I was recently lucky enough to be given a behind the scene tour of the Sofa and Chair Company’s factory. Stepping through a hidden door from the showroom into the factory is like stepping through C S Lewis’s wardrobe into Narnia. And the magic doesn’t end there – you can follow the whole process from design to dispatch, and watch an idea get transformed into reality.
The process for a bespoke piece of furniture begins when clients get in touch with a new brief – they might send a sketch of an idea they already have, or sit down with the design team to discuss ideas and themes. The design team might use a mood board like the one above to visualise what’s been discussed and develop their ideas. Then of course the practical aspects come into play, like a site visit to measure proportions, and an estimation of the time scales and materials required.
The design team’s office is right in the centre of the factory so they’re completely connected to the making process going on around them. The next stage is for them to develop CAD drawings, which are reviewed with the client and amended until everyone is completely happy with the design.
Once the production team are happy that all the technical considerations have been covered, carpentry work begins, and a frame for the product is created from wood. The frame is then sprayed with a wood stain according to the client’s specifications, using a process developed in-house at The Sofa and Chair Company. Some stains leave the wood grain visible, others provide more of a lacquered effect.
Foam and feathers are then added to the wooden frame…
…and then the piece is upholstered in the client’s chosen fabric.
The client can come to the workshop to view their finished piece before delivery is arranged, and they can even have it photographed in the on-site photography studio.
The on-site delivery team deliver the finished product and manage any assembly – and there are even interior designers on hand to advise on how to accessorise it. Et… voila!
Further reading for the especially geeky: