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With under 100 days till Rio, it was about time we paid tribute to athletes and sponsors alike on interiors blogs as well. Athletes need sponsors and sponsors need athletes, it's a wonderful relationship that benefits both parties. And it is very exciting when besides the big athletics companies, interiors companies join in the fun!

Athletes spend hours upon hours intensively training for their craft especially now with this year’s Rio Olympics just around the corner. Away from their family and friends, they dedicate their time into pushing themselves to be the best that they can be to make the country proud. What do they need at the end of the day?

Laura hit the nail (or is that a stud?) on the head. Relaxation is an integral part of any athlete’s lifestyle as this is time when they can bond with their family and temporarily escape the pressures of competing. DFS knows the importance of relaxation better than anyone, and is now the official homeware partner for Team GB at this summer’s Olympics in Rio.

In honour of this, Philip Watkin DFS’ design director, and his talented design team created The Britannia, a specially designed, limited edition sofa that celebrates Team GB and provides a centre piece to British House: the home of Team GB in Rio.

Craftsmanship is...


Type in the word "craftsmanship" in Google images and a number of photos similar to the one below will appear. Meaning the "skill in a particular craft" I think the Britannia range definitely is an example of true craftsmanship. and it is really satisfying knowing that it made entirely in the UK! DFS pride themselves on this and have three factories in Yorkshire, Nottingham and Derbyshire where their sofas are made to order. The fabric for the sofa comes from a mill in Lancashire. It all sounds so humble and down to earth but the result is spectacularly grand.

The design team has used striking golden studs on the scroll arms and the front boarder to represent Team GB gold medals. Each stud is expertly and individually hand tacked into the frame to embellish the sofa. The equally stylish and compact Britannia accent chair has 233 studs, which is the exact number of gold medals Team GB has won in Summer Olympic Games to date.

The sofa comes complete with a set of beautiful scatter cushions, available in an assortment of luxury plains or motifs inspired by iconic British images. For this design element, DFS worked with British textile designer, Susan Munns, from Art of the Loom to design a beautiful range of cushions that subtlety brought the spirit of Team GB alive through colour and pattern.

One kaleidoscope scatter cushion incorporates stunning detailing depicting elements of Olympic sports, from cycling and gymnastic to rowing, hockey and tennis. Others use a simple palette of red, white and blue shades to give a nod to the Union Jack and Team GB colours.

The collection includes a four, three and two seater sofa, an armchair, an accent chair and a large footstool and is nished with a commemorative upholstered plaque. The plaque not only provides authenticity but pays tribute to the UK design and craftsmanship, by DFS, in honour of Team GB’s participation in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

DFS Ambassadors


Together with cyclist Laura Trott, swimmer Adam Peaty and gymnast Max Whitlock are also Ambassadors for DFS and have featured in the firm's "an athlete's life" videos which you can see here. It is really heartwarming to see them in their own homes and I can only imagine how much they will be missing their own spaces when they set off to Rio. Which is why DFS is shipping the Britannia to them in Rio, aiming to make the athlete's space feel more like "home". I cannot wait to see the end result, I am sure DFS will do a fab styling job, and if they want, I am definitely up for it. After all, I am a DFS enthusiast having the Gower 4-seater sofa in my own home, from their collaboration with Country Living.

I bet you didn't know


DFS have just won the Youth Employment, Talent Management and Recruitment Award. Sounds like a dream employer !

Follow the story


Snap a piece of the collection on the DFS website here and follow them on Twitter with #GreatBrits to show your love and support to Team GB. Stay tuned and see you in Rio perhaps ?

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