Buy perfect or reupholster?
September 20, 2010 6:52 AM   Subscribe

How much will it cost to reupholster a modern lounge chair in Brooklyn?

I want to buy a modern wood-frame lounge chair, and I am trying to determine whether it's better to pay more for a perfect chair or whether it is better to buy a good frame and replace ugly fabric. The chairs I want are designed like this one.

Bonus points if you can recommend somebody good near Park Slope to do the job!
posted by kevin-o to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
That is an extremely straight forward job - you're not reupholstering so much as slip covering. Definitely buy a good frame and replace ugly fabric. Note though that if you've never bought fabric before, what the seamstress charges you is basically labour - you buy and supply the fabric, and you can spend anything from $10 - $150 per yard on that.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:59 AM on September 20, 2010

The good news is that kind of chair is extremely easy to recover. All you need is to have new slip covers made for the back and seat cushions, which I don't think are connected to the chair. I don't even think that's technically considered reupholstery.

My aunt, who is a skilled seamstress, just did that exact kind of job for me. And because I had the old cushion covers, she was able to just take them apart and use that as a pattern. She was even able to salvage the old zippers, reducing the cost of materials. She made them, and then sent them to me, so she never actually fitted them the the cushions themselves. But they fit almost perfectly. Of course I got the family discount (I paid $40 plus materials).

But if you do get chairs like this, where the cushions and backs are removable, you don't necessarily need someone who does upholstery, and will probably pay less. You might want to find someone who specializes in slipcovers instead. Also, you could have more that one set made, so that you could change out seasonally or whatever.
posted by kimdog at 7:03 AM on September 20, 2010

With vintage chairs like that, make sure to check out the quality of the foam too. We bought one and ended up replacing the whole cushion (and getting it reupholstered). If you plan on sitting on it often, make sure you get upholstery weight cotton or strong cotton/linen. Quilting weight cotton won't wear well. We got ours done by an upholstery place and they did beautiful piping along the edges with the same fabric (not a contrasting color). It finishes the piece nicely.
posted by barnone at 7:30 AM on September 20, 2010

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