Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

AT HOME WITH Gala Wright; Furniture Designer Gala Wright, Daughter of Pink Floyd's Rick Wright, Lives in Eccentric Harmony with Her Musician Husband Guy Pratt in Ladbroke Grove. Alice BB Meets a Couple Who Find Beautiful Bargains in the Unlikeliest of Places

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

AT HOME WITH Gala Wright; Furniture Designer Gala Wright, Daughter of Pink Floyd's Rick Wright, Lives in Eccentric Harmony with Her Musician Husband Guy Pratt in Ladbroke Grove. Alice BB Meets a Couple Who Find Beautiful Bargains in the Unlikeliest of Places

Article excerpt

Byline: ALICE BB

If you can get a feel for someone's character from how they decorate their surrounding space, then I like Gala Wright and Guy Pratt immediately.

Their elegantly proportioned Ladbroke Grove maisonette is full of warmth and personality revealing stuff, with none of the interior design cliches. 'I know it's fashionable again to have a more collected feel to where you live,' says furniture designer Gala, 34, 'but for me that's always been the case.

Everything in here tells a story.' Having rented the flat for several years, Gala and Guy were able to buy it on the cheap six years ago when the owners suddenly went into receivership.

They set about some structural renovation, opening up the upstairs and downstairs halls, putting in a glass floor to let light into the basement and making a practical utility room. There were elements left over from past owners, a Russian family, that the couple worked with and tried to accentuate, such as the grand and rather camp mirrored doors leading from the sitting room to the kitchen, and the original Wedgwood fireplace to which they've matched the wall colour. 'A builder from upstairs offered us fifteen grand for it,' says Guy. 'He said he could make it look like a burglary and it just wouldn't be here tomorrow.' 'But we love it and told him to bugger off,' adds Gala.

After school at St Christopher's, a progressive Quaker boarding school, Gala, the daughter of Pink Floyd keyboard player Rick and interior decorator Juliette Wright, read physics and philosophy at Oxford. She finished her degree and went straight into a holiday job at Miramax's London office. Soon she was working for director Iain Softley, making films including The Wings of the Dove and Hackers, starring Jonny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie. 'It was great fun, but it wasn't my calling,' she says, 'so I started to think about what I really enjoyed doing. I realised that I've always appreciated design and been aware of my immediate environment and how things affect the way I feel.' So she went back to college and took a design and furniture course. 'I didn't play with dolls when I was little. I'd make treehouses or I'd take a clock apart to see how it worked,' explains Gala. Halfway through the course, she had her son Stanley, now two, but despite juggling baby's bottles and tools she graduated, and her final-year piece (a chair called the Loop Lounger) was exhibited at 100% Design and is currently being produced by the Milanese company Coro.

'When Jimmy Nail saw it,' says Guy of his sometime musical collaborator, 'he said, "Oh, it's fantastic. You do all that hard work and then you've got something nice to sit on at the end."' Gala shows me round the flat.

It's like turning the pages of her life. 'My parents bought the screen in Japan in the Sixties,' she says of the hand-painted piece hanging behind the kitchen table. 'It ended up in their garage until I spotted it, stole it and nailed it to the wall so they can't have it back.' The kitchen is a great room with a huge bay window. It looks so fresh and interesting, probably because there's no boring old stainless steel or fitted cupboards. 'I spent as little as I could and kept it as unfitted as possible,' says Gala. 'The units, which I designed, are just stained plywood.' The walls are painted a soft mossy green, with tile splashbacks. The star of the kitchen, however, is the cooker. 'I was going to get an old Fifties range shipped over from the States,' says Gala, 'but it was going to cost a fortune, so I eventually found one at an old appliance place in Lewisham.' In the sitting room, among Stanley's toys and Guy's massive CD collection, Gala points out a pretty chandelier that was a wedding present from her mother, a spiky balled standing lamp bought on the Golborne Road, a purple egg-style chair from Portobello Road and a couple of chairs that she found on the street and had recovered in white vinyl. …

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