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Old furniture: should you reupholster or throw away?

When it comes to furniture, have you thrown out dated, vintage pieces and wondered why you didn’t give them a second chance? Having unique and often eclectic furnishings is on trend right now. Recycling and preserving original mid century, Art Deco, Victorian, Arts and Crafts and other period pieces has become really important to those who want to preserve those special pieces.

Why Reupholster Existing Furniture

Not only has everyone become a little more eco-conscious, but reupholstery has recently become about preserving not just the raw bones of the infinitely better constructed piece of vintage furniture, but about the memories associated with it. I’ve seen “Christmas mornings at grandma’s,” “curling up with my now very grown up baby,” and “when we upheaved our life in London,” namely: a gorgeous vintage daybed, a sleek mid century teak lounge chair, and an awesome Remploy tufted sofabed. Good memories can remain close by, but you will be happier seeing that memory once it has been given a fresh new look.

Lots of people have at least one older piece in their home that, whether it is being used in their living room, or stored away, they hate more and more each day in its current state. People choose to reupholster their existing pieces because they fit perfectly in their home and they are comfortable. Reupholstered in a beautiful printed textile, an antique or vintage piece will truly stand out and suit contemporary décor.beforeafter

When to Reupholster your Furniture

The answer depends on a person’s lifestyle and tastes. Here are some instances when one may choose to reupholster existing pieces:

  • Lifestyle changes, like having a baby, may influence homeowners to reupholster and choose more durable or wipe-friendly fabrics.
  • Those who like a timeless classic look may reupholster pieces every 15 to 20 years using textiles that are built to last.
  • When the fabric becomes ripped and stained, cushions become saggy and uncomfortable.
  • When the home’s decor changes and a piece no longer fits the colour scheme.
  • Furnishing a brand new home.

Another key point to keep in mind is the type of furniture you’re thinking of reupholstering. Is the piece in question a family heirloom? Does it hold sentimental value? If so, you’ll want to have it reupholstered because it’s unique and likely irreplaceable. Plus, years later, you may even regret not keeping it. You also want to examine how the piece is constructed. If it’s anywhere from 15 to 20 years old and hasn’t fallen apart, it’s worth saving because it’s a quality piece of furniture. If the piece has a well-made, solid hardwood frame, consider reupholstering. Older furniture tends to be higher quality. It’s a worthy investment.

Reupholstering Textiles

There are many choices of textiles, including the following:

  • Hand-embroidered linens
  • Cottons
  • Lush velvets
  • Beautiful textured weaves
  • Polyester – these are the most popular because they are the easiest to take care of – just use soap and water.
  • Wools

Each fabric will make a statement and give your home the an artistic and designer touch.

Is it worth the cost?

Reupholstering old furniture can cost just as much as buying a new piece based on the amount of work involved and the type of textiles chosen. Let’s evaluate the estimated costs:

Cost breakdown of reupholstering a chair:

  • Cost of fabric per yard: $20 to $70
  • Number of yards required for a chair: 7
  • Estimated cost to reupholster a chair: $140 to $490

Cost breakdown of reupholstering a couch:

  • Cost of fabric per yard: $20 to $70
  • Number of yards required for a couch: 14
  • Estimated cost to reupholster a couch: $280 to $980HXReclothPillows

Keep in mind: this is just how much it costs to purchase the fabric to reupholster the items. This doesn’t include the labour cost involved.

The following factors can increase labour costs:

  • Working around zippers
  • Replacing fabric cords that outline the seams of cushions and pillows
  • Ensuring the patterns/shapes align

Reupholsering with Recloth Modern

Reupholstery is so easy with a one stop shop like Recloth Modern. Clients email us pictures of the pieces they are interested in reviving and we immediately are able to give them an idea of cost. The next step is coming into the showroom to choose from the many fabric samples we have. This fun and inspiring process is made even better by the awe you will experience when you see the finished product in your home!

If reupholstering furniture isn’t your cup of tea, let us help you find the right one! Consult our extensive database of furniture and home accessory stores and find exactly what you’re looking for to complete your space.

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About the Author: Asil Teebi is the owner of Recloth Modern, a one-of-a-kind furniture showroom specializing in redesigned vintage furniture, custom reupholstery, cushions and unique accessories.

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