Last week I dodged rainstorms and hopped across puddles to make my way to the Fulham-based showroom of bespoke sofa makers Arlo & Jacob to help them celebrate their first birthday. West and south-west London used to be my hangout for my first 8 years in London before we swapped cosmopolitan for grit and moved south-east, so it was lovely to find myself back in my former stomping ground and to see how things had changed as I dashed out of Putney station and made my way to a beautiful mews building.
Housed in a former Victorian ice-cream factory (what a fabulous history!) what hit me immediately was just how very stylish the furniture was and how much colour flooded throughout the white-washed industrial style building. Two floors of every style of sofa and occasional chair, in every fabric, in every colour and combination. Oh, and I couldn’t help but notice the little dog bowls full of biscuits for any furry visitors accompanying their human owners because it’s very important that a dog has a say in any sofa decision-making.
A family-run business, Arlo & Jacob are dedicated, passionate, committed to making sure the customer has exactly what they want. Manufacturing out of Long Eaton in Nottinghamshire, this gives them the ability to oversee the entire production process from start to finish but also offer a flexibility in service that other companies can’t and on having a tour of their showroom it was explained to me how a sofa can be completely customised to specific requirements so it needs to be slightly smaller to fit in to a certain space, that’s possible. As Arlo & Jacob describe it, ‘We know that a new sofa is so much more than a piece of furniture. It’s a meeting point, the stage on which life plays out, it’s the best seat in the house‘.
It was so inspiring to meet a team who love what they do and believe so wholeheartedly in the vision – they may only be a year old but what a year it’s been as they’ve gone from strength to strength and even if you’re not in the market for a new sofa you’ve probably heard of them if you have a passing interest in interiors.
Not content just to blow up a few balloons and tuck into some jelly, myself, Lottie from Yes Please Blog and David and Mark from Forward Features were treated to the hugely fun experience of biscuit decorating provided by the wonderful and very talented Bee’s Bakery. Armed with our Prosecco we settled around a huge table in the middle of the showroom where Bee had set up everything we needed to get colourful and creative.
Using biscuits that she had made earlier, Bee taught us how to adjust the colour of our fondant icing if we wanted to and stick it to our biscuits before adding any number of sprinkles, sugared stars, chocolate drops to jazz them up a bit. I must say that biscuit decorating is not my forte but I loved giving it my best shot and…eating a bit too much leftover icing. Decorating 4 in total, my favourite ended up of course being this little ode to my blog, what else?
The time flew all to fast and whilst I’m sure all of us could have stayed all night it was soon time to cut the cake and have one last look at the sofas before making our way home. I think we did a pretty good job thought at keeping up with the variety of colour on offer at the showroom, what do you think?
Thank you so much to Arlo & Jacob for inviting me to celebrate their first birthday and Bee’s Bakery for the biscuit decorating tutorial. All words, opinions and images are my own unless otherwise stated.