The Custom-Made Sofa
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.