Designers of contemporary furniture, G Plan’s roots can be traced back to 1898 when Ebenezer Gomme began handcrafting exquisite furniture. His grandson continued the family tradition by founding G Plan in 1953. We caught up with Simon Wade, Design Director at G Plan.
What led you to furniture design?
When I was young, the career options I considered were limited, from professional footballer or car designer – both quite different, both pretty glamorous. Sadly, I didn’t hold the right qualifications to design cars, but found myself in an equally exciting role in the upholstery industry, using the same skillset.
What makes the design of G Plan products so unique?
It is down to brands to distinguish themselves not simply by good design, but by creating beautiful products that deliver on functionality, quality, and durability. At G Plan, our aim first and foremost is to deliver comfort to our customers, time after time. I think the brand’s uniqueness lies in the fact that we assure comfort across a diverse range of leathers, fabrics, frame, and prices – ensuring each and every customer can find something they love.
Can you briefly outline your design process?
That’s a tough one! A new idea might originate from a particular fabric, shape, or leather but as a business, every product goes through the same process before it reaches full-blown development.
First of all, we pull together a commercial brief. This includes details of the target customer, their needs, and the ideal price. Once this is agreed, myself and the other designers sketch out a number of ideas. Once we’re happy with a sketch, an upholsterer, sewing machinist, and frame expert create a prototype.
Once the prototype is finalised, we apply the above process to any other products in the range. Once everyone on the team is happy with the prototypes, we move into full-blown development.
As a designer, who or what are you inspired by?
I look beyond the world of interiors for inspiration. Like many of my peers, I keep a close eye on architecture, fashion, and even car design. I also enjoy attending exhibitions, interiors trade shows, and looking at fabrics. Travelling is a great source of inspiration. I especially love America – their immaculate presentation always impresses me.
Which of your designs are you most proud of and why?
I can’t pinpoint one design, but I’m very proud of what G Plan stands for. Although our focus is on lasting comfort, we’ve also gained a fantastic reputation for quality, meaning we get customers coming back to us over and over again. For me, it’s an honour that people choose our products for what is arguably the most important part of their day – their relaxation time.
Want to find out more about the G Plan range? Explore our fantastic collection of G Plan furniture including sofas, armchairs and footstools.