The Wattle Story

Having moved homes 12 times...and counting, Wattle Living's founder, Ryan Lawson, knows a thing or two about the struggle to find a good sofa.

Cheap and flimsy in-a-box sofas that are badly made, or heavy and expensive sofas that require a team to move. Sofas are traditionally complicated to put together, expensive to reupholster and inflexible (they won't fit into your next space) so, it's little wonder most sofas end up on street corners.

Wattle was born in order to not replicate what the furniture industry has done badly for too long. Through lean design, smart solutions, the use of durable, better quality materials and a more efficient supply chain, we keep the costs down and the quality high.

Meet Ryan

Ryan grew up on a small farm in the North Coast of NSW where he developed an appreciation for the natural environment and honed the craft of tinkering.

He has been an award-winning designer within the commercial furniture industry for over a decade, and teaches Sustainable Design at the University of NSW. But these worlds remained firmly and frustratingly unaligned...

Ryan knew that the furniture industry could do better.

Having lived for the past 15 years in Bondi, Ryan was increasingly distressed by the sight of sofas piling up on street corners; discarded by renters because they were cheaply made and didn’t fit their next home. So, Ryan founded Wattle, with the sole purpose of designing a sofa that wouldn’t end up in landfill.

The Wattle Difference

And that’s what separates us from our competitors - how seriously we take design. Not only do we not want you coming back to us in 5 years time and buying a new sofa, we are designing in ways to actively ensure that you don’t come back, by making this sofa long lasting and durable, with changeable configurations and covers. And because we’re thinking about where your sofa will end up, we’re making better choices in the iteration phase, to design out waste.

In 2019, Ryan relocated his young family from Bondi, back to the North Coast, and spent a year doing what he’s always done - tinkering in his family shed.

Guided by the principles of good design and the UN sustainable development goals, Ryan built the first sofa by hand, using his grandad Ronald's furniture tools and his grandmother Margaret's 1950s Bernina sewing machine. The spirit of Ronald and Margaret resides in the ethos of this project, a generation that understood the value of making things that last.