One of the questions I am most frequently asked at work is whether it is worth it to re-upholster a piece that is “still good”. There is no simple answer really. So here’s my take: Upholstery tends to be expensive, as are Home Decor fabrics. So here are my questions:
How much do you love the bones of this piece?
Is the piece in good repair, structurally?
How costly is the fabric you’d like to use?
Do you have a highly recommended upholsterer?
There is, of course, an opportunity here to create a beautiful one of a kind piece of furniture that you truly love. But I strongly suggest you weigh the above questions carefully, because if you wind up spending a lot and are not in love with the result…well, you will resent the poor defenseless piece of furniture simply for it’s price tag.
If you are exploring the option of re-upholstery, Apartment Therapy has a great chart showing you approximate fabric yardage estimates for most pieces of furniture. You can find this helpful article at:
The best way to find a good upholsterer is by recommendation, which may be tricky, since fewer and fewer people are are going the re-upholstery route these days. But ask around. Also, call a few local upholsterers and ask to go in and see some of their work. You could even bring a picture of the piece you are considering having re-done for a ballpark estimate.
There are some great sources for less expensive fabrics online as well. My favorite is fabric.com. You can order fabric samples and they have quite a wide selection. I find their prices very reasonable too. This can help offset the labor costs involved in your project.
I hope this has helped you decide whether or not upholstery is for you. If you wind up giving re-upholstery a shot, I would love to hear about your experience! And I would be so appreciative of photos as well!