Delivery to Essex

Delivery to Essex

Covid 19 and lockdowns have made running a business so difficult over the last 18 months. We can now see a light at the end of a tunnel, but what has been amazing is the support of both local customers and visitors. We have been here for 20 years and I think this year I have seen more visitors than ever. What is also great is that they are enjoying the Shropshire experience and are spending in our local shops. All very welcome and needed to help all of us recover from this dreadful pandemic.

A lovely couple from Essex had just arrived on holiday as we were changing stock around in the shop when they came in at 7 pm. We were more than happy for them to have a look, so we chatted and they promised to come back the next day. They did come back and fell for our handmade 1920's style sofa. As it wouldn't fit into their car, we agreed delivery for when they returned home. We headed off to Essex at 5.45 yesterday morning, very little traffic and arrived three and a half hour later. They had the perfect space waiting for it and were happy for me to take photographs. 

If you are looking for a handmade sofa, then please have a look at what we can make for you. Shopping independently and with small businesses does not send us into space, but helps provides for our families. Thank you.

1920's style sofas 

1960's style sofas

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Hardwood Timber

Hardwood Timber

Our 13 year old son has been talking to his Dad today about rainforests. He loves geography. At school they had been discussing the destruction of the rainforests and to plant trees for the use of palm oil. He was telling his Dad they were talking about mahogany and teak which have been cut down and how its having a huge effect on the world and global warming. He asked Dad if he used mahogany or other hardwoods. Mark sat and explained. Yes he uses mahogany, teak and rosewood, but these are hardwoods that were cut down many many years ago before anyone had even heard of global warming. Some of the hardwoods were cut down well over a hundred years ago. Mark was not ashamed of using these woods and explained that we have been reusing hardwood timber for many years. One of the reasons why it has lasted it because its hardwood, slowing growing and had been around for probably hundreds of years before it was cut down. Mark also explained that he does not feel guilty when making new sofas and chairs. The reason for this is we use hardwood beech, a timber which is specifically grown in Europe for the use in making furniture. This beech will last for probably a hundred years so rather than have cheap disposable furniture, this type of furniture is actually better for the environment. Mark also went on to explain that the UK was once covered in oak trees before we cut them all down to make ships and other things needed to expand our Empire. We are now asking some of the poorest countries not to chop down their forests when they are doing this to provide for their citizens. As we are now much more aware of what we have done to the planet over the last two hundred years, we need to help other countries, educate them and give them an alternative to clearing the rainforest. 

As our son said, we all need to do our part and he now wants me to check that our light bulbs are energy saving. I think he's on the right track but as a country and world, we all need to do our part for the sake of our children and grand children.

If you'd like to see more of our beech handmade furniture the click here

If you'd like to see more of our furniture for restoration click here 

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SCALA Radio

SCALA Radio

I was very excited and happy to have a request featured on SCALA Radio today. Its been a week of celebrations, Mark's birthday on Sunday, our eldest sons birthday this Sunday and its our 20th business anniversary this week too. With this in mind, I thought I'd drop Mark Forrest an email to see if I could have a request. Today he called me and we had a great chat. He asked me about our business so you can imagine I was thrilled to give ourselves a plug. We talked about how we must be doing something right to still be here after 20 years and I told him that Mark was currently making sofas at our workshop. 

Our boys had bought Mark the  Midge Ure Orchestrated CD which we had heard on SCALA Radio a couple of weeks ago. Well I can tell you now its an amazing CD (yes we still listen to CD's) As 1980's teenagers, Ultravox were huge, but I have to admit that I much prefer the orchestrated version. Maybe its my age but I think Midge Ure's voice has improved with age. If you've not heard it then do have a listen. It gives me goose bumps.

You can hear me on SCALA at 12.30 which is 2.5 hours into the show. SCALA Radio 

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Pierre Frey Colette Fabric

Pierre Frey Colette Fabric

One of our favourite fabrics from Pierre Frey is the Colette collection. It is woven in one of their Northern France Living Heritage Mills, and looks beautiful on the 1920's style sofas we make. 

