Kofod-Larsen Teak
In 1962 Gomme hired their own Danish designer, Ib Kofod-Larsen, who designed a completely new range; G-Plan Danish. The flagship and highlight of the range was a 7ft 6″ sideboard in gorgeous teak, with complimenting square rosewood handles. The height of fashion in its time, elegant and practical.
Featuring deeply sculptured handles and legs, combined with strongly patterned teak veneers; G-Plan led the market in the late 1960s when they introduced their most successful range, Fresco. The chairs had sculptured legs finishing in a circle at the top and bottom, the sideboard was large, 7ft long, with distinctive sculptured handles on the drawers which appeared to ‘smile’. Fresco wasn’t just for the dining room but also for bedrooms; with a range of wardrobes, chests of drawers, and a new dressing table.
Gomme continued to position itself at the top of the 1970s popular market with the emphasis on design and quality, rather than price.
Modern day G-Plan
In 1996 the Morris Furniture Group acquired the licence to make and market G-Plan Cabinet furniture in Glasgow. Now known as ‘G-Plan Upholstery Ltd’ it successfully continues to manufacture most of its sofa and armchair products within the UK.
The Ugandan Exchange Visit provides a wonderful opportunity for over 20 local students to visit Uganda, taste the African way of life and spend quality time with students from their sister schools located near Masaka. Most of the children in these schools have been orphaned, either through HIV / AIDS, malaria or war. Yet they are so happy, positive and eager to make the most of their lives; making them terrific models to English students.
During the visits Richard Lander students get support in many ways: working in the school as classroom assistants teaching English to primary aged children, helping renovate and paint some of the school buildings and orphan houses, as well as working on the attached farm milking cows, harvesting crops, and helping with some carpentry projects such as making pig pens.
“The Molly and Paul Child Care Foundation‘ is a registered NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) founded by a Christian couple, Molly and Paul M Wasswa. They are the same people who formed the ‘Pearl of Africa Children’s Choir‘ being supported by Pearl of Africa Child Care Ltd; now a UK Registered Charity.”
“The Pearl of Africa Choir on their UK tour needed accommodation, so two of the girls (Rashida, 15, and Immaculate, 10) came to stay with me and my family. They fit all their worldly belongings into a carrier bag and yet were two of the happiest people I have ever met. While they were here it opened my eyes to the privileged life we live where we take things such as education, family, food, healthcare and safety for granted. Even down to the smaller things such as underwear and sanitary products. I hope with my fundraising and trip to Uganda, I will be able to make an improvement, however small, to the lives of these children.”
Kitty has been making a number of gorgeous homewares in her spare time including wall mounted papier Mache deer heads and pretty hanging hearts, all of which are on display and available to purchase from the popular RE:SOURCE Vintage shop on Church Street.
This is a wonderful opportunity for local students to develop a global perspective and their understanding of community; which will hopefully shape their futures towards a more caring, just and sustainable world.
Pop into RE:SOURCE Vintage next time you are in St. Austell and support Kitty in her ambitions to help this developing community she cares so deeply about.
This gorgeous Victorian solid pine chest of drawers circa 1870-1890, has been lovingly hand painted in a beautiful bluebell blue and distressed in shabby chic style, then finished with a dark wax to add an aged look.
The handles were removed, and the carcass was stripped of all its old varnish and sanded to a smooth finish.
A dark wax has been meticulously worked into the surface to age the piece appropriately to suit its period and style, and the original handles refitted to complete the piece; a truely stunning and professional finish acheived by our volunteers and trainees.
To purchase this piece, please click here
Founded in 1916, the Nathan Furniture Company was the creation of Mr. Barnett Nathan, whose design inspiration was to craft beautifully elegant everyday furniture of a high quality, while still giving consumers value for money.
Nathan, and their partner Sutcliffe Furniture, are based on the Yorkshire/Lancashire border in an old cotton mill near the village of Cornholme.
Today they are one of the largest furniture manufacturers in the UK, producing the same high quality furniture for both the Nathan and Sutcliffe brands.
