Some Tips to Revitalize Your Furniture and #makeityours!

Ah, the transformative power of a makeover! Let me tell you about the magical world of reupholstery and refreshing.

Picture this: my childhood home was like a rotating interior design showcase courtesy of my four design-savvy aunts. Thanks to their skills and trade access, my Mom would switch out slipcovers with the changing seasons faster than you can say “rabbit rabbit.”

One time, I returned from college to find my bedroom completely transformed, all thanks to some reupholstering magic. My love for blue and white decor combined with my vintage dark mahogany furniture (yes, Mark Sikes is close to a God to me!) led to a beautiful room makeover that I begged my mom to keep until I moved out, and she happily obliged.

Photo courtesy of Mark Sikes Interiors

Now, let’s address the common concern we often hear at Town & Sea – “It’ll cost as much to reupholster this sofa as it would to buy a new one.” While that might be true in some cases, the end result of a reupholstered antique or vintage sofa is a piece of much higher quality and value than a new one. Trust me, you can’t beat the character and craftsmanship of these older pieces. I come from a family of eight, and those frames in my parent’s house lasted through the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. Take a look below at the incredible transformation that the super-talented Kelly Walsh of @novelabode made on one of her auction wins from Town & Sea. Blue and white for the win, and how about showing off those pretty legs? Kelly is also responsible for the gorgeous loveseat above, mixing in beautiful pillows and some bamboo magic to create a space that is welcoming and comfortable!

Embarking on a reupholstery project is like embarking on a creative journey. You get to decide every detail – the fabric, the trim, the style. It’s a chance to unleash your inner artist. Plus, sourcing designer fabrics has never been easier, with sites like Etsy and DecoratorsBest, brands like Sister Parish Design (a Town & Sea fave!), and even auction sites selling remnants at great prices. Also, the turnaround time for a self-selected reupholstery project is swift and local. We even have a network of skilled upholsterers we collaborate with and are delighted to offer recommendations!

Some things to keep in mind – What’s the rub? This is a thing; Upholsterers recommend considering fabric with no less than a rub count of 40,000. The rub count refers to the number of times a fabric can be rubbed before it starts to show signs of wear.  For those pieces that will be used less frequently, like occasional chairs and headboards, you can go as low as 25,000 to 40,000, but anything lower than that should be reserved for curtains or decorative pillows.

Some ways to keep costs down? Figure out where your piece will be situated; for example, if the back is up against a wall, select a coordinating, less expensive fabric for the backside. Another piece of advice is that velvet and mohair, while heavenly, maybe a bit more costly as they require a bit more time and attention at the shop! That said, look how beautiful these loveseats look reupholstered in a gorgeous white velvet with beautiful tape and piping details. One of our very talented clients made them her own and then some. There is no putting these to-die-for babies in a corner.

But wait, there’s more! Reupholstery isn’t just for indoor pieces; it is summer, after all. You can also give your outdoor oasis a makeover with the help of experts like Patty DeFelice of Patty’s Portico. Imagine transforming your outdoor furniture into the perfect pieces for your summer hangouts. If you haven’t read Lacey’s interview, Meet Patty, do so now; as you will learn, the possibilities are endless – you can replace slings, have items powder-coated, and more! If you have a moment, check out our current auction, The Generations Collection, for some great indoor and outdoor pieces that are ready to take center stage in your home.

So, whether you’re jazzing up your living room or revamping your outdoor space, reupholstery is a great option.  It’s a mix of creativity, quality, and a touch of magic, all wrapped into one fabulous furniture makeover. If you happen to reupholster a piece of furniture you purchased from Town & Sea, please, please share it with us; we love nothing more than seeing how you #makeityours!

Thank you so much for stopping by!


Happy Bidding,

Betsy