SOFA SHOPPING DURING A PANDEMIC

A few months ago, once things had started progressing nicely with the house, we decided to bite the bullet and go sofa shopping. We knew that a new sofa would take anywhere between 8 and 15 weeks to be ready and the deadline for ‘by Christmas’ delivery was getting really close. This was the first proper trip anywhere other than the supermarket we had done since the start of lockdown and it was such a strange and surreal experience!

We actually did two different trips and found our sofa on the second one. Our first stop was to SCS where we were able to get a good idea of what we liked and didn’t like and how much things were going to cost. SCS also do carpets and flooring so we were able to browse for our floors at the same time. At the time, SCS were also doing 20% off flooring if you buy a sofa so this was great to know and we made a note to keep an eye out for similar offers in the future if we didn’t find anything. At this point, masks weren’t compulsory in Wales so that is why we aren’t wearing any in the pictures.

This trip was a bit of an interesting one as we quickly realised that Alex and I wanted very different things from our sofa. I wanted something soft and cosy that I could cwtch up on, whereas Alex wanted something that was supportive of our backs and a bit firmer rather than super soft that you sink into. However, at least we both agreed that fabric was the way forward and leather was a no go for us. I also really had my heart set on a corner sofa but we came to the realisation that ultimately this wouldn’t really work in our space as our living/dining room area is open plan. There were a few that we liked and we also considered a set that was in the clearance where you could get a sofa, a chair, a love seat and a footstool for £800, but we didn’t end up getting anything on this trip.

Our next trip was a few weeks later, and this time we decided to give DFS a try. By this point, masks were just made compulsory so this experience was really strange as we weren’t used to them yet. They assured us that the stock was regularly cleaned and therefore we could sit and try out the sofas which was really helpful. This time both my nan and grandad came along to help us which was also so helpful and made the experience even more fun. I love having family involved in the process and these two gems are just the best.

Alex was also pleased as their taste tends to sit more towards his preferences than mine so I was definitely the minority. However, having said that Alex and I were able to agree and shortlist our top 3 sofas really easily this time around. We went around the whole store and tried out pretty much every piece of fabric stock they had and fell in love a few. This one was a contender but we went against it in the end as all the colour options were with the leather mixed in and we weren’t keen on this.

We also loved this one but for a 4 seater sofa, we preferred there to be at least three individual cushions rather than two if that makes sense? This one was also a bit too soft for Alex so we ruled it out.

There were tonnes of corner sofas that once again stole my heart but we eventually found our way to the set that we ended up buying.

At first I was not keen at all, but after talking it through this was the best compromise of what we both wanted and was also really good value for money. It was a softer type of ‘firm’ sofa if that makes any sense and the seats were wide enough for me to cwtch up rather than the shallow seats on most sofas in this style. Two of the three seats are also recliners which is an added bonus for comfort and also thinking practically about hosting guests people could literally sleep on there with the recliner up. It’s a power recliner rather than manual and also has phone charging ports on the side which is a plus!

The fabric in person is a light grey and is really soft to touch which the pictures don’t do justice. We got the 4 seater sofa and also a matching manual recliner armchair. Having the recliners also meant that we didn’t need to get a footstool which also saved us some money.

When we had made the decision on what we wanted, we then had to consider if we wanted to pay outright for the set or to have them on finance. DFS offer paying nothing for the first year and 0% interest over 4 years which is what we ended up doing. The payments were month were surprisingly low and not having to start paying until next year means that we can get accustomed to what are expenses look like with our mortgage and bills etc whilst knowing that we will be able to afford the added cost for the sofa in a years time.

The salesman was really helpful in explaining everything to us and talking through our options. We also ended up adding a fabric guarantee to the sofa which basically means that if we were to damage them in any way (tipping things on it, rips, tears etc) then they would come and fix it or replace it at anytime. DFS sofas are structural lifetime guaranteed already. Our credit application was approved pretty much immediately and I’m happy that we are slowly working towards increasing our credit ratings.

They won’t arrive until some time in December but I am so pleased that we have ordered them. We both said on the day that we felt like proper adults having bough this for the house and it was the first big thing we had gotten together for it. Now we just need to get the walls and floors and everything sorted ready for their arrival!

On the whole, if anyone is worried about shopping for furniture during the pandemic I can reassure you and say that it was honestly a great (albeit strange) experience and we all felt really safe the entire time. Due to limited people in store, we felt like we had the whole store to ourselves too which made it feel even more special!

Meg xo

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