This is probably a really stupid question, but have you guys been watching the Olympics? I know right, Team GB is on fire! After the amazing home games in London four years ago, I really wasn’t expecting Rio 2016 to come anywhere close in terms of the buzz that we saw in 2012. But with all these medals that the team is racking up, the sense of pride that we are feeling as a nation is palpable. Our athletes are really proving their worth, aren’t they? Apparently, these are the most successful games that Team GB has ever had on foreign soil. These amazing sportsmen and women are just so impressive and the sheer grit and determination that they show knows no bounds. They pour their blood, sweat and tears into their punishing training regimes and give their all to their sports, sacrificing so much for a place on the podium. I can’t even begin to comprehend what they put themselves through. I’m more of a sofa sports spectator shall we say, preferring to cosy up at home and cheer on those who have what it takes. But “What do the Olympics have to do with interiors?”, I hear you ask. Well, let me tell you.
You might not know this but DFS is the official homeware partner for Team GB for this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio. They have worked with Team GB stars such as gymnast, Max Whitlock, cyclist Laura Trott and swimmer, Adam Peaty and have produced a sofa especially for the Olympics. Designed and made in the UK, Britannia showcases the best in British design and has taken centre stage in the British House in Rio, where Team GB resides for the duration of the games. This exclusive limited edition piece was created in honour of our athletes’ hard work and in recognition of the fact that even Olympians need to relax and temporarily escape the pressures of competing. In the image above, you can see the exclusive lounge in the British House where athletes meet their relatives and celebrate success. It’s pretty impressive isn’t it? I really like that rug too, very patriotic! I must find out who makes that.
The Britannia sofa was inspired by the British Chesterfield design from the Victorian era, but the iconic shape has been given a modern update for 2016. The scroll arms and the front border feature golden studs that represent Team GB gold medals. There is also an accent chair that has 233 studs, which is the exact number of gold medals Team GB has won in Summer Olympic Games to date. I think that’s a nice touch. The sofa also comes complete with a set of beautiful scatter cushions that subtlety bring the spirit of Team GB alive through colour and pattern.
As the official homeware partner for Team GB, we wanted to create something that our own craftspeople could apply their skills to in order to support our athletes when they most needed to relax during the games. In doing so, we set out to design an iconic piece of furniture that would represent Great Britain’s proud history of design, quality and craftsmanship.
Philip Watkin, Design Director, DFS
I’m sure Team GB appreciates having such stylish and well designed furniture to lounge on in their down time, if you can call it that. They probably don’t get a chance to relax between their events and their minds are probably so focused on the enormity of the task at hand. It’s really quite incomprehensible that they train so very hard for those four years between Games and it all rests on that one performance for a few hours, minutes or even seconds depending on their discipline. To me, these athletes almost seem super human and it is so easy for us to elevate them up onto the highest pedestals. But what we need to remember is that our Olympians are human too, just like us. And it’s always nice to hear from them outside of the stress and pressure of competing.
And DFS allows us to do just that as they have been busy in Rio creating a super fun daily video series designed to celebrate our brilliant athletes and show their human side. Great Brits: Game On is hosted by British presenters Reggie Yates and Justin Moorhouse, and shows our competitors cutting loose and having some fun in the British House. We get to see a stream of famous faces taking part in entertaining challenges each day. From Sophie Hitchon’s water balloon challenge, to Rebecca Adlington’s Tuck shop trial and Helen Glover dominating the #FlipIt Challenge, these short videos allow us to get to know our British sports personalities a little better. You can catch the whole series over on the DFS YouTube channel but here’s a taster of what to expect.
You can also keep up with all the behind the scenes action by following DFS on Twitter and Instagram. And if you want to get in on the fun yourself, why not play your own version of the #FlipIt Challenge and submit pictures or a video of yourself playing the game too. Can you compete with our Olympic athletes?
Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by DFS. However, I want to stress that I only collaborate with brands and companies that I genuinely like and believe that my readers will like too.