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orangecamera

Reupholster this chair and ottoman I love, or no?

orangecamera
May 15, 2019

I **love** this chair and ottoman, but the upholstery is worn and needs to be replaced. I've seen similar chairs online for a few hundred dollars, but none that have the wood trim along the arms. I believe these chairs are from the 60's based on how they're made, but there are no tags at all. I get the feeling that the fabric is original.


So, based only on my photos, my local upholstery shop gave me an estimate as follows:


Chair:

Labor: $550-$650 plus material

You will need 5-7 yards

Plus new foam, if needed, would be $65-$75


Ottoman:

Labor: $250-$350 plus material

You will need approx. 1½-2½

Plus new foam, if needed, would be $25-$35


I'm figuring worst case scenario for both pieces would be around $1300. I really could get something similar (but less special) for maybe $500. (There are some less than $200 but I suspect the quality isn't great).


So now the big questions: Are these pieces going to be worth $1300 after they're reupholstered, or am I wasting money just because they're comfortable and I like the look? Are these pieces as "special" as I think they are? I'd love to know the designer or company if anyone happens to know.


Thank you.






Comments (54)

  • Helen

    It is certainly worth it to reupholster a good piece that you like for $1300. I don't know where people are buying their furniture but a good quality chair in a "custom" fabric would cost at least $1300 if not more.


    I reupholstered several chairs for my remodel because I really liked them so what would be the point of buying a new chair I didn't like as much. My chairs also had wood trim. I had my sofa and a chaise done by the same upholstery shop in a custom design - I would not have been able to get anything in that quality let alone in the style I wanted with the exact fabric I hunted down for what it cost me.



    orangecamera thanked Helen
  • iheartsix
    I love vintage/antique shopping and finding a piece that I love would definitely be worth the investment in what ever it needs for my taste. I think you have a very nice set. Enjoy. :)
    orangecamera thanked iheartsix
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  • Jennifer Hogan

    $1300 to restore furniture that you love in a fabric that you get to select that you know is great quality or chance buying something made today that will probably not be as well made and will need to be replaced again in a few years.


    Look at what people are paying for well made Mid Century chairs,


    https://www.etsy.com/search/vintage?q=chair+with+ottoman&explicit=1&locationQuery=6252001&attr_356=2392&ref=pagination&page=8


    I would spend the $1300.

    orangecamera thanked Jennifer Hogan
  • queenvictorian

    Oh totally! If you like it, go for it. Are you going to do tweed again? There is something about tweed upholstry that is profoundly MCM.


    Good furniture lasts forever - you just have to do some periodic maintenance like reupholstering every so often, like with my great grandfather's wingback chairs. The problem is that everyone gets so hung up on the monetary value of the furniture that maintaining and cherishing it becomes "not worth it" because you can replace it with a piece of crap from a Chinese factory for less money. Basically, don't get hung up by a piece's monetary value and whether it's "economical" to spend money to fix it.


    If the piece is cool and you like it, spend however much you want on it. Heck, I'm considering getting some repairs done on my monstrous (but phenomenally comfortable) red leather couch. I extracted it from a college party house several years back (when I moved out of said party house) and its monetary value is $0. I'm also designing the TV den around it because I like it and it is awesome. I don't care one bit that it's "worthless".

  • Martha Scott

    In a heatbeat! I believe, if you love something, to redo rather than replace!

    orangecamera thanked Martha Scott
  • orangecamera

    @Jennifer Hogan, the problem with etsy is that you never know if anyone is actually paying those prices. But it's good info to have, thank you.

