(Animation by Julia Pott; Music by Eric Beug featuring Dan Bindschedler)
At the end of the quiet wooded street I grew up on, there once stood an upholsterer’s workshop called Brownie’s Upholstery. The workshop was a landmark for me well into my twenties. When I was likely no more than four, my father took me to Brownie’s to visit the cheerful and bearded man while he reupholstered a chair from our living room. Although I never knew exactly how it was done, I was always fascinated by the fact that this chair used to look a certain way one day, and totally different upon its return. While Brownie has since passed on, and his workshop is no more, the crushed blue velvet armchair and ottoman have held up for the over twenty-five years since their recovering.
Today, I’m proud to say that I understand a great deal more about the artful process of upholstery thanks to my opportunity shooting with SpruceHome; a team that “brings an updated approach to upholstery.” Amanda and Lizzie, two Austin, TX based gals, are combining a long tradition of skills with a savvy design eye. Like many in the Process series, there is so much fascinating effort that goes into their work that it’s difficult to distill it down to just a few short minutes.
SpruceHome have made a business not only upholstering vintage chairs, couches, and headboards, they also go so far as to make their own pillows and lampshades featuring the same vintage and designer textiles that they use for their furniture. Additionally they sling vintage wares such as lamps and tables to go hand in hand with the things that they make and re-envision. Part of their philosophy is that anyone can have the updated look to suit their home, without having to buy all brand new things — although everything they sell looks brand new.
Amanda and Lizzie both make mention of the fact that upholstery shops in their town are not only few in number, but very dated. Upholstering furniture is likely not thought of as a budding industry these days, and with the pneumatic staple gun being the most advanced tool since the early 1900s, it’s not hard to see why. While most upholsterers may still live in the era I remember from my childhood, Amanda and Lizzie represent a new breed of talent to an industry long overdue for a makeover, or re-covering as it were.
Bless their hearts, SpruceHome is generous enough to offer a giveaway of one of their famed Willie Pillows (as seen to the right). All you need to do to enter is leave a comment below on this blog post. At 11:59:59 p.m. ET Wednesday May 19, 2010 we will pick at random one lucky commenter.
(We apologize in advance that this sweepstakes is only open to U.S. folks over 18. Void where prohibited. Download a PDF of the full Rules and Regulations.)
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