Wondering If You Should Re-Upholster Your Furniture or Buy New?

To Re-Upholster or Not To Re-Upholster?

4 Questions to help you decide if you should reupholster your furniture or purchase new furniture.

There are many benefits to reupholstering your furniture. The first is the myriad of fabric selections. As compared to a retail furniture showroom, which may offer only 3, 5 or maybe even 20 fabric choices for a particular piece, in my showroom we easily have more than 500 quality, upholstery weight fabrics to choose from. Also, when we reupholster a piece for you we can tweak the style to give it an update. Add a skirt or remove a skirt from the bottom, add or remove tufting, change arm or leg styles, the possibilities are numerous.

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But before you get all jazzed up about reupholstering the sofa in your living room ask yourself the following questions:

1. Are you crafty and planning to tackle to the project yourself?

If yes, you can probably pass on this post because it means your investment, other than a few yards of fabric, is your time only and only you can quantify the value of that.
However, if you would have a professional reupholster for you then read on to the following questions…

2. Is this a valuable, well made piece of furniture purchased from a quality manufacturer?

If yes, this means the frame is good; the bones are high quality and the item is at least worth the investment. If the answer is no, then you’re done right here. There is never any good reason to custom reupholster furniture from IKEA or a discount furniture chain. Why? Because you can most definitely replace the discount piece of furniture for less money than the cost to reupholster this one.

3. Have you researched your retail options?

I always suggest my customer’s see what is available from reputable retailers like Ethan Allen, Restoration Hardware, Crate and Barrel and the like because it can still be less costly to purchase a new quality piece than to reupholster an existing piece. (I know, I hate the thought of more stuff for the landfills too, ugh). But, if you look on the street for new and easily find what you like, for less money, then purchase that and try to use the old piece in a different room, give it to one of your kids or donate it to a worthy cause. However, if you have done your due diligence and you find nothing in the right size, pattern and style that suits your decor then reupholstering, even at a greater cost, will make sense and have value to you.

4. Is the piece a family heirloom?

Whether all of the above criteria have been met or not, this could be the game changer. Sometimes the furniture is of so much sentimental value that all bets are off and you can and should reupholster. There is no price tag for coming home from a long day and curling up in Grandma’s chair with a cup of tea knowing that she too once did the exact same thing.

You know how it goes….

New sofa? $1800

Reupholster sofa? $2200

Grandma’s sofa? Priceless!

Browse our fabric selection by scheduling a free shop at home consultation.

(2) Comments
  • David Norriss
    | 9 December 2019

    I like how you emphasized that if the sofa has sentimental value then it is always worth reupholstering it. The couch in my living room is old and tearing on the armrests. It is my wife’s family’s couch from when she was a kid. We were thinking about buying a new one but I know how important it is to her. I’ll talk to her about having it reupholstered rather than replaced as a Christmas gift.

  • Greta
    | 26 January 2022

    Thank you for mentioning that we should consider reupholstering furniture if the frame and bones are a good quality. I have a chair in my front room that I love, but the upholstery is outdated and it doesn’t match the rest of my home. I will definitely contact a professional to reupholster it so I can love it for many more years to come.

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