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A new collection of furniture gets the seal of approval from Ireland’s most famous architect

Hugh Wallace

When two Irish interiors stalwarts come together to talk furniture design, one of them architect, Home of the Year judge, and presenter of My Bungalow Bliss and The Great House Restoration, and the other a leading Irish retailer, interiors enthusiasts are sitting up and taking notice.

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Sofa Workshop x Hugh Wallace is the brain child of EZ Living Interiors, marking the launch of its curated, design-led sofas, chairs and footstools with Hugh Wallace previewing the collection in conversation with creative manager, Emma Murphy.

Taking place on location in an Irish Georgian country house enabled Emma and the EZ Living Interiors’ creative team to showcase the collection in a contextual mix of historic architecture and interiors designed for contemporary living while retaining the character of Georgian design. “Presenting the collection in a Georgian country house was the perfect space for these timeless pieces to communicate to people in Ireland who love interiors,” Emma tells me, and it’s an inspired combination as became clear during Hugh’s review of an EZ Living Interiors signature piece, the Scott
sofa upholstered in lush navy velvet.

“I just love this,” he says. “It’s sublime, it reminds me of the classic ‘50s couch. In this setting, in a period home, it sits perfectly but it would also sit perfectly in a semi-detached house.”  It’s a keen and discerning observation, tying in with the EZ Living Interiors’ maxim that there’s a Scott for every home, and a reference to how Sofa Workshop is based on timeless design reimagined for contemporary living, but with substance as well as style, as Emma explains, citing the Leon sofa.  “It’s also a timeless piece with a ‘70s retro feel,” she says. “It’s modular and can be configured into a
two-seater or corner chaise as required.

“Hugh saw the timelessness in the pieces, the references to the historical brought up to date. He saw the detail, things like leather strapping on chairs, curves, all the details that make Sofa Workshop more than a piece of furniture, something that you’ll love and cherish and at an
approachable price.”  Holding equal sway with style are practicality and quality. Furniture frames are crafted by a cabinet maker, Italian leather, cotton velvet, linens, and high-quality foam are used, with an all-important emphasis on functionality, something picked up on by Hugh.  “The Charles sofa I think is just a fantastic functional piece,” he says. You can take off all the covers and get it cleaned. There’s a real sense of casualness about this piece, it’s very comfortable to sit in I have to tell you. And, of course, one of my favourites is the Patricia, a fantastic swivel chair that looks as good from the back as it does from the front.”

With seven sofas and a gorgeous selection of chairs and footstools, Sofa Workshop x Hugh Wallace embodies the design-led focus of EZ Living Interiors.  “We wanted to offer something exclusive to our design-loving customers that they can’t get anywhere else in Ireland,” Emma explains. “Hugh is the perfect fit to be our ambassador, he personifies what Sofa Workshop is for the company; characterful, colourful, unique, timeless, with
integrity and fun.”

Cue the reminder of episodes of Home of the Year when the judges arrive at properties finished in bold application of colour and Hugh’s enthusiastic praise for it, followed by the inevitable debates with fellow judge Amanda Bone and her die-hard preference for neutral interiors.  “Having seen hundreds of homes I think texture and colour are so important,” Hugh says. “You need to have a bit of creativity and boldness so don’t be afraid to get fantastic colours in your furniture and also use complementary colour and have a bit of fun in cushions.”  No Home of the Year style debates between him and Emma, however. “He was genuinely excited about the pieces,” she says. “He lit up and made us feel so proud.”
“It’s been brilliant to have been invited to the Sofa Workshop collection because I’m blown away by it,” Hugh says. “Because the essence of the collection is based on classics from the past reinvented for today. Brilliant materials, brilliant fabrics, textures and colours but also the perfect shapes for your home.”

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