Consult Restorno about Buying and Restoring It
If you walk into a store and purchase new furniture, the chances are that you are buying poorly made imports from the Far East. Even European and American products have fallen to the “lower standards of globalization.” So you are likely to pay more for a new piece of furniture that is likely not restorable in the future – that is “chad pa’ami.” It is far better to restore a fine vintage or antique piece.
Here are some guidelines to help you calculate if freebies or bargains are worth restoring.
Bravery and creativity are your best tools
It takes confidence and vision to know how to turn Grandma’s retro Danish sofa into a comfortable and stylish centerpiece that wows your friends and family.
If you are looking for the cheapest deal, then bear in mind that custom upholstery may cost about the same as buying a new piece, BUT you should receive better materials and just the right fabric on a frame that should outlive you.
Here are a few guidelines for reupholstering:
If what you find is less than 15 to 20 years old, then the quality is just not there, unless it is from a high-end manufacturer AND is among the top-of-its-line of products. I am regularly shocked by the low quality of some famous brands. (Much of our repair work comes from furniture that’s three to five years old.)
Frame construction is what makes a sofa worth the investment. It’s hard for non-professionals to know what’s underneath all that stuffing, but I recommend that you uncover the dust cover under the sofa to see if it’s a solid hardwood frame.
Slipcovers are in principal a fine way to protect your upholstered fabric while abusing it on a daily basis. However, making custom fitting slipcovers is almost as expensive as recovering the sofa: they require almost the same labor, the same amount of fabric, the same transportation costs. They are just saving on new stuffing so it’s usually not worth it.
Feel free to send a picture or call us to assess an item before purchasing.
In assessing furniture, imagination is the key
Just like for upholstered furniture, assuming that the size, shape and construction are pleasing, the cardinal rule when determining whether or not you like a piece of vintage or even antique furniture is NOT to evaluate what you see, but rather to imagine how you want it to look. Muddy, flat finishes can become clear and glossy; even missing parts can be made to match. We work with decorators who love to makeover old styles with modern finishes and fabrics. Not everyone has the talent to know how to re-engineer (up-cycle, as I like to say) an ugly cupboard found in the garbage into a fine entertainment center. Seeing is believing. Restorno is happy to advise clients on such projects.
Even antique furniture is cheap in Israel, when you know where to find it. The best bargains are online from people who are selling their personal items. With patience and homework, you will find many “metzias”! Be sure to check Hebrew sites. Furthermore, very fine antiques can be found for ridiculously low prices at auctions. Of course, those who want to walk out of the store with a “new” piece of old craftsmanship can find it in many stores, too.
As professionals, we have the courage and vision to know what to do with… well, your old stuff. Located in the Jerusalem Area, Restorno specializes in repair, finishing and reupholstery of all kinds of furniture from Beer Sheva to Zichron Yaakov.
Soon, Restorno will open classes to teach restoration. Contact us for further details: