It was interesting to see an article on the topic on apartmenttherapy this week - well worth a read.
Visitors to our store sometimes ask about 'just getting that chair in a different colour' or 'fixing up the cushions' on a piece, and are taken aback by the cost estimates we offer.
With that in mind, It's worth bearing in mind two factors -
- the COSTS involved - labour (time involved in stripping, fixing, re-webbing, cutting materials, sewing ... then upholstering) is pretty major, then you need to factor in the cost of your fabric, springs and/or elastics, and the (surprisingly high) cost of foam/filling for the job. A decent and long-lasting foam is pretty much as expensive as good fabric.
- second thing to think about is ... what's it worth to you?
Heck, if you need to save on labour costs, buy a book or get onto the net for some DIY advice ...
Our upholsterer loves to tell of potential clients who get a quote from him, then haggle doggedly to get the job done as cheaply as possible. You just have to wonder - do you really want the cheapest job you can get on the couch you plan to relax on every night for the next 5 or 10 years? We have seen some budget upholstery jobs (even in vintage stores) ... it shows.
If your budget doesn't stretch to getting it done well, throw a blanket over it and pad it up with a few cushions while you save-up for the big reno!
If you want a high-quality vintage piece of furniture for the same price as a lower-grade brand-new item, then be prepared to have work done on it ... the end result will be lovely to live with and more durable, have a personality and life you have given it, and be far better for your soul.