Baker Sofa Upholstery

I’ve been meaning to share photos of the new upholstery on our vintage Baker sofa forever! I had started work on doing the upholstery myself, but the tetanus side-effects really wiped me out for those first two months or so. We ended up buying a car this year (did I mention that earlier?), so one…

I’ve been meaning to share photos of the new upholstery on our vintage Baker sofa forever!

I had started work on doing the upholstery myself, but the tetanus side-effects really wiped me out for those first two months or so. We ended up buying a car this year (did I mention that earlier?), so one day in October when my resolve and spirits were both low, I loaded up the sofa and took a little day trip down to my trusty upholsterers back in Maryland. It takes about three hours to drive there, but I stopped along the way to do some antiquing and Amish-food-eating with my sister, so it was a fun day trip.  :)

Jensen’s only charges $525 for a sofa job (about a third the price of my upholsterer here in the city!), but I still felt a little guilty for not upholstering the sofa myself, especially since I mentioned here that I would. I have to say though, it was worth every penny to free up that time and energy when things were a little rocky, health-wise. (If you’re looking for an in-depth upholstery tutorial, I did a whole series here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5)

I ended up doing the contrasting welt we talked about and I really love it. I found four yards of this dark teal (almost black) Sunbrella fabric at Home Fabrics in Arizona for about $4 a yard. They have this store in California, Utah and Nevada too, I think, and it is a treasure trove!!! I save about half my suitcase for hauling my finds home to NY each trip we take.

I’m so glad I found that Sunbrella. I know it will hold up really well and I think the color is great with the pretty green velvet I scored at JEM here in the city.

We’ve had the sofa back for about eight weeks now and it has taken kid spills like a boss.

More living room photos and projects coming! Lots to post about here, but there’s still lots left to do in the room. 
PS Some links for the projects/items seen here:
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64 thoughts on “Baker Sofa Upholstery

  1. The sofa looks amazing and I have to say, as someone who loves doing everything myself, & tackling ambitious projects–sometimes it really is worth it to pay someone else to do it. The stress, the worry, the *time.* Well done!

  2. Jenny I adore your Baker Sofa!! Then it looks even richer in the evening light. I would love to use your upholsterer. My last one was a nightmare!

    PS I need a couple of good sources for velvet fabric that is reasonable

    Art by Karena

  3. I wish you didn't mention what you paid because it is such an unfair representation to what upholstery costs really are around the country. This shop is charging an outrageously low amount for that job. Upholstery is very laborious, particularly for a large sofa, and depending upon the amount of work that is required for the innards [springwork, new padding, new foam and wrap, etc.] it is not unusual for a sofa to cost $1000+.

  4. Hey Sarah!

    I totally get what you're saying. The low $525 price was only for the fabric recovering. There was no spring work or interior work needed here. Not sure how that would change the pricing.

    The $525 works for the people at Jensens because they run a small shop (it's just a husband-wife duo) and they live in a very rural area where the cost of living is super low. I spent a lot of time and gas money to get down to Maryland, so when all is said and done, I probably paid about what I would have in Philly or Jersey (not the city though).

    I love the Jensens though and feel glad when I have a chance to support them, both directly through my business and by referring others. They advertise their pricing on their site, so I thought it would be fine to write it here. I think there are small shops all over the US, in out-of-the-way places, with similar pricing. I think it's really important to support those people.


  5. HI Kerry – The shop is in Rising Sun Maryland. There's a link in the post. Highly recommend them!

    Kerrie P – I used 14 yards for the sofa and they were able to make that work (even with alllllll those cushions) because they railroaded the velvet. It was pretty down to the wire though! If I had done a pattern, we would have needed much, much more than that. Probably double.

    Emily – I am dying! Best story ever! I have a couple of those "Doh!" stories myself. I don't let myself think of them too often though! :)

    Kim and Jessamie – I didn't treat the fabric first, though I've used spray on stain guards before and they see to work fine. There's a place in the city that teflon coats fabric for about $6 a yard, and that makes woven fabrics pretty much impermeable! :) I'm taking my chances with the untreated velvet though and just keeping my trusty Folex nearby. Claire woke up really early last month and on her own climbed up onto the counter and found some red crystal light somehow and made herself a (super concentrated) glass which she carried over to the new sofa ON A TRAY (!!!!!!) and of course the whole thing went everywhere. All over the jute rug and all over one entire cushion seat. It looked like a crime scene! Not such a fun thing to be woken up to! Claire and I cleaned it up and both the rug and the sofa fared well (especially the sofa – not a trace there). Not sure if you've had red crystal light spill in your house before, but it's basically red dye, so we are feeling like it's going to be a sturdy velvet! :) Also, I've vowed to never buy Crystal light ever, ever, ever.

    Pam – Yup, Rising Sun! They are great. You'll love them. :)

    Bridget – I bought the velvet at JEM's in Tribeca, which is a fabric clearinghouse and they don't have the fabric info. So sorry! I wish I knew the maker. I'd buy more colors in the same line. It's so soft and very stain-repellent (see above!).

    Gigi – There's a link to the post about the Chesterfield in the post above. I bought it on eBay (it's vintage-ish Hickory Chair from the 70s). Probably need to get it reupholstered too. :)

    Karena – Duralee is my go-to for affordable velvets. There is an upholstery velvet line that is especially affordable if you have an account with them. Kravet has some very nice velvets too, just a bit pricier than the Duralee. The other trade lines are much pricier. Oh, Robert Allen/Beacon Hill is another good place to look. If you can afford $30/yard or so, I think it's good to buy through trade so you know the fabric's fiber mix and it's durability in double rubs. You can buy velvet cheaper at warehouses, but it's a bit of a gamble. If you find something you really like though. fold an edge on top of itself and rub really hard for a couple minutes and see how the pile stands up to that. Any pilling or thinning is bad news.

    Thanks everyone for your kind thoughts!!


  6. Hi Jenny, love this post and your blog in general! Can you recommend a specific type of upholstery fabric that's heavy duty (for those with kids) and not microfiber?

  7. Hi Jenny! I'm toying with the idea of reupholstering a sofa (probably should try a chair first for practice) but wondering how much of your new baker sofa is sewing and how much is staples?

  8. Agree with this article, very informative. We can make our Upholstery looks like new by just changing fabric. Fabric quality and colors are also very important. I have just visited Rana Textiles Mills website and found beautiful and quality oriented fabric for upholstery over there. You can Buy Best Upholstery Fabric from here.

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