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Object lesson: Why upholstery can cost a bundle

July 17, 2009 |  9:30 am


Look at that striped sofa. Yummy, right? But it costs $7,980. Gulp. And, in front of it, that lovely Parsons-style cube covered in an exotic medallion print is $950. How come they're so much? At Tower 20 Store, the Santa Monica showroom of interior designer Tim Clarke, who created these pieces, I found out why some upholstered pieces are so costly. Learn more after the jump.

IMG_7767 Exhibit A: The sofa has a simple enough shape, yet striped fabric is printed vertically and these stripes run horizontally, which takes more fabric, especially when it has to be positioned on the frames and cushions so that the multi-colored stripes line up. 

Oh, and every edge on the cushions and frame --including the pleated skirt at the base -- is piped in leather. 



Exhibit B: It's easy to upholster square items, right? In this case -- a square cushion that's sitting on an open cube frame wrapped in fabric -- the answer is not really. 

Do you see any seams? Are the medallions in the printed fabric perfectly positioned, as if they were painted on? That takes extra fabric and skilled hands that need extra time to achieve such results. Whether you think that kind of attention to detail is worth it or not is another question. 

Tim Clarke's Tower 20 Store is at 2110 Main St., Santa Monica; (310) 452-8374.

-- David A. Keeps

Photos: David A. Keeps