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Reupholster Or Just Get A New Chair…What To Do?

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Posted by Katie Gambone

This chair, which may not look like much in pictures, is the MOST popular seat in my house house.  By far.

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It’s kind of on the small side, which means if you are a petite person like me your feet will still touch the floor even if you are sitting all the way back in it.  But tall people like my husband also enjoy it – especially when playing video games.

Misha enjoys resting on it.  Exhibit A below.

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It is now Matteo’s favorite spot for reading, playing with toys, thinking, drinking milk…the list goes on.  You may have guessed this is quickly becoming his chair.

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The curved back and arms almost feel like they are giving you a hug.  I can’t explain it unless you sit in it yourself, but it is just really, really comfortable.  It’s one of those “they don’t make em’ like this anymore…” chairs.

Anyway, it’s gotten so much use, and has had so much abuse (from Misha when she was a puppy) that it is really looking a little rough.  I strategically place a pretty oversized scarf thingy from my mom on it to hide the missing buttons and the places where Misha….gulp…decided to eat the stuffing out of it.  I was pretty mad at her about that.

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So anyway, we love this chair a lot.  It was a hand-me-down from Abby and Drew, which explains some of the attachment.  But I also just really love this chair.  I can honestly say there is no other piece of furniture in my house that I feel so passionate about.  I just can’t see getting rid of it, but I know that it needs a makeover if we are going to keep it  for much longer.  So I’ve been investigating the costs to reupholster it.  If you’ve ever done this research yourself, then you know that the cost to reupholster something is about as expensive as just buying a new chair.  Holy cow is it expensive! I couldn’t believe it!  If you haven’t researched it, I’ve had quotes for anywhere between $500 -$700 to get the job done (re-stuff, purchase fabric, and man hours).  If it was any other chair, I would just replace it, but I really want to keep it.

If I was brave and had more time, I would try to do it myself.  But I think I’m going to leave it up to the professionals.  I know it can look amazing.   In fact, I have been viewing examples of fantastic looking reupholstered furniture to get myself motivated.  The picture below is a really lovely makeover of a settee or couch – I can’t tell which it is – but I think it looks great.

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In looking through pictures of reupholstered furniture I have also realized that there is a trend to use multiple fabrics on one piece.  I think it looks pretty on the chair below.  I’m really into the black and white color combo.

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This white couch with blue printed backing is also really, really elegant.

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So, for my little chair, I’ve been daydreaming about how to pretty her up.  I am really into navy blues.  If I went with two fabrics, I think I would do a blue velvet fabric for the front.  Here is an example of a blue velvet chair just so you have a visual.

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And then for the back of the chair, maybe a bolder print.  For example, I really like either of these navy prints.

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Or I could add some color, like this awesome mod print with big red flowers.  The only thing is, I worry I would get tired of it after a while.

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Or something like this pink print would be unexpected.  But again, I worry I would get tired of it and I think it would be hard to match with my other furniture.

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Or I can pay homage to the chair’s original color and stick with a yellow fabric like either of the options below.

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I’d love to hear what you guys think!!  Should I do it?  Should I go with two fabric patterns or just stick with one?  Should I go  with navy blues or try a more neutral color scheme?  Also, if you’ve had anything reupholstered professionally or tackled this type of project yourself  I’d love to hear about your experience.  Leave me a note in the comment section below or email me at buttonjar3@gmail.com.

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4 thoughts on “Reupholster Or Just Get A New Chair…What To Do?

  1. Mary Ann says:

    I’m considering getting a wing back chair in my house reupholstered as well…it’s pricey but I think worth it. The advice I’ve received from people who have done this or know how are that if it has a solid frame and structure and you really love it, it’s worth keeping and reupholstering. Otherwise, consider new. I think the two fabric style is fun, but those trends will change so go with something classic that’ll give you many more years of comfortable sitting!!! Can’t wait to see what you decide! This is inspiring me to get going on mine!!!

  2. Melissa Bellomo says:

    I love the idea of the navy, with the yellow. The only thing I would worry about with the velvet is care. Would it collect particles of whatever someone is wearing, pup hairs etc? It seems everything clings to velvet. Since it’s is a highly used piece if furniture maybe something cozy but easy to maintain? As mentioned a yellow to incorporate the storied past would be a must for me, but I’m kind of sappy like that! Can’t wait to see the finished product.

  3. Sarah Gallup says:

    I’m thinking the first pattern of the navy blue on the back, OR the first of the gold — I agree with Melissa Bellomo. A little shout out to the past — “you and I have history, or don’t you remember!” They are both fun. It is such a great chair and fits with every or any style.

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