A Timeless British Brand

A Timeless British Brand

ercol History

ercol, was established 101 years ago in 1920 by Italian designer Lucian R Ercolani in High Wycombe, the centre of English furniture making.  He was intent on designing and producing relevant and honest furniture, design and people were the cornerstones of his company from the very beginning. This remains true of the company today, it remains family owned with Lucian’s grandson and great grandson both in the business to continue his beliefs today.

Design has always been at the heart of ercol. Our designs constantly evolve to reflect how we live today. We have a talented In-house design team and furniture technicians, to create and develop our furniture designs, we also collaborate with external UK designers to create unique pieces all of which are made with integrity and fit for purpose. 

ercol centenary cabinet
 Black and white photograph of Lucian Ercolani

Factory

The ercol office, showroom and factory moved to its current location in Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire in 2002. The 16,000 sq. m factory combines the very latest technology with time-honoured craftsmanship to create a range of unique furniture. The factory has won a number of awards for its architectural design and environmental features. ercol are also proud to work with a number of carefully selected manufacturing partners spread around the world.

Wood bows in black and white

Our Designers

The ercol Design Studio is based here in Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire where our Head Office and Factory are based. The design team work in a highly creative environment to bring you the very best in British design.

Design is central to ercol – design for comfort, design for function, design for looks.  The ercol design studio is a strong in-house pool of design talent whilst we also commission both well-renowned and upcoming external designers to work with us on projects, bringing their flavours to the ercol style.  Our in-house designers are complemented by a team of draughtsmen who convert the designs into the detailed technical component drawings necessary to make the furniture, programmers for our CNC machines and the highly skilled craftsmen of our prototype team, who hand-craft the first samples of each design.

 

Black and white portrait of Rachel Galbraith

Rachel Galbraith

Rachel Galbraith has been Creative Director for ercol since 2014, leading the design studio and brand direction. Rachel's background is within furniture with a degree in Furniture design and an established career within retail and manufacturing, previously working with a variety of well- known high street brands and furniture companies.

Rachel has developed the ercol brand & curated the furniture collections to celebrate the passion within our ercol community, bringing to life the expertise of our craftsmanship and heritage to inform our creative philosophy for crafted values, through timeless furniture.

Black and white portrait of Dylan Freeth

Dylan Freeth

Dylan Freeth has been part of the ercol design studio since 2011. The studio’s location within the factory, metres from where furniture is made, has given Dylan an intimate understanding of ercol’s skill in working and steam-bending solid wood. This has resulted in numerous successful products, as well as three Design Guild Mark Awards for excellence in British furniture design - in 2014 for the Romana cabinet range, in 2016 for the Marino chair and sofa, and in 2017 for the Modulo storage system. Considered construction, tactile details and fine craftsmanship feature throughout these pieces, and Dylan’s wider work for ercol.

‘I’m interested in that sweet spot where design, production, function and emotion all work in tune together. Making quality products that fit beautifully into everyday life, and that hopefully people come to love over many years of use – that’s always what I’m aiming for’.

Black and white portrait of Lisa Gould Sandall

Lisa Gould Sandall

Lisa Gould Sandall has been an integral part of the ercol design studio since 2011. Upon graduating from Nottingham Trent University with a degree in Furniture and Product design, Lisa’s experience gained experience with Isao Hosoe Design in Milan and Hiroshi Tsunoda Design Studio in Barcelona and numerous projects working with high street stores. 

Lisa is an Award-winning designer who has designed and developed many of ercol’s best-selling ranges including the enduring Shalstone range for John Lewis, the Salina bedroom range and the Aldbury accent chair which embodies ercol’s artistry of steam bending timber. Siena & Amalfi are the latest products that Lisa has created for the ercol collection. Lisa takes pride in bringing trend led ideals with consumer values and combining these with ercol’s heritage, curating collections that are integral to today’s lifestyle.  

Black and white portrait of Zak Stratfold

Zak Stratfold

Zak Stratfold has been part of the ercol design studio since 2018; working across furniture, product and spatial design, he has a deep appreciation for tactility, detail and clarity of concept and is constantly looking for fresh approaches that enrich our experience of a product or space.

Having studied Contemporary Furniture Design at The National School of Furniture in High Wycombe, Zak moved to Copenhagen to work for the esteemed design studio Norm Architects and Danish homeware brand Menu, before moving back to the UK in 2016 to design for the British high street.

Black and white portrait of Ben Fowler

Ben Fowler

Ben grew up in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, where his father worked at ercol as a designer alongside Don Pedal. It was a childhood spent drawing at his father’s knee and messing about in wooden rowing boats.  In 1980 Ben went to The Royal College of Art to study Design, mentored by Fred Scott, Frank Gill and Robert Heritage in the Bauhaus tradition. Then back to boats, this time learning to build them with old friend Mark Edwards MBE builder of royal shallop Gloriana. From here Ben began working in partnership with a fine cabinet maker (who he met at the boatyard), forming Fowler and Brace and then Fowler & Co., 35 years on and still designing, bespoke making, prototyping and developing products for Marque Furniture, ercol and many others retail stores.

Black and white portrait of Ben Frost

Ben Frost 

Ben is an established multi-disciplined designer who has worked with many well-known retailers, designing aspirational and commercial product ranges. In 2014 he was awarded a 'Design Guild Mark' by The Furniture Makers Company - an award recognising the highest standards of furniture design.

By striking the perfect balance between heritage and contemporary, Ben’s handwriting has ‘timeless modernity, with a hint of familiar’ a style that is also synonymous with ercol, past & present. 

With a natural flair for harmonising form & function Ben’s ethos is to create beautiful products that are made and treasured for life. 


 

Black and white portrait of Tim Fenby

Tim Fenby

Tim is an experienced, award winning British furniture designer. 

Tim’s love of design began in his teens when working with his family’s interior business. After studying for a degree in Furniture Design and Manufacture he began his career with British manufacturer Ducal. He went on to head up product design for some of the leading furniture brands in the UK before starting his own design agency in 2006. 

Tim now works with established furniture brands, leading high street retailers and manufacturers around the world. He prides himself on a market focused approach to the design process underpinned by a thorough knowledge of manufacturing techniques and above all, a passion to create! 

Tim describes his trade mark style as one of simplicity, balance and a desire to create something with a sense of understated beauty.

Black and white portrait of Sam Wilkin

Sam Wilkin 

Sam Wilkin joined the ercol design team in 2020 and works across upholstery, fabric and trend analysis. She has a lifelong obsession with fabric and textiles, which led to her studying fashion design at University for the Creative Arts. Throughout her studies and working life the tactility and feel of a product, be that a piece of clothing or an upholstered piece has always been paramount. Sam loves to explore new and innovative approaches to upholstery design and fabric selection and strives to develop the best possible ranges for the ercol customer.