My London flat has a hidden secret: from the street it looks like nothing at all. Maybe it’s an office over a shop, or one of those tiny Victorian one bed conversions eeked out from a larger space with plasterboard and a failure of imagination.
But, in reality, although it actually is a Victorian one-bed conversion, the hidden secret is a conservatory/studio/dining room that has been made by knocking out the back wall of the kitchen onto a flat roof. It has three glass walls, French windows, and is surrounded by trees. I use it most frequently as a dining space and a photographic studio, (below),
but I’ve often suffered from what if? syndrome and now, thanks to my latest project, I know exactly what it would like if I changed its use from eating to thinking.
That I was able to create the beautiful space at top, and below, is thanks to DFS, who approached me a few months back with a challenge…my mother and I were to go through their website with an open mind, pick two pieces of furniture and then use them to create a new space in each of our respective homes, using our own taste and ideas. A mother/daughter style off, if you will.
I thought it was going to be tough: let’s be honest, in the past DFS has earned quite the reputation for selling poufy leather couches and ‘designer’ sofas in its huge warehouse showrooms, and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to find anything I could put in my home and on the blog and credibly persuade my readers that I’d buy those pieces myself.
Well, DFS had the last laugh because, unbeknownst to me with all my preconceptions, DFS now makes sofas and armchairs under licence from French Connection, and from Country Living and also have also acquired highly credible design store Dwell, so my problem turned out not to be a dearth of choice but an embarrassment of riches.
[And, if I had a tenner for every person to whom I’ve told this story about my happy DFS surprise and who has in turn shared an anecdote about their evening in the home of a style maven/millionaire/famous person/fashion editor* (*delete as applicable) friend, where they admired a sofa and discovered it was from DFS, then Lettice would be wearing an Hermes dog collar and eating steak for breakfast. ]
After much conversation between my mother and me, we picked out this excellent wool-covered armchair and giant footstool, from the DFS/Sofa Workshop collaboration in a pretty shade of lavender, which we thought might work in both our homes. (It also comes in a very attractive Anthracite shade.)
I really liked the idea of changing the use of this room in a completely unexpected way: I don’t have a sitting room, as I turned my front room into a fully-functioning LLG office and here, by choosing this enormous 5ft footstool, I have the option of seating more than just myself, whilst still keeping an intimate and uncluttered feel.
I also like that, with the judicious use of trays, the footstool could turn into a low table, and we could sit on cushions around it to eat when I have friends over for supper.
The armchair is big enough to really snuggle into, and the dogs seemed pretty keen too.
Although I chose the wool variation, it is also available in a very pretty velvet too.
Once I’d had my fun thinking of ways to style my new furniture, my mother got cracking: the furniture whizzed its way up the M1 to her pretty Georgian cottage in a small Northamptonshire village, in the heart of the English countryside.
She had decided to put the armchair and footstool in her bedroom, where she was aiming for more of a boudoir feel. Her armchair would be used as much for her clothes, as for sitting and dreaming.
One of the things that we both loved was that the chair, with its classical button back, and turned legs, worked as well in my contemporary space with its whitewashed floorboards and chrome chairs, as it did in my mother’s traditional bedroom, with its mahogany wardrobe, sash windows, and sisal flooring.
The Bailey Collection is handcrafted in Britain, and is available in 6 contemporary colours. The chair comes with one free bolster cushion, and a free 10 year frame & frame springs guarantee.
Tubular chrome & wicker chair: Vintage Cesca chair by Marcel Breuer
Sneakers: Converse Chuck Taylor AllStar Gemmas in White
Pink sunglasses: Laura by Sunday Somewhere
Silver trinket box: Bryce by Ralph Lauren
Handbag: Bulgari Serpenti Forever
Candle: Choisya by Diptyque
Sheepskin rug: IKEA
Glass vase: LSA
Vintage Brass Shell Lamp: similar here
Peonies: Columbia Road Flower Market
Silver wooden letters: Posh Graffiti by Emily Readett-Bayley
Grey wool blanket: Bronte by Moon
Grey spine paperbacks: Persephone Books
Bookends: similar here
Silk Kimono: vintage
With thanks to my dog models: Lettice and Maisie the Miniature Dachshunds & Billy the Whippet.
This sponsored post was a collaboration between DFS and LibertyLondonGirl.com