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I am on the hunt for a sofa. I usually go to Loaf for absolutely everything but I’m not actually that crazy about the Loaf sofa I have (the Bluebell, in grey – I am so predictable!): it’s too short in the seat.

But buying a sofa is a terrible job. It’s like choosing curtains. They are a big deal, a huge part of your life. You are going to be looking at them constantly. Get it wrong and not only are you thousands of pounds down, but you will also be a little bit annoyed every day until you get rid of it/them.

So I’ve been looking elsewhere but am constantly thwarted by indecision, option paralysis and cost.

There is hope, though. I recently came across a tiny workshop in Gloucestershire, called Upholstery Techniques, which makes sofas right there, on site: they supply to such upmarket shops at Conran. But they’re not snobby about it – they’ll make you a sofa, too.

I went this weekend and they are excellent, and for what they are, they are basically free (about £1,3oo  for a big one, not including fabric). I like these two:



I like a dark brown for the fabric: I think the tyranny of the grey sofa has to end at some point and I’m planning on leading the charge. Hey! Don’t go! Brown is a nice colour!?

The drawback is that Upholstery Techniques is a properly tiny outfit, you can’t just order online in a state of drunken high efficiency. Their website is a holding page with their postal address and phone number – there isn’t even an email address! When you ring you just have to leave a message on the answering machine and either Lovely Sam or Lovely Phil rings you back and you have a chat. It’s like if Bill Murray made sofas.

But listen to me: this is a really good recommendation. They are really good people, the sofas are great. If you live anywhere near the area, visit them.

If not, give them a call and ask if they can email you over some photos of their sofa styles. They can make anything, any size and they get great deals on fabric. They’ll even make corner sofas.

I haven’t asked, but I imagine they can probably copy a sofa you’ve seen that you fancy that is £10,000. Mentioning no names George Smith.