Friday, April 27, 2012

The April 18th – 24th City Pages Best of the Twin Cities has named Miller Upholstering Best Furniture Repair of 2012!   While I'm honored to be called "the best", I will say this is a boon to all upholsterers in the twin towns, because it brings the choice of restoring a good older piece of furniture instead of buying a new, more cheaply made piece back to mind front-and-center.  It's been quite a buy-it-cheap-then-get-rid-of-it society, but that's changing as we all know. People are demanding higher quality from the get-go these days. Buying new is fun and you get that shiny new chair or sofa immediately, get to take it home instead of waiting weeks and weeks for the upholsterer to finish, but the quality is just not there. It won't look good or last 1/2 as long as a good old pre-1990 furniture frame. Never mind you usually have to remove the front door off it's hinges to get it in the house...To hand select a fabric based on your own aesthetics and durability needs, something completely different than what anyone else will have - to learn about the construction of the frame, the history of the piece and to know you're supporting the livlihood of another individual in your community, that is worth so much more than what the Big Box Furniture shop can offer!  Case in point:

Under the 1980's upholstered small print chintz on this chair was a muslin upholstered, curled hair and cotton padded handmade frame with 8-way handtied coil springs. Handwritten on the muslin was "1932". Charming! Instead of junking this chair, the owner chose a plush Robert Allen velvet, loosing the skirt to reveal nice legs. It's a modern and forward look for a common area of the house instead of leaving it ruffle-skirted and in the bedroom.

The last several years saw a decline in upholstery shops, many retiring or closing down and disappearing in their garage or basement workroom where I chose to emerge from and bring it back out front to the people in a commercial area storefront.  I think if the local citizenry pass a trendy and attractive upholstery shop every day on their way to work (E. Lake St. being a main thoroughfare), this service/craft will be more in the public consciousness.  If the display windows are showing this prominently, they'll more clearly see what their old sofa or chair can become again. 

In 12 years of business, 10 of those home-based, it was largely personal referral of word-of-mouth customers who helped me progress to this point. I thank all who were involved in the Best-Of decision and while I’ve been working double shifts since last post, I apologize that much has gone unreported here. Some interesting projects too – don’t worry, I have tons of pictures, I just have no idea when I’ll get to them! Please do check Miller Upholstering on facebook and twitter for the very latest update on what’s going on in the shop and workroom and now on Pinterest, as to what inspires me most.

From Start To Finish

Here's a post from a while back that had lost it's image links.  Someone was asking about Cogswell chairs just yesterday, so...