Q&A – Should I re-upholster or buy new?

We get asked upholstery questions all the time and we are happy to give our 2 cents.  By the way, did you know that we offer full upholstery services at MegMade? No? Well you are not alone, clearly we are not amazing at making that known. But the answer is we do offer full upholstery in addition to our private label custom upholstery line.

The reason we actually started carrying new upholstery stemmed from people asking us should they re-do what they have or should they buy a new one. Sometimes re-upholstery is not the answer, and yay, now we can offer alternatives.

When asked, we immediately ask them the following two questions.

Does the piece have sentimental value?

If the piece has sentimental value, then that is a great reason to have it jazzed up a little, while keeping the sentiment. It may have been a friends, mom, grandmas or even great great grandmas and what a way to keep an heirloom alive and meaningful in a way that goes with your vibe. Re-upholster to hearts content, it is totally worth it!

Is there a reason you would want to keep/buy this piece rather than buy a new one?

Have you been searching and searching for a particular style and can’t find a new version of it, but found a vintage one? That is a great reason to re-do rather buy new. Are you obsessed with everything vintage? Then go for it. Is it a chair that requires little fabric? Then yes and amen.

My main reason for ever discouraging people to re-upholster vs. buy new is because sometimes it can be more expensive to re-upholster. Not because of the upholstery cost, but because of the fabric. This is not true of most chairs, but sofas, they require tons of fabric and fabric can be $$$$$, ya know?

They are both great options, I just like letting people know that reviving something that means nothing to you personally is normally going to cost you more than going new. Not always, but sometimes.

Here are a couple of examples of choosing re-upholstery over new. And may I say, I am glad they chose this route because holy camoli, they are beautiful.

These Ward Bennett armchairs were pretty ugly to look at when they first came into us. But these chairs are built impeccably and are vintage royalty. This is a great opportunity to make the old new again. I am so glad that designer Meg Opel chose to let us ceruse them and recover them in Kelly Wearstler Graffito. They make my heart flutter.

Here is the after!

Photo by Jacob Hand

The next transformation was for Monique from Ambitious Kitchen’s living room. She wanted vintage and crushed velvet. She wanted comfortable and narrow. When we found these ugly things in the alley we fortunately saw potential and saved them from the dump.

After new stuffing and fabric, they turned out like this, wow! A little hard to recognize right? But I promise they are the same chairs!

Photo by Aimee Mazzenga

I hope this helps you realize the potential in reviving vintage! I am a fan. But also wanted to let you know my view on re-do vs. new! Hope this helps! Keep the questions coming!

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