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Modern Tones Q&A: Christian Møller Andersen

Originals 7384 drop leaf table in NM, Originals 7402 butterfly chair in OEOG NMOG and WGOG finishes

Long-term collaborating creative, Christian Møller Andersen, has curated a stain collection palette to give our portfolio classics a contemporary feel.

The MODERN TONES palette harmoniously complements the quality construction and natural materials for which the brand is known, while breathing new life into heritage pieces through striking colour.

In our latest Q&A, Christian reflects on the collaboration with L.Ercolani, and the inspiration behind the stain collection.

Originals 7402 Butterfly Chairs in the Modern Tones Collection
Originals 7402 Butterfly Chair Ash OE

Q — What inspired your collaboration with L.Ercolani?

CMA — The starting point for the colour palette came from looking at modernist and mid-century designs from the 1950s, and the colours that helped define a lot of the design, architecture and art that emerged during that era. I wanted to form a palette that felt bold, warm and rich, while also complimenting the more understated, tactile simplicity of the wood that is the central material in all of L.Ercolani’s designs. I wanted a sense of harmony and balance between the natural wood and the colour stains, so that they could be combined more seamlessly in an interior environment. In the process of defining and finetuning the stains, it was essential that the stains had the right level of transparency to sustain the texture and tactility of the wood grain.

Q — How did you go about defining a bold, new palette of colour stains for a brand with such a rich heritage?

CMA — Drawing inspiration from the 1950s, I took cues from L.Ercolani’s Originals collection and the designs that Lucian Ercolani did during that period. It was of vital importance to me that the new colour stains had close ties to the history and heritage of the brand, so the addition of the new colours felt holistic. To me, the new tones marry the brand’s historic past with their forward-thinking approach through an intense use of colour. I wanted to use Lucian’s mid-century designs as a foundation and build upon this idea of tactile warmth with richer tones, atypical of the time during which the pieces originated.

One of the stains in the new palette, the Original stain, actually came about from looking at old varieties of the Butterfly Chair and Stacking Chair at the L.Ercolani factory, all of which were produced in the 1950s. They had a warm and golden look to them that you usually only get after decades of use. The Original stain was an attempt to replicate this look, honouring the heritage of the brand in a fairly direct visual manner.

“It was of vital importance to me that the new colour stains had close ties to the history and heritage of the brand, so the addition of the new colours felt holistic.“


Q — As the creative mind and eyes behind L.Ercolani’s redesigned visual identity, how did you translate this brand aesthetic into the stain palette? 

CMA — Over the past couple of years, I’ve been fortunate to work closely with L.Ercolani and help redefine the brand’s visual DNA and identity. Since 2018, we’ve worked on creating a unique visual language that feels honest, thoughtful, and natural. However, we’ve simultaneously made slow and gradual additions to the visual DNA by carefully adding elements of colour to the interior styling or photography. This gradual process has helped us redefine the brand’s aesthetic slowly over the years and turn it into something that hopefully feels both timeless and modern.

The new palette includes a new series of colourful stains — Off White, Ochre, Warm Grey, Original, and Vintage Red. They are all intended breaks from tradition, but still closely tied to the brand’s modernist references and background. And quite importantly as well, the level of transparency in the stains emphasise the attention to craftsmanship that’s been put into each piece, honouring the natural wood grain. 

Looking at the new range of colour stains, I don’t think we would have been able to introduce these rich and bold colours three years ago. The fact that we’re able to introduce them now just proves to me how much the brand has evolved into its own entity, while staying true to the Ercol brand and heritage. 


Designs from Modern Tones

Drop Leaf Table


Designed by Lucian Ercolani, 1956

Stacking Chair


Designed by Lucian R Ercolani, 1956

Utility Counter Stool


Designed by Lucian Ercolani, 1956

Pennon Large Table


Designed by Norm Architects, 2019

IO Side Table


Designed by Lars Beller Fjetland, 2020

Reprise Chair with Hide Seat


Designed by Norm Architects, 2020

Flow Chair

From £553From £650

Designed by Tomoko Azumi, 2015