If you were ever a freshman in college, if you ever shopped thrift stores looking for deals, or if you ever scanned the weekend paper for estate sales, you know the thrill of reclaimed furniture. It’s the thrill of the hunt – a treasure hunt that often yielded funky, intricate, hand-crafted, or one-of-a-kind pieces that you could never find at a retail outlet. Whether you loaded a chair into your car off somebody’s curb, whether you spotted a vintage table underneath piles of boxes at the thrift store, or whether you snagged an amazing antique sofa at an estate sale, the feeling was absolutely thrilling.
No matter how much stuffing was coming out of the chair, how scratched the table, or how moth-eaten the sofa, you knew that after you’d fixed it up, it was going to look amazing. You had a vision of what it could be. You might even have wanted to change the design to something entirely new: not just the upholstery, but the chair arms, or the size or shape of the piece.
You also felt good about restoring the piece because reclaiming furniture is so green. It’s a creative form of recycling. Every reclaimed piece of furniture is that much less wasted material in the landfill. If your original piece was an antique, you had the added satisfaction of knowing that the restoration was a form of preservation – you were keeping a piece of history alive.
But then came the daunting next step: you had to fix the piece up. You had to learn about restoring furniture. So you bought stuffing, upholstery fabric and a staple gun, you watched how-to videos on the Internet, and you tried to make your thrift store sofa match the picture in your mind. Sometimes the results were a pretty fair approximation of what you had in mind; sometimes the restoration was less than ideal. You learned that reupholstering a couch can be…well, a challenge, especially if the piece was a valuable antique, or if you wanted to change the original look. In short — you were not a professional upholsterer!
But what you might not have known is that a professional upholsterer can take even a free curbside throwaway and turn it into pretty much anything you want. The pros can do sofa upholstery, repair damage, add or remove arms, make the piece bigger or smaller, reupholster the piece in any fabric or material you like, and even change the shape – even for pieces with difficult-to-repair materials, like leather. And all for much less than what you’d pay for a new piece from the big-box furniture retailer. So you end up with what amounts to a custom piece that looks like new, designed to your exact specifications, for a fraction of what you’d normally pay.
Next time you go looking for reclaimed furniture, consider taking the pieces to a furniture restoration professional. The restored piece will be a revelation, and just one more reason to go treasure hunting again!