late last year, i found this sofa while thrifting and decided to get it re-upholstered.
i visited the upholstery shop to drop off my fabric. never having stepped foot into a shop like this, i was eager to what was in store. it was extremely different to see what four hours of tearing down and building up could do to a tired, yet strong and well built piece of furniture.
i had been searching for the right sofa for what seems like years, but price, form and functionality could never agree. so, it was no surprise this piece with a contemporary straight lined back, and traditional rolled arms and clawed feet, had me sold at hello.
the guy who was taking great care of my sofa was a true artist. he was like a picasso with batting, a mozart with a staple gun. as i stood there he and i of two totally different backgrounds made a connection.
"if you had all the fabric yesterday we could've knocked this thing out." he said.
i was excited about the quick turn around, but at the same time i was somewhat reluctant to get excited over what I would consider a "fast food" mentality. i would prefer you take a week and get it right, than an hour to get it finished.
"people would rather buy a quick cheap piece than to spend the money in furniture that will last for years." he said.
i felt what he was saying. even if a piece was older, having it re-upholstered could possibly save time and money. moreover, i felt he was crying out that his artistry was getting lost and could not compete with the big box brands.
i'm torn. to be able to find an amazing sofa and have it re-upholstered to my specific taste seems so rewarding, but was I lucky?
with the state of the economy, notwithstanding preference for modern and new...who has the money to buy a quality piece and THEN take it to be redone?
perhaps its not the attention to detail that wards people away from using an upholsterer. maybe its the dearth of available quality pieces at a price point people can afford.
i've heard designers say quite often to clients that buying expensive pieces of furniture that this is an investmentm but who wants to live with a high priced sofa for more than 5 years?
Is getting a cheap sofa or chair, price wise, worth the continued art form of custom upholstery?
Mr. Goodwill Hunting