Long Live my Ercol studio couch

I have owned my Ercol Studio Couch for about 5 years now and if I think of all of times spent sitting, lounging, sleeping, entertaining and working on that sofa, it has been a real workhorse. A little creaky when you sit down on it, which worries most visitors, the wood is flexible enough to take 4 people comfortably sitting alongside each other.

Ercol studio couch red upholstery

Nowadays they sell for anything from £1685 to £1970 at British retailer TwentyTwentyOne, although I picked mine up from eBay for a mere £285. What a steal!

Ercol studio couch vintage advert

Designed by Lucian Ercolani, the Studio Couch was first introduced in the late 1950s. It was designed to function both as a large sofa and an occasional single bed for guests. It features characteristic steam bent arms and is made from solid elm and beech in our Buckinghamshire factory. It was available in a choice of over one hundred different fabrics.

Ercol studio couch with and without cushions

In a recent interview with Architonic, British designer Matthew Hilton described Ercol as ‘one of the very few good British furniture manufacturers around today’.

Ercol studio couch vintage advert black-white

Whilst Ercol seem to have been a company that have struggled to find their voice for the past decade, the decision to create a ‘classics’ collection for those that remember the old style well is a great decision. Although much of their designs have moved on and become more traditional in style, appealing to the mass-market, there is still a core of followers that want to see the classics back on the shop floor.

Ercol studio couch Donna Wilson update

Even the British designer has got in on the game, producing a knitted version of the studio couch which softens the wood even further than it was before.

Long live Ercol and the studio couch!


Having worked in design for the past decade, Daniel started ateliertally.com as a discussion of timeless, modernist product design. Trained as a graphic designer, he also has an avid interest in typography. You can follow him on Twitter @ateliertally.


  • NEW blog post: Long Live my Ercol studio couch http://bit.ly/kHRncj #dbcollective

  • Harriet says:

    I only discovered your blog recently and I really like it and now I’m going to have to find time to go back to 2008 and look at all your posts. Out of curiosity I had a search for the George Nelson (any relation?) saucer lamp because I grew up with one and really want one now for my flat. They are expensive so it may have to wait. I wonder what my parents paid for theirs back in the seventies and what the hell they did with it — I’m fairly sure they must have chucked it out!

  • Daniel says:

    Hi Harriet

    Thank you for the kind words, I am so pleased to hear that you enjoy the blog. George Nelson (no relation sadly) was a great designer, so very exciting that you had that growing up. Hopefully it is stored somewhere safely.

  • Maeve Jordan says:

    Had ours given to us as part of a wedding present – along with other Ercol pieces – that was in 1958.
    It is still going strong and we would not dream of `chucking it out` Part of the family.

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