A few people have asked me the following questions so I thought I would share my answers in case others are curious to know as well.
Is reupholstering cheaper than buying new?
Unless you are doing it yourself, in most cases it is not cheaper. But keep in mind, reupholstering is much more than just replacing the fabric. There are many steps (and skill) involved. The upholsterer
strips down your furniture, including everything right to the tacks or staples. Then, any needed repairs are made. The chair is then rebuilt with new high quality cushion fillings, recovered in your fabric of
choice, and finally the finishing touches like piping/trim is added. For this reason, reupholstering will not be any cheaper than buying new, but you get a one of kind piece with high quality materials that can be
enjoyed for years.
Where do you find your vintage fabric?
Beautiful, one-of-a-kind fabrics can be found in any thrift, vintage, second hand, or charity shops. You just have to have the time and patience to look! Think about how you will be using your chair. Is it more of an accent or statement piece that will have minimal to no use, or is it a dining chair that is used every day? Not all fabric is suitable for reupholstering. I have used hand woven table clothes and vintage
custom made drapes. I have purchased vibrant quilts and large quilted pillow shams that are waiting for he perfect piece to cover. And, I have been lucky enough to find large pieces of vintage upholstery fabric that have been donated to thrift shops. Keep your eyes open. If you see something you love but don’t yet have a piece of furniture to use it on, put it away until the perfect piece comes along.
Where do you find your chairs?
Chair buying can become an obsession when you learn to reupholster. I have many antique chairs sitting in my garage and basement waiting to be chosen for the next project. My go to place to purchase chairs is Facebook Marketplace. I have found some wonderful pieces at amazing prices but I have also let some go, and am kicking myself now! If your heart says yes to it, then take my advice and listen to your heart and not your spouse. Besides Facebook Marketplace, I have also bought at thrift stores, yard sales, from Kijiji, and have been the recipient of generosity from neighbors/friends/family.
Why would I choose to reupholster a dirty old chair rather than buying something brand new?
There are many reasons why someone would choose to reupholster something “old” rather than buy something cheaper from a big box store. To explain, let’s answer a few questions.
Is it important for you to keep things out of landfills?
I’ve heard people say that if you buy a cheap piece of furniture you can always get rid of it in a couple of years and buy something new again. That attitude just contributes to the “fast fashion” wasteful mindset that so many people have bought into. Aside from it being wasteful and hard on the environment, aesthetically the choices you get from buying off the shelf are limited. A piece of furniture that is made to last for many years and is covered in a gorgeous piece of fabric can act as a piece of art in your home, can add personality, and will bring you happiness every time you see it. And, to top it off, you won’t have to replace it for a very long time. Also, if you are using vintage fabric to reupholster your piece, you are not only keeping the chair out of landfill but the fabric as well.
Do you have an heirloom chair in your basement that isn’t your style but it’s hard to part with because of the sentimental value?
Many people feel obligated to keep their parents’ or grandparents’ furniture even though it is not at all their style, but it is amazing how with colour and placement of fabric, that piece of furniture can be
transformed into a modern look that fits today’s décor.
Do you like having a uniquely styled home that represents who you are?
By going on the hunt for well made second hand furniture in a style that speaks to you, and then choosing beautiful fabric and trim to cover it, you will have a unique “bespoke” piece that no one else will have.