If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I had an AWFUL experience with an upholsterer here in Atlanta last week (Hurst Upholstery). I have 3 upholsterers that I generally use but decided to try someone new after I got a recommendation. I should've known better--my instinct was telling me not to use him, and I kick myself for not listening to it. In all honesty, the cheap prices were what pulled me in. I was looking to have quite a few pieces reupholstered and saw dollar signs when I thought about how much I could potentially save. But instead of saving, I lost...big time. $150 worth of fabric PLUS $40 in labor, and we'll just add $10 (low estimate) in for my gas, time, and irritation, so $200 total. The problem started with an inability to pattern match and do detail work (even though this was discussed in the initial consultation), then ended with some awful customer service. So I thought I'd turn my lemons into lemonade and share the things I think YOU should know when selecting an upholsterer.
1. Do Your Research: The easiest way to find a reputable upholsterer is to find out who your friends, family & neighbors have used (and loved!). Getting their opinion is great, but I also suggest you take it one step further and physically take a look at their reupholstered piece. Quality means different things to different people, so what's fabulous to them might not be so hot to you. Do not pass go until you've had a chance to judge their reupholstery job for yourself. Check the seams, symmetry, lines and decide for yourself if the work lives up to your expectations.
Working with an upholsterer isn't hard, but following these basic tips will ensure a successful and long-lasting relationship between you and your upholsterer. If you've had a really good (or really bad!) experience with an upholsterer, share your story below!