When looking to reupholster an armchair there are a number of things to consider. Knowing exactly what to do will make the process flow smoothly.
Image by Enric Serra via Flickr
What do you do when you realise that your favourite armchair needs to be reupholstered? Perhaps the fabric or covering has become old and worn or the style is outdated. Maybe the craftsmanship is appealing but the colour scheme clashes with your new décor or it’s simply time to make a small change that will brighten up a room. Regardless of the motivation, there are a number of elements to consider when reupholstering an armchair.
PROFESSIONAL OR DIY?
One of the first questions you will need to ask yourself is whether you are capable of the challenge of reupholstering your armchair. The style, weight, and intricacy of the chair’s design will all contribute to the ease or difficulty of the project. If it looks like a straight forward job that you could tackle over a weekend and you are fairly confident in your abilities then the decision is quite easy. With the right tools and a little research, such as watching YouTube videos, you can jump right in and give it a go.
On the other hand, if your armchair is a prized possession, particularly if it is an heirloom or holds great sentimental value then it may be better to leave the reupholstering in the hands of an expert. This is especially true if you are a perfectionist or have high expectations about how you want the chair to look. Taking on a task for the first time could produce results that are fairly hit and miss. For some people the benefit of a professional finish and the time and effort saved makes it worth paying a highly skilled craftsperson to complete the task.
STYLE AND HARMONY
Once you have decided who will be taking on the reupholstering job, the next step is to decide the type of finish and effect you most desire. Consider the environment the armchair will be placed in and what type of statement or impact you would like it to have upon the room. What is the surrounding décor like and how can the chair complement and enhance the design look? Whether it is a country cottage style, classic and elegant, funky and retro, or austere and minimalist, these styles will all have great bearing on the type of material chosen to reupholster your armchair.
A SIMPLE SOLUTION
A great solution that covers a lot of bases is to reupholster armchairs in fairly neutral tones, such as beige or off-white. These colours can blend with any décor and if a dash of colour is needed to cheer up a room it is easy to achieve by adding bright cushions or throws.
FORM AND FUNCTION
When selecting material for reupholstering it is important to factor in how much use the armchair will receive. If the reason it needed reupholstering was due to heavy usage and the presence of children or pets then choosing a sturdy, darker fabric would be best as it will be longer wearing and stains or dirt will be less obvious.
If the armchair is quite delicate and dainty, then choosing a fabric to match would be recommended, whereas an imposing leather chair with wood incorporated would probably look odd being reupholstered with a light floral pattern.
Retro materials are more popular than ever as people seek to recreate favourite looks from a bygone era. This doesn’t mean the materials themselves are old; manufacturers are recreating new materials from old patterns and colour palettes. Anything from paisley to 70’s themed prints or loud 80’s swatches of colour are possible. Part of the fun of reupholstering is imagining an old favourite dressed up to suit your current tastes, so why not go all out to create a unique look that the original manufacturer would never have catered for?
There really are no limits when it comes to reupholstering your favourite armchair. As long as it fits well with the overall style and theme of your current décor and furnishings virtually any look is easily achieved. As tastes and fashions change so rapidly, and the cost of reupholstering is quite reasonable, having your armchair renewed and revived is a simple task. Adding new life to a treasured piece of furniture is something that brings great satisfaction and can be done over and over again whenever you desire.