Early 1900s Oak Desk Restoration

Our client’s grandfather’s desk needed a full restoration including re-gluing of drawer boxes and runners.

We replaced the leather top and completely striped and refinished like original; we also provided a custom glass top to protect the finish during use.

Mercer Island Home Fabric Wall Project Spotlight

Queen Anne Upholstery and Refinishing worked with contractors and a cabinet maker to create this fabric wall in a Mercer Island home.

The client wanted to add texture and depth to their media room. The lower panels also concealed speakers.

 

Commercial and Residential Project Spotlight

Architectural upholstery for a private residential client

QA Group staff worked with the construction team at Neil Kelly Company to create a corner banquette, completely custom made to fit the client’s unique space and desired look.

The piece was upholstered in genuine leather from Seattle-based interior design and architectural wholesale resource Trammell-Gagne and features a channeled back and stainless steel Plastic-Laminate (P-LAM) toe kick with brushed horizontal grain.

The QA Group team safely hand-delivered and installed the finished product inside the client’s home in the Windermere neighborhood.

Arboretum Dermatology waiting room project

For this project, our team collaborated with the client’s interior designer and architect along with the millwork shop at Interior Environments. We started with a series of mockups:

And eventually installed a customized, upholstered waiting room bench:

Heirloom chair overhaul in Anacortes

Our client in Anacortes wanted to spruce up a prized Victorian dining room chair set passed down from her grandmother. The mahogany chairs originated in the 1860s and eventually shipped from England to Calgary by boat. They were then sold at an auction.

Each chair features a beautiful needlepoint seat and back made by the family’s great grandmother, grandmother, and mother. The elaborate design — which was done entirely by hand with no pattern — took a total of 5 years to complete throughout the early 1900s and the chairs were finished in 1934. We were honored to refinish these beautiful heirloom pieces so the family can continue to enjoy them for years to come!

Bellevue Showroom Completes Table Refinishing Project

This table was brought in to our Bellevue Showroom. The client worked with Henryk Wrozynski, a Queen Anne Upholstery team member who has been with the business for over 20 years. Henryk originally started out his career repairing and restoring furniture in our refinishing division and is now a lead sales consultant and designer. His experience in the shop environment gives Henryk the ability to visualize each project from start to finish — whether it is a full on-site kitchen refinish, living room sofa and chair upholstery, custom draperies for the Master Suite, or this small cherished table.

4 Interior Boat Improvements to Keep You Comfortable on Board

It’s no secret that safety comes first aboard any boat (so be sure to invest in proper gear and accessories such as handrails, non-slip flooring or mats, and secure storage to keep belongings from shifting haphazardly while in motion!). But when it comes to getting the most out of your investment, superior onboard comfort is second to none. Whether refitting your entire vessel or making a few smaller upgrades, consider these improvements to ensure comfortable (and safe) boating for years to come.

Mind the ventilation

Without proper airflow, both while at port and at sea, a boat’s interior will quickly become an uncomfortable mixture of stale and clammy. Not only does this make it unpleasant to be on board — excess cabin moisture and poor air quality can also degrade wood surfaces, furnishings, and other fixtures over time. This is why you’ll want to make consistent efforts to keep fresh air moving into and through the cabin and allow any musty air to escape. To achieve this, use a combination of hatches, windows, ports, ventilators, and fans.

Start simple by opening windows for ventilation while stationary, if weather permits. From there, double-opening hatches can let in additional air while blocking precipitation and spraying seawater with a protective shield. Opening ports provide similar airflow while durable, heavy-duty sealant stops leaks. Cowl vents collect air and distribute it into the cabin, while similar dorade vents installed atop a high deck box platform allow excess water to drain out during bad weather, when hatches, windows, and opening ports must be shut.

Finally, fans and ventilation systems can provide additional assistance in preventing stale air. Try a mushroom vent with a solar-powered fan paired with electric fans placed inside the cabin to keep air moving internally.

Don’t skip the crucial finishing touch for any window, hatch, door, or other opening: marine-quality window treatments. Blinds or shades are essential to block harsh UV rays that fade and deteriorate interior surfaces and furniture over time, further regulate internal temperature, and tie together onboard decor. The best part? They are highly customizable and come in numerous specialty shapes and sizes to fit everything from hatches to windshields.

Of course, as that marine air is wafting through, your interior furnishings and fixtures will need to be able to withstand the corrosive salty environment — and not just any material will do.

Specialty marine furnishings

Even while at port, salty marine air will creep into a boat’s cabin. Exposure to airborne corrosives is unavoidable in any marine environment, so it’s especially important to make sure interior and exterior furnishings alike are constructed to withstand the elements.

