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Arts and Crafts Movement Dining suites
By the time of World War I (1914-18) a second generation of Arts and Crafts designers – most notably Ambrose Heal, Gordon Russell, Peter Waals and Edward Barnsley were giving fresh impetus to the movement that lionised the values of home grown materials, methods and craftsmanship. Heal and Russell were both at the forefront of combining handwork with machinery to produce furniture in this style that was affordable to the expanding class of home-owners. These and other lesser known firms, such as Goodearl of High Wycombe, saw the need to assemble and present their dining furniture in ‘suites’ comprising matching dining table, chairs and sideboard. This style with its paired down look in solid wood, usually oak – often weathered, limed or waxed, blended well with new Modernist forms in the 1930s, and eventually formed the basis of the Utility furniture ‘CC41’ range approved by the Government as the only furniture available to the public during World War II. The needs and tastes of today often require the components of these suites to be separated, and each element, whether table, chairs or sideboard work just as well used as standalone items or combined with other items of complementary design.