Scotland on Sunday
Perfect pieces for inspired interiors
Bespoke furniture adds individual style to your home, says Kirsty McLuckie
Over the last decade or so consumers have got used to buying goods online. The convenience of being able to browse at any time of the day, compare products and have almost anything delivered to your home is very attractive.
But surely some items are just too important to buy, sight unseen?
Furniture for example; armchairs and sofas can be a costly investment and it can be difficult to gain a true idea of size, shape and colour when looking at pictures on a website.
But the popularity of furniture sites would belie that and shopping online for larger items can net you the best deal.
Miriam Galt, who runs Country Sofas, a specialist in wool, tweed and tartan furniture, says that while she loves customers coming into the showroom near Pitlochry in Perthshire, to browse, increasingly business is moving online, but purchasing is by no means done by an anonymous click of a mouse.
We still like to have contact our customers to lead them through the process.
Our furniture is bespoke, so the website is really a starting point, and when I speak to customers they can tell me what they liked or didn’t.
“I will also discuss with them important aspects such as how they use their home; do they have grand-children or pets’ are they looking at downsizing, and what kind of light will be in the room?"
“These are all aspects which will influence their decision.”
Country Sofas’ distance selling service has become so popular that Galt has devoted a section on the website to explain the process.
The site has also recently been modified to make it mobile friendly because buying furniture on a phone is increasingly commonplace.
Galt advises customers to create a footprint of the pieces they are interested in – literally cutting the dimensions out of newspaper and then positioning them in the space to get an idea of how they will fit it.
She also sends as many samples of fabrics as they require, with instructions to look at the colours in different parts of the room and at different times of the day.
The furniture that the company sells represents a wide range of sizes, shapes and designs, but all have a contemporary Scottish feel and quality to them.
Buying online means that they can be sold internationally and Galt says that her unique sofas, armchairs, stools and sofa beds are now being sent all over the world.
“While it is nice to be able to browse round the showroom or buy a complete ex-display model, a lot of our customers won’t be able to visit in person and the website helps them choose a piece they can live with for years.”