Friday 2 March 2012

Is Re-upholstering worth your while?

In light of 'The Custom Chairity Competition' that Urban Barn is holding, I chose to dedicate a post to reupholstering furniture.  If you've ever considered  giving a face lift to a tired piece of furniture by way of re-upholstery, you'll know that it's not something to be entered into lightly.  Here are some helpful hints I've learned along the way and always consider before undergoing this type of upcycling project whether it be for myself or for a client.

Reupholstering furniture is a great way to re-invent an item and give it new life, however it can come with a fairly high price tag.  Therefore, it's important to consider whether the piece is actually worthy of being transformed prior to committing yourself and your wallet.  The cost is dependent on the size of the furnishing and how much intricate work, material and detail is required.

These Chippendale side chairs are easy enough to do on your own if you have the time

 The type of material you use is a major consideration, as some fabrics are more suited to certain applications.  The double rub count (surface abrasion) refers to how many times a fabric can be sat on until it gets worn out.  The higher the double rub count, the more durable the material.  Most fabric manufacturers should provide you with information on durability, washability, pilling & more.

This week I viewed the latest releases from Joanne Fabrics. The striking Othello Collection is shown above.
Where possible 'try before you buy' and order fabric samples to see how the material stands up to red wine spills,  pet hair or childrens' sticky fingers.   There's no escaping it, life is full of surprises and accidents can happen.  Being prepared on how to take care of your furnishings is wise, especially when investing hard earned money in your homes' delicious decor.

Don't settle for anything but the best when sourcing for a professional re-upholsterer.  If you can, find  someone that has been highly recommended and see their work - it could save you time and money.  Trust me, I speak from experience! 

This fateuil styled chair (below) had caning under the arms and tufted detail on the cushion when I  purchased it second hand.  The chair cushion was stained and the caning had been damaged but I  loved it anyway and immediately saw its' potential. 

First I sanded and repainted the chairs' frame with Benjamin Moores' CC130 - Ivory White in a satin finish.  As caning is almost impossible to repair I asked the upholsterer to remove it and cover the space between the arms and the seat cushion with my flocked floral fabric. 

I am very pleased with the final result,  but the first upholsterer I took the chair to did not do a good job.   Staples were visible from every angle so I took it to another upholsterer  to have this problem fixed.  I have since found some amazing craftspeople in this trade that I trust & regularly depend upon.  If you have a piece that needs doing contact me and I can obtain a quote for you.
For Sale

If you are looking for a specific style of furniture or a unique occasional chair, let me know and I may be able to help you find what your looking for. These antique shell back chairs (above) could do with a fantastic makeover and are currently for sale. Contact me if you are interested.  

Not my taste, but you get the idea of amazing transformations, right?!

To view more upholstered projects by Creating Contrast Designs, see this post on a client's living room makeover.  To Fall in Love with your home again, book a consultation with me and I can help make your dreams for your home a reality.  Visit my website at where you can find all my contact information.

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