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Tips from the hot seat

01:16 30 July 2012

Tips from the hot seat

Tips from the hot seat

Claire Holmes talks to Darren Barrs from Sitting Pretty Interiors about buying <br/><br/>a sofa

Claire Holmes talks to Darren Barrs from Sitting Pretty Interiors about buying a sofa

For Darren Barrs, the owner of Sitting Pretty Interiors in Sudbury, comfort is key when it comes to buying a new sofa.

And, with 25 years of experience in making and upholstering chairs and sofas, Darren certainly knows what hes talking about. Darren and his wife Lindsay have owned Sitting Pretty since 1998.

"I was trained as an upholster and the shop, Sitting Pretty, was actually one of my customers. When the owner retired I took it over," Darren explains. "Its evolved and changed tremendously since then. Primarily we were restoring and reupholstering antique furniture and over the years weve introduced our own range of handmade curtains and sofas."

All of the products Darren works on are handmade and feature solid beech frames, quality fillings and beautiful fabrics. In his opinion, the quality and craftsmanship of handmade sofas make them a good investment for any home.

Taking about the reasons why a homeowner may choose a handmade sofa over other options Darren says: "I think initially its comfort and choice youve got a choice of all sorts of dimensions and you can fit a handmade sofa in any particular room." This is especially important for those homeowners with awkward shaped rooms. For those that have small doors but want to purchase a large sofa, handmade sofas offer more options too. Sitting Pretty often makes and upholsters sofas in parts, so they can then be transported to clients homes and built inside the room.

"We actually tailor chairs to fit people too," Darren adds. "We have a lot of people with bad backs come to us we ask them to sit down and we measure around them and then put a bolster in the correct position.

"The majority of our customers choose 50% duck feather and 50% down feather which is really soft and sumptuous you just sink in to it. But because its 50% down, it also springs back up.

"Were also doing a lot of foam core, which has a feather and down wrap."

Individual coil springs are used in all of Sitting Prettys chairs, instead of standard webbing, adding more comfort and quality to the product.

Chair height can affect comfort too. This can be a problem when family members are different heights but Darren often makes individual arm chairs at different heights.


Think about the size of room and where your sofa will sit.

Take fabric samples home and look at them in situ.

Try out the sofa before you make a decision. Make sure the height of the chair is right and the filling feels comfortable.

Make sure you know what you want from your sofa and what it needs to do.

If you have children or animals, consider choosing a hardwearing fabric with a busy pattern. Arm caps may also be useful.

For more information visit Sitting Pretty Interiors at 16 Friars Street in Sudbury, log on to or call 01787 880908.


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