So, you’ve inherited that great arm chair from your great aunt that you loved so much. It doesn’t fit into your decorating scheme right now but you can see it fitting into the perfect spot in the future. What do you do in the mean time?
It is crucial that furniture be stored correctly so that it will last and maintain its structural integrity. Ideally you want to store all unused furniture in a climate-controlled space away from direct sunlight. Climate-controlled is important more because of controlling humidity/moisture than anything else. Moisture and cause wood to swell, mold and mildew to grow and fabric to rot. Many times these are not reversible and they permanently damage the piece of furniture.
Extremes in temperature can cause problems too. Especially wood furniture can swell and contract in extreme temperature shifts and this can cause joints to loosen and glue to harden or release. You may not notice wood on upholstered furniture but remember there is often a wooden frame underneath that upholstery that can be impacted by weather, temperature and moisture.
Antiques are especially vulnerable to moisture as many are made with natural materials such as cotton and linen fabrics. Also, older furniture is often stuffed with horse hair and other animal byproducts. These products have to be maintained and preserved or they could impact the frame and integrity of the piece.
Can I just get it re-upholstered? Sometimes the upholstery is the only thing damaged and other times the upholstery looks great and you don’t see issues until the fabric is pulled back. Let us know how the piece is stored and what you think may have happened to it since it was stored and we may be able to help. The age of the piece of furniture is helpful to know as that will give us an idea of what materials were used.
Furnishings 411 is a great source for all furniture info. If you’re deciding to have a piece of furniture re-worked let us know. We have great resources for making the most of that classic piece or complimenting it with something new.