According to the American Furniture Manufacturer’s Association in High Point, N.C., the American public spent $40.17 BILLION dollars on furniture and bedding in 2007. Ron Bartkowski, president of Furniture Rep’s Warehouse in Carol Stream, Ill., says “67 percent of those who bought wood furniture — and more than 80 percent of those who bought sofas — had no idea what kind of quality they were buying”.
“What they seem to do is buy for look, not for quality,” he says. “It’s the third most expensive purchase people make and yet they have little knowledge about it.”
Since they don’t know what they’re getting, how can they know if they are paying a fair price for it? A moderately priced piece of furniture 20 years ago is, by today’s standards of materials and construction, a custom piece today.
Many people have discovered the advantages of reupholstering. More than likely, you’re comfortable with the pieces of furniture you have. Maybe it’s a sentimental piece that has seen better days. Ever wonder why your old furniture has lasted so long? It probably has yesteryear’s built-in quality.
Here are 5 reasons most people are choosing to reupholster their furniture…
1. Style Change
Oftentimes in life, people’s styles change. It could be new preferences for color, patterns or design. This is certainly no reason to waste a good piece of furniture, or dump it in the landfills. For some it could be that there are children in the home now, or pets in the home.
If you’re doing some interior remodeling for your home or business, you may be facing new color changes, new design needs or a more contemporary look. The right fabric is key, and this can be easily solved with the help of your expert upholstery professional.
Here are a few things to take into consideration when determining patterns…
- Stripes: Choose fabric with vertical stripes to add height, horizontal stripes to add width or length to your room.
- Bold patterns make an area appear smaller while smaller designs create a spacious look. Bold designs and bright colors are welcoming in rooms where you won’t be spending much time, like hallways or bathrooms.
- If you are starting to design your room from scratch, choosing a fabric with colors you love is one of the best ways to begin. Try to analyze the proportions of the color in the fabric, mostly peach with some creamy white and accents of blue, for example, and then use those colors in that proportion in your room.
2. Restoring or Redesigning Quality Pieces
For many people, they realize their furniture piece is still in great shape except for the fabric, and its quality construction has lasted longer than some of their newer pieces. Before manufacturers were forced to cut corners in quality with mass-produced furniture, they were built with better quality and materials and all together better workmanship.
Older pieces have coil springs and hardwood frames that are doweled and glued; today’s pieces have rubber straps or zigzag coils instead of spring coils, and staples are used on frames.
There are a few tricks to determining whether your piece is a candidate for reupholstering. First, its weight – if your sofa or chair is heavy, it’s probably well constructed. Another sign is the bottom. If it’s a solid webbed bottom, not a hollow bottom covered by a piece of fabric screening, then the piece probably has coil springs.
Today, many of the furniture manufacturer’s have had to lower their costs to produce the pieces of furniture to keep up with their competition, so you aren’t receiving quality that you would have received Even as recently as 10 years ago.
3. Sentimental Reasons
Another major reason for reupholstering is purely sentimental. Your chair, sofa or loveseat is your favorite piece of furniture, or maybe you inherited the piece from your mother, grandmother or favorite aunt. Sometimes, everyone in the family loves the piece, including the dog…
It’s satisfying to restore a piece that has been in the family for years. Many people who had their furniture re-upholstered contend that they wanted to preserve their memories of the furniture; perhaps it was the first furniture acquired after their marriage or it has been handed down from generation to generation.
Perhaps you want to restore a family heirloom or just update a special piece that brings you back in mind to precious times. Reupholstering that original can be your investment in sustaining a family history you need not live without!
Updating an old collectible for your home or business for sentimental reasons, can be a challenge and a reward, as well as a wonderful conversation piece for years to come. An expert upholsterer can help you maintain the unique individuality of a piece, or turn an old look into a new exiting fashion statement.
4. The Environment
Instead of tossing out old and worn furniture, reupholster it to bring new life, and cut down on waste and further resource use. When a piece of furniture is reupholstered, the frame and springs are reused. This means less waste to be put into landfills.
In addition, fewer trees need to be cut down, and less new steel needs to be made. Fewer natural resources are being consumed, and less pollution is being made. Re-upholstery is a way of recycling furniture into a new piece. There is also less transportation used, which also cuts down on emissions, fuel used, and unnecessary traffic. This also helps slow global warming.
In addition, when you buy new furniture, your money goes towards a massive amount of raw materials from across the globe including tropical hardwoods, production energy and transport costs.
Some of the materials used in re-upholstery are also “GREEN”. Bio hybrid urethane foams are soy based. Most new urethanes made in the USA are formaldehyde free. Polyester Dacron for padding and cushion wrapping also has recycled components. Many fabric companies use recycled fiber to make new fabric. Others use environmentally friendly processes to dye the yards, and use more natural fibers.
Re-upholstery is a way of improving the beauty, comfort, and health of planet Earth.
5. Value for Dollar
Have you ever heard the expression “they’re just not building things as well as they used to…” New furniture, while it looks nice in the store, is not being built as well as furniture from even just a generation ago and, for the most part, will not stand the test of time. Historically, the new furniture industry has been dictated to by the consumer, particularly when it comes to price.
For many years manufacturers have been struggling to remain profitable and supply furniture that the consumer considers affordable. Profitability for the manufacturer has usually been achieved by using cheaper frame construction, cheaper fabric, cheaper foam, cheaper and less padding, etc. The latest trend has seen production move to offshore factories to further reduce costs, particularly labor costs.
Purchasing household furniture is an expensive proposition, and should be looked upon as an investment. Re-upholstery is not necessarily expensive, considering the cost of many brand name pieces plus delivery charges. When a furniture piece is re-upholstered, you should expect to receive at least 15 to 20 years of use, assuming normal wear and tear. This is normally a very good return on your investment.
Queen Anne Upholstery, named ‘One of Seattle’s Best’ by Seattle Magazine, is an industry leader in customer service. Established on the top of Queen Anne Hill in 1936, Family owned and operatedQueen Anne Upholstery is committed to the excellence of ‘old world’ craftsmanship.