The new Whitstable furniture range from Heal’s takes its cues from around Britain, drawing on classic Windsor forms and traditional Welsh stick stools, as well as referencing the form of hammer shafts in the spindle details.
The separate elements blend beautifully to create a range of 13 pieces in solid oak: a dining table (£1,795), tall (£195) and low (£125) stools, three-legged chairs (£195 each), coffee table (£675), and low console unit (£1,195). As well as spindles shaped like an elongated hammer shaft, the three-legged chairs feature baton legs that splay to a wider base; inspired by the legs of a Welsh stick stool (traditionally used for milking cows) this shape evolved to stop the struts sinking into the mud.
Campbell Thompson, Senior Furniture Buyer, comments, “The Modern British collection takes the Windsor aesthetic to a new level, looking at different materials and construction, and using different techniques within that construction.”
In addition to Whitstable, Heal’s has collaborated with historic British furniture maker Ercol – a brand that embodies great British design – on an exclusive bedroom range, Risborough. The range comprises a bed (£845), bedside table (£245), tall chest (£695), wide chest (£745) and wardrobe options (from £1,095). Made in solid oak, Risborough takes inspiration from the iconic Windsor chair design and adapts it for modern day tastes, using traditional manufacturing techniques to craft the dovetail joints and turned spindles on the headboard.
Taking an abstract approach to the Windsor form is designer William Warren who has created the Deconstructed Windsor dining table (£1,195) and chairs (£395 each) exclusively for Heal’s. Warren’s design uses traditional Windsor manufacturing techniques to create a deconstructed interpretation of this classic design in black-painted ash. The Deconstructed Windsor range also includes a coat stand (£425), stools (from £295) and floor light (£395).
A more organic take on the Windsor chair comes in the form of Katie Walker’s Windsor Rocker (above right, £2,295). The designer has created an exclusive version of her award-winning rocking chair for Heal’s, which uses a combination of ash and walnut.
The Windsor Rocker features the distinctive turned spindles of the Windsor chair, paired with a single continuous band of steam-bent ash. The solid seat is supported by the spindles above and below, creating a strong and durable structure.
“Modern British is a key collection for us, especially within dining. The spindle back is a popular aesthetic that customers will always want to buy. One of the key ranges, Whitstable, has a modern silhouette but is made using authentic, traditional techniques.” Kirsty Whyte, Product Design Manager
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Heal’s has been designing, making and selling quality furniture for more than two centuries now, so it’s no surprise that it’s known as ‘the home of modern and contemporary designer furniture’. Starting out as a bed-makers in 1810, and later embracing the ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement, Heal’s has a long history of collaborating with prominent designers. Heal’s is as passionate today as it’s always been about introducing new ranges, discovering stars of the future and pushing the boundaries of outstanding contemporary design.