The Planner Group was a highly influential mid-century modern furniture line created by American designer Paul McCobb in 1949. Winchendon Furniture, a Massachusetts-based company, manufactured the collection. The Planner Group's focus on simplicity, functionality, and affordability made it popular among the post-World War II American middle class, who sought practical and stylish furnishings for their suburban homes.
The Planner Group was designed with modularity and flexibility, offering a wide range of pieces that could be mixed and matched to suit individual needs and preferences. The furniture line included desks, dressers, tables, chairs, storage units, and shelving, all featuring clean lines, minimal ornamentation, and solid construction.
Made primarily from solid maple, birch, or occasionally walnut, the Planner Group furniture was available in various finishes to accommodate different tastes and home décors. The line's affordability was a key selling point, making well-designed, high-quality furniture accessible to a broader audience.
Strategic marketing efforts further boosted the Planner Group's success. McCobb partnered with major department stores such as Bloomingdale's and Macy's, making the furniture line more widely available and familiar to the general public. The furniture was also featured in advertisements and editorial spreads in popular magazines like House Beautiful and Interiors, increasing its visibility and appeal.
Some of the most popular designs from the Planner Group include:
Over time, the Planner Group expanded to include additional lines, such as the Linear Group, the Predictor Group, and the Irwin Collection, further solidifying McCobb's reputation as a leading furniture designer of the era.
The Planner Group's legacy endures today, as its designs are celebrated for their timeless appeal, functionality, and adaptability. The furniture line remains popular among mid-century modern enthusiasts and collectors, with many pieces still in high demand on the vintage market.
Paul McCobb moved from Boston to New York to pursue his dream of becoming a designer. When it came to design he was completely selftaught but his profound understanding of perspective paved the way for his emerging career as one of the most important designers of the time. Perspective and scale in particular became a trademark for McCobb, whose tables, shelves and even lamps were the result of meticulous attention to the room the design would inhabit. Thin lines, simplicity of form and a distinct lightness characterise the works of Paul McCobb. He was a realist and a perfectionist and his design pieces are a clear reflection of his personality. McCobb’s recipe for no-nonsense design, where only the essential is required to obtain both functionality and aesthetics, is a recipe we respect through our relaunch of McCobb's Planner coffee tables. Details such as the narrowing of the welted steel by the “feet” of the base is how one recognises a genuine McCobb design.