One thing that Fabrics and Frames Furniture is known for is exquisite restoration of antiques. Once you decide to reupholster an antique piece of furniture, you will be taking its current value as an antique and reducing its market value. A true collector wants to keep antiques in their original form as closely as possible. If you are someone who is just an admirer of the craftsmanship and lines of the piece and want to make it more comfortable and usable then reupholstering is a great idea!
In the past week we had a Duncan Phyfe Sofa brought to us for re-upholstery. The owners are a young couple who did not fully understand what they owned. After much research on the piece we found out that the piece originally was manufactured around the 1920’s and is about one hundred years old. The little hidden fact about antiques is that they are not always originals. Just because it looks like the original does not mean that it was manufactured by the original person because there are many copies out there. Although these pieces can be very old, they don’t hold the worth that some may think. The only way that you would be able to determine the true worth of an antique is by getting it appraised by an expert who will determine the value by the wood used, where and when it was manufactured, as well as other technical attributes.
Today’s society tends to lean towards antiques because of two reasons. There are two generations of collectors, “The Eclectics” and “The Classics”. The eclectics are a group of individuals who collect antiques because they wish to create a “call to attention” piece of furniture for the room and are enamored by the “antique” lines of the piece. The majority of what is being collected today by the eclectics is Baroque Furniture, Duncan Phyfe Sofas and Chairs, and Mid-Century Modern pieces. Individuals who buy antiques for the eclectic style are generally ones who refinish the pieces in colored lacquers and use bright or contemporary fabrics for the upholstery. Check out the look below:
This particular look is not for everyone, and usually is admired by someone who is artsy chic. The classic collector would generally not like this look because it destroys the classic look. One of the main arguments against this look for the classics is that the frame was destroyed with the lacquer finish. This is definitely true but not irreversible. If you generally like things to remain in it classic features, then you would probably want to use a small ditsy pattern or damask print and keep the original wood color. These patterns were commonly placed on furniture pieces of this period. You generally would not have seen a solid fabric on this style, unless it was a mohair velvet or tone-on-tone pattern.
Regardless of the direction that you want to go, reupholstering the original will alter the value of the piece. One final thing to remember is that if you do decide to use a traditional fabric to maintain the original style you should find a fabric that is reminiscent of the past and not try to use one of today’s traditional fabrics designs such as printed linens or chenilles. There is a lot more leeway when choosing a fabric if your tastes are more eclectic as the original look is no longer important. Choose a fabric you love but do not make a design mistake that will sacrifice the look of your antique frame.
Our young couple had a hard time deciding what fabric to choose for their antique sofa that was inherited from their grandmother. With our design help and fabric search we were able to find the perfect fabric that will make their piece stunning and their grandmother very proud!
For more information about designing or where to get custom looks like these please visit our website:
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Written by: Erica Guajardo
Edited by: Linda Decuir