So much of the time I run into this question with clients when working on their homes. Sometimes it can be an emotional tie to a piece of furniture, a concern with finding something as comfortable, not wanting to add to the landfill, or the hopes of saving some money.
Although they are all good reasons, let me give you the right information to make an informed decision when deciding "should it stay or should it go?"
Is the furniture structure sound?
If you are able to turn the item over, this will help you inspect the structure and the quality of the item. Is the frame wood with wood pins or is it metal that is put together with staples? If it is wood with pins and the structure is sound this may be a good qualifier for reupholstering.
Does your furniture just need a refresh?
Is the furniture item the perfect size, great quality that just needs an update? Upholstery can be the right answer, just know that it may be as costly as replacing the item. You can always find a qualified Upholsterer take picture of the piece to be upholstered with some notes with dimensions and they should be able to give you a price for labor. Just remember that does not include the cost of the fabric. Your upholsterer can tell you how many yards of fabric you will need so that you can figure out that cost.
When you can’t find something as comfortable?
We run across this more times than I would like to admit. That one chair, often times a recliner that your husband refuses to say goodbye to. I think they must worry if they agree to buy a new chair that their significant other will have an opportunity to finally get rid of it and not replace with another recliner. Is there a name for it, maybe a movement I am not aware of? (F.O.L.R) Fear of losing recliner?
Reupholstering has saved many a marriages I swear! In these instances just remember to check to see if it is still structurally sound and well made. Keep in mind that the labor is more for recliners.
Trying to keep it out of the landfill?
Although I agree with this way of thinking sometimes it does not make sense to invest the money in reupholstering an item that is not well made. Often a better choice is finding something new and donating your current furniture or gifting to a friend. If you are trying to be green vintage furnishings can be appealing because of the design and good craftsmanship. Just update piece with some beautiful fabric.
Is the furniture a family heirloom?
If this is the case it is probably well made and just needs a refresh. I usually encourage clients to use my restoration company for touching up the wood and not painting wood if you want to keep as an heirloom. When upholstering the piece of furniture, find a reputable upholsterer that has experience working on vintage furniture.
Number one thing I tell my clients is: It’s not always the most cost effective solution!
Clients are often surprised after getting estimates for labor and fabric of the cost. So I always let them know up front that this is not always the most cost effective solution, but it does give us freedom to completely customize furniture for your taste.
I hope this helps you determine the best option for you furnishings when looking to update your home.
Have any questions about your possible upholstery project or want more guidance with your design?
I would love to help!