A chance to own a piece of Manchester’s long-gone furniture-making history. Furniture is not something you tend to associate Manchester with, nevertheless, Homecharm furniture factory was absolutely massive at some point.
The factory was opened in 1949 and throughout its 50+ years of existence they grew rapidly. Back in 1985 Homecharm had an annual turnover of £8 million. In a space of next 8 years they expanded into a giant with annual turnover of over £120 million. At that point it was one of the biggest budget furniture makers in Europe. Homecharm Furniture also launched one of the first purpose-built appliance furniture range for ready-made kitchens. It was a really novel idea at that point but perhaps the market was not quite ready for it. Now B&Q and Wickes do it and we all think it’s completely normal. This was not the case in the 1990s.
The foray into the kitchen industry marked the downward slide. Until 2002 the company’s operations ground to a standstill and by 2005 it was out of business completely. Build quality was also an issue with some of Homecharm Furniture products.
Although they never actually competed with High Wycombe manufacturers, other furniture brands were innovating and improving faster.
Homecharm Furniture was based in Albany Mills, Rhodes since 1972 – at the historic premises of Calico Printers Association.
This pair of Homecharm chest of drawers was made in the late 1980s as mass produced line of bedroom furniture. Although it was mass produced, very few examples survive to this day. The build quality of these pieces was not the best, hence these chests of drawers display signs of structural restoration work at the base, which is not visible from the front. The drawers’ handles used to be another weak point for Homecharm. These have now been reinforced and painted in off-white colour, which we believe works in harmony with the well-chosen honey-colour varnish.
Main parts of these Homecharm chests of drawers are made from MDF and plywood with truly stunning veneer on top. Possibly larch veneer but we can’t say for sure because the veneer was varnished at the factory and we didn’t want to make any damage by inspecting it. The quarter cut larch veneer wood grain is even better than some exotic veneers.
There are some minor dents and scratches on tops (please see the photos) but overall in great condition. A really quirky piece that is also a good investment as Homecharm is going to be a future antique. If you have a nostalgia for the Manchester’s bygone industrial age, this is the collectors piece for you! The price is for the pair, we will not sell them separately.
This pair of chest of drawers can also be used as bedside cabinets. Each features four drawers.