How to find a genuine Ercol Design Icon (via Reclaim magazine!)

The latest issue of Reclaim magazine is in stores now so I thought I’d share some snaps from the Design Icon article I wrote for this month’s issue.

For August’s Design Icon feature the brand was Ercol so I spent an enjoyable few hours (okay, days…) researching the brand and oggling the gorgeous designs.

I had been lucky enough to write about Alice in Scandiland‘s home in a previous issue of Reclaim magazine so I knew I could call on her for information and for photographs of her Ercol Studio Couch (above), so that’s where my research began. She also shared this photo below of a Jubilee sofa from her shop – you can imagine just how much I want to go to the Alice In Scandiland shop in Lostwithiel.

I remembered seeing an Ercol Windsor sofa in Five Acre Barn’s B&B guest room (above) and it was the most gorgeous dark frame with comfy inky cushions, so I was keen to share a photo of it in the Design Icon feature. I just love the way they have styled the sofa… and their whole B&B, for that matter!

As I didn’t have any Ercol pieces of my own (not so much as a coffee table) I couldn’t submit my own photographs this month, so I headed to Instagram. I follow a fabulous interior design account called @living_at_number29 on Instagram and Beth shares plenty of photos of her mid-century styled house.

How cool is this gallery wall with a dark wood Ercol day bed above? I think the darker wood colour makes it look like more of an antique, which fits in with her eclectic vintage style perfectly. I asked if I could include her photos in the Design Icon feature and I’m so grateful that she said yes!

Plus, my besties have recently added a suite of Ercol Jubilee sofas to their living room so we popped over to check out the logo, labels and design of their stunning furniture (below). There’s nothing like hands-on research to really get to know a Design Icon, is there?

If I didn’t already want an Ercol sofa before writing my Design Icon article, I certainly did by the time I finished it! In fact, I wrote about how I’ve come so close in the past to buying an Ercol sofa, but have always just missed out. But the good news is that since I submitted the piece last month, I have actually found and bought my own Ercol studio couch. In fact, I got two of them!

I think what happened was that I had spent so long on my laptop and phone looking at the brand website and browsing photographs of Ercol sofas on Instagram that the marketing geniuses of the world started showing me more ads for Ercol.

It’s usually a right pain to have adverts popping up all over the place just because you once clicked on a photo of a DFS sofa, right? But this time it worked in my favour. Because all my devices started showing me ‘for sale’ listings for vintage Ercol sofas.

I ended up clicking through to Gumtree and found exactly what I’d always wanted: a blonde wood Ercol studio couch at a great price. The upholstery needed re-doing but I planned to reupholster any Ercol piece that I managed to buy anyway. And for the time being we’ve got fresh new cushions and throws to brighten it up.

I got lucky because the seller had two studio couches to sell and we were able to get a deal on buying both of them. I kept my excitement to a minimum until I actually had the sofas on our trailer and we were driving home with them. You see, after missing out so many times over the last 7 years of hunting for Ercol sofas, I didn’t quite believe that we were actually going to get them until that point.

I haven’t yet photographed the studio couches but I’ll pop some pics on the blog soon. For now, I’ve just got some photos of Cookie and Muffin enjoying their new sofas. If you too are interested to learn more about the history Ercol and how to spot the genuine article, have a read of Issue 42 of Reclaim magazine. Also, please do share your tips for restoring Ercol furniture in the comments below, I’d love to get your advice before I start working on the sofas πŸ™‚


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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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