For many furniture owners in New
York City and Brooklyn, a worn piece of furniture - especially
one that fits well in your apartment or brownstone, and
has given you years of good use - poses a very specific,
very common question: to replace, or to reupholster?
Reupholstering allows you breathe new light into an old,
worn piece, and to keep its functionality in your space.
At face value, however, many people are taken aback by the
upfront cost of reupholstering a piece. Sometimes it can
seem easier and more cost effective to ditch the old piece
and buy a new one altogether. Before running scared, though,
there are many factors to consider when deciding whether
it’s worthwhile to reupholster your piece.
First, determine whether you love the style and shape of
your furniture piece. If you really love the way it looks,
reupholstering might be your best bet. Further, really consider
the quality of the piece. The older the piece, the better
chance there is that it is of extremely good quality. In
matters of furniture, the frame of the furniture, or in
other words, what lies beneath the fabric or upholstery,
A good, solid frame will be made of a hard wood such as
solid oak or maple. The pieces will be glued together with
dowels, and reinforced with corner blocks. In contrast,
a cheaper, less-quality piece – such as one you might
opt for should you decide to replace – will be made
of a softer wood such as pine, fur, or poplar. In these
pieces, staples will often hold the frame together, and
therein, the lifetime of the constructed frame will be much
briefer than that of a stronger, better-made product.
Springs and filling should also be considered when evaluating
the overall quality of piece. Higher end furniture contains
coil springs attached to a interlaced hemp web deck, which
is adhered to the front and back rails of the furniture
piece. Springs are held together with “eight way ties”
which are then covered with filling and burlap. Cheaper
constructions will contain variations on springs that will
cause your furniture to warp and break more quickly. If
your furniture piece has solid springs and quality filling,
it may be worth saving via reupholstering.
It’s important to determine and consider quality of
a piece because if you forgo a good, solid piece because
of the upfront value, and instead buy a cheap replacement,
you will risk losing long-term value.
If after evaluation you determine that you love the style
of your piece, and that your piece has great quality and
a reupholstering will give it many years of solid use, you’re
on to discovering the possibilities within the furniture.
What fabric will you reupholster with? What new look will
your piece have? With the many options available to you,
the possibilities for your for your new, classic piece abound.