A guide to reupholstering furniture with Calico

As you already know, I’m a huge fan of giving new life to older pieces of furniture through upholstery. The saying “they don’t make them like they used to” directly applies to upholstered pieces, where often-times older furniture is made for longevity and comfort and can be easily modified to match current aesthetics. So, when Calico reached out again to partner on a reupholstery project, I was thrilled to get to share how easy Calico makes the upholstery process.

*This post is sponsored by Calico. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow us to create helpful content while featuring products we use and love!

A few months back, I spotted these tufted upholstered armchairs on Facebook Marketplace and immediately snapped them up. Some of the indicators that these were good quality pieces worthy of being reupholstered included: custom trim (someone originally spent money on the details), a great classic silhouette, down cushions, and well executed tufting. We brought them home, spent some time sitting in them and making sure they were super comfortable and fit well in the space.

Once we were committed to the chairs, we made an appointment with our local Calico design shop for a free design consult. Since my last visit to the Calico shop, they had moved to a new location which was stunning and filled with natural sunlight and a very easy to navigate shop with lots of large fabric samples to browse. Knowing that we needed performance fabric, a must for families and wine drinkers alike, we were directed to a huge section of racks with options that could work. Also, in the shop were many great examples of reupholstered pieces that provided lots of inspiration for how to personalize and customize your own piece.

Calico in Westport, CT

Once we narrowed down our fabric samples, we were able to check them out of the store to bring them home to see them in our own space on the chairs. We ended up narrowing it down to two different colorways of a very durable Crypton performance woven. Once we had the fabrics at home, it was clear that the greener colorway was a better fit for our space and worked so well with the color of the walls and the kitchen cabinets. We also loved that the fabric added some much needed texture in the space.

Next up, we finalized the plan for the reupholstery: we opted to keep the tufting of the chair but simplify the profile of the arms to streamline the chairs, which also included raising the skirt to create a natural termination for the arms. We also decided to go for a more modern self-welting, over the heavy cording on the original upholstery. One other detail we added was a hook to hold the seat cushions in place when you sit down (which were apt to slide out from under us, ha!).

Once we had the plan in place, Calico scheduled the chairs to be picked up and reupholstered. The next time we saw the chairs was a few weeks later when they were delivered back to us freshly reupholstered and looking brand new!

We had intended for the chairs to live in the living room, but once we tried them out in the front entry, we were blown away by how perfect the looked, so for now (and likely indefinitely), they will be living here instead. Our new-to-us chairs are still as comfortable as ever, but now look timeless in a more tonal fabric.

I’m now obsessed with the side profile of these chairs, which is simpler and more classic, where Calico did an amazing job at ensuring the silhouette was modified without looking like it had been modified.

This is our new go-to spot for coffee in the morning and curling up to read a book.

The details are just perfect, and really highlight the craftsmanship that went into reupholstering these chairs.

Calico made the process incredibly easy, by enabling you to choose the fabric in-stores, have their expert guidance on the best updates to make to the upholstery — Calico reupholsters over 10,000 pieces of furniture a year, so they bring a lot of expertise –and they facilitate the pick-up, reupholstery, and drop-off. It seriously could not be easier.

All in all, I can’t recommend working with Calio enough on their reupholstery (and window treatment!) services. To get started today you can make an appointment, request a reupholstery quote, and check out the before and after gallery for inspiration!

5 thoughts on “A guide to reupholstering furniture with Calico

  1. They turned out beautiful I can see why you were drawn to them. I’m also a fan of giving old furniture new upholstered life! I fortunately have a very talented person that does my work for me at an incredible rate. Any chance you would share with your readers the cost of chairs on FB marketplace and cost of reupholstery?

    1. Yes, absolutely!! So the chairs were originally $100 each off FB Marketplace and the cost of fabric and upholstery was $1,500 per chair (the tufting was a definite cost driver). Definitely not inexpensive, but still quite a bit
      less than buying a new custom upholstered armchair 🙂

  2. I love Calico’s stores and selection, I just wish their hours were expanded for those who work..

    Did you have any of the down/foam/batting replaced? Is that something Calico does? Does it add significant cost? That’s always a concern for me looking at vintage furniture…. thanks!

    1. I hear you on the hours! Our store is open on Saturdays, so that made it more accessible for us. I did not have any of the down or foam replaced on this chair (I believe just fresh batting), since it was all in great shape, though we did have it replaced when we reupholstered our vintage sofa and it did add some extra cost (base price for foam was $75/cushion, an upgrade to memory foam wrapped in down was $250/cushion, if I recall correctly). Hope that helps!

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