A few months ago I covered the launch of the Britannia, a limited edition collection by DFS in collaboration with TeamGB. I was very excited to cover this launch which gave me the chance to research DFS more extensively, learn about where the products were made and even have a few online chats on camera with their Sales Team. Talking to DFS was like a deja-vu. And then I realised:
ALL MY SOFAS HAVE BEEN FROM DFS
Sofas are expensive to buy and you spend a lot of time looking online before you even visit a shop to try them out. You cannot (and should not) buy a sofa without testing it out a bit. Is it firm, supportive? Will I be happy sitting on it while watching Game of Thrones next season?
You "invest" in a sofa, they're meant to be there for ages. So I reflected about the experience I had with DFS from one purchase to the next. What was it that had drawn me back to them? Well, it was 50% the designs and 50% the service.
Above: Our first sofa from DFS perfectly fitted the space in this Fulham flat.
A tale of good service
And it's not a fairy tale! The first sofa I bought from DFS was for our first home. I remember sitting on an inflatable sofa-bed waiting for the real deal to arrive. When the sofa was unloaded and it just wouldn't fit through the front door, I was the first to panic. The DFS guys simply removed the legs (Wait, what! The legs come off? Why didn't you say so!) and moved the sofa to its new home. That sofa is still going strong 9 years later.
Above: The Grand Gower by DFS in our current home
When we left Fulham and the modern flat behind to move to the countryside, we were in need of a sofa to suit the new home. We went for the 4-seater Gower from the DFS collaboration with COUNTRY LIVING. The sofa was grand, cosy and superbly made. So we bought a matching footstool too! My Gower is now 5 years old but you couldn't tell (tip: stain guard and use of throws!).
Both purchases were as I like them. Hassle free. I was given the approximate time for delivery (3-5 weeks) and received a call nearer to the date to arrange a delivery (both times I received my orders within 3 weeks).
Going back to May 2016 and while I was researching DFS, I saw their bed collection, which surprisingly I had not given much thought previously. At the time, I was also looking to change my bed and was absolutely loving upholstered beds in a scalloped design which I had seen in hotels like the the Bachaumont in Paris. I found, very unexpectedly I have to admit, a similar type of bed on DFS and was ecstatic. I parked the thought and sometime in mid-June logged back on their website to place an order.
THE BED WAS NO LONGER AVAILABLE. PANIC.
I called DFS the same day.
I can't find the Jules bed online anymore, is it a glitch? No, no glitch, the bed was removed from the site, we no longer make it.
But you did make it last week, can we do something?
YES WE CAN, LEAVE IT WITH ME.
Said the super polite DFS sales rep, and so I left my details and got a call back a few days later. The factory had come back. There was enough fabric to make one more Jules! I couldn't quiet believe it. I started making mood boards for the room and ordered paint samples before settling for the very soothing Dix Blue by Farrow & Ball.
There was plenty of time before the bed was to arrive so I also ordered a couple of wall lights from the States via ETSY to complement the new scheme. The bed was in a pink herringbone fabric, and so I opted for a vintage brass look on the lights. I could not find something similar in the UK but the option on ETSY was fair priced (for a handmade item) and I received it safely and quickly.
When the DFS team assembled the bed for me and I saw it in all its glory I almost cried. The bed was heavy, well made and the vertical scallop crafted to perfection. The pink herringbone fabric sat so well in front of Dix Blue.
MY BEDROOM BLISS
So back to my original thought: service. It's half as important as great design. DFS have served me 3 times so far and have not once let me down. They're a friendly bunch of people and they're as good in person (my closest store is in Purley Way, London) as they are on the phone and their Webchat (that one is a must try by the way!)
Now, the Jules bed is no longer available, but a number of other fabulous beds are waiting for you in their stores and online. For a Bachaumont Hotel style bed, try the Essence with a vertical scallop or the VIVA in lilac. For a buttoned headboard that oozes luxury, try the Odette in velvet lavender. The Hamley will provide useful storage.
Collaborative post - all opinions my own