Howards Custom Upholstery

Howards Custom Upholstery

About Yelp ...

by Tavy at Howard's on 11/02/19

We find it interesting how Yelp is "supposed" to be generated by "generic" or unsolicited reviews.  Yet we get countless calls per month, from Yelp & Home Advisor, trying to convince us to advertise with them.  At the same time, we see inferior, surrounding upholstery shops at the top of the "sponsored" list with five star ratings!  Welcome to capitalism!

The proof is in the pudding ... we invite you to visit all of the "highly rated" shops, including those in private homes, working out of their garages!         See the condition of the shop and the type of workmanship being performed.  We welcome all our customers to come see and visit. We are excited to show our clients, the work in progress, including the high quality of supplies that we use. Although, Howard's Upholstery has a reputation for higher prices, in order to remain competitive, we discount our fees. if we were to charge less, we would have to take "short-cuts", both in the workmanship and with the supplies that we use.    That is not going to happen!

Yes, we have a high standard.  We also have the talent and character to fulfil that high standard.

So please, visit the other "top rated" shops, then compare our product & service with theirs ...     you'll find that you can't. 

To those that prefer cheap, sorry but we can't accomodate you! The only time we see you, is when you want their inferior workmanship corrected, which they can't do!

Upholstered Furniture in 2019

by Tavy at Howard's on 02/21/19

What is Happening with Upholstered Furniture in 2019?

Sadly, the quality of new upholstered furniture is spiraling downward.  The materials being used are inferior.  The wood frames are sub-standard and the upholstery fabrics, leave much to be desired.

All this is thanks to the  Walmart/China mentality.  Todays consumer wants it cheap, if not, he wants it cheaper than cheap!  Well, you got what you asked for!  Reach over & pat yourself on the back!

Most good-quality furniture stores have gone under & quality furniture manufacturers, that are still surviving, must also make exceptions to some of their lines of furniture.

John Q. Public expects to pay $1,000 for a sofa or sectional, when 30-40 years ago, good sofas cost over $1,000!  So, something has gotta give.                       That SOMETHING is quality!  The public likes quality but will not pay for it.  What is the result?  Buying furniture that looks ok, but DO NOT sit on it!  How dare you want it to look ok and expect it to be comfortable and last years!

Our customers, call us daily.  What can we do to improve the seating comfort of their newly bought furniture?  Answer: Nothing.  Give us something good to work on, a piece with a good foundation, that is  where we can help and are experts at.  Your poor investment must be trashed. But hey!  What a deal you got!                                                                                                                                                                      Who wins?  The people selling the trash!  They are making million$!!!          The consumer is not being protected ... buy at your own risk!

We custom build sofas, chairs and ottomans. We construct these pieces properly.  A good foundation is an all hardwood frame, glued & doweled.  The right springs or support system is very important.   Please Google - Century or Baker Furniture and see what quality furniture looks like! They sell sofas from $10,000-$20,000.  We can custom build a sofa, same quality, for less than half the price! 

As the generations that owned and appreciated quality, comfortable furniture are dying off, the new disposable generation spends money foolishly on furniture that is uncomfortable & lasts just a couple of years!

Now, if you have a living room that hardly gets used, put the cheap, junk furniture in there. The family room or daily used room is where Howards Upholstery should have an expert hand, in the product.  You want a quality comfortable sofa or chair?  We can build it for you!  Bring us a picture or sketch of what you would like.  Custom built just for you!   Guaranteed to last.

Another option is to find a good used frame.  We can reupholster it properly.

The bottom line is, have it done right or settle for substandard furniture & materials.                       The choice is yours!

