Defining Pieces

“Upholstery” is a very broad term. Within its definition falls different types of materials, application and tools. Automotive, motorcycle and marine. Dental and barber chairs, massage, chiropractor and physical therapy pieces. The whole array of commercial office and educational/institutional furnitures are made unlike their residential counterparts, though by outward appearances they may all look the same. There are some “upholstery” tactics within the field of draperies, but not many upholsterers will fabricate window treatments or even slipcovers – these become specialized areas of custom work, often requiring proprietary tools and materials.


The past 20 years in upholstery and soft home furnishings I’ve done a myriad of styles of furniture on hundreds of frames produced through the eras of 18th century Europe to American mass manufactured pieces of the 21st century. I‘ve honed it down to doing only single or sets of small piece furniture of chairs, small sofas, chaise, loveseats, settee’s, benches and ottomans made 1760s thru 1880s/1900 then on thru the rapidly changing styles and factory designs of the WWl and ll years. I like to stop around 1985 for upholstered furniture, because after that is generally when lesser quality wood, joinery, padding and upholstery application was used as industries deregulated – the exceptIon being of custom or artisan made furniture of these more recent years.

Size and Scale

I like to do those pieces that I can pick up and move easily by myself. The work of upholstery is physical and a piece must be picked up and turned over and up again and again during the course of its restoration or makeover.

So I include, chaise, bergere, fauteuil, club, easy, overstuffed, office, barrister’s, barrel, caned, cogswell, lawson, danish, wicker, wingback, rattan, some recliners (not all – that too is a piece of furniture that has evolved thru time) swivel, slipper, rocker, modern, mission, iron, chrome, rustic, dressing room, vanity, porch, parlor, patio, sunroom, nursery, dining, kitchenette, your mother’s, your father’s, your grandparent’s, yours as a child, yours as a college student, the first chair you ever bought…

ROOMSERVICE by miller upholstering

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