You heard me right, we have 37 fabric samples
Why are we that crazy you ask? We need our couch recovered. This couch
Doesn't that look inviting?
While we worked to refinish the floors in the TV room we've had everything moved out occupying the rest of the house. And since we've decided to build the hutch/entertainment unit now and not wait until later, this room won't be completely occupied until all the building is done, so our couch will be sitting idle for a little while longer. We've decided that now is the time to get it recovered since getting it re-upholstered will take a couple weeks.
I started calling around to price out the work. And holy jesus it is PRICEY. I google'd, yelp'd, asked friends for places they recommended and the bids ranged from $700-$1600. It resulted in a big gulp to choke down the price tag, but from what I heard and asked family about, those prices seemed totally fair. Especially considering our couch is ginormous: 8 1/2 ft long, 3 feet deep and 2 1/2 feet tall.
For a quick second Chris and I thought about doing the work ourselves. I'm pretty okay with the sewing machine and we've built plenty of things before, but we've never re-upholstered. And this couch was Chris' great grandmother's, is 60+ years old (so it's built really really really well) and just buying the fabric alone is a hefty price tag (17-25 yards depending on who you ask). So "trying it out" wouldn't be cheap. We'd have to spend $300ish just to see if we could do it, and if we couldn't, that's a high price to just flush down the toilet. Plus, we're working on building a lot of things right now too. And we reasoned that this couch is an investment. We love it, it's built amazingly well, and we sit on it lots and lots and lots, so we finally realized that we'd have to choke down the hefty price tag to have a professional work their magic and make our couch look brand new.
With all that in mind, that's how I turned into a crazy person and collected 37 fabric samples. Between internet searches and trips to local fabric shops I was a fabric hoarder. At one point my internet window looked like this
Those are the SIXTEEN fabric samples I ordered online. I trekked from store to store collecting another 21. Yup, I'm fucking crazy.
Chris and I considered a lot of things when we were going through all the samples. We wanted something that felt yummy, but was practical. Something with visual interest, but was timeless. Something that was durable, but wasn't plastic-y. That's how we ended up with these finalists
They may look slightly worn and that's because Chris decided the best way to test the fabric was to rip, pull and try to shove pencils through them to test how durable they were. I was laughing at first, but then I realized it was a pretty smart test. In the end we landed on a mid-tone brown faux leather (that is actually vinyl but feels really yummy)
We considered micro suede and a nice weave, but ultimately the faux leather felt really nice (not plastic-y or sticky like it can sometimes tend to), it's really durable, we like the color and texture and above all we felt that it was the most timeless
And if we're investing $1,000 into the couch we really don't want to be recovering it again in 5-10 years when we think we might get sick of the weave or micro suede.
But the fabric fun didn't stop there. I got this fabric from a local store (Discount Fabrics) and when I went to get samples I saw they didn't have a ton. I made sure to ask if they could reorder if we needed more and they assured me they could. About a week later when the fabric was chosen I headed on over to buy what I needed. Nope, not enough and nope, they couldn't reorder. Whaaa???? I was pissed. Luckily their second location in SF is huge and so a day or so later I headed over to see if they had more of the same fabric. With the help of a nice saleswoman we searched and searched and searched and didn't find a match :( :( :( My hopes were almost dashed and I expressed my displeasure and the fact that we'd gone through nearly 40 samples. She was beyond nice and went into the back and found fabric that wasn't an exact match, but pretty fucking close. It was a little thicker and not quite as soft as the original fabric. I called the upholstery guy and asked what would happen if I bought most of what we needed in the original fabric and only a few yards of the other almost-matching fabric and we used it on the bottom of the cushions and he said that was no problem at all. So the SF location called the Berkeley location to verify that my fabric was still on hold and measure out exactly how many yards were on the roll. There were 16 on my original roll, so per my instructions from the upholstery guy I bought 3 more of the new fabric and drove it all over to his shop. He said they were so close it would work out totally fine and that we wouldn't be able to tell at all. Hooray! But the hilarious thing? Two days later the Berkeley location called and said they got more of the original fabric in and were interested to know if I wanted it. Seriously? Well fuck you. I was too annoyed to call back, and the two fabrics were such a close near-match I said screw it, it'll work out good enough.
We settled on Renaissance Custom Upholstery in San Leandro to recover the couch. After calling around and around and around we landed on them for the price and the good reviews. It'll take them about 2 weeks after they got the fabric (Monday) to get 'er done, it will cost us $725 to get it recovered and at their suggestion we ordered 19 yards of fabric for a total of $315 spent on faux leather. It's a steep price all together ($1040), and a new couch could have been bought for that price, but this is a really great piece of furniture and buying something this quality would have cost a fortune, and at the end of the day we really thought it was worth the cost.
Just keep your fingers crossed that it returns to us looking beautiful and gorgeous!