5 Design Trends That Will Dominate in 2018

by Tavy at Howard's on 01/15/18

"At the close of 2017, we asked a team of industry experts to ponder the year ahead and tell us what's in store for interiors in 2018." Interior Design



Some Things to Consider for Window Coverings

by Tavy at Howard's on 04/30/14

So it's not reupholstery, but when planning the design of your living space, window coverings are a factor.  So here are some things to consider...Window dressing is an essential part of any room scheme but is often given the least thought.  There are numerous options from curtains to blinds through to shutters and a myriad of possibilities within each of these categories, but not all will be practical for your room, or your budget.  Curtains are the most obvious choice as they soften the window, help keep the cold out and bring an extra element of color, texture and pattern to the room.  Patterns can create a bold contemporary statement but work best if furniture is quite plain.  Curtains can be very expensive so a plainer, textured fabric may be more appropriate.  The next consideration is long or short – this will be dictated by the size and position of the window and surrounding fixtures. Generally, long curtains make more impact but if there is a radiator under the window or a deep sill then stick with short. Window poles create drama in a casement window but tracks are generally more practical in a bay.  The curtain heading also affects the look of the curtains and the stack back (How much space the curtains take up when drawn back). The simplest and cheapest is a pencil pleat but this is also the least attractive.  If you can afford it a French pleat or wave heading will give neater folds and a better stack back.  If your budget is very tight and you have space for a pole, eyelet curtains are worth considering as they use less fabric so will be cheaper and look contemporary.  For a lounge or bedroom, Roman blinds are a good option if you are on a tight budget, as they are considerably cheaper than curtains. All curtains and blinds will last longer and hang better if they are lined and interlined.  Finally shutters look very modern and are great if privacy during the day is an issue. However in winter may feel cold and give a less cozy feel.

Upholstery Tips for Pet Owners

by Tavy at Howard's on 02/11/14

Pet friendly fabrics

Finding furniture that dogs and cats won't ruin is a challenge for pet owners. Here are some things to think about when you're buying furniture, along with some ideas for protecting it from fur, stains and scratches.

Click Here to Learn More

And the Winner is...Radiant Orchid!! Pantone's Color of 2014

by Tavy at Howard's on 01/29/14

Radiant Orchid

Radiant Orchid for Interiors
Spruce up interior spaces by incorporating this eye-catching hue in paint, accent pieces and accessories. As adaptable as it is beautiful, Radiant Orchid complements olive and deeper hunter greens, and offers a gorgeous combination when paired with turquoise, teal and even light yellows.


Likewise, the vibrant color is sure to liven up neutrals including gray, beige and taupe. Uplifting and bold without being overpowering, Radiant Orchid reenergizes almost any color palette and provides a unifying element for diverse spaces.

For the Full Press Release:  http://www.pantone.com/pages/pantone/pantone.aspx?pg=21128&ca=10

We are an Angie's List Super Service Award Winner, Again!

by Tavy at Howard's on 01/16/14

Angie's List Super Service Award

Congratulations to Us!! We are the recipients of Angie's List Super Service Award for 2013.  That means that we have received this award every year we have been a member of Angie's List.  Granted, it's only been 2 years, but that's two years of acknowledged excellence in service and customer satisfaction.  For those that don't know, the Angie's List Super Service Award is awarded to companies that rank in the top 5% of a service category for their area.  We knoew we are the best, but having customers and a legitimate review site like Angie's List confirm our assumptions does not hurt.  If you want to see what all the hub bub is about, give us a call.  I assure you we provide the best in custom upholstery and custom built furniture in Southern California.

Upholstery Discounts / Sales - Take advantage of them!

by Tavy at Howard's on 06/18/13

Demand for Custom Upholstery work does have it's "peaks & valleys".  For example, the greatest demand is in the fall, when most people want to have their home looking good for the Holiday Season.  A traditional ""slow time" is right after the New Year. Shops need to keep their work crews busy, so take advantage of sales, when you see them. It is only natural for shops to minimize their "Discounts/Sales'' when they have accumulated a substancial work load. Most shops may discount their fabric much more than their labor. If you see discounts on both fabric & labor charges, that should be your "green light"!  Go !

Angie's List - Super Service Award to Howard's Custom Upholstery

by Tavy at Howard's on 01/13/13

Quality Craftsmanship, Upscale Performance & Superior Service results in the selection Howard's Custom Upholstery to:

Angie's List's 2012 "Super Service Award"!

Just being included on Angie's List is a favorable acknowledgement, but to be in the top 5% of those businesses, really seperates us from the rest.  We thank the members of Angie's List for your selection.  It is an honor that we will strive to keep!

For more information on Angie's List, please visit angieslist.com.

