‘I’ve always loved Ercol Originals from the 1950s and 60s. I’m drawn to their classic, smooth lines and warm-toned wood. Plus, it’s a British heritage brand that still manufactures here, which should be celebrated. So I was thrilled when I was invited to collaborate with Ercol in2011. It was the year after I won the ELLE Decoration Designer of the Year award, and the company had seen some of the furniture I’d designed for SCP, including the ‘Motley’ ottoman and ‘Hue’ sofa.
I studied textiles and have always been interested in texture and colour, so I wanted to create more of a statement with Ercol’s ‘Studio Couch’. At the time, I was very into wool wrapping. Just a few years before I had created a 20-square-metre outdoor maze by wrapping fence posts with rainbow-coloured yarn. So I wove multicoloured wool around the arms of the couch, then designed a knitted cover, inspired by a Finnish wallcovering I have.
We eventually put the couch in the living room where it took pride of place. Not long after, I was at home with my two boys and was busy in the kitchen when I suddenly noticed it had gone very quiet.I walked into the living room and saw a pair of scissors on the floor, a big hole cut out of the couch – and two small boys looking shifty. Needless to say, I was very upset and to this day neither of them has owned up to it! Now, I think of it like a body with a scar that tells a story, so it’s a piece I’ll treasure even more. donnawilson.com
This article appeared in ELLE Decoration April 2020
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