Monday, 14 October 2019

Sofa Workshop & Dwell in Belfast DFS | Interiors | AD

Last weekend I was invited to visit Belfast's newest interiors destination on Boucher Road. With significant investment and creating up to twenty jobs between them, sofa manufacturer and retailer DFS, alongside partner brands dwell and Sofa Workshop, are co-locating in a spectacular new space full of design inspiration and with a great range of price points and I was one of the first people thought the doors!
Dress - Topshop (affiliate link)
Boots - Next (AW17)
Blazer - Mango (SS19)
Bag - Zohara (AW19 - gift)

For a start, I wasn't aware that DFS owned Sofa Workshop and dwell - on the day I found out they also own Sofology - another brand that will join the site in 2020, making this location a real one-stop sofa spot. Of course, this makes so much sense - it allows one location to cater for a wide range of customer needs and budgets and also ensures that the craftsmanship of sofa manufacture stays in the UK as it's operating at a scale that can really compete. I started my tour around the DFS store which has been transformed since I was last there. While it does have a clearance section where there are bargains galore to be found, the core season range is beautifully displayed with all of the interior goals going on in each furniture setting.

Key to their offering is the So Simple range where you choose your perfect style from a selection of 8 contemporary and comfortable sofas, that come in a range of sizes and a choice of fabrics. You can see your style mocked up online, including 360 degree views and videos to ensure you pick the right style and fabric for you. 

There are also some collaborations with well known brands like French Connection and Joules
Next, I headed upstairs to check out the new dwell store, a first for the island of Ireland and a real feast for the eyes.

It has a broader furniture offering, specialising in gorgeous functional dining & coffee tables, sideboards, display and entertainment units. It also sells some sofas and beds

...and mirrors....the best selection of mirrors I've seen in one shop. 

There are also some beautiful pieces to adorn your sideboards and occasional tables

especially if you love pugs...

The rug display was impressive and overall, prices are really affordable considering the high quality of the pieces.


My third destination was the new Sofa Workshop next door...

the first time SW have been back in Belfast in over a decade. It was sorely missed - I remember going to look for it when we moved house and being so disappointed to realised it had shut a number of years before. It's so great to see it again and I know from mentioning this on my social channels that many of you local readers feel the same.

Sofa Workshop is renowned for creating bespoke furniture - you get to customise to a much deeper level than most sofa shops and their fabric collection is incredible.

What stood out for me in Sofa Workshop is the new manager, Lynne Higgins. My daughter was with me and sat down on a sofa while I was browsing. Next thing I could hear her chatting away and I could tell from the conversation that it was with someone who was really good with kids. Turns out it was Lynne and I asked if she'd worked in teaching or childcare. Well I wasn't far off - she used to manage the Build a Bear shop. So basically a retail saint in my eyes! Sofa Workshop have recruited well here.

My favourite pieces were from the V&A collection - just look at the fabrics!

All told, a great morning spent but actually on a more significant level, this is GREAT news for the city of Belfast. At a time of massive uncertainty and quite frankly fear, it's so encouraging to have big businesses investing in our city, having faith in the economy and bringing more beautiful furniture to the city. Now to convince the husband that we need to change the 20 year old black leather sofa in our front room....Ax

*This blog post was writing in collaboration with DFS | All the words and images are my own.

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