We have always believed that design and quality must come at a price and it would be naive to believe that taking time in production and creating something of real value will not add an element of cost. However, design can also be intelligent.
Scandinavian Design pioneered intellgient design during the 1950's "baby boom" period, where growth in population led to a demand for affordable housing and, with it, furniture. They believed in a philosophy of using minimal materials and combining both automation and craftsmanship to bring elegant, and affordable design. Many of the intelligent solutions and constructions in the Out & Out Original collection have been born from this period, that is something we are proud of.
But where then do we start when crafting a compact dining set that has to be a designer piece, strong, durable and made from reputable materials for under £400. Well it wasn't easy but we'll show you what we did.
Bring on the bench!
That's right, the trusty bench was once a staple in every kitchen but appears to have been all but lost in the world of designer retail. We studied the concept of a compact dining set and the modern household and in fact, the bench is more needed now than it has ever been!
We found that a bench that can conveniently slid under the table is great for those who live in modest living spaces, it means when you have the space you can use it for dining but if you don't, it has a range of uses. We've seen customers place it in the hall as a resting spot for taking shoes off, we've seen customers slide it up against a wall in order to free up more free space in their living area and we have even seen customers use it as an aid for reaching the top shelf in the kitchen cupboards. Although the cost savings are negligable compared to two chairs, we found the bench gave a functionality that superceded the four chair dining option, something that is consistently worth the price tag as our best selling dining format!
Next we looked at materials and shape. Naturally, solid oak for the table was a given but it was important that we gave the product design and charm as well as a sturdy construction. That is when we came up with the Clayton table design. By using angled legs that are pitched outwards, the triangulation in the design makes this table sturdy as a rock, the same geometry concept used in the pyramids which are held together only by their trianglulated design. This allowed us to use a more elegant leg which gave us some extra cost saving to invest in the table top, which we did. The table top design is seldom seen on the high street but is known as a "barrel" shape, giving a beautiful camber to each edge of the table and providing some much needed personality for what would normally be a plain rectangle.
The final piece of the puzzle was what chair options to offer. We wanted to give variety in shaped and colour but keep everything clean and simple. We opted for the Bojan chair collection which comes in white, grey and black. In addition we created the Orson dining chair which took the same design but delicately upholstered the seat in grey fabric and made the legs rounded and more romantic.