Tone-on-tone fabric with a tiny feather pattern available in a variety of colours.  A high-quality chenille fabric thread is used for the weft. In addition to its soft, comfortable feel and outstanding resistance, the chenille thread reacts to weaving by coiling and adds a wealth of highlights to the colours available in this collection. A cotton and viscose mix makes this a hard wearing fabric. Luxury at an affordable price without the advantage of not having to worry if it will wear out.

Pierre Frey have some amazing fabrics at some eye watering prices, which for most us, are out of reach, but this is one of their fabrics which is timeless and worth spending your hard earned cash on.

An inventive family business with a strong sense of eclecticism by combining craftsmanship and modernity, Pierre Frey was  founded in 1935. Maison Pierre Frey creates and produces fabrics by taking inspiration from classical and contemporary art, or from faraway ethnic groups, always interpreting it in a very French style.

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1920's Style Sofas

1920's Style Sofas

Our handmade 1920's style sofas are probably the most popular style we make. They are not too big, or deep but are comfortable and can be made to the size you want.

When we first opened almost 20 years ago, we sold restored and re-upholstered original 1920's sofas. Customers loved them but if they didn't like the fabric we had covered them with, or they were too big or small, we lost a sale. After a few years of selling the 1920's sofas, we were struggling to find them. Some we bought had warped rails, broken rails which meant the framed had moved, so some had to go to a friend for her wood burner. When a sofa lasts 80 or 90 years I don't suppose its bad value for money .

After some consideration as to how we could solve this problem, we came to the conclusion that customers bought our sofas because they liked them. The size fitted and we always used fabrics which were a bit unusual. Mark had been taught furniture making when he took his City & Guilds in the 1980's so he decided he would look at a frame and make one. You may think its an easy process, but getting the angles right, making sure joints fitted correctly, making sure rails were in the correct place so they could be upholstered, all took time to work out. He made a prototype and made a few adjustments, and today we have our 1920's style sofa which can be made to size. 

A square back or more rounded back, a lower back to fit under a bay window, not quite as deep due to not being 10 feet tall are adjustments we have made for customers over the years. 

When your 1920's sofa is made by owners who care about quality and attention to detail, you can be sure that we will talk to you and make sure its the perfect sofa for your home.

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Small Sofas

Small Sofas

Why in this day and age of smaller homes and small rooms are sofas from many of the national retailers so huge? I do giggle to myself every time I see that sofa advert with Owen Wilson sat on a huge sofa in front of a window which looks out to sea (I had to google him as I didn't know who he was) . How many of you have that view and a home that size which would fit that sofa? We can all dream but that aside, there is nothing worse than having to sit on a sofa or chair which is not comfortable.

Many sofas and chairs are very deep which is fine if you are six foot tall or have long legs, but for most of us, they can be just too deep. We have lots of customers who say they cannot find a sofa or chair so their feet touch the floor. If this has been a problem for you, then you could consider one of our traditional hand made sofas. Because they are based on older traditional designs, they are smaller and not so deep. Because we make the frames ourselves, we can alter them to suit your needs. Because we make them ourselves, we have 1000's of fabric to choose from. Because we are a family run business, you can speak to us, come and see us and even see your sofa frame.

If it sounds complicated, its really not. If it sounds expensive our prices are comparable to high street chains, but if you are comparing, make sure its like for like. We do not use chipboard, our frames are beech. We do not use serpentine springs, but a traditional coil sprung seat. This means your sofa is made to last. We don't make furniture to throw away in five years time.

If you are looking for a restored sofa, we do tend to buy small sofas. If you see a sofa on our website which has yet to be restored and re-upholstered, then you can choose the final fabric. You can visit our workshop and see the sofa in its original state. You do need some imagination, but having an old piece restored is much better for the environment than buying a sofa which is not going to last.

Before you dash off to the nearest retail park, then do consider speaking to us and coming to see us. We don't have a huge showroom, but what we will do is give you the best advice we can and help you find a comfortable sofa for you.

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