Don’t make the mistake of simply bringing standard home furnishings into your boat. Seek out a reputable marine furniture manufacturer and distributor for custom pieces. If your current boat furnishings are showing early signs of wear and tear, there is often no need to replace them. Instead, talk to your local re-upholstery specialists to find out whether a fresh marine upholstery job will do the trick to revive your chair, couch, built-in, or other soft goods. Custom covers made of durable weatherproof textiles can also help to preserve your indoor or outdoor boat furniture and extend its life.

Comfortable sleeping quarters

No one wants to retreat to their sleeping quarters after a long afternoon on the water only to tuck into a dank, musty bed. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy for standard mattresses and bedding to attract and retain humid air down below in the sleeping cabin. Make sure your R&R time is actually restful and relaxing by investing in a high-quality marine mattress.

What makes a specialty nautical mattress so worth it? First and foremost, the model of the mattress matters. Our first choice in marine mattresses is Flexima®, and it’s no surprise that it’s also an award-winner and top pick for many distinguished voices in the yacht community. Here is an excerpt translated from a five-star review published in the February 2018 issue of Yacht Magazine in Germany:

“The Austrian ‘Matratzen Manufaktur’ supplies mattresses with an integrated spring system, made from durable plastic, that also eliminates the need for slats. The cold-set foam mattress remains flexible and can be moved through narrow spaces and cabin doors without having to split the mattress into smaller parts.

We have tested a custom-made Flexima Comfort in medium firmness for a season (70 nights). The test was performed by several individuals. There was a remarkable improvement over the standard mattresses. Sleep was restful and no back pain issues were reported.

A 3D mesh is integrated in the mattress cover to improve ventilation and circulation. The cover can be taken off for washing. The 2-part mattress was re-joined with a zipper.”

Self-aeration is of utmost importance to maximize ventilation and minimize moisture. You should also look for a mattress that can be custom-made to fit any shape and size sleeping area; comes with a mattress cover that is easily removable and washable; and is constructed from durable, comfortable, antimicrobial, and hypoallergenic materials for the best possible support and user experience. Finally, make sure your mattress is backed by a full warranty.

A Guide to Your Holiday Upholstery Needs

With the holidays closing in and family gatherings getting closer, seasonal decorations are not the only aesthetic upgrade to consider when readying your home for visitors. Repairing, refinishing, or replacing old furniture can do even more to make a home feel welcoming.

There’s no reason to wait until a piece of furniture is visibly decrepit and falling apart to give it a bit of TLC. Here’s what to look for when deciding exactly what your special piece needs.

It just needs a little love

Refinishing

If the wooden frame of a piece of upholstery has faded, it is a serious detriment to its appearance. This is when the wood simply shows too much wear, the stain has faded to a noticeable extent, or it just doesn’t match its new settings. Thankfully, this is an easy fix.

Refinishing is the process of replacing the existing finish on a piece of furniture. This involves completely stripping the existing finish from the furniture via hand-sanding to a smooth consistency, staining the wood with the oversight of a color match specialist, and applying a finish that will seal the new stain and prevent moisture from absorbing into the wood.

This doesn’t just bring the life back to your old furniture, but it actively protects the wood. In addition to the sealant keeping moisture out of the wood, it prevents damage from dirt and soil.

The biggest indicator that your wooden upholstery needs refinishing? Look for dark rings or spots on the wood’s surface.

Reupholstering

If the fabric or cushions on your favorite couch are worn and faded, there are stains and rips in the upholstery of your dining room chairs, or your favorite recliner is more than a little beat up, it may be time to reupholster your furniture.

This is especially true if you have a guest bedroom with furniture that shows its age and wear. The same goes for those seasonal holiday pillows that make for easy and practical decorations.

There are a slew of benefits to reupholstering, including:

  • Making old furniture look like new
  • Customizing old furniture with new fabric for an updated look
  • Repairing and preserving antiques
  • Saving money by opting to reupholster instead of buying new furniture
  • Repairing the furniture itself in the upholstering process

The process we follow for our reupholstery projects includes nine steps:

  1. Remove all fabric and materials from the furniture, resulting in a bare frame
  2. Re-tighten the frame, making the furniture sturdy again
  3. Make any repairs to the frame, if they are needed
  4. Replace the furniture webbing while rebuilding the seat
  5. Replace the cotton padding and batting
  6. Replace the foam cushioning
  7. Apply the new fabric to the furniture
  8. Custom-fit the new fabric

Choosing the right new upholstery

If you are looking at new upholstery, though, there are virtually endless options to sort through when considering what works best for you. This is especially important for hosting parties, like discussed above. If you don’t already have furniture that just needs a bit of love to be fixed up, here’s what you need to know.

