G-Plan refers to the utilitarian style of furniture developed by E Gomme Ltd. in 1953, as a result of post-WWII furniture shortage in Britain. The founder was Ebenezer Gomme who established the company in 1898 in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. The company was one of the many firms created to satisfy the demand for furniture in the rapidly expanding cities during the Industrial Era.
The company was besieged by many setbacks during the entirety of its history. During World War I the factory was used mainly to produce parts for the DC9 aircraft. In 1922, the factory was almost completely destroyed as a result of a disastrous fire. In 1939, however the company bounced back to become one of the biggest industrial manufacturers in the UK. When World War II broke out, the factory was used again, this time to produce the famous Mosquito aircraft. The experience of producing precise, machined wooden parts for aircraft became really advantageous for the firm when life got back to normal in the 1950s.
At the end of the war, Britain accumulated a high demand for furniture, something Donald Gomme (Ebenezer’s grandson) was more than happy to provide. He pioneered the idea of supplying the product directly to the consumer – something uncommon at the time. Gomme introduced a line of furniture called “G Plan,” which was heavily promoted through advertising. The style was considered very modern for the time and paved the way for other teak, Scandinavian style furniture. The furniture caught on very quickly for its fresh and vigorous brand of advertising and fashionable design. Early pieces were made of light oak and teak wood with clean, simple lines and functional features such as “flip-action” extending dining tables, and rubber stops on cutlery drawers to stop the contents from spilling on the floor.
Over time, G Plan furniture was considered iconic and innovative in its own right. G Plan not only introduced complete home furnishing solutions in Britain, but also popularised the functional aesthetic which can be attributed to many modern Scandinavian furniture brands such as IKEA.