Over the decades since it’s foundation, Nathan has produced a wide range of different types of furniture, from coffee and dining tables, wardrobes and shelves, to chairs and sofas, mirrors and sideboards. Crafting from the highest quality veneers and hardwoods, their highly skilled craftsmen identify and match different timbers to achieve the best consistency in both grain and colour.
With midcentury modern styling being such a popular trend for the 21st century this 1970s Nathan Tall Sideboard in teak and teak veneer is highly sought after. Plenty of storage capacity with drop-down drinks cupboard, 2 shallow drawers below; one being a cutlery drawer, and one full width double sliding door cupboard beneath.
Kai finished his furniture maker apprenticeship in 1948 and two years later he was accepted into the Academy of Fine Arts where he studied furniture design under Kaare Klint.
In the mid 1950’s he opened his own design office and began working alongside Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik; famous for the popular #42 dining chair which is still sought after for not only it’s beautiful looks, but it’s comfort. It has become one of the most iconic Danish modern pieces of furniture.
Throughout his career Kai has been associated with some of the best known Scandinavian manufacturers in the production of his fabulous designs; the likes of Kjærsgaard, Fritz Hansen, Tarm og Feldballes, Magnus Olesen, Fritz Hansen, Axel Kjærsgaard, and Heltborgto, name a few.
From 1956 to 1965 Kai was responsible for organizing a regional Furniture Fair, and from 1966 to 1970 he was the driving force behind the renowned Scandinavian Furniture Fair.
As a designer he created Danish mid-century furniture for all walks of life; from tables, writing desks and sideboards, to chairs, tv stands and bar cabinets. Most pieces were manufactured in teak or rosewood.
One of Kai Kristiansen’s most famous designs is the FM Reolsystem, a shelving system which was designed to offer maximum flexibility with endless possibilities to combine wall mounted shelves and cabinets to fit any wall in any home. Widely popular not only Scandinavia but also throughout North America and the rest of Europe for it’s flexiblility and design; the simple use of metal bars which fix to the wall, and use of desirable wood, completes an amazing yet practical look.
The use of straight clean lines and quality wood finish is simply gorgeous.
Within just two years of trading, we have delivered fabulous upcycled and refurbished mid-century furniture all over the UK, into Ireland, and as far afield as Portugal but an order from Australia is our furthest flung customer yet.
“I first saw this exact style of sideboard by McIntosh on an antique dealer’s website. That item had sold a year prior, but from then I knew I wanted that exact model of sideboard. After 6 months of searching local furniture dealers in Australia with no success, I decided to broaden my search to international locations, and found one at RESOURCE Vintage.”
“I initially thought it would be too difficult to organise the logistics of shipping such a large item to Australia. But then I read that RESOURCE Vintage was a social enterprise and the items they sell helped to support their aims and provide an opportunity for work amongst those that need it in their local community – so I decided that this was worth the effort.”
All furniture sold by RE:SOURCE Vintage are items that have been rescued from landfill and brought back to life by people in the local community who are looking to progress or rebuild their lives. RE:SOURCE provides a safe and inclusive environment for people to gain confidence and learn new skills in a bid to reduce the effects of social exclusion in the county.
The sideboard, which caught the eye of our antipodean shopper, was in a very poor state on arrival at RE:SOURCE having been stored in a garage and being utilised as a workbench and tool storage unit; it was badly faded and discoloured, and marked with various stains and paint marks; making it almost unrecognisable as a highly sought-after, mid-century modern piece, designed in the 1950s.
After each of the drawers and cupboard doors were removed every piece of precious teak was painstakingly stripped by hand and indulged with a rejuvenating wood treatment to bring it back to its former glory.
With expert guidance and support from our experienced cabinet maker and Workshop Lead, Nick Clegg RE:SOURCE’S volunteers and trainees transformed a tired sideboard into a stunning and desirable addition to a modern home.
We love seeing these drastic transformations, its great to see history regenerating and iconic designs receiving a new lease of life. This piece was the ultimate challenge for our trainees and a real testament to how their skills have progressed during their time with us. The fact that customers are willing to cover global shipping costs to secure a RE:SOURCE Vintage product is an indication of the standards that they have achieved and we are very proud of.
Well done to all the ladies and gentleman involved in reviving this piece!