Who can resist a Cinderella story? This is a tale of a much-adored sofa, in need of a little makeover. Well, in fact, no, that’s not how this tale begins. We were thinking of buying new, but 2018 has been a year of implementing a mantra of “re-use, recycle, re-purpose” into our daily lives. Every sofa we looked at, we realised, we were essentially trying to replicate this one in size, style and stature. 

The BEFORE shot. Sensible, study and once-stylish, but a really quite greige.

I recently attended a book launch of “Mad About the House“, by Kate Watson-Smyth, editor of the successful interiors blog of the same name. After her talk, I went to say hi. She took one look at me – I think she looked into my soul – and said “I bet you’d love a green sofa”. I laughed, but there was a lightbulb moment. There was nothing wrong with our sofa, I just wished it was green. Next day, I set about Googling reupholsters and contacting a couple of options. I was grateful to have discovered Woolwich-based Sharp and Simpson, and, impressed by Micaela Sharp’s communication in contrast to her competitors, quickly booked the service. When we bought the sofa in 2010, we didn’t really know how long we would be living in our flat and everything we bought was Kelly-Hoppen-inspired taupe or grey. Now, 8 years on, we have a new family home, two daughters, and I have a much stronger sense of my own style. I LOVE green. I want my girls to grow up in a colourful, creative home. The sofa is a key symbol of this.

 

The AFTER shot. The green velvet feels a lot more “us”.

The moodboard I shared with Sharp & Simpson

“We’re firm believers at Sharp & Simpson in keeping hold of furniture.  We want to make bespoke furniture accessible to everyone and what could be better than designing your own furniture to suit your individual style and your family’s needs. Whether its injecting some colour back into your home or making something practical for children, we’re here to help.  Take the time to buy a good quality frame and your family will enjoy it for generations, through multiple styles and colours.  We’re so excited and proud to be a part of Charlotte’s sofa story.” – Micaela Sharp, Sharp & Simpson
 
Micaela is also a presenter on BBC1’s “Flipping Profit” . It’s one of those daytime shows that as a stay-at-home entrepreneur I never mean to get sucked into, but somehow I can tend to time a break to coincide with it’s airtime. What made me chuckle about the show was how vastly superior Micaela’s workmanship looked compared to her fellow competitors. This, plus an alluring Instagram account of before-and-afters, made me feel entirely reassured that my greige sofa would soon be carefully and beautifully transformed.
Micaela Sharp of Sharp & Simpson

Micaela Sharp, in her workshop with business partner Steve Simpson

Micaela Sharp, in her workshop in South East London

The service took a couple of weeks, included collection and delivery, constant communication and updates. It cost probably two-thirds the price of what we were looking to spend on a new sofa. However, we also benefited by saving hours of agonizing decision-making in department stores and lengthy lead times these stores so often require. Micaela also narrowed down the fabric choices, using her expert eye to guide me on what she knew would work, bearing my moodboard in mind.

It’s a win-win for us. With Sharp & Simpson’s expert knowledge and craftsmanship, we have been able to revive our tired old sofa and saved some money in the process. We have supported a local business. We’ve had fun along the way, without having a fight in the John Lewis furniture department. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this process and this company to anyone wishing to update or preserve their much-loved furniture.

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