  • gigirambles

    You love the pieces and they are in good shape. It's only $1300 to re-upholster. No brainer; spend the money. I'm fairly certain that whatever you could get for $500 probably wouldn't stand the test of time as these pieces have.

    orangecamera thanked gigirambles
  • einportlandor

    I recently paid $1400 to have a vintage chair (no ottoman) reupholstered just because I've always loved the lines of the piece. It was especially expensive because it needed all new everything. I definitely could have purchased a new chair for less but it would look like everyone else's chair. Reupholstery was totally worth it.

    orangecamera thanked einportlandor
  • aprilneverends

    Yes it's worth it, in this case

    similar quality pieces now would run more than 1300$. maybe significantly so.

    and you love them

    orangecamera thanked aprilneverends
  • Brown Dog

    If you are wondering how much your beloved chair is worth after reupholstering, are you thinking of selling it? if you aren't going to sell it then why worry how much it's worth? If you love this chair, reupholste it. The price you were quoted isn't outrageous. Note that the frame and construction of your chair is probably really well done. Furniture built back then was built to last. And that makes it a really good candidate for reupholstering. It will last another 50 years. Don't sweat it. Go for it.

    orangecamera thanked Brown Dog
  • orangecamera

    @Brown Dog, thanks for your comment. The reason I asked about whether it's worth it was really to confirm (or not) what I think about these pieces, that they're "quality". If most people were saying "nah, just buy new" I'd be rethinking reupholstery. And if people had said $1300 seemed outrageous, I'd also reconsider. Mostly what I've been getting is confirmation that I'm on the right track! I know it's my house and my choice, but I do respect the opinions of a lot of houzzers I've encountered over the years.


    Now I have to decide on which fabric. I just ordered a new sofa to replace the one I have and really dislike, so after that's delivered I'll find something that will look nice with it.

  • doods

    I just had a wing chair reupholstered and I too was briefly wondering and I mean very briefly, if I should have it reupholstered or get a new one for probably cheaper. But you know what, I know the quality of this chair, that it is the right size, etc, no shopping required other than going through some fabric books, so I did it, had it reupholstered, and am happy I did so. This chair is a relatively small wing chair and cost 842.00 Cdn$ to reupholster. I don't care if it is worth that to resell, because I plan on being around for the next 5 yrs or so to enjoy it!

    orangecamera thanked doods
  • partim

    I had 2 chairs that I really liked reupholstered through my decorator at a long-established reputable upholsterer. They did not do a good job - the fabric did not sit flat. I was told that because the back was curved (tub chair) that it could not be done any smoother, even through the original was smooth. Also the fabric did not wear well even though the chairs were not used a lot, and they faded even though they were never in direct sun. A very disappointing experience and not money well spent.

    orangecamera thanked partim
  • orangecamera

    @partim, I'm really sorry you had a bad experience. Thanks for bringing that up, though, because it's always a risk.

  • maddielee

    What do you love about the chair? The shape or the wood trim or both?

    Norwalk Furniture carries slope arm chairs that you might want to price before paying 1300 for reupholstering.

    orangecamera thanked maddielee
  • Michele
    You’re on the right track alright!!! That is a cool looking chair and ottoman!! Love them. They don’t make furniture like they used to. We had this couch done ages ago. I loved it when we found it and had it reupholstered. Love it to this day!
    orangecamera thanked Michele
  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    I agree the chair looks like good quality and if you love it spend the money to have it redone.

    orangecamera thanked Patricia Colwell Consulting
  • Helen

    Reupholstered chairs



    Before - from Salvation Army




    After

    inherited from mother and just reupholstered



    Second time I reupholstered.

    orangecamera thanked Helen
  • partim

    Or go unconventional with your fabric choices www.wildchairy.com

    orangecamera thanked partim
  • PRO
    Sabrina Alfin Interiors

    Definitely re-upholster. This is a classic chair and your quotes seem very reasonable. And you get the added bonus of not having these pieces end up in a landfill. P.S. If your upholstery guy does this, have him quote re-finishing the legs and the wood strips around the cushions. Will breathe some new life into them. Have fun!

    orangecamera thanked Sabrina Alfin Interiors
  • orangecamera
    @Sabrina, you’re right. I had the guy out to my house yesterday, and he’s going to refinish all the visible wood, too.
  • orangecamera
    @partim, I’m going to do the chair in just one color, but make some pillows that incorporate that fabric and my new (in order) sofa fabric. That link gave me the idea to include a third - and patterned - fabric. I’ll have fun with that!
  • gakate

    Be sure to post some pics after it's done! Love seeing all these unique chairs.

    orangecamera thanked gakate
  • orangecamera

    @gakate, you bet!

