Behind The Scenes with DFS| Home Decor

On the day I found out I was pregnant with our second child, we got the keys to our new home.  An exciting adventure for any family.

But with more space than our previous home, it has meant having to pick lots of new furniture to decorate and get the house looking how we want it (along with loads of renovations- because we obviously like to torture ourselves somewhat).

We have this amazing mezzanine level, which we decided straight away would be our office but also a space for guests to use when they stay over.

It therefore needs to work and function as both of these things but come together as a whole.

The mixture of furniture is what will hopefully give off the right vibe for the room.

We’ve been so selective over the furniture we’ve bought for this home, because rather than spend out on something we will change in a year or two, we wanted to pick great statement pieces that we could keep for many years to comes.  So an element of modern but classic is important to our home design process.

We spent a long time on websites, auction sites and in stores searching for the perfect sofa bed because as a piece of furniture it would take up majority of the space on the mezzanine.  Making it the focal point of the room.

But to no avail.  We couldn’t find what we wanted.

I suppose in our snobbish ways we did choose to boycott certain brands.  Which in hindsight was ridiculous, because if truth be told we knew less about those brands than we realised.

DFS was one of these brands.  I guess because they have a lot of stores we have always assumed the quality and craftsmanship isn’t quite up to the standard we would want.  Plus when I think back to some of their adverts on tv, they’ve been fairly generic.  So I slotted them into a category before actually understanding the company or the ethos behind the company.

So when they got in touch regarding a proposal that involved me heading to the Aardman studios to learn more about their latest advert and how it’s incorporating real members of their design team I was intrigued.

Could they change my preconceptions on the brand?

I thought I’d do my research on their website before I set off to Bristol and took a look at their products to see if any of them jumped out at me.

Imagine to my surprise finding a sofa that would work for the combined guest room/office.  After months of looking, there it was.  And I could customise it by colour, fabric and even choose the leg colour.

Plus some of their non sofa bed sofas were amazing.  In particular I loved the collaboration range they did with French Connection.

So with a more open mind I headed off to Aardman Studios.

Aardman Studios is the home of British stop frame animation.  It’s the four-time Oscar award-winning studio that has brought some family favourites into our homes, including Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, Chicken Run, Morph and more.

So who better to collaborate with on DFS’ new advert which brings to life the real characters behind the production of the sofas.

The latest advert is introducing you to some of the members of DFS’ design team.

The characters are based upon real people.

The puppets have been made to resemble them, and they’ve used their voices in the advert taken from recorded chats they had with the team.

Nothing has been staged, just made more fun and frivolous through the creative abilities of Aardman.

Meeting the actual DFS design team and their characters was an incredible experience.  Seeing their giddy faces as they came face to face with themselves in puppet form was hilarious and immediately I was able to see how their office might function in reality.

There was a great rapport between them with many jokes and inside jokes to poke fun at each other- the room was filled with laughter.

It made me realise that DFS isn’t this factory run conveyor belt of sofas like I initially thought, but a place where the people who work for the team are each valued and work together and have fun together.

That for me often shows the sign of a company that make their teams happiness a priority.

We were shown around the studios and introduced to different members of the Aardman team who helped work on the DFS advert, taking us through what actually happens from concept to execution.

It’s unbelievable how much longer and how much more difficult an animated advert of this kind can take, especially when you think it isn’t actually all that long.

But each facial expression is a newly crafted piece of the puppet that has to be swapped and changed to create the right look for the words that come out of the puppet mouths.

All the little details on the advert have to be made and although you may not know it, all these added details take a considerable amount of time.

I’m so glad I got the chance to meet with the DFS designers and chat to them.  I never realised that their sofas were handmade and certain aspects of sofas take specially crafted individuals to painstakingly sew on details- such as the buttons on the back of a Chesterfield.

It was also great to witness the hard work that Aardman studios do to produce the quality of work that they do and be able to visually see how they translate the vibe of a company like DFS to help tell a story through their carefully produced adverts.

Here’s the advert in all it’s glory- my favourite bit has to be the carefully timed bubbles from the water cooler. 😉

I can’t wait to show you our office/guest room when it’s complete… and of course we’ve gone with a DFS sofa.  How could I not, the company changed my pre conceived conceptions and I’m really looking forward to creating that perfect little space in our home using one of their products.



    • It’s silly really isn’t it. I feel so daft now that I know more. I think maybe the old adverts didn’t portray the company very well, whereas I love the style of the new adverts.

  1. How exciting! Looking forward to seeing the finished room x
    Sarah Cantwell recently posted…How to Organise Your Family Garden and Where to Get Tips OnlineMy Profile

    • It was so fun, and it’s crazy to think how much work goes into such a short advert!