Cheap ... Thank China

by Tavy at Howard's on 12/09/12

When it comes to upholstered furniture and upholstery fabrics, thank China for "Cheap"!  Most consumers don't know any better, but to those with discriminating tastes, this is a "Cancer to Quality"!

If consumers could only see the frames that are in 95% of new upholstered pieces and compared them to what used to be a standard in upholstered goods, they would be very disappointed. Sadly, most consumers still feel that they should be able to get a "good sofa" for $1,000. Can't blame them, when we are bombarded with advertising from sub-par stores and distributors. Most people want quality for cheap. Yet, no attention is given to value.  What am I getting for my hard earned $1,000?   ........trash.  Yes, it will be unconfortable and yes you will trash it! You certainly don't want an upholsterer to try and improve junk.  Most of my "genius" customers that chose to invest in these cheap pieces, come in or call to ask what I can do to improve their comfort and sitting experience. This usually happens, six months after they purchase.  If they are lucky, I may be able to replace their seat cushions with proper foam & wrap.

So, what is my point?  Think well before you unload your older quality frames. In today's market, they are like gold!  Reupholstery is a fraction of the cost of what new, quality furniture would cost.  If you do decide to replace them, either spend more in new, quality furniture, or let us custom build a sofa/chair/ottoman for you.  We use the old standards of quality. 

Unfortunately, your choices for quality upholstered pieces is very limited.  Thank China. Go online and check out the prices of quality pieces, such as Century, Baker and Bernhardt.  We can custom build pieces for you, using the same or better quality, at a fraction of their prices.

If you have any questions, give us a call at Howard's Custom Upholstery in Mission Viejo.


What's in a Name? ... Custom Upholstery

by Tavy at Howard's on 12/09/12

It seems that every upholstery shop claims they do "custom" upholstery, when in actuality, all they do is recover furniture. Today, most upholstery shops don't even know the difference. Yes, the definition of  "Custom", in this application, is - made specifically for individual customers. Our customers assume that "quality" goes hand in hand with custom.


It's unfortunate to what's happened to our trade.  The lack of mastercraftsmen is more evident now, than at any other time.  It seems that my Dad's generation was loaded with plenty of expert mastercraftsmen.  Over 90% of current upholsterers would be lucky to be apprentice's, to these past Masters! My dad, who is now retired, is now 80 yrs. old, and most of his contemporaries have either retired or died.

Fortunately, my Dad left our shop with an extremely well qualified staff.  He led by example.  Whenever decisions need to be made, we always refer to what my Dad would have done. Since the early 1950's, he was an upholsterer at different furniture factories.  He joined his friend and past co-worker, Lee Marble, and George Howard in the late 70's. When George & Lee decided to relocate to Salt Lake & Palm Springs, respectively, my Dad bought them out and I came to help him.

What a transformation our shop has taken from then till now!  The quality of our work was very good then.  Now, we are at "the top of our game"!  I've seen the quality of work that surrounding upholstery shops produce. They call it "Custom", I call it generic recovering.  In order to generate a profit, most of them crank out the work so quickly, one can't help but know, the lack of time & attention that was given to the "ïnsides" of the upholstered pieces. Not to mention, the lack of new quality materials that should replace old existing padding. Other shops, farm their work out to "butchers" that work out of their garages.  Yea, the same garage in which, their pet dog or cat sleeps!  Then there are those shops, that literally take furniture to Tijuana to be "custom upholstered"!

If you would like to see a legitimate Custom Upholstery Shop, come visit us at Howard's Custom Upholstery, in Mission Viejo. You are welcome to see the quality of in stock supplies that we use, but more importantly, come see "the art of upholstery", in progress!

To those clients who's priority's are in quality and style; To those "who know the difference" and acknowledge that outstanding work is worth paying extra for, we are your shop.


