OAK — the king of the forest — will always be the most desirable of all timbers for furniture.

For centuries it has signified quality, durability - in fact, sheer class.

Now Morris Furniture has created an impressive range of oak furniture which captures these noble qualities in a thoroughly modern idiom.

In scale, in colouring and in practicality Carolina is ideally suited to the way we live now.

Carolina can trace its heritage both to the great age of Tudor England and to more recent American traditions.

On the cabinets the English influence can be seen in the design of the square framed and panelled cupboard doors, brass leaded glass display doors, striking decorative escutcheons to the handles and deep moulded cornices.

The dining tables have substantial pedestal legs with a most attractive and subtle, carved feature.

Strongly reminiscent of popular American influences are the veneered table tops which feature an arresting parquet effect, using segments of veneer at different angles to create a pleasing pattern with the distinctive oak grain.

The furniture's golden colouring is also typically American with its light yet still warm hues more suited to today's smaller homes and more flexible for complementing a wider range of decorative options.

In fact overall its lightness of touch is what gives Carolina its winning appeal.

The range of cabinets, tables, chairs and occasional pieces is comprehensive — every functional requirement of the modern home has been considered in developing the sixteen pieces.

Both the double pedestal oval table and the single pedestal circular table extend to seat six to eight people in comfort when required.

There are two choices of dining chair, both with armchair options - a classic ladder back with sculpted top rail, or the elegant part-padded back chair.

The standard fabric is a delicate Jacobean-style leaf design in two-tone cream or sage green.

The display cabinets - three door, four door/drinks and corner — all have brilliant mirror backs, which reflect the light of the halogen downlighters back into the room.

A range of occasional tables — rectangular coffee table, square lamp table, nest of tables — fulfils all those surface storage needs in a living room. They are ideal for use elsewhere around the house too.

The corner TV/video stand has been designed to take the largest of the latest wide screen TVs, while inside there's plenty of space for digi boxes, DVDs and videos. The hi-fi cabinet is designed for a modern midi system.

Manufacturers' selling price for the Carolina four-door display is £1,999; for the circular dining table £1,199; for the chairs £349 each; for the corner TV/video storage unit £699; for the lamp table £299.