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MATTHEW HALY is the president and owner of The Furniture Joint in New York, where he teaches upholstery classes. He has been featured in The New York Times, New York Magazine, Time Out New York, and Country Living, and his work has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and in Oprah’s O at Home, Domino, Elle Décor, and Interior Design, among other publications. His clients include Clodagh Design, interior decorator Celerie Kemble, and filmmaker Ken Burns and his wife Julie.
Although the book is beautifully designed it is missing a lot of details and has some sloppy techniques. I am skilled at making drapes and pillows but wanted some instruction on upholstery.
The author promotes himself as a workroom for high-end designers. But I doubt that his designers would accept draperies constructed the way he suggests. For example he has skimpy 2" hems instead of a 4" double hems. If you are a beginner you are going to be lost a number of times, where he chooses to explain things with words instead of using pictures, e.g. how to finish the ends of braided cord. The flanged pillow tells you to construct the pillow the same way you would a welted pillow, but if you do that then how do you handle the zipper. Upon noticing these glaring errors, I wouldn't take his advice on upholstery for which I have limited experience.
That said though, I did learn some new techniques that I will try out. And I love how he took an old headboard and upholstered it (as seen on the cover). I am going to keep my eye out for an old one at a flea market.
Not sure who the target audience is for this book. If you are a beginner, you'll be lost because of the lack of detailed illustrations and if you are an expert, you'll want some projects that are a bit more challenging.
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Though I'm pretty skillful at a range of home projects, upholstery is a new frontier for me. I recently decided to give it a shot and ordered this book. It's exactly what I was hoping it would be - an authoritative, user-friendly, and beautiful guide to home upholstery projects.
It's organized into beginner, intermediate, and advanced sections so you can start by making simple throw pillows and work up to professional-looking curtains and - eventually - recovering stools and larger pieces. More advanced do-it-yourselfers could jump right into the middle of the book.
The best thing about this book is the visual aids. A list of necessary tools is clearly defined in the first section, with photographs to simplify the shopping process, and there are pictures and step-by-step illustrations for every project. Special sections on topics like how to rewire a lamp, what to look for in flea market furniture, and how to estimate fabric yardage are thoughtful inclusions. A section at the end lists shopping resources for fabrics, tools, and other upholstery necessities in various cities. The text is written in the first person, and the author's enthusiasm for working with furniture shines through. Helpful tips from years of personal experience are sprinkled throughout.
I'm looking forward to redecorating my home, piece by piece!
I'm a self proclaimed DIYer and I love the challenge of a new home project. So, when I found this book I knew it was right up my alley. First off, the book is beautiful full of gorgeous fabrics and classic styles. It could be a coffee table book when you are not using it for projects, etc. The book is split into three sections so you don't totally feel lost and lose confidence when you are tackling a project. Of course, being the ambitious person that I am, I started right off with an "intermediate" project. As long as you have all the proper tools (which are clearly listed in the book and also has a great resource page at back of book) this book is really easy to follow! There are clear illustrations and very simple step-by-step instructions. Word of advice... read through the section: "Upholstery 101" first! (not last like me!) Even though it is in the back of the book I can't stress enough about reading through it before you begin a project. There are priceless tips and techniques about upholstery in there and if you don't have the basics down you will be pulling your hair out mid-project! I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who thinks they can tackle upholstery on their own, but definitely needs some friendly "hand-holding" along the way.
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