I will be completely honest with you, up until last week when I thought of the brand DFS the first thing that sprung to mind was discounted sofas. The next thing I associated with the brand was those brash television adverts that you see pushing the seemingly never-ending sales. Last week though DFS invited me along to the Midlands to learn about their brand, their history and how they make their products. As a result my opinion of DFS brand has completely flipped…
Firstly and fore-mostly I had absolutely no idea that DFS sofas were produced to order right here in the UK. I guess in this day and age I’m too quick to assume that most of the things we buy are (sadly) imported from the other side of the world. The first port of call on my few days with DFS was a visit to one of their upholstery factories just outside of Nottingham where it was great to watch as their team of skilled workers went about producing their range of fabric sofas and accessories (mostly) by hand. The factory is laid out in zones so it is easy to follow the various steps of the production process and eventually see the finished result being loaded onto trucks at the other end as they head off to unload at DFS stores up and down the UK.
It was great to see British manufacturing still very much alive and thriving in this part of the Midlands at least.
The next morning the first port of call was at the DFS Design Studio where the small team of talented designers were on hand to explain their themes, inspirations and reasoning behind the collections. A lot of their fabric comes from local British mills but some of the more luxurious blends are produced in the likes of Italy before being upholstered back here in the UK. Some of the fabric designs are even drawn by hand by one of their talented designers in-house (a recent graduate from Nottingham Trent Uni) then manipulated on the computer to produce a bespoke print. I really liked that touch.
In part of the design studio, DFS have a mini factory that enables them to create and modify samples and prototype designs quickly and easily. With all of the tools and equipment to hand they decided to offer us the chance to try our hand at upholstering one of their Zinc Armchairs. I teamed up with my blogging buddy Matthew Pike to take on the chair building challenge. In 30 minutes we just about managed to cover the 2 arms leaving the rest of the chair still to go…I think we are better leaving it to the experts next time!
The final stop on the trip was to a lovely old mill building that has now been transformed into the styling studios. This is the place that they use to photograph all of the products for the DFS website so as you can imagine is like an Aladdin’s cave of interior accessories and furniture. To complete the trip I was asked to style up a DFS sofa to my own personal taste, using their extensive array of bits and bobs. I choose the dusky blue Flint sofa from their French Connection range, as I really liked the colour.
What do you think of my finished room?
If I have inspired you to give your home a bit of a Spruce up for the New Year coming in, you can view the full DFS collection online at dfs.co.uk or pop into a store new you.
Disclaimer: This post has been very kindly sponsored by DFS however all of the words and opinions within are my own.