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Archive for 2017

Popular Questions about Reupholstery

Reupholstery is not a subject everyone knows a great deal about, which is why we are often asked questions about the processes behind it.

We've put together this list below of some of the most popular questions our customers ask us to hopefully help you learn more about reupholstery.

What is reupholstery?

Reupholstery is the process of removing existing upholstery fabrics (often due to wear or damage) and replacing them with a brand new fabric.  Plumbs reupholstery service also includes complete new padding and seat foams, as well as any damaged springs and webbing; however this might not be the case with other services.

Stripping Reup 

How long does reupholstery take?

Reupholstery is quite a complex and detailed process, and this is reflected in the time it takes to finish a piece of furniture.  Furniture is stripped back to the frame and rebuilt using new fabrics and padding, and the process becomes more intricate when the furniture has deep buttons and scroll arms. As a guide we quote our reupholstery service time scale as 8-10 weeks; however your furniture is actually only away for around 3 weeks.

Can you reupholster leather furniture?

Leather furniture can indeed be reupholstered in a brand new fabric. The leather is stripped back in the same way we would a fabric sofa, and then re-covered in a new design. 

Before Chelsea Velvet Sky After Chelsea Velvet Sky

What kind of fabrics will be used?

Upholstery weight fabrics should be used to reupholster any piece of furniture.  It is also important to make sure the company you use uses fabrics that comply with fire retardant regulations.

Fabric Rolls 

What tools are used in reupholstery?

There are a number of tools needed to reupholster a piece of furniture and every upholsterer will have their own variations on the specific tools they like to use. The basic upholstery kit will include items such as: ripping chisel, upholstery pliers, staple gun, tack hammer, fabric scissors, curved needles....


Can you attempt it yourself?

You can find how-to videos online which will help you attempt beginner upholstery jobs, however reupholstery is a highly skilled craft and isn't something we'd suggest attempting on a piece of furniture that's expensive or you really like.  Instead it's best to contact a professional reupholstery service who will be able to help you choose fabrics and do all the hard work for you.  If you would like learn the basics you could try practising on easier projects like headboards or dining chair inserts.

Can reupholstery be done in my home?

Unfortunately reupholstery is a long and often quite messy job.  It's because of this we wouldn't suggest letting anyone reupholster in your living room. Instead it's best to for furniture to go to workshops where it can be completely transformed and returned back to you with a new lease of life. 


How much does it cost?

As reupholstery is a bespoke service, every piece of furniture will have its own cost.  This cost will usually be dependent on the size of the furniture, type of fabric and whether the piece is an antique etc. When shopping around for costs, it's important to take into account the level of service different companies provide, such as some may only replace the top layer of fabric, or use lower quality fabrics. Plumbs for example, provide a full reupholstery service, which includes, stripping the furniture back to the frame, tightening any loose joints, replacing broken springs/webbing, new padding and seat cushions, as well as delivery and expert advice.

 Why would I reupholster over buying new?

Many people choose to use a reupholstery company simply because they like the furniture the own and don't feel the need to buy new. Another benefit of reupholstery is you can create a truly bespoke item as you can often choose from hundreds of designs and colours.  One of the other biggest factors is reupholstery is often much more environmentally friendly than buying new as you are saving an old sofa from the landfill.

These are just a few of the questions we get asked all the time here at Plumbs, and the list is always growing with more people wanting to reduce their carbon footprint and reupholster instead. Do you have any questions we haven't answered here? Comment below or call us on 0800 542 54 54.


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How to prepare your Home to sell

Planning a big move this year? Whether you plan to downside, are looking for a bigger garden or are even planning to emigrate we've got tips on how to help you make your home look it's very best.

Add mirrors

Mirrors will make your home feel much bigger and help to bounce natural light around room.  Adding mirrors across from windows will trick the eye and feel like there's another window.

Charlton Mirror 

Removing Bold Wallpaper

A little colour and pattern is perfectly fine in a room when trying to sell but if it's too busy or every wall is covered it can be a little daunting to prospective buyers, especially if they aren't on the lookout for a project. Although you don't need to remove all the style, we suggest toning the colour palette down so it's easier for buyers to imagine what they'd do and where they'd place their furniture.

 Ltu Lag P1

Curb side appeal

An un-kept garden won’t be a deal breaker to most but it signal to buyers that the house may need work and won’t put them at ease.  The front of your house is the first thing viewers will see so it's important that it looks its best.  Before letting anyone view your home, be sure to tidy as much as possible, trim trees, remove weeds, finish any odd jobs such as fixing fence panels etc.  As well as the preening the garden, we suggest taking a step back and looking at the front door.  Is it clean? Does it need re-painting?

 Curb Side

Fresh Ambiance

Adding fresh flowers will help to brighten up your home and add a subtle fragrance.  This is also important if you have any pets, and it's always a good idea to open windows for a little while just before a viewing to let fresh air in.  Other ways to add subtle scents are freshly brewed coffee, baking and candles.

