Posts Tagged ‘custom-made sofa’
Okay, so when I ordered our custom-made sofa back in September (“21 days,” said Rashid optimistically. “Inshallah,” I added)I joked that I might be lucky to get it by Christmas and… drum-roll please… I have it by Christmas.
To be fair, we got it about three weeks ago but I’ve been too busy to write about it. Also, my meticulous measurements were thrown into confusion when the lovely production guy overstuffed the back cushions, subtracting 10 crucial centimetres from the width of the seats. I took one cushion back to be “minimised” much to the production guy’s annoyance.“It’s a lot of work,” he said, “and we’re so busy.”
“But we decided the back cushions would be 15cm wide, “I said. “And they’re now 25cm at their widest!”
In effect, it means only the top of DH’s long thighs are supported on the seat as he is tall man with long legs. I pointed out that if we wanted a narrow seat, we would have gone to Ikea.
Anyway, I hadn’t told you about the sofa as I was waiting for the cushions to be sorted, but it looks like that won’t be till the New Year, so…. here it is.
It’s been two weeks since I last spoke with the sofa company. They should at least have finished the frame and stuffing by now and be in need of the fabric; I haven’t really chosen one yet. So I called them for a status update. No joy.
So I called the mobile number of the really helpful production guy. Despite being in Abu Dhabi, he was, again, really helpful.
‘Your sofa? Ah yes, I remember! When are you coming in? We need to get started.’
Pause while I digested.
‘Yes, ma’am, there’s a measurement I’m not sure about so I asked Rashid to call you? Two weeks ago?’
Rashid didn’t call.
‘But you’ve made the frame, no?’‘No. Not started ma’am.’[I’ll omit my responses in which I needed him to clarify this another four times while I went through denial, disbelief, grief and finally acceptance]‘Come to factory, ma’am,’ he said. ‘Best you come.’He bombed it back from Abu Dhabi. I went to the factory.
The production guy, he really is good. He had me sitting on different chairs, discussing 2cms here and there to make sure we get the perfect sofa. We measured everything again. I began to doubt my initial plans. Did I really want modern? Flat armrests? Or did I want a more classic shape, a brocade fabric? I got a headache.
I had taken in my Pottery Barn fabric samples – sand and stone in Oxford cotton.
‘Oh!’ he said. ‘We have similar.’ And, after 48 books of polyester, we found similar. I prepared to bring three fabric books home for colour-matching and DH’s approval.
‘I’ll come too,’ said the nice production guy. I’d mentioned my old sofa; he wanted to see it in the flesh, given the new one is largely based upon the old one.
He came to the house. I made him chai. We measured the old sofa. We finalised the new measurements. We discussed stripping the old sofa and re-making, recovering and re-stuffing it. The cost was almost the same as starting afresh with a more modern shape.
I’m hoping he’ll start on the new one in the morning. Inshalla we’ll have it by Christmas.
After nine months of searching for my ideal sofa – or in fact for just any acceptable sofa – I’ve discovered a company that will custom-make sofas for a reasonable cost.
Believe me, I wanted to buy a readymade one, but they were all either too low, too soft, too small, too narrow, the wrong colour, the wrong fabric or not washable.
I’ve stood in Ikea trying to persuade myself that a tiny yet washable sofa is perfect; I’ve drooled over squishy sofas in Pottery Barn only to find the fabrics are not washable (I have a toddler of the male variety!).
I almost ordered one from Crate and Barrel only to realise the wrong colour was so hideously wrong I’d probably vomit all over it. I’ve hidden my shock that Ethan Allen takes eight months to deliver. I’ve thought about leather; I‘ve thought about cheap sofas and expensive sofas; I’ve trawled Marina, The One and Outlet Mall. I’ve been in every over-priced French showroom, mooned through Natuzzi and flirted with the good-looking chap in Mobilia.
Ultimately, I’ve sat on our 13-year-old, fraying, stained and squashed sofa, which we bought to celebrate our wedding and have already had restuffed once, and cried over how we’re going to replace it.
So today I went to the furniture-making company with a handful of sketches and measurements of my ideal sofa (funnily enough, I was thrown out of art class aged just 12. “Did you draw these yourself?” asked Rashid-the-clerk of my 3D renderings. “No,” I said. “My five-year-old did.”).
I talked to him about fabrics and slip covers, foam and Dacron, piping, studding (no thanks!), seat-to-armrest ratio, armrest shape, scatter cushions and feet.
“Do you know what I mean?” I asked hopelessly, as he nodded vigorously.
“No problem,” he said. “We make you nice sofa. We are professionals.”
It was indeed a leap of faith. I handed over the thousand pound deposit, shook his hand and walked out with my fingers crossed.
It’ll be ready in 20 days. Inshallah.