A few years ago, a good friend of mine asked me to help with the difficult task of clearing out her childhood home. I rented a small U-Haul, drove down to Queens, and helped her sort some of the amazing treasures her family collected over time. That’s when I found the chair.
It’s not the totally worn down, lime-green retro fabric that caught my attention. Okay, maybe it was at first. But I loved the structure of the chair, the way the back looped around and curved against your back. It was like nothing I’d ever seen before. After inquiring about it, we slipped it into the back of the moving truck in between the items we packed up for Goodwill. This piece, however, would be coming home with me.
I had every intention of reupholstering the chair myself. That slightly shaggy fabric had to go. It faded to a nearly putrid color in some areas; guests could not move past the lime green to see the reason why I fell in love with the piece. I consider myself a pretty savvy do-it-yourselfer, and covered it a few times, but to no avail. I couldn’t quite accomplish the unique tufting on the back—it was a characteristic I appreciated, but had no idea how to tackle.
That’s when I heard about TapeMeasure, the recently relaunched and redesigned home design store in Pleasantville. Warren Cook and Elizabeth Calderone purchased the business—formerly known as Reupholstery by Anna—from Anna Maraldo, who still works in the showroom. (To read more about this husband and wife team, and how to start your reupholstery project, click here.)
Getting started on my reupholstery project was easy—I contacted Cook with pictures and dimensions of my chair. He sent me a rough, estimate range of the cost, based on the quick visual. The next step is a visit to the showroom to select a fabric. For me, that’s when the magic happened…I finally saw my dream piece come together.
TapeMeasure’s wooden walls look almost unfinished, but they are a secondary to the rainbows of color and prints from an array of fabric delicately grouped on the left wall. The opposite side of the large room features framed wallpaper—prints so incredibly beautiful and larger than life they look like artwork. It’s all very inspiring.
Although not usually required while selecting your fabric, I brought my chair along for the initial meeting. Because reupholstering includes stripping a piece of furniture down to its frame, I wanted to make sure my piece was in good condition. A little stripping off the bottom of the piece revealed the springs in my little antique may need to be replaced and the seat possibly re-stuffed.
Not really knowing where to start with the endless possibilities before me, Calderone, the fabric guru and designer of the two, asks me a questions about my current design aesthetic, color and patterns before making some (pretty accurate!) recommendations. I narrow it down to a few options before I select a classic print in linen called “smoke,” and when Calderone drapes it over the chair, I’m in love.
For just over $100, my fabric is ordered, and my new chair is well on its way to a makeover. I’ll be in anticipation for a few weeks until the reupholster finishes the project, but it will be well worth the wait.
Follow a project from start to finish! Freelance writer Katie Schlientz will be blogging about her own reupholstering project with TapeMeasure on RealEstate.LohudBlogs.com. Look for the big reveal in a few weeks!