January 24 2010
Gillian de Bono
Recently, I was deliberating on how to furnish a square entrance hall. Assorted doors and the stairway left just one wall free for a single, statement piece of furniture. I made an exhaustive search of contemporary, antique and ethnic console tables, sideboards and storage chests, but nothing really delivered: the more practical pieces were too boxy for a space that was already box-shaped. And the more decorative somehow lacked presence.
It was then that I stumbled on the work of the designer Richard Ward whose company, WAWA, has a showroom near East London’s Columbia Road Flower Market. Richard’s signature designs are half sofa, half sculpture. With his traditionally made Wallsgrove sofa (pictured), with its hand-tied springs, solid beech frame and theatrically high asymmetric scroll arms, I found something that humanised the space, served a real purpose and was truly fabulous to look at.
Because Richard will customise sizes, I was able to order mine so that it filled the space perfectly (you can also choose how soft you want the upholstery and the finish of the legs). Prices are very fair for this quality of design and service. A 190cm-wide Wallsgrove sofa costs £1,795 plus the price of eight metres of fabric, and there is currently 20 per cent off all orders placed before the end of January.
The showroom is open Sundays 10am-2.30pm, or weekdays by appointment.