We love the fact that these guys do nothing but reupholster mid-century furniture. With the slogan "We can do anything to your mid-century chair," RetroRedo.com is an eBay or craigslist buyer's dream resource.
Here's how we'd work it: spot a great chair on eBay or craigslist. Buy it for a rock bottom price and ship it straight to RetroRedo.com for a makeover. Select a fabric from one of the terrific, contemporary and atomic-age upholstery lines they stock (these include Maharam and Angela Adams), and leave the rest to this Oklahoma-based specialty workshop. In 7 days you get your newly-upholstered chair via mail. That's not of course how RetroRedo.com expects it to go -- they expect you to send it yourself -- but we like the idea of never laying eyes on the chair in its ugly phase. It would feel like receiving a brand-new, custom-made chair instead of something musty and dusty out of a stranger's basement.
RetroRedo's website provides complete instructions on how to handle the shipping on the cheap: you disassemble your chair and send them only the seat for re-upholstering (in many mid-century styles the seat and base were designed to come apart). If you do it this way shipping usually costs about $20, and the re-upholstering starts at about $225 (for high-grade vinyl).
There are so many iconic chairs from this period that are cost-prohibitive in their re-issued incarnations (case in point, the $2380 Womb Chair), but you don't have to scavenge too much to turn up a looker that just needs a little TLC. Please no purple vinyl Eames lounge chairs though. That's a sacrilege. - Lisa