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The Blog. The tricks of the trade, straight from the experts.

Helping our customers in any way we can is our main priority. That's why we share our secrets and teach you how to best optimise your home's style.

A brand new sofa? Or a brand new old sofa?

Thinking about our impact on the planet In a time when our world leaders can’t agree on something as simple as our planet’s future, never has there been a better time for us as individuals to make informed decisions about our actions: do we need that flight to….? Could we walk to the shops and … Read more

What is the Martindale Test, and how does it work?

I’ve mentioned in a previous blog, there are many equivalents to this test. But this is my favourite.

Why? I guess you could say it’s because, to my mind, this is the upholsterers’ equivalent of a Crash Test Dummy!

But it’s also, in my experience, a pretty reliable measure of the potential durability of the fabric you choose.

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What kind of fabric is good for upholstery?

Choosing upholstery fabric is probably best done with a good deal of advice.

And with that in mind, in this month’s blog, I’m going to dissect the topic so you can make informed choices that will save you time and money!

Because you see, all fabrics are not created equal. For example, cover a sofa that’s likely to be sat on (and jumped on in some households!) many times a day, with lightweight cotton, and you’ll quickly see the signs of wear; and, I’m sure, plenty of rips and tears. Because the materials used for clothes and lighter soft furnishings like cushions, will just not stand the strain.

It can be a bit of a minefield deciding what’s ‘fit for the purpose’ so I’m going to cover the different types of fabric you should use a little later in the blog. But a great tip to start with is this. If you see a beautiful fabric in a store (this won’t work with online shopping!) and you’re unsure if it’s suitable, try this…


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I want my furniture upholstered. How much does it cost?

Part Two: Traditional Furniture reupholstered 

Following on from my previous article on the cost to get your furniture upholstered; which focussed on modern furniture, in this article I’m going to explain more about reupholstering traditional furniture.

As you would expect, traditional furniture will have a host of issues that may need to be fixed. To help simplify what you might expect to find; and what’s likely to affect the overall cost to reupholster; I’m going to use a sofa as my example. I’ll break down the process step by step.

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I want my furniture reupholstered. How much does it cost?


Understanding how much something will cost is always an essential factor in any decision we make. And in many cases the answer you’ll be given is that old favourite: ”How long is a piece of string?!”

But that’s not helpful, and at Richardson & Paige, we’re all about being helpful.

So what I’ve done is to break down the different elements of reupholstering so you can make informed decisions at each stage.

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When upholstering a sofa brings more than job satisfaction!

With celebrations underway for Armed Forces Day on 22 June this year, it prompted me to look again at the WW1 letter I found tucked into a sofa I was working on for a client.

It was a moment I’ll never forget and one of the many reasons the team and I love what we do. When we deconstruct a piece of traditional furniture, we are effectively removing layers of history. And as we do, we’re able to imagine where it’s been. Who has taken afternoon tea (or a gin or two!) on a sofa? What stories have been told to grandchildren from a worn-out armchair?

It’s fascinating to let your mind wander and linger over the many possibilities. And this sofa went further and had our imaginations working over time! Here’s why:

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Is there a difference between re-covering and re-upholstery?

As upholsterers, we are always in the thick of it, living and breathing our trade. So what appears obvious to us – well, probably isn’t that obvious at all!

So, I spent a few minutes thinking about how best to explain a question we get asked a lot: “Is there a difference between re-covering and re-upholstery?”

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The process of Changing Rooms part two

It’s a matter of finding your inspiration! Finding that ONE item that makes you smile every time you look at it is key to a successful interior design scheme. It doesn’t have to be furniture; it could be a scarf, a vase, a painting, for example. That item is then the starting point to create … Read more

The process of Changing Rooms part one

  Who remembers the TV programme ‘Changing Rooms’ from the late 90s early two thousand? Or rather – who’s willing to admit they remember it?! It was hugely popular back then and partly responsible for a big increase in upcycling and renovating. Now, I’m no Laurence Llewellyn Bowen, but I love interior design. And I’m … Read more