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How to evaluate if a piece of furniture is worth salvaging

A lot times people approach me and want to know if their piece of furniture is worth the cost of salvaging it and investing in reupholstery. Let’s face it, it can be a big investment and the whole process can seem daunting. One of our goals is to make this a fun and exciting process but here are a couple of things to consider when evaluating your piece:

Is it an heirloom? Reupholstering an heirloom is a way to keep memories alive and keep a piece of furniture in the family. My first reupholstered chair sits in our home on Long Island. Every time I walk into the room or when the pattern catches my eye for a split second it brings me joy. I love seeing my kids climb allover that chair, all the while remembering where it used to live in my grandmother’s house and how I used to sit in it as a child. I recently had a client transform her grandma’s wingback chair. When she opened the door at delivery her two-year-old daughter plopped herself down immediately and made herself at home. Watching that chair literally pass-through generations brought tears to my eyes on the way home. That was an amazing feeling, and I was touched to have been a part of the process in preserving her family memories.

Does it have cool or unique details? Elements such as carved wood details, intricate canning or uncommon mid-century designs are hard to come by and are worth preserving. Last summer, I stopped a guy on the North Fork of Long Island who was hauling some old pieces to the dump. He gave me two great pieces. Sure, I had to get the insects out of them (literally) and repair some of the wood because they’d been stored partially outside, but you should see those pieces. They’re beautiful now. The frames have intricately carved details that were covered in a dark brown finish. Once we removed the finish they immediately came to life and just felt more modern and fresher.

Is it made of solid wood? Believe it or not, a lot of furniture today is not made of compressed wood, which just doesn’t last as long. Even if it needs slight repair, a solid wood frame makes a piece worth salvaging.

But also, if you love the piece or it just fits perfectly into your space, there’s nothing wrong with reinvesting in a R&B sofa or something from West Elm or Restoration Hardware. I actually plan to have my Restoration Hardware sofa reupholstered—it’s a great piece. If the shoe fits then lets freshen it up!

© / all rights reserved / 440-371-5846


© / all rights reserved / 440-371-5846