The Bluebell: A Sofa Odyssey

Nov 23, 2015 | 0 comments

Bluebell Sofa
photo credit: Matthew Ace,

There are plenty of blog posts devoted to sofa choosing (for example here and here), so instead of re-packaging the same tips, I’ll take you through our own sofa odyssey, from the dark days of futon to the glorious comfort of the Bluebell sofa.

We start this journey in an unfurnished rental in 2011 where we had nothing to sit on at all (except the floor), until a friendly couple donated us an old green futon. A kind gesture – yes, a comfortable gesture – no. An alternative had to be found and it came in the form of a second-hand Ikea Karlstad for an amazing £80.

The Karlstad is a bit of an icon in the budget sofa world, see Virginia Roberts Pinterest board devoted to the subject. If you’re after attractive, comfortable, and cheap it is well worth considering. The Karlstad served us extremely well, not least by the ease with which it can be taken apart and shifted between rooms. However, faithful servant though it was, it was never our forever sofa, and with a new house the time had come for the big daddy. Here is where we meet

I can’t pretend we shopped around. We heard about, checked out their website, and liked the look of everything. Still, decisions needed to be made and here is what we factored in:

Comfort. First and foremost our sofa needed to be very VERY comfortable.Strength. Able to take lots of big people, like me. Resilience. Able to take abuse from children – food, crayons, general child dirt. Versatility. Something that would look good anywhere, not only the current room. Good-looking. Of course! Something that looked great.

The sofa we plumped for was the Bluebell,’s best seller. We picked a two and a half seater (190cm) and then went to obsessive lengths to test the merits of dozens of swatches. This included smearing pasta sauce over the short-listed options to see how easy they were to clean.

Bluebell Sofa Swatches

The winner was Slate Highland Tweed, a hard-wearing dark grey that will hide child-related stains and fit with any future colour scheme in any future house. The Bluebell sofa is expensive, about £1500, but we spread the cost over several months’ interest free, and I don’t regret the purchase for a second. It comes with a lifetime guarantee thanks to a solid hardwood frame. The cushions are very comfortable foam wrapped in duck feather, and I’m confident we’ll still be enjoying this Bluebell sofa in 30 years.

Bluebell Sofa Testing
photo credit: Matthew Ace,

Epilogue: The futon lives on! Yes that rock-hard poor excuse for a sofa I mentioned in paragraph 2 has found a new life in the various bits of furniture I’ve built in our new home. I used several of the futon slats to build the top of a new bench in our kitchen, and yet more was recycled to help build shelves for our alcove cupboard – see here. The circle of life.

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