Introducing the Stout Chair and Table
Stout began with an observation that chairs seemed to be getting smaller and smaller—some, to almost exclusionary degree. The Windsor tradition places the person and the practicalities of life at the centre of furniture-making and so designer Peter Cathersides, took this as his starting point,
“When you look back at the development of the Windsor chair, it was about everyday chairs which were first-and-foremost places for ordinary people to enjoy rare moments of leisure or perform certain domestic tasks—quite open spaces in a way. The idea of small, highly restrictive chairs I think would have seemed pretty bizarre to anyone at the time... From my first conversations with Max, there was immediate agreement that a modern timber chair with bolder proportions was long overdue.”
A common feature of many traditional Windsors is the 'adzed' or scooped seat which is able to offer a broader, more inviting seat shape from a single board of timber. Starting with this as a base, a more detailed exploration of Stout’s identity began. Max, Goodfield's founder,
“We wanted a robust chair with real presence—but one which could still offer a level of subtlety. Working from a traditional Windsor seat, Peter was interested in exploring quintessentially English shapes and ideas. The Spitfire wing seemed to make the ideal backrest and the leg joints with their dowel caps, slightly reminiscent of rivets on beer barrels, resonated perfectly with a heartier style. But it's in the finer details, the exact contours of the seat profile for instance, which are nothing other than the result of painstaking scrutiny and development, where the real quality of Stout began to emerge.”
While the Stout chair takes many of its cues from the past, the resulting form feels fresh, focused and still somehow timeless.
The Stout table was designed to compliment the Stout Chair but to have a proud identity of its own. Again, unapologetic proportions do not compromise the table's sense of refinement. The pill-shaped legs are carried-over from the Stout chair but these have been emboldened, cantering to the floor with a real sense of stability. The table top's gently-angled profile balances the legs' slight trajectory and the table's edges have been softened to ensure it’s still warm and inviting. The result is an imposing contemporary table which still feels quite gentle and humane. Designer, Peter Cathersides,
“In the Stout table, I’ve tried to maintain the same generous spirit and proportions from the Stout chair. The table feels quite ‘serious’ in character but in the smaller details, there’s a softness and delicacy.”