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Friday, February 11, 2011


The other day, I gave you a peek into my new book about G-Plan furniture. That may have been enough to pique your curiosity about the line and make you want to know more about its history.

During World War II, furniture was rationed in the United Kingdom and consumers could only buy items sanctioned by the government-run Utility Scheme. When restrictions were finally lifted in 1952, the public was eager to buy and ready for a new style.

Designer Donald Gomme of E. Gomme Ltd. came up with an idea for a line of contemporary furniture that was to be marketed and sold in a revolutionary way. The "plan" part of G-Plan was threefold. It included branding, mass advertising, and selling by the piece, rather than as a suite.

Before the war, furniture dealers preferred that furniture not be branded, so consumers couldn't compare prices. G-Plan changed that by clearly marking every piece, putting the industry into the hands of the designers and manufacturers, not the retailers. A major advertising campaign was launched to promote G-Plan in magazines, in movie theaters and in showrooms around the country. Most importantly, the line was designed to be sold piece by piece as consumers could afford it. The styles didn't change for several years, so pieces could be added as people could afford them. The furniture was relatively expensive and was marketed as an "aspiration" purchase.

The company hired Ib Kofod-Larsen in 1960 to design a Danish Modern line in response to the popularity of Scandinavian furniture.

Today G-Plan case goods are manufactured by the Morris Furniture Group. G-Plan Upholstery Ltd. is a separate company and manufactures sofas and chairs.

Dropleaf gateleg table
Ib Karfod-Larsen sofa
The G-Plan Revolution by Basil Hyman and Steven Braggs
The G-Plan Revolution by Basil Hyman and Steven Braggs
The G-Plan Revolution by Basil Hyman and Steven Braggs


  1. Oh sigh. Think I'll ever find a couch like one of these for my home?

    I'd settle for 1950's Wal Mart style if there were such no-name brands back then ha ha.

  2. @1950sarh: I don't know why good sofas are so hard to find. Maybe it's that they got so much use that they wore out faster than other pieces. We have trouble finding sofas too.

  3. Good sofas are hard to find!! Your book looks like it has tons of amazing photos. Must be such fun to flip through . . .

  4. @Tanya: We're really short on sofas for the opening of our store. They are sooo hard to find! The book is very interesting. I just recently discovered G-Plan, and I'm in love with it!

  5. G-plan is still alive and well in many, many UK homes! How interesting to read some history - thank you.

  6. G-Plan pieces are really very lovely, and I am developing an appreciation for them, especially since I know their history now. I recently bought a piece of Remploy, which also has an interesting history.