When working on interior design projects, there are often pieces of furniture that the client wishes to keep and reuse in their new space. In many cases budget and sentimental reasons contribute to this client request.

While I’m more than happy to accommodate this request and work an existing piece of furniture into the design scheme, there are some instances where reupholstering the piece is actually more beneficial than keeping it in the original condition. Reupholstering gives it a new lease of life and gives me an opportunity to select a fabric that works better with the new design, and will therefore last even longer in the home.

I have also had many conversations with homeowners about reupholstering their existing furniture and have said they have no idea where to start with the process!

In this blog post, I’m going to take you through a recent project of mine where we reupholstered an accent chair, and explain more about the process of reupholstering.


What is Reupholstery?


Reupholstery is a process of bringing a piece of furniture back to life. It involves stripping the piece back to its frame, before replacing padding or springs, and then recovering it in a new fabric and putting the pieces back together. 

Reupholstering a treasured piece is the perfect way to make it more relevant and breathe a new lease of life into a family heirloom.

We recently completed this stunning makeover!

This accent chair has been in my client’s family for years, but desperately needed some TLC! That’s where the magic of reupholstery comes in.

The local upholsterers sent this photo of the striped accent chair. While structurally it was okay, they added some extra support to ensure its future in the family.

This unusually shaped accent chair had been in the family for generations and we were tasked with using it in their new sitting area in the dining room. 

We knew right away that the fabric needed to be super durable for this large family. We didn’t want the kids to have to be extra careful around the chair, or worry about spilled wine when entertaining. The chair was also planned to go next to a large bank of south-facing windows, so fade resistance was an important trait in the fabric we selected. 

When I saw the chair for the first time – I immediately wanted to bring out the stunning detail with a textural white fabric. It was important that the chair did all the talking and there wasn’t a distraction through the fabric choice.

I had the perfect fabric in my fabric line for this chair! 

This is the super durable fabric I selected for this family’s heirloom accent chair! It’s also fade-resistant. You can learn more about our textiles line here.


What Can You Reupholster?


You can reupholster almost anything!

Fabric headboards, dining chairs, sofas, accent chairs, armchairs, footstools, you name it!

Typically any piece of furniture that has a form of fabric used, can be reupholstered.


YES – this is my client’s chair after the reupholstery!! The new fabric has completely transformed this piece and now works perfectly within their home.


You may also enjoy reading Shop the Look Neutral Living Rooms and Classic and Timeless Design Tips!


How Much Does Reupholstering Cost?


This depends on your local reupholsterer or furniture makers and their pricing for specific furniture types. Factors considered for the pricing include the size, depth, complexity of the piece (i.e piping details), fabric pattern repeats, the overall condition of the piece, and whether it needs any structural modifications. The fabric you choose to reupholster with can also vary massively in price. Plus – the larger the piece of furniture, the higher the fabric cost as more will be required.

Typically, you can expect to pay around the following:


Couches, anywhere between $600-$4,000

Chairs, $50-$2,000

Ottoman, $300-$700

Chaise Lounge, $900-$1,500

Headboard, $200-$2,000


We always provide a quote to reupholster a piece before our clients are obligated to move forward.  


The cost of reupholstering any piece of furniture will vary based on the experience level of the upholsterer and the item that’s being reupholstered. 


When You Shouldn’t Reupholster


Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to reupholster a piece of furniture. When I was working on a home office design, my client wanted to keep their La Z Boy recliner but wanted to have it reupholstered with a new fabric so it worked in the new office space. 

However, once I factored in the labor and fabric costs for the existing chair, it was only a small upcharge to buy a new one altogether. I told my client that I checked the price for a new recliner, found a similar model to what they had, a fabric that would work, and that they could get a new chair, donate the old chair and come out ahead. They moved forward with a new chair.

If you are considering reupholstering a piece of furniture in your own home, make sure you research thoroughly into the different prices involved. You’ll need to factor in the labor of the work, fabric costs, and any delivery charges if needed. Weigh this up against purchasing a new piece of furniture and decide which is more worthwhile.


Have you reupholstered a piece of furniture before? I would love to hear all about your experience with reupholstering in the comments section below!