You scoured the furniture stores, checked out Craigslist, and went to countless garage sales and estate sales until you finally found the perfect piece for the modern style living room you envisioned, a mid-century sofa that’s just the right shape and style. It’s a standout piece that will make the room. Trouble is the upholstery is worn out and dated. You turn to Sunshine Drapery because they’ve been reupholstering vintage pieces for years and when it comes to quality, service and price they’re second to none. Knowing where to start, the best fabric and how to customize your vintage piece for your room is the challenge. Here are some tips about fabrics and customizing vintage furniture pieces.
When it comes to reupholstering vintage pieces for living rooms that will accommodate a lot of activity, many interior designers turn to Sunshine for linen, linen-blend and cotton blend or cotton velvet. These fabrics are almost always in style, sophisticated and soft. When choosing these types of fabrics you want to be sure to order upholstery weight. For living rooms where spills may occur opt for fabrics with stain resistance and durability like linen or a cotton blend with polyester. If you have small children and prefer fabric that’s completely stain resistant, consider micro-suede or ultra-suede.
If you are considering linen fabrics, there are some important differences in linen fabrics. Less expensive linens are often dyed after they were woven into the fabric. But Belgium linen yarn, for example, is dyed before it’s woven which is why Belgium linens color and texture is more beautiful, staying true longer. Belgium linen is exported from Europe and is more expensive than the vast majority of linens which come from the middle-east. You’ll also want to consider fading. UV rays fade upholstery fabrics, especially if direct sunlight will shine in the exact spot where you plan to place your vintage furniture. Keep in mind that dark color fabrics will fade in time, especially those made from natural fibers like linen or cotton. While there are fade resistant fabrics, the best thing you can do is place your furnishings away from direct sunlight.
When it comes to customizing your vintage furniture, making it even more unique choose larger scale patterns for larger pieces of furniture. While you can get away with smaller scale patterns on most pieces, larger scale patterns look strange on a small chair for example. It looks crammed because the scale is off. If you don’t plan to reupholster for several years, it’s better to use classic patterns on larger pieces of furniture and play with trends using pillows. You’ll tire of polka dots much faster on a sofa than you will on a pillow. Be sure the style of the pattern you choose works well with the style of the piece. Putting a retro pattern on a more classic wing-back chair will date the piece rather quickly. One way you can upgrade a simple chair is by adding piping, tufting and nailheads. It’s relatively inexpensive to do this and the details make a big difference.
Finally, remember to allow plenty of lead time which can be anywhere from a week to a month. Good things take time and are well worth the wait.