Pretty up the old

Pretty up the old
Lawyer Josephus Tan gave his sofa, which used to have silky blue covers, new upholstery to match the interior of his studio duplex.

A broken chair leg, a dog-bitten couch or even changing your home's interior style is good enough reason to get new furniture.

But for some home owners who have had these pieces long enough and cannot find good substitutes for what they already have, there is another option: get them restored.

Take criminal lawyer Josephus Tan, 35. He wanted to keep his American-sized sofa, a second-hand piece, as he could not find another couch which he liked as much and of this size. It is about 1.8m long and is big enough to double as a bed.

While the sofa was in good condition - aside from its slightly deflated cushions - the silky blue covers did not match the interior of his new studio duplex at Cairnhill Rise. He and his wife wanted a more "zen-like" couch with a canvas or linen feel. They got the sofa last November from an expatriate family who were moving back to Australia.

So, to give the piece a new look, the couple searched the Internet to find an upholsterer who could help revamp the sofa. They came across Ms Jann Chan, 55, who runs a blog called Jazz It Up By Jann. She specialises in upholstery and has salvaged many tired-looking chairs and sofas, some of which have been scratched and bitten by pets.

Mr Tan, who paid about $1,000 to reupholster the sofa and its six cushions, says: "I probably could have gotten a new one for the price that I paid for the reupholstery, but I think it was affordable for such a sofa that is hard to come by in Singapore."

Like other people who offer such services, Ms Chan, who has been in this business for the last 12 years, has seen more Singaporeans opting to keep their old furniture rather than throw it away.

Previously, they had more expatriate customers asking for such services. This was because many had brought their furniture over from their home countries and found it cheaper to make new covers for the furniture than to buy brand-new pieces.

Ms Chan, who worked for seven years in furniture retail in the United States, adds: "The retro-themed house is also popular at the moment. Home owners want to keep pieces that they have from years before, but change the style and look by taking off the old covers and adding new fabrics and cushions."

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