Sofa shopping at DFS – yes, DFS

Okay, I’ll admit it – I can be a bit of a shopping snob when it comes to interiors. I mean, DFS? Red leather sofas? White leather sofas, even? No. Not me. So, it’s unsurprising that I was a little sceptical when I was asked to check out their ranges and try out their new iPad room planner app at the same time. The Tottenham Court road store isn’t too far away so I decided to pop down. As we are in the process of buying a new home, I was certainly keen to see how the new app could help organise and plan our living space and I was intrigued to see whether I’d really find anything suitable style-wise.

Towards the back of the store, I found the DFS Capsule Collection, which gradually diminished my scepticism and contradicted the pre-conceptions I had. I absolutely loved the Soda sofa, with its attention to mid-century modern detail (check out the tapered legs) and its retro fabric. I would love this for our new home, except practical constraints mean I’m confined to choosing sofa beds. When I Instagrammed this, nobody could believe it was from DFS, which means if it’s trying to change its image, it’s certainly surprising design geeks in a good way.

The Capsule range is designed with small flats and city-living in mind – so everything is ever so slightly smaller in proportion. The only sofa bed in the Capsule range is the Tote, which, while it looks cosy, isn’t quite what I had in mind colour-wise (unlike other DFS collections, the colours in the Capsule range can’t be changed unfortunately) and is a tad too small.

I’m after a grey, charcoal sofa, something that will last a long while and can be updated with cushions as colour preferences change – but ultimately the first thing I have to consider is size, then style.

Armed with the room dimensions off the estate agent’s website, a DFS representative talked me through how to create my room (there are number of room templates so it was easy to find one that fits an Edwardian style property, of which there are so many in London). We scaled up exactly where the door is, added in the fireplace and bookshelves, and I showed him where I wanted the sofa to go. Then, I was able to drop and drag (in a way) the particular sofa I had in mind to see if it would work. It would look something like this:

In an ideal scenario, I’d be able to take photos of my soon-to-be living room on an iPad, upload them into the app and then play around with dropping in different sofas across the ranges to properly visualise how they would work. I’ve used other floorplanner websites before and the visualisation aspect is not so smooth. Now that we’re in the middle of choosing new furniture for our new home, I can see just how handy that would particularly be. You can download the app from iTunes.

While I’ve not yet found the perfect sofa bed and while certainly not everything is to my taste, I’d possibly be more open minded and consider DFS in a way I had not previously.  So, DFS – has it pleasantly surprised you too?

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