AD - This post is part of a paid partnership with DFS, yet all words and opinions are my own.
Two years ago I transformed the guest room in my house by putting this burnt orange, chesterfield sofa bed in it. Yes, that’s right. DFS were offering this chesterfield design as a sofa bed in velvet. When I put it on Instagram, no-one could believe that this design was DFS piece. So, when DFS asked if I fancied taking a trip up north with them to find out what they were all about on this milestone birthday for the company, I was eager to learn all the ins-and-outs of this multifaceted furniture supplier (they were also offering me the chance to upholster my own armchair on the day in the factory, which as you can imagine filled me with giddy DIY excitement.) What I did learn about DFS, I have to say, I was completely shocked and pleasantly surprised by. So, here are five key things about DFS I bet you didn’t know before now…
You’d think that a company who do regular sales and offers would be bursting with stock and desperate to get it out the door, but DFS do not make anything unless there has been a direct order for it. All DFS sofas are handmade to order, so unlike furniture suppliers who have their product created offshore and have it shipped into the UK, DFS do not have piles of imported stock sitting around, waiting to be sold. Only once an order has been placed does it start to be created at one of DFS’s three factories in York and Derbyshire. This way, DFS get to keep a good eye on quality control (DFS are the only furniture brand to own the British Standard Kitemark on all its sofas) and they are able to offer a wide range of fabric and colour options for each sofa or chair design they sell.
DFS is unusual in that they have their own design studio within the working mill. The talented design team, based in the studio, scout the international fairs such as Salone del Mobile and Maison to get inspiration for what will be the forthcoming on-trend colours, details and shapes in furniture design. They then look at how to incorporate these trends into DFS designs and filter it down as an affordable option for the mass market. Trends for this year at the shows included hexagonal cuts on sofa edges and shades of burgundy, so expect to see some of these trends filtering through into new DFS pieces later in the year.
DFS work closely with the British Heart Foundation to make sure that when they deliver you a new sofa, if your old sofa is still in pretty good nick it will be taken away to be sold, with all proceeds going to fight coronary heart disease. So far, 20 million quid has been raised, which is an incredible amount for something that may have ended up at the tip or given away online.
So, that’s 5 key facts about DFS that surprised me - did it surprise you? As a fan of the brand (the orange sofabed and the new Peace armchair are literally the comfiest seats in the house, as attested by the dog who declared the chair his own within 5 minutes of it being delivered), I was delighted to learn about the British brands dedication to craftsmanship, local employment and being abreast of the key colours and trends. Our main, family sofa is very old and needs to be replaced next year, so the first place I’ll be heading to for a new one will be my local DFS store. In fact, I’ve already picked out my current 5 favourite pieces, available to purchase now, below…
Ros 3 Seater Sofa in Quartz Blush
DFS do a great range of wool or leather ‘looks’, meaning you get the look and feel of leather or wool, without it being an animal by-product. I love this Ros sofa from the ‘So Simple’ range. It’s chic lines are accentuated in this pretty rose pink colourway.
New Lark Tub Chair In Fleck Blue
I love this accent chair that would be a perfect attention-grabber in a bedroom or in a neglected corner. DFS recently worked with young textile graduates and this was one of the bold fabric designs DFS selected. Also see ‘Daubs’ and ‘Dotty’ for a modern, graphic print for this tub chair.
Long Beach: Left Hand Facing Large Chaise Sofa
This corner unit, a collaboration with House Beautiful, works especially well as it is low backed, making it look very casual. Even though it will obviously take up a lot of floor area, it will not feel like it dominates the space.
Zinc Weave 4 Seater In Light Grey
Part of the DFS collaboration with French Connection, this mid-century modern style sofa looks best in a Weave fabric, which is more visually interesting due to the texture. A lighter colour shows off its button detailing better than a darker shade.
Truth Large Lounger In Black Velvet
This flexible lounger is part of DFS ‘Capsule’ range for small spaces. It provides a ‘feet up’ option when you cannot fit in a corner unit. I love the velvet upholstery which keeps it on-trend, and the black looks perfect for a modern, Scandi-style interior scheme.