One of the best pieces of advice for large centerpiece furniture items like a living room sofa is to keep the color options limited to solid tones that you won’t get tired of. This provides an easy foundation to build the rest of the room around aesthetically. The balance of colors in a room will make it feel either warm and welcoming, or aloof and impersonal.

With a solid and flexible foundation you can still change styles in the future without having to reupholster, fight to work around, or replace, that retro neon upholstery job you thought was the best thing in town when you first brought it home.

One of the most important considerations to keep in mind is how the furniture will be used. Do you have kids? If so, there’s a good chance of at least a little roughhousing on the furniture that may break down more fragile items. Stains are a concern here, too. Can the fabric you use easily resist stains and hold up to cleaning?

Similarly, if you have pets, you should consider how that will play into your furniture needs. A rambunctious pup who hasn’t quite finished training won’t hesitate to jump on the couch to cuddle or play. This means softer fabric will be especially vulnerable to scratches and rips. An older dog that is calmer and knows where he or she is allowed wouldn’t be as much of a concern when picking out your sofa.

If you can, sit on it before you buy it. Make sure you really love it. There is no sense in buying a piece of furniture that you can’t stand to use. So, if it’s more than a decoration, and you know the whole family will be using it to sit down to catch up, make sure it’s as comfortable as your favorite tried-and-true recliner.

Your Guide to Purchasing Furniture

Finished Seattle Reupholstery project for a nice lady - Queen Anne Upholstery and Refinishing

Before you go out and buy the best deal you can find at the local consignment shop, it’s important to take some time to consider your furniture needs to ensure you find the best match that you’ll love for years to come. While you’ll find plenty of helpful furniture purchase guides online, today we’re going to narrow down our focus to help you find the perfect couch when the time comes.

If you love your current couch but it’s in need of a facelift, you might first consider professional furniture restoration, refinishing, or reupholstery. But if you’re ready to replace an old couch or furniture set entirely, check out our residential showroom to browse customizable, made-to-order options for your living space.

Not sure where to start or what to ask? No problem. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for the search.

What to Ask

Depending on who will be using the couch and how it will be used, there can be a huge difference between a swing and a miss and a home run. For example, you may want to avoid a leather couch if you anticipate the family dog may be on it. Will your couch need to hold upon against potential popcorn spills during family movie nights, or do you want a cozy personal fireside retreat to sip some whiskey while reading? What works for one may not work for all, so with that in mind, consider your specific needs and intended uses. Once you settle on a few critical points, it’s time to get to the fun part: picking out the style you want!

Couch Proportions

Though it may seem obvious, you’ll want to make sure that the couch will fit through your front door and that it doesn’t jut out into the walkway and block the entrance to the living room. More nuanced than that, however, are the size and “weight” of the couch, which can either give the impression of the room being much larger or much smaller than it really is.

What influences the perception of more “weight” to a couch? It all starts with the color scheme and thickness of its various parts. If your couch is a dark color, this can appear “heavy.” This is especially true if the couch is placed in a lighter setting, as the couch may be perceived as more imposing by contrast. The same effect happens with thicker legs and cushions.

A thick and heavy appearance in furniture can be fabulous when working together with other aspects of a room, but if all of the pieces don’t come together and balance one another, it can feel awkward and out of place. For a couch that gives the impression of a room being larger than it is, consider one that features lighter or neutral colors and thin, exposed legs.

Leather

In general, leather is a good investment for a couch (unless, for example, it’ll double as your dog’s nap spot!). There are a few variables to consider to make sure you are getting the best quality for your money.

The most important thing to consider with leather is the grade. This is a direct indicator of the leather’s durability. Top/higher grain leather is taken from the outside of the hide, while the lower layers originate from further inside the hide. The reason high grade is preferable is because of how much more likely low grade leathers are to result in split grains that are weaker and more susceptible to tears.

Other Fabric Choices

You’ll come across several options besides leather that are still great choices. As mentioned before, not everyone can or should go with leather — pets, kids, and other lifestyle factors can make all the difference. It’s all about what works best for you and your intended use.

With that said, a few other options to know about include:

  • Vinyl: Easy to clean, but also easily torn if anything sharp drags across the surface.
  • Cotton: Cotton couches are extremely comfortable and look fantastic, but they tend to wear down faster. If you won’t be using it in a high-traffic area, a cotton-based couch can make a good show piece.
  • Cotton/Polyester Blend: A solid middle ground for just about any need. Strong enough to withstand a bit of wear, but still visually appealing with the natural colors of the cotton.
  • Microfiber: As soft as suede or velvet, easy to clean, and generally less expensive than other options. Because it is tightly knit, it also lowers the accumulation of dust, making this a popular option for people with significant dust allergies.
  • Nylon: Rugged, but not as visually appealing. You may see furniture made from this material in a high-traffic yet casual setting such as a rec room lounge.

