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Upholstered Furniture 101

What to know and how to get the most value for the price

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Photo 4 of 4What adds to the cost of upholstered furniture? Often the price is in the details.

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Detail Oriented
Wood trim - A carved, exposed leg is more expensive than one that is straight or covered.

Trim - A carved, exposed leg is more. Details such as fringe, tassels, decorative nailheads or contrasting piping require added work and may increase the cost of a piece.

Skirts - A carved, exposed leg is more. A standard kick pleat requires less fabric and workmanship. More formal box pleats and tiered corners require added fabric and labor. They should be hand sewn, not stapled.

Arms - A carved, exposed leg is more. The straightforward box style is a tailored and popular choice. Some styles, such as rounded arms with gathered seams, require more fabric and labor, adding to the expense.

Money Matters
According to Jackie Hirschhaut of the American Home Furnishing Alliance, here’s what you can expect to pay for a classic upholstered armchair:

Good: $500 to $900
You’ll get a wood frame that may have corner blocks, steel springs, polyester cushions and a choice of basic covers.

BETTER: $900 to $1,500
Upgrade to a kiln-dried hardwood frame with corner blocks, steel spring configurations, foam core cushions with fiberfill wrap, and a choice of covers, and some basic trim options.

BEST: $1,500 and up
Expect kiln-dried hardwood, corner blocks, eight-way handtied spring construction and down-filled cushions, along with your choice of covers and trims.

Learn how to upholster furniture on your own with this simple home decorating project