SO, you’ve got this really great chair from your grandma. It’s full of memories. Memories of you visiting as a child and it was in the living room by the fireplace since the beginning of time. Or maybe the chair you have is from a random yard sale. You saw it there and just had to pull over. Perhaps the chair is something your college roommate just left behind when she moved out. Maybe you don’t even know where the chair is from or how you even came to own it… hey that could happen! In any event, you have some sort of “not new” furniture and you are debating on reupholstering, or just buying new. Here are a few tips to help!

Does the piece of furniture have monetary value?
Do your research! You could be sitting on a valuable piece. Look for manufacturer’s markings on the piece and do a little internet surfing. Other clues for upholstered pieces, if original, could be seating construction, leg style, fabric used. If you think the piece is potentially valuable, have it professionally appraised before altering by reupholstering or refinishing.

Does the piece have sentimental value?
Ask yourself, if I had to throw away this piece tomorrow, would I be ok with that? You may have a lot of memories of the piece or more so the person that owned it. Perhaps the furniture just needs a little facelift to fit your style.

Is the piece in good condition? Good quality?
Definitely consider keeping a good piece of furniture. Older pieces are sometimes better than what we can buy new today. Again, look at seating construction. The best quality and most sturdy construction method is 8 way hand tied. Sinuous spring construction is also good quality. Solid hardwood frames that are glued, screwed, doweled and corner blocked are also signs of great quality. Dust covers may prevent you from seeing the construction of the piece, however you can easily peel it back then staple it back on. The piece should be comfy and sturdy to sit on with no squeaks or shifting. Some pieces of furniture may have special features such as caning (if damaged repairs could be pricey) nail heads (better quality nail heads are individually hammered as opposed to a strip of heads glued on) and wood carvings.

Do you even like the piece?
Sometimes we get stuck with “things” we don’t want that we never get rid of in fear. Fear that the person who gave it to you might ask one day where it is. Maybe the person who gave it to you is no longer here and it’s more of a guilt thing. Maybe it’s the one last thing your husband still owns and you just tolerate it. Regardless, if you don’t like something, let it go. We can not hold on to objects simply out of fear or guilt. However, if you must keep the piece make it something you LOVE with new fabrics.

Make it FUN!
I haven’t seen a piece of furniture yet that couldn’t be transformed into something that I love. Every home needs that one unique piece that visitors always ask about. Think outside of the box when it comes to giving a new life to the piece of otherwise sad and old furniture. There are thousands of fresh, new fabrics out there waiting to be found and lots of different ways to use them. Have fun with it and make it something you just couldn’t buy anywhere else.

Facts to know
Reupholstering could cost as much as buying new. Many factors play a part and it depends on how much work is required.
-There are usually more fabric options available to reupholster with than there are available from furniture manufacturers. If purchasing new, the fabrics available are whatever the manufacturer offers. If made across seas the choices are usually limited. If purchasing from a manufacturer in Canada, US or Europe the supplier may offer a COM option (customer’s own material).
-A client usually has more control working with a local upholsterer rather than a retailer/manufacturer to create a more unique look with custom details.
-Always order 10% more fabric than you estimate or more if you need to consider pattern matching, banding or piping.
-C&M Textiles can help with your reupholstering project! Our expert design staff can help pick the perfect fabrics as well as extras such as nail heads, trims and piping options. We can estimate fabric yardage required and put you in touch with professional upholsterers we work closely with and trust. If possible, we welcome clients to bring in a dining room chair, occasional chair or cushion for accurate measurements and fabric sampling. If it is not possible to bring the piece, or for larger pieces, photos and measurements are helpful.

*We can also come to you and offer you a Free at Home Consultation.

Written by: Alicia Hewitt