Chicago Furniture Company Reupholsters, Revives Family's Vintage Chair

Chicago Furniture Company Reupholsters, Revives Family's Vintage Chair

Angie’s List member Sue Myers has always remembered what her grandmother taught her about furniture.

“You need to buy quality furniture because you will have it in your house your whole life,” Myers grandmother would say. 

So when Myers, of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, was trying to think of ways to help her sister decorate a new home, one word came to mind: quality. 

Repurposing a family treasure

“When my grandparents passed away, most of their house was sold in an estate sale," Myers says. "But my older sister and I each took a chair, and told ourselves that we would reupholster the chair to keep in our homes in memory of the days we spent at Grandma and Grandpa's.”

With her sister's birthday just a few months away, Myers snuck into her basement and removed the decades-old, wingback vintage chair that occupied a special place in their hearts and memories. She decided to have the heirloom chair reupholstered, refinished and repaired by a local custom furniture business.

Seeking professional help

Over the years, Myers attempted to reupholster one of her grandparents' wingback chairs herself, but she says she ended up destroying it.

Determined not to repeat that mistake with the other vintage chair, Myers turned to Angie’s List to find the best Chicago-area upholstery business to update the chair upholstery for her sister. 

That’s where she discovered highly rated Leo's Furniture & Upholstery in Chicago’s Norwood Park neighborhood. “I knew I wanted the chairs redone by someone who was recommended, but none of my friends had ever reupholstered anything,” Myers says. “I went on Angie’s List and found Leo’s, which had Super Service Awards for eight years running.”

RELATED: Chicago Furniture company continues family tradition

An 'amazing' transformation

Leo’s has been refinishing and building custom furniture in Chicago for 44 years. The furniture shop's owner Frank Giordano recommended reupholstering the chair, changing the back, upgrading the cushion, adding brass nails and refinishing the wood chair legs.

“When I picked up the chair, it looked better than I had ever thought it could look,” Myers says. “The Leo’s team made the wood look brand new, and Frank made a pillow with little blue beads on the fringe from the leftover fabric. (It’s) amazing!”

Now that the upholstered chair was refinished to its former beauty, the only thing left for Myers to do was to devise a way to surprise her sister with it for her birthday.

After picking it up from Leo's, she snuck the reupholstered chair into her sister's bedroom and topped it with a big red bow. “When my sister came in, she didn’t know what is was, and I told her it was grandma’s chair,” Myers says. "And she cried."

RELATED: Is it worth the cost to reupholster old furniture?


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Chicago furniture company continues family tradition

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“We’ve done everything from custom-building new furniture to restoring a bed with 50,000 nailheads,” says Frank Giordano.
Photo courtesy of Frank Giordano
“We’ve done everything from custom-building new furniture to restoring a bed with 50,000 nailheads,” says Frank Giordano. Photo courtesy of Frank Giordano

Leo's Furniture & Upholstery Inc. has earned five straight Super Service Awards.

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