Monday, July 4, 2011

How To Choose An Upholstery Fabric Part I

So you are thinking of reupholstering. Good. You are on the right track, but now you need to choose a fabric. I have three pieces of advice for you and they are fairly simple to follow: Research, research ,and research. That's how you can be sure that you are investing in a good choice for your furniture. What questions should you be asking yourself? Here are some of the basic questions to get you started.

How long will this fabric hold up?
Does the fabric protect itself from igniting ?
How resistant to staining is it?

If you have one, call your decorator to find out how the fabric you are thinking about is expected to hold up to the rigors of life in your home. If you are shopping online for fabrics or in local shops, note the company and the pattern number and you can visit the manufacturer's website for more info. Kravet.United Fabrics ,Waverly and Duralee are some popular companies that have informative websites you may be able to find information you are looking for at. Some websites will only tell you what what the textile is made from and then you will need to call them and ask for 'care for' instructions.

Here are some common terms you will find when researching fabrics that will help you answer the questions above:
  • Cleaning Code Textile manufacturers have adopted a uniform standard for determining how cleanable a fabric is. Each fabric is marked with a code which indicates the appropriate cleaning method or methods. These may be:  W - for water-based cleaning agents, S - for solvent-based cleaning agents, W/S - where either may be used, and X - for vacuum or light brushing only
  • Abrasion Resistance Typically measured in "double rubs", the degree by which a fabric is able to   withstand loss of appearance through surface wear, rubbing, chafing, and other friction.
  • UFAC Class 1 -This is the test method designed to determine the flammability performance level of upholstery fabric in contact with polyurethane foam, usually with respect to cigarette ignition.If the fabric does not pass this test it will be considered UFAC class II.
  • Flame Resistant Fabrics treated with special chemical agents or finishes to make them resistant to burning. Today many fabrics achieve this property by using fibers that have this property built directly into the polymer.
 We will explore some more fabric related terms in our next post. so be sure to follow our blog for more information on how to choose a fabric.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Quality Furniture Thats Not New!

So your living room needs a makeover and you don't have a fat wad of cash to spend? Well, when you finish reading this, you will realize that you don't need a whole lot of money to acquire quality furniture that will last you a long time. As a matter of fact, when you entertain company over the next holiday your guests will be sure you broke into your savings account to get the 'new look' in your living room, and only you will know the truth!

First off, lets discuss what type of furniture you DONT want to invest money in. We have all been to Ikea and have been wowed by the selection and the prices, but while Ikea and similar furniture stores will give you a warranty, why should the furniture break in the first place? Well, you need not be an expert to figure out this: furniture thats assembled with ease, can just as easily break. Ikea needs to design furniture that will cost less to produce and also be light enough to pack in your car. That is not a good recipe for long-lasting furniture, and it's not what a smart consumer will spend even a cent of his or her hard-earned cash on. So what is quality furniture made of you ask? Everyone can understand that a Bently is a more solid investment than say, a Fiat. Why is that? Thats because of the materials, and the workmanship. While the Bentley is put together by hand, the fiat is assembled on an assembly line. I know what you are thinking. 'i thought you were going to tell me how to save money- now you are telling me about expensive cars?!' Read a bit more, and i will soon explain the difference between quality cars and quality furniture and how to get the Bently of couches (or arm chairs for that matter) in your living room, for way, way less than you think.

The #1 rule is: quality always starts from the bottom up, and with a couch or any other piece of furniture its no different. The wood, the springs (they keep you from having that 'sinking feeling' every time you plop down on the sofa) and of course the construction of the frame are just some of the differences between an average piece of furniture and one that has the potential to last a lifetime. You want strong, long-lasting wood for your furniture, and high quality materials that will most probably not need to be replaced for years to come. For example, many times when antique furniture is brought in for re-upholstery, the original springs are left in - not to conserve money, but just because there is nothing new on the market that will compare to the quality of the original springs.

