Reupholstery vs. Buying New

Re-upholstery vs. New Upholstery


I’ll be straight up with you, I am not a fan of reupholstery. Here is why:

Re-upholstery Cons:

  1. A sofa that you have been sitting on for 15 years will most likely need structural attention and isn’t as sturdy as it once was. The cushions will be worn and you will most likely have to pay for new ones which brings me to...
  2. Choosing fabric is a lot harder than you think. Personally, I love restaurants with simple menus. I don’t need the Cheesecake Factory size menu to enjoy dinner. I’d rather have someone who knows what they are doing narrow down a selection to a few great choices that they have tried and perfected instead of giving me 18 pages to choose from or 1,000 fabric possibilities. There is a lot more to picking a durable upulstoery fabric than you might think. 
  3. Piping can get tricky. Whenever I have had something reupholstered the piping doesn’t usually lay as straight as I would like it. My personal theory is that the reupholsters have so many different models, shapes, etc of sofas coming in that with every new project they have to reinvent the wheel. When you buy a new sofa you are buying it from a source that most likely makes thousands of the same sofas and has it down to a science how to get the piping straight as an arrow, the stitching absolutely perfect and the cushions just right.
  4. If your sofa is 10 years or older it most likely does not have the most updated lines and style. If you are reupholstering that floral cranberry and mustard sofa that you thought was the greatest thing ever once upon a time,  chances are the shape, frame and lines of the sofa are just as dated as the fabric. Keep in mind, it’s harder to recognize when your own pieces are dated because you are so used to them.
  5. Your cushions that have been sat on for 10 years most likely need to be completely replaced to get that new sofa, firm overstuffed look. I always recommend going with upholstery foam. Often reupholsters will ask if you want your new cusions covered with polyester batting to make them look more full. This is a nightmare when you remove the cushion covers to wash them. Basically they are trying to save money on upholstery foam and do not want to have to make a cover for the insert. Trust me, it’s annoying. 
  6. I’ve seen too many people have things recovered and not once have I ever met someone who has not regretted it. And I regret most of the pieces I have had reupholstered. 
  7. You’ll be without your sofa or chair for several weeks. Not the end of the world but still inconvenient.
  8. There are exceptions to every rule. If you find a great chair that is an antique with beautful lines that you just can’t live without and it won’t get daily usage, then I say get it recovered. I love mixing collected antiques with new pieces. If you have a chair that is especially meaningful to you then by all means have it recovered, but you may want to consider putting it in a place that does not get a lot of wear and tear. 


Pros of Re-upholstering:

  1. Often times reupholstering can be less expensive. However, make sure you do all the math BEFORE you buy fabric or have your sofa picked up. Calculate exactly how much fabric you need. Expect to pay between 15 and 45 dollars per yard depending on what type of fabric you choose. 
  2. You can get the exact color or pattern that you want without having to search high and low for the perfect shade of blue that will bring out the colors in your grandmothers painting. You can get a customized look thats completely your own.
  3. You can feel good that you are using what you already have. So many of my clients have a very very difficult time getting rid of furniture, rugs ,and items that they once spent a lot of money on. I never rush people to get rid of things before they are ready. However, I do ask them to consider the fact that they have gotten many years of use out of their sofa or chairs and it is okay to get rid of it. Think about it, if you spent 1500$ on something that you and your friends and family have used every single day for a decade you’ve certainly gotten your money's worth! You probably spent a lot more on your wedding dress and only wore that once.
Virginia Harper


Virginia Harper

That’s an inleiltgent answer to a difficult question xxx

Virginia Harper

This is so helpful! I was trying to figure out whether or not to get a new couch…& this made my decision.

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