I learned years ago, the hard way, that upholstery is an endeavor best left to upholsterers. After building a cherry sofa for myself based on a modified Stickley Prairie Sofa design (which you can find in Robert Lang’s Shop Drawings for Craftsman Furniture), I figured fabricating a simple leather bench seat should be pretty straightforward. This proved to be incorrect. After much struggling and cursing, I managed to turn a nice cordovan leather hide into a wrinkly, squeaky, and generally uncomfortable sofa seat that was a ‘cushion’ in name only.
So, when I wanted another sofa for myself–something larger and more comfortable–I turned to my friends at Decor Interior here in Eugene. Their primary business is upholstered furniture, but they also mill and sell their own local lumber as Scotty’s Hardwoods–wood I’ve been buying for the better part of a dozen years. I was happy, then, to have the chance to support another local furniture-maker and to see what they can really do.
About ten days after taking them a photo from a fancy catalog and picking out a fabric, I was taking a nap on my new couch. Custom size, custom fit, and free delivery, all for a third less than the catalog price. What money I did spend stays here in Eugene. The hardwood frame is from locally-salvaged lumber as are the walnut feet–and here, ‘walnut’ is a species of tree and a type of wood, not a stain color. So before you buy your next piece of furniture–upholstered or otherwise–it’s worth checking with local furniture-makers first.