Scottish Field Magazine
Comfy in the Country
Minutes away from the Pitlochry town centre lies one of Scotland's many hidden gems; a beautiful farm steading showcasing the finest furniture in the country. Scottish Field made a long-overdue visit.
In a time where only the biggest of companies seem to cope with the merciless knock-on effects of the everlasting credit crunch, Country Sofas is more than a mere breath of fresh air. Run by John and Miriam Galt, their furniture business is truly one of a kind. While shopping for furniture at Country Sofas, there is zero sense of walking around in an actual shop. The stunning farm steading just outside Pitlochry does not only serve as a beautiful space for three unique ‘showrooms’ for the couple’s products; it is also John and Miriam’s home and visits are by appointment. People love to see the furniture in a homely setting.
Country Sofas will make the sofa you really want .They offer high quality custom made sofas that are incredibly comfortable and have more fabric sample books than your average furniture supplier. They even have available a huge selection of hard to find Scottish wools, tweeds, tartans and leathers. The huge amount of choice offered guarantees that no visitor need leave the farm without a new couch or arm chair to their liking. “People love to customize. We have over thirty basic models, but more often than not, people will customize – even if it is to add just one inch here or there!”
“We’re not competing with anyone. We just show people our furniture with no pressure whatsoever. There is nothing more off putting than getting into a situation where people are desperate to sell to you”. Especially in these times, it is truly wonderful to see how John and Miriam are often as excited as their own customers. To say that they are ‘selling’ couches would be wrong; perhaps enjoying joining in the creation would be a more fitting phrase.
“We have been living in Pitlochry since 1989 and we both had previous management consulting careers but John and I have artistic backgrounds, too. John did Arts in University and I was at the Royal College of Arts. We’re just very happy to do what we are doing now. We use our artistic background for the sofa business, but life experience is just as important. Everybody’s different and we know how important it is to understand what each person is looking for.
Miriam’s brother runs the company New Town Sofa’s and operates as the supplier for the comfortable sofas and crafty chairs throughout the Country Sofa farm. The small factory based in Stockport produces on-demand furniture, fully adapted to the most specific wishes and demands of any customers. “They are amazingly skilled at the factory, they can design anything. People walk in there with a picture and he will turn it into a similar sofa.”
Talking with John and Miriam will make you quickly realize how much they have learned about the world of furniture in the short time they’ve been in the actual business. And talking about their furniture is without a doubt something they love to do. “A lot of time goes into perfecting the fabrics and materials of our furniture and the quality of workmanship is superb. The arms of our couches are really solid and well padded so you do not feel the wood through them. All of our seat cushions are fully reversible. The seat fillings are fully customizable, we can supply feather, although we hardly ever do so anymore. We tend to replace it with a new material that is a green product called Duratech and it mimics feather. It’s made up out of recycled plastic bottles, is very bouncy, doesn’t need plumping up and it doesn’t flatten.”
Country Sofa’s is the prime example of an authentic company. The intimate sofa farm is nothing like the massive impersonal warehouses of furniture, typically found in cold, industrial business parks. However, being more intimate, personal and authentic does not mean this particular business is only serving the rich and famous. “Our clients’ homes range from big country houses to tiny cottages.”
Next to sofas and chairs, Country Sofas specializes in mattresses and beds. “Just recently, we’ve been making quality mattresses available. A lot of our time goes into research to find the best possible value for money, since we haven’t got a lot of space to showcase thousands of products. People have phoned up to say they’ve had the best sleep in their lives.” Whether you are looking for your special chair, an irreplaceable couch or that comfortable sleep you’ve always dreamt of, John and Miriam’s farm steading is well worth the visit. You can have an extensive look at their clever design-your-own-sofa feature on their website, www.countrysofas.co.uk. You’ll find any other information you’re looking for here, too. Happy couch hunting!