Many of  our clients are considering reupholstery vs. new furniture, especially those who are downsizing and already have a selection of seating on hand.  When it comes to cost, there is often little or no difference between reupholstering an existing piece or purchasing a new one.  In both cases, you should end up with a ‘new’ piece in the fabric you love.  (Note: A reputable upholsterer will remove the old fabric, replace old foam and padding, glue loose joints, and repair broken springs.) So, how do we decide whether it makes more sense to rework the old furniture or shop for new pieces?   Here are my Top 5 Things to Consider:

  • Is the piece in question well-made?  Garbage in = garbage out, as they say!  If the frame is unstable or broken, there’s no point in recovering it (unless it’s an antique that’s worth repairing — more on that, below!)
  • Is the piece comfortable?  If not, there are some minor changes that might make it more inviting — softer/firmer foam, a higher/lower seat.  However, some pieces just can’t be made more comfortable, and these pieces don’t deserve to be recovered.
  • Is the piece the right size and scale for your space?  If it’s the wrong size, no amount of wishful thinking is going to make it fit. Whether it’s too big or too small, you may be better off with a new model.
  • Is the piece a personal favourite?  If you’ve never liked it, it’s possible that new fabric isn’t going to change your opinion.  Try to separate your feelings about the piece from your feelings about its covering, to be sure you’ll be better off with a new covering.
  • Is the piece an antique?  You can ignore all of the logical reasons for and against reupholstery, above, if it’s an antique that you wish to preserve.   Except for size — a too-large piece won’t fit no matter how much you love it–the usual reasons against reupholstery become invalid if your piece is unique and irreplaceable.
Bench Before
Bench After



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