2012 Paint Color Trends: Paint Hues Drawn from the American Landscape

by Tavy at Howard's on 04/26/12

Wondering about the hot paint colors for next year? Wonder no more: The 2012 paint palette will draw heavily upon the natural colors in the American landscape, according to Debbie Zimmer, color expert at the Paint Quality Institute.
"Native plants and flowers, oceans and lakes, and rocks and minerals are the sources of inspiration for the paint colors that will be 'in' next year," says Zimmer. "If you're thinking about repainting your home interior, look to the great American outdoors."
Here are some highlights:

Blue, the Jewel of the Sea
Blues gained popularity in 2011 and continue to be red hot in 2012. "From sparkling sea-glass blue to colonial blue-grey, blues are suitable for all living spaces, being a naturally soothing color that is loved -- in one iteration or another -- by almost everyone," says Zimmer.
Green, From Farm to Forest
Greens, ranging from celery and asparagus to fir and fern, allow homeowners to bring the comforting feelings of the world outside into the world within. According to Zimmer, dining rooms and kitchens are the "natural" spots for in vogue greens, but the hue is also at home in family rooms and bedrooms.
Violet, Majestic Purple Mountains
"A harmonious combination of patriotic blue and red hues, violet can add 'punch' to any room when used as an accent color, or serve as the dominant color in a bedroom," says Zimmer.
But natural hues aren't the only news for 2012. Zimmer predicts that three paint and decorating trends will gain prominence next year:
In 2012, patterned paint will take center stage, with increased interest in hound's-tooth finishes, lacy designs, and bold color blocking techniques. "In some cases, pattern will be the main decorating feature in a room; in others, it will provide a subtle, textured backdrop for fine furnishings and artwork," says Zimmer.
Black and White
The classic combination of black and white isn't just for Cape Cods any more. You'll see much more of it in all sorts of settings, from contemporary apartments to historic homes, says Zimmer. "The pairing is a great way to freshen an interior with something smart and stylish," she says.
Exterior Paint Combinations
On the home exterior, shutters colors will begin to shift away from the traditional look of high-contrast green, red, or black to a more monochromatic palette. "You'll see more shutters that are painted just a shade darker than the siding," says Zimmer. "Owners of homes with stone exteriors can get in on things by matching the shutter color to the dominant color of the stone."
Despite all the new colors and trends, Zimmer says some things in the paint world will remain the same in 2012: "Top quality 100% acrylic latex paint will continue to provide the best performance and the best value to budget-conscious homeowners," she says.
And since paints are locally produced, consumers can easily support the growing "Made in America" decorating trend.


Interior fabrics perform with high-tech properties

by Tavy at Howard's on 04/19/12

From antimicrobial properties to ultra durability, textiles for interiors have more than good looks.

Uses for fabrics in interior applications are seemingly endless, from wall treatments to window coverings to furniture upholstery. Although commonalities exist among fabrics, not all textiles are created equal. Furthermore, what’s needed in a medical clinic is not always necessary in an office setting or residence. The fabric choices available for interior use offer an array of capabilities, carefully manufactured for specific end uses—and tuned in to expected growth areas in this market. For more Info: http://upholsteryjournalmag.com/articles/1211_ld_interior_fabrics.html

Designer of the Month: Barbara Barry

by Tavy at Howard's on 12/15/11

Title of the article is "10 Things I Know for Sure." let Barbara Barry share some of her wisdom with you:

1. Don't fight what you cannot change. Anything that's permanent has to become your best friend, so learn to love it and to play it up. If you have a brick wall outside your window, bring terra-cotta into the room through pillows or flooring. If your fireplace has a charred hearth, paint a door black to pick up on that color. Expand on what's there by extending it: That makes it seem intentional.
2. Quality counts. Once you've slept on soft sheets or dried off with a fluffy white towel or sipped tea from a porcelain cup, you understand how the smallest details can have an enormous impact on your sense of well-being. The body knows quality. So I say buy less, but buy at the highest level you can afford.
3. Windows shouldn't look like party dresses. Think of window treatments architecturally, as extensions of the wall. Treat them simply with a fabric that's the same color as the wall so that you enlarge rather than constrain the space.
4. Make choices based on your gut, not your head.
5. Not every piece of furniture has to make a statement. A Louis XVI chair can be fabulous, but best to surround it with neutral, pared-down pieces that will complement and not compete with it.
6. Restrained color palettes bring order to the chaos of life.
7. The best design strikes a balance between toughness and gentleness. I'm always looking to blend a line and a curve; if I make a chair with a straight leg, it will have a curved back. Geometry offset by sensuality inevitably stands the test of time, and resonates with every taste, both masculine and feminine.
8. Different tasks require different lights. I put a 40- and a 60-watt bulb in a double cluster lamp so that I can have three choices: 40 for the party, 60 for reading, and both—100 watts—for cleanup.
9. Go easy with patterns. I'm searching for calm all the time—that's why people come to me—and life is already a pattern. We create it with the shape of the furniture, the windows, the doors, the pillows, what we wear, and the stuff we have. Unless you have a sure hand, adding a print to that can just make for more visual noise.
10. Live glamorously! Glamour is not about money, it's more a quality of character...but having elegant furnishings can certainly set the stage. I love how California was and still is the backdrop for a casually elegant lifestyle: palm trees and swimming pools, cocktails and pearls. Perfect.