  • orangecamera

    @cpartist, thanks for your comment. I don't think Judy's comment was nasty at all. She tells it as she sees it. Her comment is correct. If I *had* been thinking of reupholstering to sell, this is the kind of wake-up call I'd appreciate.


  • cpartist

    orange, seen that way, yes I can see it's not a nasty comment but I made the assumption that you were not looking to resell your beautiful chair and ottoman so why then make the comment?

    Either way, I hope you post when it's reupholstered!

    orangecamera thanked cpartist
  • PRO
    JudyG Designs

    Thank you, orangecamera, for your supportive response.

    orangecamera thanked JudyG Designs
  • Molly
    Late to the party, but I always think that if you love a piece and it's the perfect size for your room, go ahead and reupholster. New and cheaper isn't always saving money in the long run.
    orangecamera thanked Molly
  • Helen

    I think the comment was a bit brusque especially since NO upholstered furniture is going to be able to be sold for what one paid for it as soon as it comes home - whether it is reupholstering a vintage piece or buying a new piece. Much like new cars, the depreciation is immediate.

    In the context of OP's original question, I think most people understood her to be asking whether upholstering the chair made economic sense - i.e. could she get a "new" chair of equivalent quality for less money. And whether the amount for the reupholstery services was wildly out of line - adjusted for differences in cost of living.

    Therefore the response seemed to be deliberately obtuse.

    orangecamera thanked Helen
  • orangecamera
    I would appreciate if comments about the tone of other people’s comments would not derail this thread. Thank you.
  • Michele
    Anyway orangecamera, I for one would love to see it when you get it done. To tell you the truth, from the pics you posted it looks like it’s in pretty good condition. Ours was really worn. Had to do it. At the time we searched and searched to try and find something similar. It was so unbelievably cool! It had gold metallic touches. We kept a piece for old times sake. Anyhow have fun and enjoy! That’s what it’s all about
    orangecamera thanked Michele
  • Sandra Martin

    I think you have decided to reupholster, I hope so, I was going to say go for it, it’s a great chair! They really don’t make good quality furniture anymor, even when you pay huge prices it seems that you don’t get what you used too. So when you can, refinish, reupholster. Looking forward to seeing the finished product.

    orangecamera thanked Sandra Martin
  • lynartist
    If the chair speaks to you you then fine. Do check it over; pull out the bottom and see the construction; make sure it is a quality built piece. If the wood color isn’t to your liking change that before reupholstering. Choose your fabric wisely! I have had many pieces redone. While not all pieces are profitable to have done( that is true) some are just too good to pass up! These very quirky 60’s chairs that I bought for very little were such a buy! I knew they would be just right for a your couples new home. Since cost wasn’t an issue I silver leafed the frame and had them reupholstered in lovely blue velvet.
    orangecamera thanked lynartist
  • K Laurence

    A decent quality chair alone can easily cost that much & more, not counting the price of an ottoman, so if you love them I think it’s worth the $ to have them reupholstered.

    orangecamera thanked K Laurence
  • PRO
    Michelle Scott for Ethan Allen - Laguna Niguel, CA

    The style and quality of your chair and ottoman, not to mention the fact that you declared your love of them, warrant re upholstery - Please show us the results! I imagine that chair and ottoman will be revitalized

    orangecamera thanked Michelle Scott for Ethan Allen - Laguna Niguel, CA
  • Claire Pope

    I had 2 chairs recovered and paid 1800.00 each, this included the velvet fabric. If I have good pieces I have them recovered. I also had 2 other chairs recovered for less but still around 800,00 each. Your chairs are wonderful so I would find some awesome fabric and get them recovered.

    mine · More Info


    orangecamera thanked Claire Pope
  • orangecamera thanked elunia
  • orangecamera

    I've decided I'm definitely reupholstering the chair. Of *course* the fabric I like most is the most expensive one I looked at. It'll be pretty much the same color and type as it is now, although a little lighter. (Kovi K5584). So, I'm back asking for more opinions. The ottoman is not all that "special" so I'm considering some options:


    1) Don't even bother reupholstering the ottoman, and possibly buying a new one down the line.


