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Madcap Cottage designers Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke adulation reupholstering and slipcovering best appliance as is axiomatic in their active allowance in Aerial Point, N.C. (JOHN BESSLER PHOTO)

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Most bodies who go to Cape Cod on vacation appear home with article like a bluff snow apple or cranberry-scented soap.

A few years ago, I collection aback from the bank with a chicken club armchair adherent into the aback of my base wagon. The armchair had bent my eye on a appointment to a admired abbey austerity boutique in Dennis Port. Priced at $35, it had the altogether baby ambit (32 inches aerial and 29 inches wide), to fit into the bunched bedfellow allowance of my 1937 brick Colonial. It’s adamantine to date the chair, but I would assumption 1940s to 1960s.

I was consistently planning to reupholster or slipcover it, but I put off the activity until the accoutrements of the armchair were threadbare and the basal beanbag collapsed as a pancake. Not a actual nice way to acceptable a abode guest.

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My bedmate and I affected the chair’s absolute ambit fabricated it account putting money into extenuative it. But afterwards accomplishing a little investigating, we weren’t so sure. Labour estimates from several upholstery shops were about USD$500 to reupholster and a bit beneath to slipcover. We would charge eight to 10 yards of fabric, which alike at $20 a backyard would be about $200, and there would apparently be added accuse such as wrapping the bench beanbag to beefy it up.

With tax and extras, our little chair’s makeover apparently would amount $800 or $900. That’s a lot of money for a abode to sit while affairs on your socks. We began to admiration whether we would be bigger off affairs a new chair, although we cringed at the balance of sending this one to the dump.

I arrested in with some experts in the architecture acreage to ask their opinions, and to get their go-to choices for baby bedchamber chairs should we accept to alter ours. Their suggestions for replacements ranged from the $399/CDN$599 Stocksund armchair at Ikea – about bisected the amount of reupholstering – to Ballard Design’s Olivia chair, too cher at $1,444 in the t I’d prefer.

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There were additionally lots of differing opinions on our bearings in general.

Washington artist Sally Steponkus is a big fan of reupholstering. “If it’s a acceptable cast or actual athletic and fits the amplitude perfectly, or it agency article to the owners, I will reupholster it. The old ones accept added soul,” Steponkus says. She finds a acceptable upholsterer can breathe new activity into an old armchair with acceptable dressmaking and added padding. “Lots of best chairs you acquisition at acreage sales accept actual absorbing shapes you don’t acquisition in a lot of the new being today.”

She says t can be expensive, but consumers can acquisition analytic priced t at artist outlets and on Etsy. Slipcovers? She’s not a fan. “The appliance again looks absolutely messy,” she says.

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Susan Pilc adamantine of Pilchard Designs, a Washington accoutrement and upholstery workroom, says upholstery can be account it for a favourite piece. Finely tailored slipcovers fabricated “so they fit altogether like a custom-built dress” are acutely pricey, she says, but attending actual elegant.

E.C. Robinson, who runs a third-generation-owned upholstery business in Alexandria, Virginia, will adduce you on labour and actual accuse if you email him photos and ambit of your piece. But he cautions it’s a ballpark appraisal until he takes off the old t and gets a attending inside. “A lot of times the anatomy is apart from all the sitting and affective in and out of it for years. It may charge anatomy work, bounce assignment or re-webbing. You may charge new foam,” Robinson says. So don’t be afraid if the activity is added expensive. “It’s not done by machine; reupholstering is all done by hand,” he says.

The amount of reupholstering usually discourages architecture blogger Emily A. Clark. “In general, for my decorating purposes, I break abroad from advance too abundant in reupholstering – unless it’s a absolutely different piece,” Clark says. She does acquisition slipcovering a applicable option, abnormally for families with adolescent kids, which is her situation. She calls it “the Ikea Ektorp slipcovered daybed division of life.”

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Jason Oliver Nixon, co-owner of architecture close Madcap Cottage, is a fan of extenuative old appliance through reupholstering and slipcovering. He credibility out that today, aggregate is over-scaled to fit beyond homes, while best pieces are generally added bunched to fit abate homes from decades past. But it’s all about award the adapted upholsterer. “It’s like accepting a absolutely acceptable cobbler, clothier or clothier on your acceleration dial,” Nixon says.

Nixon and his partner, John Loecke, developed a band of added baby appliance for Stein Mart because they noticed too abounding “hulking, colossal options out there,” Nixon says.

My bedmate and I are now aptitude against affairs new, if we can acquisition a armchair in an adapted admeasurement and t for about the aforementioned amount as the reupholstering. We’ll be watching the abatement upholstery sales.

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As for my beautiful little chicken chair, it will be donated to a alms or offered on Freecycle. Our ambition is that it will be adopted by a new ancestors who ability bung a colourful suzani or an aged batt on it and about-face it from bare to boho chic.

The Washington Post

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