It was Sunday evening and the end of my October half term. School was looming round the corner and, as I was just getting the boys to bed, I was running my mind over all the work I still had to do; the marking and lesson planning always makes for a fun evening – NOT! Despite all my years teaching, I still find it funny how parents think we have such an easy job!

And it was the miserable Sunday evening, settling on the sofa with a glass of wine in one hand and my green pen in the other, a pile of exercise books on my coffee table, that I decided I desperately needed to revamp my living room and inject so much-needed freshness into my home with new furniture.

The sofa I’m sure Jack and I had had since the dawn of time (or at least since our first home together – well over a decade ago!) and boy was it’s age starting to show! If you didn’t know how to sit on it properly you could feel the wooden beam across the back digging in, and only the scatter cushions made the arms bearable to rest against. If that’s not a cry for some new furniture I don’t know what is!

Jack hates shopping about as much as the next man, and very rarely will I ever force him to come along, but being as his bum was going to have to sit on the same new sofa for probably another decade, there was no way he was getting out of this one! I told him we needed to go shopping for new furniture the following weekend, so he had a week to get used to the idea.

Our Best Buys

First stop, SCS – as TV ads would suggest, they seem to be in a permanent state of sale! The sales guy in SCS was nice but I could tell he was finding it a little stressful by the time we sat on the fifth sofa. I was starting to feel a little guilty, the boys had put the poor salesman through all the trauma of them climbing on the sofas and he wasn’t going to get a sale when my eye caught a glimpse of the coffee tables nearby. Jack wasn’t too impressed, but who could blame him when we came out looking for a new sofa and now we were buying coffee tables instead? And so, purchase number one was a San Antonia coffee table.

san antonio

Just around the corner was DFS and the whole process started again, only this time the boys were hungry and everybody knew it! After trying 7 sofas we were just about to leave when Jack spotted the bed. Before I knew what was happening his credit card was in the machine and he was agreeing to have a “Mandalay” (?) bed delivered in time for Christmas. And there was me believing we were focusing on the living room, with a sofa being a priority!


I had had enough! The boys needed feeding and I could not focus on anything with them complaining, so as all good parents do, we hot-footed it to MacDonald’s for a break.

Sitting on the uncomfortable sofa later that evening, defeated and downhearted, I decided to have a look at what was available on the internet. I had always avoided making a big purchase online, preferring to physically see what I am buying, but I figured, if I found something I liked I could go back to one of the stores knowing exactly what I wanted.


BINGO! Checked out the leather sofas on the Cookes online furniture website and fell in love with a beautiful, chocolate-coloured one, and considered as well the additional bonus that it would be ideal for kids who are so not careful with liquids. Trying out the sofa, I was anything but disappointed, as it was so comfortable I could have curled up and died in it right there and then! Definitely my top purchase of 2014, and it’s made a huge difference to my living room, adding so much warmth to the room.