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.