Home Decor

So you're thinking of reupholstering? Ten important tips

We scored big time with this amazing vintage $150 sofa. Now what? It dawned on me that there are some tips and factors people need to consider when choosing a fabric to reupholster that I could share with you.

sofas, re-upholstering, home decor, interior design

OK blog-followers. How can I apologize for my absence? Maybe this video link (which gives you a slight insight into my life these days) will provide you enough amusement to forget that it’s been close to two weeks since I’ve posted (although if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll see I’m up to all sorts of fun things!)

Anyway, the other day a friend and a coworker sent me this image (from Love the Design), and asked me to keep an eye out for a similar sofa:

Imagine my surprise when only three hours later I came upon this sofa at the local Salvation Army thrift shop:

I called her in a panic to get there and buy it immediately, and she did for $150. Nice.

Then came the hard part: reupholstering. She arrived at the office armed with an armful of fabrics, all grey, and essentially the same, with only one that was actually appropriate for the sofa.

It dawned on me that there are some tips and factors people need to consider when choosing a fabric to reupholster that I could share with you.

Here they are:

1. Small patterns hide dirt and stains better than solids.

2. Stripes are a disaster for hiding stains.

3. If you must have a solid (and let’s face it, solids are wonderful), choose something that has some texture in it, as opposed to a perfectly flat fabric.

4. Consider the hand of the fabric- that means the way it feels. Will it pick up lint, cat hair and dirt? Nubbly velvets and felts are terrible for that.

5. How stretchy is the fabric? If, like my friend, you are going to have one large pillow rather that three small ones, you want to stay away from natural fabrics that stretch and open weaves. Linen and cotton are a nightmare and will pucker in no time. Also, choose something with a backing that will ensure stability. Talk to the people at the fabric store to make sure you’re choosing something that will last.

6. Unless you’re going for 100 percent wool that is a dream for repelling stains, blends or man-made fabrics are generally better for stain-fighting power. Again, ask the staff if you can add an extra stain protector spray to the fabric or if that’s a no-go.

Here are a few other things to consider:

1. Do you want to one large seat cushion (very modern), or several smaller ones.

2. If you want a tufted sofa, consider the spacing of the buttons (those create the indents). The closer together they are, the fussier the overall look will be.

3. Piping: If you have to have it, make it as small and subtle as possible for a sleek look. Or try contrasting piping for a more playful approach. I wouldn’t suggest that for this sofa.

4. Finally, if you’re having the frame sanded and stained or painted, think about whether you want it lighter than your fabric (kind of a modern look) or darker (which will really highlight the shape of the sofa).

So, those are all the decisions she now has to make. I’ve asked her to take photos as it progresses. I will share, I promise.

And you thought it was that easy!