You can furnish your home or office with real expensive taste, and still end up paying less than you would by buying new furniture. Here is how: You will rarely find a vintage, expensive car for sale at an estate sale for a bargain price because almost everyone knows its value- even if it needs to be restored. However with antique furniture, many people see an old, dusty couch and no more. With a trained eye, you will be able to pick out a good find whether you are looking for the prefect armchair, buffet, or dining room table for your home. Some good places to look are: home sales, estate sales or Craigslist. In addition you simple wont belive how many homeowners simply discard antique furniture belonging to a deceased family member without bothering to check how much their loved ones antiques are worth! Next time you pass a couch on the curb it may be very worth your while to do a double take! For them its junk, but for you its a piece of furniture worthy of being restored to its former beauty to match the decor of your own home.

As Featured On EzineArticles

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Antique Furniture For Bargain Hunters

A client walked in and asked how she could tell if her couch was indeed considered antique. She is not the only one wondering how to spot a vintage piece of furniture. More and more people are beginning to develop a taste for the fine seating comforts of yesteryear. Here is a quick guide that can help you find that treasure in your home, on Craigslist or even- you guessed it- sitting on the curb waiting to be adopted.

  • The first sign to look for is the hand carved details, because they are what strikes you before you turn the furniture upside down for a closer look at the frame. The elaborate design will show signs of being hand made, no matter how perfect the craftsman who created it was. Older 19th century pieces have pronounced detail on the legs and arms.
  • Turn the couch over. The frame should be robust and have a strong construction. If you see screws,glue and modern joints, it may still be old - but maybe it's not what you are looking for. Dovetailed joints are what will hold an antique together. 
  • Look for older materials used in the padding. These include horsehair and down feathers. 
  • Do an all around check. You don't know where it was stored. Water damage, mildew and finally a cracked frame are some obvious things you will want to avoid or figure out how you want to go about repairing . 
If you chose to have your vintage furniture reupholstered or refinished, you will want to keep as much of the original couch intact as possible, to preserve its value. An antique piece can go a long way in adding to the look of your home or office.

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Custom Furniture- Without Breaking The Bank

So you are standing by the bus stop after work and you see a stunning piece of furniture in an upscale furniture shop in Manhattan. Your curiosity gets the best of you and you actually go in to look at the price tag. '$ 6000!' you gasp. "Everything about this fine piece of furniture appeals to me except the price.'How in the world do people afford such expensive furniture?' you ask yourself. We don't know the answer to that question, but listen to what one of our clients decided to do about the above scenario.
Above is a piece of high quality furniture on display at D&D that a customer requested be made for her. With the picture of the chair and some dimensions in hand, our custom frame builders built the frame on the left from scratch.Only the finest materials were used and and with our expert workmanship, the result was a furniture piece of the highest quality - minus the high price. While what our client requested of us may seem really ingenious, its common sense really. For example, pharmacies and supermarkets nationwide stock thousands of store branded items from mouthwash to AA batteries and even cereal. Do they own factories that produce these items for them? Of course not. They are produced in the same factories as the real brand names and only the label is different. Chain stores will source these items from only the best manufacturers, because they want their label to be synonymous with quality and value. A brand name is for consumers who dont know who to trust, so they trust the brand name. Problem is, brand names are expensive. If you knew that Energizer made the batteries for Walgreens, you could save some money. But we are talking about custom furniture here -not batteries- and you can save thousands of dollars and get the same look, the same quality and even better. Custom furniture does not have to mean custom furniture prices. There are thousands of homes nationwide that feature the most expensive looking furniture the latest trends in home furniture, but they are not paying outlandish prices. The secret is to find the company that can create the look you want and at the same time not compromise on quality. The result is thousands of dollars in savings.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Welcome to our new and exiting blog where we will be showcasing some of our work, and bringing you interesting articles about everything and anything related to upholstery, custom furniture design and home decorating. We will be adding posts regularly but for now please see our website for more information on our company.