Good Questions: Is DIY Reupholstering Recommended?

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Hello AT,

Hi, I am thinking about purchasing a chair similar to this one from RetroModernDesign.com. But, I would want to reupholster it because nasty looking black vinyl that is currently on it just isn't my thing. I don't want to spend an arm and a leg on getting it professionally done and I can get a really nice fabric for a reasonable price. Is DIY reupholstering something that you would recommend?...

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Can I get it to look pretty professional or should I just give up? Are there any pitfalls in DIY reupholstering I should watch out for? Also is there special equipment that I would need? I would really appreciate any assistance or advice on this you could give me! Thanks a bunch.

Best, Gene

Dear Gene,

Good question, to which we would answer yes and no. There certainly is a craft to reupholstering and professionals will do a quicker and better job than an amateur, but that doesn't mean you can't do it, especially with something as simple as those cushions.

In NYC there's a place called the Furniture Joint that will teach you how to reupholster and we trust that our good readers will direct you to other links where instructions can be found. You should be proficient with a sewing machine, however.

Next January we're planning on launching our third contest, which will focus entirely on renewing, restoring and/or making over one piece of furniture. We're doing this in order to gain just the kind of insight and resources one would need to tackle these various interior design projects. If you haven't made a move before then, be sure to join us and enter the contest.

Anyone else???

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.