Before you kick that old sofa or chair to the curb, you may want to consider breathing new life into it by reupholstering it. Here’s how you can restyle and reinvent a piece, whether it’s ten years old, vintage or truly antique. Reupholstering any piece properly will typically give it an extra 15-25 years of life when done with high quality foams, fibres and fabrics.
Let’s get this out of the way: is reupholstering an old piece going to save us money?
It’s a common misconception that reupholstering an old piece of furniture will save money. In reality, reupholstering an old piece will cost about the same as just buying a new one. That doesn’t meant that there isn’t value to reupholstering though! Reupholstering may be the right call for you if:
- The piece has sentimental value
- You want a truly unique and custom piece
- It’s a high-quality piece worth saving
- You want to keep your furniture out of a landfill
Vintage pieces often have a story worth saving, even if they don’t come from a family member. While our homes should be filled with things that are beautiful and functional, having a meaningful piece can be so important as well.
What do you need to know about getting your furniture professionally upholstered?
There are a few things to know when you’re in the market for reupholstering. The first is to beware of very cheap quotes. Often times, someone will just throw some extra fabric on top of what’s existing, without checking what’s inside. There is a lot of skill involved in upholstery, because an upholsterer is basically taking apart a piece of furniture and putting it back together again. You want them to know what they’re doing, especially when it comes to matching up patterns along seams and even plotting out how to place pattern on a piece. Princess Perfect is a great Toronto-based company that specializes in reupholstering, and we highly recommend them!
Another thing to know is that when you reupholster, you can change more than just the fabric of the piece. To really change the shape and contour of furniture, you can add or alter other details for a more decorative look.
Adding, removing, or changing the skirt is another way to update furniture. Removing the skirt is a great way to freshen up an old piece, but only if the legs are in good shape. You can add channeling or tufting for a vintage look, or remove those elements to modernize a piece.
What should you consider when it comes to picking fabric?
The furniture should fit with the décor and design of the room it’s in, an fabric can go a long way to achieving that goal. If you want a transitional space, use a neutral tone, and if you want a more exciting pattern, feel free to make it pop! JF & Co Showroom has a variety of fabrics which are great to sift through when you’re looking for the perfect material. If you’re worried about the durability of your reupholstering job, it’s great to get a fabric with FibreGuard technology. You can also have your upholsterer treat it for you.
Saving a good piece of furniture from the landfill can be really worthwhile.
It’s important that we don’t think of furniture as disposable, and when we can afford to, that we keep great pieces out of landfills. When you restyle an old piece instead of buying new, you are also saving resources that are used in the manufacturing process. We’ve talked before about shopping local, but this is also an excellent way to put your money towards a small local business rather than buying something made overseas. Brands like Princess Perfect donate their leftover fabrics to the Ontario Science Centre, and it’s always nice to support a company with a conscience.
Bear in mind that you don’t need to start on a massive scale. Upholstering a stool or simple dining chair is a great project for a beginner. It won’t be nearly as pricey, and will give you a sense for if you want to upholster on a larger scale!
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