28.5.08

Chairs and tables and sofas! Oh my!


I first visited Sofa Workshop when it was located in Nelson Mandela Square, before that particular corner of Glasgow became mini-America (American Apparel, Urban Outfitters, Subway, Pizza Hut – all it needs now is a Gap). I had checked out some of their sofas online, but there’s something about buying furniture sight unseen – yes, you can ask for a swatch, but how much can you really tell from a 1 inch by 2 inch piece of fabric?

Once I discovered they had a store in walking distance (I don’t own a car, eco-smugness a friend calls it) I dropped in to the showroom. And I was so glad that I did. Apart from the fact that the sofa and fabric I thought I liked was actually hideous (I love you Sofa Workshop but not everything you sell is lovely), I made a fabulous discovery – the clearance room! This was a room where ex-display, discontinued, or returns wait for some loving family to take them home for TV and snuggles.

Mind you, clearance buys at Sofa Workshop demand a firm commitment. There are no returns on these items, so make sure your choice will fit through your door. The Sofa Workshop offers a service where, for a fee, guys will come into your home and assess how well the item will fit through hallways and doors. Don’t go for this option – I did, and they actually told me it wouldn’t fit, and that none of the sofas in their store would fit, but then I pointed out that it was the wrong measurement they were basing it on, (you have to go by the height of the sofa because they tilt it when they go through doorways) and we all agreed that it would fit after all. My husband and I could have had exactly the same conversation for free. They also don’t do delivery for clearance items, but they recommend a guy with a van, and he was great, so do go for that service if you need it.

The store is now located next to Habitat on Bothwell Street, and the good news is, they still have clearance merchandise. The amount of clearance furniture varies – I was quite lucky when I went, there were rows upon rows of sofas. Some quirky or even deeply weird (as they had been made to other customers specifications and then returned), but enough nice items that I was struggling to make a choice between 3 strong contenders. The winner was a beige linen sofa with a deep seat, originally priced at £1500, they were practically giving it away at £500.

(The image above is a photo of my sofa, Connor. The image was taken from the Sofa Workshop website.)

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