To Re-Upholster or to Not Re-Upholster, That is The Question!
We get this question a lot, “Is it worth re-upholstering this piece of furniture?”. We also often hear, “I can buy a new sofa for the price to re-upholster an old one!”. While the latter may be true, the quality of the furniture you buy to replace your existing furniture will likely be inferior to what you already own. While furniture bought 10 – 20 + years ago was often made with hardwood frames, newer designs are often made with lesser quality woods and “wood-like” materials, making the piece of furniture lesser quality.
When asking yourself if a piece is worth re-upholstering, study the frame and the overall design. While it may be hard to examine the inner workings of piece, many older pieces of furniture will have a manufacturers tag stating when and where the piece was made. This is a good place to start. Depending on the era of the piece you can learn a lot about the construction. Furniture used to be handmade with hard woods, often using materials that many mass manufacturers consider too expensive to use in today’s competitive market. For example, back then joints would have been hand crafted and reinforced. Some seams may have been hand sewn. Any legs or exposed wood may have been hand carved. These features are rarely seen today in the product line of big box stores.
Many design choices used on older pieces of furniture such as tufting or channeling is a unique detail that today’s mass manufacturers tend to avoid due to the cost of the labour involved. These details, done with care are just as important to consider as the frames. These vintage design details make for a more unique furniture. Combining these well designed, hand-crafted pieces of furniture with a contemporary fabric can make it the perfect piece for a modern home.
While the fine details add that extra wow factor to any piece, simplistic furniture can be just as special as well. Sometimes furniture may be passed down or just hold some sort of sentimental value to it’s owner. If this be the case, after all things considered, it may be worth considering.
So, to bring us to the big question, to re-upholster or to not re-upholster? Now that we’ve learned the comparison between build and fine details, when deciding whether or not re-upholstery is right for your piece of furniture, it is important to also consider the following:
When it comes to the final decision, while the choice is ultimately yours, you want to make sure that all repairs/re-upholstery meet your final expectations. Look for the details in your furniture, perhaps get a second opinion, and then to give that extra help in the deciding factor, you can always ask for a rough quote to see if it is within a budget you feel comfortable with.