Mayfair Floral Mirror

Refresh your Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most expensive parts of our home to update, so sometimes it makes more sense just to make it look as presentable as possible and let the new buyers make their own style choices.  There are many ways to give your kitchen a new look without spending a fortune.  Depending on your kitchen units you could paint the cabinets a fresh new colour. You can update other parts of the kitchen such as the worktops or handles relatively cheaply; it also helps to have some stylish window dressings such as blinds or patio curtains. 



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Which Upholstery Fabric is best for pets?

We’re a nation of pet lovers. Whether they be big, small, fluffy or cuddly - we rely on our furry friends to cheer us up and be there to greet us at the door.

As much as we love our companions it can often be difficult to update our homes in the way we would like. Practicality often outweighs style on our list of priorities and making choices on carpet and fabrics becomes more limited, as we think about pet hair, scratches, and muddy paws!

Angry Cat 

With this in mind we thought we’d look at the upholstery options available and also any pros and cons that go along with each…


Patterned designs are a good option when choosing fabric for a sofa, as the design may help to hide any pet hair or marks.  If possible, it also may be worth considering washable fitted covers for your sofa such as the ones below. The advantage of these is you can re-fresh your furniture as often as needed.  We would advise against picking heavily textured designs where fibres could become easily plucked or loose over time.



Although pet hair can be easily removed from velvet with a damp cloth or lint brush, the nature of velvet means it isn’t the best at concealing marks and stains, even when you choose a darker shade of fabric. If you love the look of velvet one less costly option is to choose curtains and scatter cushions in a plush velvet design. This way you can still create a luxurious feel without the expense and risk to your sofa. 


Tweedy Texture

Tweed fabrics may seem like a good choice for pet lovers due to its durability; however the deep weave may actually trap more hair and make it more difficult to clean. If you are considering a tweed sofa we would suggest using pet throws on the seats and arms to try to catch as much hair as possible.


Leather is always a popular choice with pet owners as it can be wiped clean time after time and doesn’t harbour any odours.  The downside to leather is that depending on how ‘new’ the look of the leather is, it can highlight any scratches, which may be off-putting, especially to cat owners.  When considering a leather sofa it may be best to go for a more aged look, as this will hide any imperfections much more.

 Leather Sofa Dog 


Aqua Clean is a revolutionary technology which covers every single fibre within the fabric creating an invisible barrier stopping liquids and stains from penetrating the fabric.  This barrier means even household accidents such as drool (or anything worse!) can be removed by simply using a little water and tissue. Aquaclean is particularly useful if your pet has a habit of traipsing mud around the house!

 Kta Stl P1

 With nearly all fabrics there are upsides and downsides so it’s worth thinking through the options and doing your research so you can get the most out of your furniture. Loose Covers and pet throws will help you prolong the looks of your sofas and chairs, so it’s worth considering these when making a purchase.

Click here to find out more about Plumbs range of AquaClean fabrics.


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How to make your own Gallery Wall

Gallery walls are still a Pinterest favourite and well loved by interior design bloggers.  Creating a gallery wall is relatively simple as long as you have a clear plan before you start hanging anything. 

By considering the points we’ve put together below, you can hang your pictures with confidence…


Layout is probably the most important aspect of gallery wall yet the most overlooked.  If you have ever hung a picture and had to rehang it because it wasn’t quite in the right place the first time, imagine how stressful it will have to rehang five or ten pictures!

One way to ensure you're going like the layout before it's too late it to place the frames on the floor and play with the size and adjust where necessary.  This design can then be replicated on the wall. Another fool-proof way to plan your gallery wall is to cut out paper to the size of each frame. You can tack it to the wall while you decide where each frame to go.  Pinterest is full of tips like this and diagrams such as the one below..

How To Hang Gallery Wall 


Where to hang your Gallery Wall

Gallery walls are used to add impact to a space so it's important that you hang your frames in the right place.  Due to their scale, it's often best to do this somewhere where you have a large blank wall, such as in the hallway, or behind the sofa.  Another great place to add a gallery wall is on the stairwell wall as the angled nature lends itself well to the mix and match approach of a gallery wall.

Gallery Wall Stairs 



The great thing about a gallery wall is you can make it as personal or stylish as you like. Choose your favourite quotes, colours, motifs, or patterns to create an eclectic look.  Or it can be an interesting way to display family photos, this is especially effective when printed in black and white to create a cohesive feel.

Gallery Art 



There are so many options when it comes to choosing picture frames for a gallery wall.  Choose matching frames and the look becomes elegant and structured (this works best if the artwork your displaying has a theme i.e. black and white).  Whilst you can create an eclectic look by mixing frame styles and sizes – we suggest keeping the artwork quite simple when mixing the frames to stop the look becoming over whelming.

Galllery Mixing Frames 


Gallery walls are the perfect way to inject a sense of personality in your home without having to redecorate or spend a great deal of money. The options we've looked at above make them a versatile option to consider when wanting to give your home a new look for 2017!


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