How to Care for Antique Furniture Before and After Restoration

Detailed seattle table refinishing job

Owning a piece of antique furniture comes with a fair share of both responsibilities and rewards. Including a piece of antique furniture in your home or commercial space also means you’ll need to educate yourself about proper care methods to keep your investment in good shape.

Antique furniture care is not a matter of simply choosing a basic furniture cleaner from the local supermarket. Your piece will likely require specialized attention that is a bit more nuanced than modern day furniture upkeep. For example, if you do not use the appropriate polish, adhesive, or finish when you are maintaining antique furniture, you risk compromising its value.

Not only are the kinds of products you use to maintain antique furniture important — the way you use them is also key. Start with these basic tips and techniques to ensure you properly care for your newly refinished or restored antique furnishings.

Avoid Spray Products

When it comes to cleaning your antique furniture, the number one rule is to avoid spray cleaners at all costs. The goal in cleaning an antique is to preserve the patina, not the shine. Most spray products will only leave behind an oily residue that can do more harm than good.

No Rough Textures

Never use a cleaning tool that has a rough texture. Antique furniture can be delicate and scratch very easily. This means you should stay away from anything that might cause damage to the surface of the furniture, including feather dusters. While a feather duster may seem safe, it is important to remember that the feathers can break and scratch the surface of the piece you are cleaning.

Dusting Is Important

Before you apply a cleaning product to antique furniture, be sure the piece is dust-free. Take the time to make sure the dust is completely gone and you did not merely move it around the surface. This typically happens if you use a spray cleaner. Of course, avoid that feather duster if possible, and perhaps try a soft, clean, and dry microfiber cloth instead.

Choose the Right Wax

A high-quality paste wax or English beeswax are the best options for maintaining antique furniture. The wax will help to preserve and nurture the patina of the piece. Apply only a little at a time and rub it in softly along the grain of the wood. In order to properly care for antique furniture, you should do this at least once per year.

Use a Soft Cloth

When you are waxing a piece, you should do so with a soft cloth. Use the wax sparingly and only spread it in a thin and even layer. Gently buff with the soft cloth until you achieve a high polish. Be sure to build up a solid wax finish so that the wood surface is protected.

Gentleness Is Key

When you are working with antique furniture, always remember to use a gentle hand. If an inlay or piece of veneer comes off while you are moving or cleaning your furniture, keep in mind that the piece is irreplaceable. This means that you should not attempt to make the repair yourself. Instead, take the piece to a local furniture restoration expert who specializes in antique pieces.

Monitor the Environment

When arranging your furniture, try to keep antique pieces away from heating or cooling vents, radiators, fireplaces, and stoves. Consistent direct sunlight also causes severe damage to antique furniture. You will want to arrange your antique furniture in a location where you can control the humidity, temperature, and light exposure. You don’t want so little moisture in the air that the furniture dries out or cracks, but you also don’t want so much that mold begins to grow or the wood warps.

Taking care of your antique furniture the right way can make all the difference in its longevity, value, appearance, and functionality. If you own a cherished piece of antique furniture that is ready for restoration or in need of repair, contact us to handle your heirlooms and other special possessions with the TLC they demand.

When to Reupholster vs. When to Buy New

If you’re ready to makeover a room in your home, you may be considering a furniture shopping spree. In many cases, however, that’s neither necessary nor the best option. Even if your furniture looks dated, worn, or just wrong for the room’s aesthetic, you may not need to replace it entirely. Reupholstering and refinishing furniture can give it new life and a modern look. Instead of stressing about finding a new couch to fit in a tricky space or to finding a way to dispose of the old furniture, you could simply turn your dated piece into something fresh, eye-catching, and ready to be enjoyed for years to come.

A reupholstery professional will first help you select your preferred materials, including fabric (based on color, texture, pattern, and more), cushion density and support, and many more custom features (for instance, a chair can be fitted to meet specific mobility needs). They will then begin the reupholstery and refinishing process, starting with fabric and stuffing removal. Old springs and other interior materials will be repaired or replaced, the new fabric will be seamlessly applied, and wood components such as arms and legs can be refinished (or repaired to correct any structural or stability issues).

When done properly by experienced professionals, reupholstery and refinishing can turn a treasured old furniture item into one that looks and feels like new.

Is reupholstery right for your piece?