  2. This is such an interesting post! I wish I could get involved with something like this!

    Lauren |

  3. This was such a great read - I would love to know what a toy version of me would look like 🙂

    Dani x

    • Same, it would be great to see wouldn’t it? I think the DFS staff get to keep their models after a few years which is cool, they’ll get a permanent reminder!

  4. That’s incredible that they make their sofas by hand! It seems like they’re a great company!
    danasia fantastic recently posted…Eye-Catching Collages by Digital Artist ArtmourMy Profile

    • I know- who knew? I suppose I assumed the big stores meant they kept loads of stock but they don’t. It’s just a lot of choice!

  5. Love that you got to see behind the scenes, how exciting! Lots of luck with the new room!! 🙂
    Lianne recently posted…Sending & Receiving FlowersMy Profile

  6. It’s amazing to see how much work really does go into such a short little advert! It must have been such a fun experience to be there for the behind the scenes work and meet the designers. I’m glad you were able to finally find the furniture you have been looking for.

    • So am I! With this little lady on the way I need to make sure we have the space and comfort for the grandparents to stay over and help out 😉

  7. There’s nothing wrong with cheaper/budget brands for furniture - just look how successful Ikea is! I think the new DFS advert is cool.

    • I love Ikea, but for me Ikea is a place which has a quick turnaround in furniture. For us now we’ve passed that point (for majority of the bigger objects), and we want to buy products that can last decades and take abuse from children 😉

  8. It’ funny how we get an idea in our head of what a brand is like without REALLY ‘looking’ at the product. I had the opposite thing happen recently where I admitted to myself a ‘great’ brand of clothing I’ve really doesn’t hold up/wear that well. Advertising is a powerful thing! I am jealous of your trip to Aardman Studios. I’ve always wanted to see stop frame animation being done.

    • IT’s crazy isn’t it how much advertising influences our thoughts. Especially if it gives off the wrong preconception.

  9. Our sofa is from DFS, almost 4 years old and still going strong!
    Love this little advert, so cute!

    • It was great seeing their relationship. You can tell how close they are as a team.

    • Crazy isn’t it! I think it was something like every three seconds of the advert takes at least 3 days to film.

  10. I love these characters - as I make many characters out of sugar, I am always intrigued how other artists do it in different mediums.

    • You would have loved this tour around the studios then and how they made the DFS characters

  11. Sounds like such an amazing day to get to see how it was all put together and then to see the finished product! Lovely to see the actual faces of the characters too!
    Kira recently posted…April GoalsMy Profile

    • It was great to actually meet the real people behind the characters- I loved seeing ht little resemblance they had with their dolls.

  12. so much detail for an advert, I like the little sofas! I have a DFS sofa and its so comfy.
    Melissa Major recently posted…How to Relax and Sleep Better at NightMy Profile

  13. HAR-‘jealously’-HAR - , the AARDMAN studio ????? Blimey - I ASK YOU LondonMum !! You obviously have contacts in high places … Shaun & Wallace just to mention a couple ha! B-R-I-L-L-I-A-N-T!!! …“More cheese Grommit?” … What a unique experience that must’ve been for you LondonMum!! Sounds like your emporium’s going to be very palatial & fit for both your little Prince-n-Princess as well!
    It’s ok you girls having a practical eye for ‘must ‘ave’ furniture & being so determined enough to travel to the ends-of-the-world to get it, (I remember when Lucy ‘caught that’ when we did what you’re doing ha!) the trouble is LondonMum, it’s us poor POOR blokes who get dragged along in the process – I speak from huge ‘being dragged’ experience! I remember doing more miles than Phileas Fogg & all for a futon that even today puts up fierce resistance when attempting to fold the damn thing up!!!… seconds out, Round 2 ha! Hope all’s going well? Hope the ‘glowing large one’ is ok - but, just think, cum summer LondonMum, you’ll be a ‘stick insect’ again … sunning yourself, cheese chomping & quaffing champagne ala Wallace & Gwendoline - but hopefully, not dressed in the ‘Wrong Trousers’ ha! Onwards & upwards LondonMum. NEARLY THERE - WE’RE WITH YOU! …”O” awaits.

    • Hahah you’re so right! So far I’ve managed to get my way with the decorating of this house… I’m not quite sure how I’ve managed it.. but I certainly appreciate it aesthetically! hahah

      • EXCELLENT!! - I learned by experience - you girls have to have emporium decorating done YOUR way … & don’t you go giving L anymore ideas either, I’ve only just recovered from her last ‘why don’t we’ - WE?? Oh yeah!! You had a D.F.S. attack - I had B-n-Q! (Backache-n-Questions.) Seriously LondonMum, we both hope you’re ok & that all’s going well. YOU’RE NEARLY THERE! Onwards-n-upwards-n-outwards. WE’RE WITH YOU! (Album now 95% complete.)

    • WE have our hands on one of the sofas now- and I’m LOVING the quality.

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