There are three kinds of buyers of furniture: those who want the cheapest they can find; those willing to invest more to get more comfort, style and value; and those who know that custom upholstery is the best value for their investment.
If you see yourself in categories two or three, then keep reading.
The Israeli furniture market isn’t known for its wide selection and competitive pricing. True, there are some fine local manufacturers of sofas, but they must compete with importers of Asian and European goods (many of which are made in Asia but boast European names). While brand new furniture may look good, what’s important is how it feels and how well it lasts. If we take the price of the bottom-line-Scandinavian-brand-that-shall-go-unnamed and similar quality furniture, I am often amazed at how well it is engineered to fall apart in a short time.
The next level of quality will cost about double. In this 5-7,000 NIS price range, you can buy a decent new sofa that should last 4-6 years before it starts to look and feel worn. Depending on your budget and standards, it will continue to sit on the living room floor for perhaps another 5-10 years until it is unbearable. By this point, the seat webbing will be sagging close to the floor, the arm stuffing will be flat, the fabric pilled. Real leather in this price range starts to dry and crack; and as for fake leather…well, at least your kids enjoy peeling off its plastic finish!
Take this quick test: do you like your furniture as is, or are you delaying reupholstering or replacing it simply because you feel like it should provide more years of service for the price you paid?
If you were smart enough to bring your sofas on your lift or purchase well-made American sofas here, then they are probably worth reupholstering. Rather than gamble on new sofas, you can renew your old sofa, and this way you can be sure that you are getting good quality foam, fabric and workmanship –all for the same price.
Why pay more? Your living room is meant to be the family meeting place where everyone should feel as comfortable as possible. If you fill it with uncomfortable furniture, then family and friends will not want to sit there. Quality furniture outlives its owners and stays comfortable. It may need reupholstering, but it remains an attraction for people to sit together on.
If you want the best for your home, then custom-built sofas are the way to go. Here are our tips for commissioning custom upholstery:
- Consulting your upholsterer is helpful, and is all you need, if the scope of your work is only a sofa, a headboard or something limited.
- If you are looking to outfit a whole room or a home, then consult a designer. An interior designer is an interpreter who translates your desires into the specifications needed by a furniture maker. After meeting a good designer, you should be saying to yourself, “Wow, I never would have thought of that. That was really worth it!”
- What you don’t see is what’s most important! Make sure that the frame of the sofa is made from quality materials; kiln-dried, solid wood or quality plywood – and not MDF or fiberboard!
- All foam is not equal! Cheap products are made with cheap foam. It lasts only a couple of years, before it starts to dry out, and eventually crumbles to dust. The better the foam, the longer it remains resilient and comfortable. Highest quality foams can last over thirty years! Top quality latex foam can cost 10 times the price of standard quality foam; you get what you pay for. If you are looking for the best, then consider premium types of stuffing: microfiber and feathers and down.
- Bells and Whistles: Details and trim can turn a nice-looking sofa into one that wows. Since you are paying extra, think about ordering piping in a different fabric, tufting, pillows in contrasting fabrics from the frame, etc.
- The best for last: Fabric. This requires a longer discussion, which will appear in the next issue of Bizness Magazine. Also, you can look forward to tips on how to avoid pitfalls, great design tips and more.
If you want to know what can be done with your sofa, feel free to contact Restorno at firstname.lastname@example.org or 02-650-8777.