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Old 07-15-2004, 08:21 PM   #1
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Interior designer needed

Liberty Belle's cushions must be reupholstered. I'm a Guy.
I've found a local upholstery shop who will do the job affordably (less than the price of season tickets for the Detroit Lions) but they are asking me questions like which fabric, what color, etc. They have shown me about a zillion swatches and asked me to choose one.
I'm a Guy. I know who won the 1984 World Series and I know Michael Jordan's favorite brand of underwear but how is a Guy supposed to select a fabric for vintage AS cushions?
Maybe something to match beer stains or one that is dog pee repellant? Should I select a color that won't clash with the Dale Earnhardt poster on my wall?
A Guy can reasonably be expected to select a proper fishing lure or the correct load for skeet shooting but asking him to select a proper upholstery fabric is like asking his favorite quiche recipe.
I need help.
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Old 07-15-2004, 08:32 PM   #2
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Ok,

I will try to help, but first you must submit to the Chinese water torture 20 questions.

What color are the walls going to be?

What color is the woodwork going to be?

What color is the floor going to be?

Are you planning on drapes?
If so do you wish to have a pattern on them?

Is this for a couch or a dinette? Food stains are a concern?

How do you plan to use the trailer? Camping, of course, but in the woods, or in a campground.

Does the fabric need to resist animals? Not wild ones, but a family pet.
If so what type of animal is it?

What is your budget?

All of the answers help to point in a direction. Small patterns or no pattern at all are best if you are going with a large pattern drape. If a solid drape, then go nuts on the pattern of the fabric. The color scheme can also lend itself to the definition of the fabric.

So now you have some 'thinking to do
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Old 07-15-2004, 08:39 PM   #3
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Naugahide. Use your favorite team car colors for main areas and trim.

1. Do you use this couch? I mean, is it where you sit, recline, watch tv? If so, you need a fabric or material that will stand the strain.

2. How much does appearance mean to you? Is there a certain "look" you are going for, or do you want it to just sit there and be unobtrusive?

3. Is resale value a consideration.

With the answers to these questions, a good upholsterer can pick out something for you. Do be aware that there are designer fabrics whose price is dictated by the design, not the quality of the material. Also, the time to spend the extra $$ is when buying the fabric - the upholstery labor will be largely the same whatever you choose, and may be 1/2 the total price, or more.

And get good quality cushions.

Mark
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Old 07-15-2004, 08:45 PM   #4
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Definitely get something that hides dirt and is easy to clean.
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Old 07-15-2004, 09:07 PM   #5
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OK now I'm getting really confused. Color scheme, drapes, etc. will remain as pictured on my home page photos. Entertaining wild animals is sporadic. I use the trailer mostly as a repository for all my money and spare time.
There are 8 cushions to be done.
Resale value, comfort, style, durability and budget are all important.
I eat at the dinette and sleep/relax on the sofa so cushions need to be comfy and stain resistant.
Naugahyde and team colors would be a bit much.
Maybe if someone could show me just 2 appropriate swatches I could decide. No..wait..I'm a Guy..make that just one choice.
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Old 07-15-2004, 09:55 PM   #6
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Roger...

This thread is reminding me of work...I come here to NOT work!

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Old 07-15-2004, 10:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rog0525
Resale value, comfort, style, durability and budget are all important.
Then you are going to want quality fabric - really, this is such an easy place to try and scrimp, and then you pay for it later when the fabric doesn't hold up. Say you get a great looking print at 15 yards for $16/yd, but pay the upholstery shop $500 for labor - total $740. But if it lasts only two years (not out of the question), you've got to spend that much again. And again. If you buy a quality fabric at, say, $35, the labor is still $500, and you are out only $285 more for a job that may well last 10 years or more.

If it were mine, I'd want to get something that had some color to it, as your coach is rather bland. See my photos for our choice (note that the pattern is NOT a print - the pattern is made of tapestry threads - will not fade or wear off). There are lots of fabrics that have patterns to hide stains, and muted colors that give you lots of choices in curtains, throw rugs, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rog0525
I eat at the dinette and sleep/relax on the sofa so cushions need to be comfy and stain resistant.
This will largely be a function of the quality of your foam, and the price of good quality foam may be a bit of a shock as well. Note that you currently have cushions without upholstery buttons. I'd want to keep them that way if I were sleeping on them.

