Saturday, January 30, 2010

My first reupholstering project

I've always wanted to take on a reupholstery project. I've seen so many items over the years that would have been great reupholstered. I'm also OBSESSED with velvet furniture, and good affordable velvet furniture is hard to find. So I decided to finally take a bit of a leap and reupholster some wingback chairs. The plan being for the chairs to replace the seriously hideous loveseat that I've spent 6 long years wishing would just dissapear from our living room.

So, here are the chairs that after a few weeks of searching I found on Craigslist and purchased. $175 for the pair. They were in pretty good shape, just in a really cheap, dated and slightly stained fabric, which was sort of reminiscent of a 70's necktie, and in need of a few touch ups on the wood, and a little extra padding on the arms.

When I was chatting to Tim Gurley, the owner of Gurley Antiques who I mentioned in my previous post, he said something really interesting about how sometimes the only way to really learn about these things - antiques etc. - was to just buy something, and oftentimes, loose money on them. I told him that funnily enough I had bought some wingback chairs that week, and I was nervous about reupholstering costs. He generously gave me the number of a re-upholsterer that he uses by the name of Arturo that he said was cheap and good.

So I took the chairs to Arturo, he quoted $140 each, and said I should get 5 yards per chair. I spent a few hours trudging around downtown in the rain looking for blue velvet (much more fun than it sounds) and eventually I found a lovely bright blue for only $12 a yard at Michael Levine, $132 total.

I dropped the fabric and chairs to Arturo and just a few days later they were ready to be collected. I could not be happier with them. I think they look AMAZING, and my husband is just as thrilled as I am. We now have two gorgeous blue velvet wing back chairs for a little under $600 and they work perfectly in the living room of our 1927 Spanish style apartment.

Below are some photos of the finished product, and I would also highly recommend Arturo (323 750 1217, Corner of Vermont & 60th) should you need any reupholstering done! He and his team are fast, reasonable and very sweet! There's some good lessons in this for me too, that a friendly chat can yield solid tips, and that good referrals are key.

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