Q: Please, can you share recommendations for folks who can reupholster some chairs for me? I live in lower Westchester and would love to find someone local who is good and not terribly expensive. Thanks a lot!
— E. S., Somewhere in Lower Westchester
A: Well, I’m reluctant to actually recommend someone because if you don’t like how your chairs turn out, you’ll blame me, right? So, instead, I rounded up a few Westchester upholsterers, each with a portfolio or gallery section on its website so that you can see how they contend with restoring and recovering everything from boxy sectionals to more elaborate furniture. In fact, it’s been a while since I’ve seen such a display of tufted, buttoned, fancy, festooned, ornamental, curlicued chairs and sofas.
To get an idea of how not terribly expensive each one might be, I asked for an estimate to reupholster a club chair with a skirt, a separate seat cushion, and an attached back cushion. (Fabric extra, of course.)
JCF Decorations Upholstery & Window Treatments is a company with no commas in its name that does a lot of work for corporate and commercial clients as well as homeowners. It claims it “will astound you” with its custom window treatments, which suggests you might also be astounded by its work on your chairs. If you’re near White Plains, which is where its located, you get free pick-up and delivery. Estimates, too, are free. It has a showroom full of fabric samples, and its open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 7pm, if you want to stop in. Its price to recover the club chair: $480. Find out more at www.decupholstery.com.
At Nicole Interior Designs in Tuckahoe, Nicole Pushkal specializes in custom upholstered pieces, and has a workshop tucked behind her design studio where experts upholster away like mad. “We can take new stuff that’s crumby, or old stuff that’s beautiful, and keep the integrity of each piece and make it all look beautiful,” Pushkal announces. “And I pride myself on our great library of fabric samples.” The studio is open on weekdays. The cost to recover our hypothetical club chair would be $575 to $625, depending on the condition and whether the cushion [The replacement cushion, right? What if there is no cushion replacement and just the upholstery?] is foam or down. More info here: www.nicoleinteriors.com
Upholstery by Paul in Port Chester has this tagline “A Very Serious Upholstery Shop,” and it turns out that Paul Fotiadis (“call me Paul”) is, indeed, very serious about upholstery, and not all that keen on giving an estimate for a chair he hasn’t seen. “It’s not like a pizza restaurant, where a small pizza is seven dollars and a big pizza is ten dollars,” he reminds me. “Some people think, ‘Oh, it’s just upholstery,’ but, for me, it’s not just a piece of wood covered with fabric — it’s art. I love what I’m doing, and I take pride. That’s very important.” Yes it is. But, how about a very rough idea of cost? A range, even. “The charge depends on the condition and complexity,” Paul replies. “Do I have to replace the cushions? What type of arms? Rollover, square?” Okay, our chair now has a useable cushion and rollover arms and Paul can reupholster it for about $550. He usually works with the trade, but “won’t turn people down,” he adds. Pick-up and delivery are available and estimates are free, if you e-mail him a picture of your project. You supply the fabric, but he’ll help you figure out how many yards to buy. www.upholsterybypaul.com
Dennis Rizzio’s company, St. Laurent Upholstery, is located in Chappaqua. His website gallery shows a French fauteuil chair stripped down to its springs and frame and then resplendent in needlepoint, so you can see just how tricky this upholstery business can be. Rizzio offers all the best fabrics — Kravet, Lee Jofa, Duralee, and the like. www.stlaurentupholstery.com. Estimates are free. Pick-up and delivery are available in Upper Westchester, and Mr. Rizzio said there’s no charge if the chair is light enough that one person can lift it. Cost for a club chair: around $650.
High Quality Upholstery is another company in Port Chester with a name that inspires confidence. The website has a Chopin nocturne playing in the background to soothe you as you look at all the chairs and sofas with their perfectly aligned stripes and patterns. This company also has an “expert on hand” to help you find the fabric best suited to your project. Only “the boss” could give an estimate and he was busy as this blog was posted, but check www.highqualityupholstery.com for more info.