There are some threads in the archives on foam choices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rog0525
Maybe if someone could show me just 2 appropriate swatches I could decide.
This is harder than you might think as colors are subtle and impossible to match via web photos. Also, fabrics go out of stock at a rate hard to believe.

Find out where the upholsterers go in your area - probably in the Yellow Pages under "Upholstery supplies". They usually have people familiar with their lines and let them help you.

Good luck,

Mark
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Old 07-15-2004, 11:14 PM   #8
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Interior designer needed

Greetings Rog!

Have you considered asking for color/pattern selection assistance from the retailer from whom you expect to purchase the fabric? Since upholstery fabrics tend to be a bit of a specialty, the vendors often offer assistance in selecting appropriate fabrics to their customers.

I took the easy way out with this problem. I towed my coach to Arlene Fowler's (Fowler Interiors) with the request to keep the original burnt orange countertop and work off of that for the balance of the coach - - with her assistance, I chose Oyster (insul-lined) draperies with mini-blinds behind, a high-quality ($45.00/yard) synthetic blend autumn floral pattern upholstery (burnt orange/rich gold/medium yellow/dark green) that was carried to the four pillow shams that provide for comfortable lounging (it is of a very tight weave to avoid problems with my Chihuahuas), and light cherry Armstrong laminate flooring.

Good luck with your upholstery search!

Kevin
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Old 07-16-2004, 12:48 AM   #9
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Thumbs up This is great info.

My first thought was to stay as close as possible to the original fabric but when I use my Paint program to superimpose other fabrics onto mine, I get a preview of the end result.
So far I think Mark's fabric would look great in my trailer.
Kevin's fabric looks very nice in his but out of place in mine.
I was quoted just under $500 for the completed job (all 8 cushions) and I'm guessing that's a good price? All that remains is to borrow swatches from other photos and choose which I like best, assuming that my upholsterer is providing good quality.
Thanks much for the input.
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Old 07-16-2004, 12:52 AM   #10
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Rog, I can help you. this is an area i'm quite successful in. my work was just featured in architectural digest, in fact, i think in march. how about if i drove over with some stuff chosen carefully from my 3 full rooms of fabric to show you the possibilities?
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Old 07-16-2004, 01:20 AM   #11
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Gee Rog, why are you changing? You just can't find great fabric like what you've got in there anymore! It's giving me flashbacks to my in-laws house, which hadn't been updated since they moved in in '71. Oh wait, what year is your trailer...

I can't help you, I'm one of the many unfortunate women who was born without the decorating gene. I can barely dress myself without clashing. Luckily my trailer came with new, very servicable floral pattern upholstery, so I don't have to worry about these things for a while. And it hides dirt nicely You can see it in my photos section. Probably a little flowery for you, though.

$500 for the whole job sounds like a good deal to me. I would expect it to be much worse. I assume it will change depending on what fabric you choose. I know the prices of fabric can vary greatly. The one you like best will cost the most, of course...
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Old 07-16-2004, 01:21 AM   #12
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Summerkid, that is a very generous offer and I'm certain you would do an excellent job but I think I'm on the right track now and would not want to impose on you to go to all that trouble for my lil ol trailer.
Now that I have the wheels in motion, I think I'll be pleased with the result. It's not the Taj Mahal and I'm sure 500 bucks wouldn't begin to cover your expenses.
Is their an online site where we could see some of your work?
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Old 07-16-2004, 01:27 AM   #13
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Awesome!

Summerkid - what issue? Although my taste is more Dwell (magazine), I can really appreciate AD stuff. I'd love to see! I'm finishing our Argosy soon. I did it sort of on the cheap - dividers sprayed aluminum (getting rid of that 70's brown), birch countertops and tables stained a bright yellow with varnish, but we splurged on the fabric (and new foam). Kind of a Morrocan feel with red background and elephants, chenile (sp), eggplant cording. I taught myself to sew from the internet (see Rog - it can be done). I made new lighting from Ikea lights as well.

Rog - take her up on it - you'll have an unique palace - or flat!
Marc
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Old 07-16-2004, 01:30 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
Gee Rog, why are you changing? You just can't find great fabric like what you've got in there anymore!
If it was still available, I'd stick with it. The PO gave me some of the same fabric but not nearly enough.
The 33 year old fabric is kaput, worn, torn and frayed.
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