When hitting the thrift stores and the flea markets, my one word of advice when considering upholstered furniture is to seek items that you can buy and use in your home as-is. Certainly, there are a gazillion examples of fine furniture discoveries where the purchaser has graciously invested in a reupholstery job to fabulous effect. That is fantastic, and even better if you know how to do it yourself.
But you're talking to The Elegant Thrifter, here. Like many of you, I have never attempted an upholstery job, but I do know it can cost a lot of money, especially if it's done right.
Here's an example of an incredible thrift discovery that I photographed when doing my research for The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating With Thirft Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details. Mark Ciolli, principal of the New York
design firm, Carl & Co., told me a story in The Find about how he purchased this elegant,tuxedo sofa at a Housing Works Thrift Shop. "For Ciolli, it was a perfect find: the gold-and-white jacquard upholstery was in pristine condition, so he kept it the way it was. The price was right at $245, and it measured 110 inches long -- perfect for lounging his 6-foot, 1-inch fame" Says Ciolli of his discovery in The Find. "I love it because it's the first sofa that I can actually sleep on if I want to.' '