    2) Reupholstering in a different, less expensive, fabric. A pattern or something a bit more fun. I've got a bunch of different moroccan trellis patterns (rug, throw blanket, light fixture) so far, and maybe another one or something coordinating color would be good.


    Thoughts?

  • Helen

    How much yardage do you need for the ottoman?


    I had my upholsterer do a matching ottoman for the chair I just had done. The nice thing about your ottoman is that the legs relate well to the chair so it's not "just" an ottoman.


    My friend opted for an ottoman in different material - on the other hand, her ottoman cost $2000 :-).

    orangecamera thanked Helen
  • PRO
    Michelle Scott for Ethan Allen - Laguna Niguel, CA

    Your fabric is gorgeous, and suits the style of your chair and ottoman so well - and at $61 and change per yard is not a bad price for a quality upholstery fabric. You probably won't need much yardage for the ottoman - I would probably suggest doing both pieces in the same fabric.

    orangecamera thanked Michelle Scott for Ethan Allen - Laguna Niguel, CA
  • orangecamera

    The ottoman only needs 1.5 yards.


  • Sandra Martin

    i don’t think you will regret doing the ottoman. It may seem expensive now, but will make a beautiful set.

    orangecamera thanked Sandra Martin
  • Martha Scott

    I don't think you'll regret doing the ottoman too. As someone said, they do match and you'll not get that again.

    orangecamera thanked Martha Scott
  • Helen

    It would be pennywise and pound foolish not to do the ottoman in the same fabric as it will definitely look better as the "set" it was meant to be.


    The fabric is only $120 at most - realistically is that sum amortized over the years of use you will get worth scrimping for?

    orangecamera thanked Helen
  • Molly

    The price seems good to me. With the holiday coming up, maybe the price will go down a bit or shipping will be free.

    orangecamera thanked Molly
  • orangecamera

    Okay! I've got the message. Same fabric for everything! Thanks everyone for keeping me from spending the next week searching for yet another fabric choice. I appreciate the input.

  • lauraalarid2002

    Amazon has the Kovi fabric for less ($46 + shipping) https://www.amazon.com/Coral-Plain-Chenille-Upholstery-Fabric/dp/B01LZL58DV


    I have found some great upholstery fabric at this website: totofabrics.com. I am reupholstering a chair right now with a fabric that retails for $50/yard that I got on Toto for much less.

    orangecamera thanked lauraalarid2002
  • Michele

    Oh no! Please don’t break up that beautiful couple!!! : ) If you absolutely can’t do it now at least buy the fabric if you can, and hold on to it till you can swing getting the ottoman covered too. That is such a great set!

    orangecamera thanked Michele
  • Ed(Edwina) and Stephen Ci

    Just taking some down time and lurking- as someone who four years ago bought a 1967 MCM home that was 'updated' but still needed much work... and now we want to build a smaller home-sigh... Your chair and ottoman are gorgeous! Yes, it it worth it to redo! The picture looks like the fabric is fine- IMHO. Very nice color on my screen. Cheers

    orangecamera thanked Ed(Edwina) and Stephen Ci
  • orangecamera

    @lauraalarid2002, thanks for those links. I'll see if my upholstery can match that price for the Kovi fabric. I just went to Toto at your suggestion, and I think I may have found fabric to recover my dining chairs. Just sent away for the sample.


    @Ed(Edwina) and Stephen, the current fabric is fine until you get up close to it. There are a few small holes, and the covering(?) on the bottoms of both the chair and the ottoman are ripped and sagging.

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