Not all couches, chairs, or plush furniture pieces must be replaced once they show signs of wear and tear. Consider whether reupholstering the piece in question might the better option. Generally speaking, the older the furniture, the better it can withstand aging. Decades ago, solid wood frames and legs were standard. Modern pieces built within the last ten years are more likely to be made of lower quality materials. Even with reinforcement and new foam, springs, stuffing, and fabric, a structurally unsound or flimsy piece may simply be nearing its expiration date.

Other factors to consider include exposure to smoke, water damage, or mold, as well as the item’s sentimental value. The armchair in your living room may not be a top-of-the-line luxury item, but perhaps if it was a wedding gift from a beloved family member, you may be attached to the memories it represents. Even mass-produced modern furniture pieces may benefit from the TLC that comes with professional reupholstering.

If an item’s fabric or interior stuffing were exposed to mold or water damage, or if there is a lingering odor due to smoke, reupholstering and refinishing can also solve those problems. Metal and wood components and legs can be treated and sealed against mold, if necessary. All potentially contaminated materials can be disposed of properly. The resulting piece of reupholstered furniture will be safer, cleaner, and more attractive than a piece that you steam-cleaned after smoke or water damage.

Buying new furniture isn’t always the best option

When years-old furniture shows its age, it’s natural to assume that buying new furniture is the only option. In reality, buying new furniture can sometimes make a room makeover more protracted and frustrating. If you aren’t buying custom pieces, your style and color options will be more limited. You may have to compromise on a piece you don’t really love. Then, you’ll still need to get rid of the old furniture — which often means hauling it to the dump or attempting to sell it.

By comparison, reupholstering is often simpler. A professional will carefully tend to your furniture, plus you’ll get to select the perfect fabric and other important details. The end product will look and feel the way you dictate. Reupholstering and refinishing furniture can give you beautiful (and more hassle-free) results.

A Guide to Your Summer Upholstery Needs

Warm summer days are a welcome refuge from cold winters and spring showers, and now that the seasons have changed, many of us are dreaming up ways to enjoy ourselves outdoors — and to stay cool inside our homes. Thankfully, select upholstery services can offer several practical and unique solutions to ensure your summer is comfortable and stylish.

With so many options available, your dream fabric awaits to add the perfect pattern, color scheme, or texture to your space. No matter your style preferences, the right upholstery can turn any indoor or outdoor area into a luxurious summertime escape. Here’s where to start to create your own.

Add (or replace) curtains or drapes

Investing in heavy, thick, or dark-toned drapery can help keep the glaring sun out of your home. The right drapes can inject a sense of drama or romance in a room while also helping to reduce your cooling costs. Old slat blinds can only do so much to shade your home from solar heat. They can also project bothersome glare lines onto walls and media screens, especially in direct sunlight.

On the other hand, drapes can easily be shut during times with direct sun exposure and opened when the light is soft. Replacing dated window treatments with drapes will make your space feel fresh, inviting and cool (in both senses of the word).

Invest in patio furniture upholstery for chic outdoor comfort

While sleek wood furniture may offer a clean and modern appeal, sitting or reclining on unpadded furniture is far less appealing. Outdoor furniture is typically constructed from treated wood, plastic, or PVC-based materials that are meant to withstand environmental conditions, and as such, your patio chairs, chaises, or loveseats may need some comfortable weatherproof cushioning.

Especially on clear summer days, you want to be able to sit back in that patio armchair with a good book. When entertaining guests at a backyard barbecue, you also want to ensure your furniture is inviting and comfortable for friends, family, and neighbors. Upholstered cushions are the finishing touch on any outdoor lounge area, as they offer a comfortable place to relax and a stylish addition to your patio furniture set.

Whether your patio furniture is fitted with old upholstery or no upholstery, upgrading with fresh upholstered features for this summer’s outdoor entertaining season will make your yard the envy of the neighborhood.

Enter boating season in style

If you own a boat or yacht, don’t forget to update the upholstered touches on your home away from home. Going out for a day or weekend on the waves or lake is a great way to relax during the summer heat. Outdated or damaged seats and other furniture can be an eyesore at best or, at worst, can make your boat ride uncomfortable.

Outdoor and water-resistant upholstery fabric can refresh your yacht’s appearance. Yacht cushions, vinyl boat cushions, window treatments, and leather seats can elevate your style and comfort, while a custom Flexima mattress makes the perfect luxury upgrade for your sleeping quarters. 

With the right upholstery, you can turn your yacht into a summer escape that you and your guests never want to leave. Water and sun-resistant fabrics can be used to customize cushions, seats, mattresses, and other features that will last for many seasons while making you feel more at home.