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Should I Reupholster My Old Sofa or Buy a New One?

Read our interior design column, “Ask The Designers”. In this article we address reupholstering furniture.

Should I reupholster my old sofa or buy a new one?

There are several critical considerations when deciding on whether or not to reupholster an old piece of furniture or not. It is important to consider the overall style, scale and construction before you even compare the cost to reupholster or replace your existing piece or pieces.

First, determine whether or not the old piece works well in your current space? It is important to make sure the old upholstered piece is the right shape, size, and style.  If the old piece fits well in the new design, then it might in fact be well worth reupholstering.

The second thing to consider is the construction. Is the frame of your furniture well made? If the old upholstered piece was well constructed with a hard wood frame and it is in good condition, then it is probably worth reupholstering. If the old furniture doesn't provide adequate support for your back or you find that it is uncomfortable and hard to get up out of, then your furniture is showing signs of structural problems and probably needs to be replaced.

If you are in doubt as to whether or not your furniture is salvageable, take off the bottom cover and look inside. Furniture with broken supports and inferior woods are not worth the effort to reupholster. Do not be concerned if the cushions are deteriorated or sunken in, as they are normally replaced when reupholstered.

The third and final factor to consider is the cost to reupholster versus buying new. Be sure that you are comparing buying a new well-constructed piece versus reupholstering an old one. We have found that it usually cost a bit less to reupholster furniture then buy new good quality pieces since you already own the frame. In some cases it may cost more to reupholster, but it may be worth it if the piece is an antique, unique and/or has sentimental value.

We often reupholster old classic pieces as well as old unique ones in new fabrics to update their look and restore their original beauty. The old furniture adds personality and a bit of the past. The unusual pieces often become unique focal points in a room. If an old piece of upholstered furniture works well in your existing room and it is well made, then you may in fact want to invest in reupholstering it. Have fun! Linda McGuirl & William Totten

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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