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/home/10-Things-Designer-Barbara-Barry-Knows-For-Sure#ixzz1geVIMBdi

Getting Much More than What You Expected!

by Tavy at Howard's on 10/10/11


Many of our customers come in asking the right questions.  Other times, it's obvious that they got a list of generic questions from articles or magazines such as Home & Garden. Frankly, the source of their questions really don't bother me.  It is almost impossible for the average lay person, to cover all bases when contracting for an upholstery job.  I find it very rewarding when a customer sees his/her newly build or re-upholstered piece, and appreciates the attention to detail.  More importantly, they notice what they got, in addition to, their contracted job!  We pride ourselves in "covering your back".  When needed and if applicable we include armcovers, if we find that we have enough left over fabric.  Sometimes, again when applicable, we install anchor hooks on loose seat cushions, so that it might minimize any unwanted movement.  Once you contract us, we are on your side, not on ours!  Basically, we prefer to work with you as if we were a team, both parties interested in producing the best piece of upholsted furniture!

Today I had an old customer came by to get some cushions recovered.  Once she selected her fabric, she just wanted to write us a check and be on her way.  How rewarding it is to us, that our past customers believe that we will be fair and give them the best product available. Lucky her ... lucky us!  - Tavy

Want to Feel Relaxed, Happy, and Hopeful...then read on.

by Tavy at Howard's on 06/23/11

A recent study has found that rounded, curvy furniture actually makes people feel more happy, hopeful, and relaxed.  Oregon State researchers have recently conducted a study to aid interior designers and architects create a more welcoming environments, and found that round and curvy is where its at.  So if your were thinking about the same old rectangular furniture, think again.  For more info check out this link here: http://upholsteryjournalmag.com/articles/061511_curvy_furniture.html

Again with the Foam Prices!?

by Tavy at Howard's on 06/16/11

 People always ask me, "Why are foam prices so expensive?" and I always tell them that foam is a petroleum based product and as a result rises with the price of oil.  I would say it fluctuates with the price of oil, but I have never actually seen the price go down, so "rises with the price of oil" is more accurate.  Recently we at Howard's Upholstery received a letter from one of our foam providers stating the price of foam will go up 9% after July 1, 2011.  Not unreasonable, unless we had just received a letter last year stating the prices would go up 12%.  Together that is a 21% increase in foam prices in the last year. Outrageous.  I included the recent letter on the top of this entry so that our customers can see that we are not raising foam prices arbitrarily, but rather the foam companies are raising prices.  I cannot speak for their reasons, I can only say that this increase is outrageous, and a burden to our customers, especially during these economic times.

Ostriches, Sharks, and Stingrays, oh my!

by Tavy at Howard's on 05/24/11

First off, I have to say that I respect all living creatures.  If a living organism can experience suffering, then it deserves to be left alone.  However, human evolution has not gone far enough to make this ideal so.  As a result most people eat meat, and cover theire furniture in exotic animal hides.  I personally do not have any exotic fabrics on my furniture, except for some leather pieces, and I won't push my beleifs on anyone else, so with that said..."Customers who crave unusual upholstery can choose from a menagerie of available hides, including alligator, ostrich, shark, stingray, snake, lizard, eel, crocodile, caiman, python (prohibited for sale in California since 1970, so West Coast upholsterers take heed), elephant, zebra, bison, kangaroo, wildebeest and hippo. Each exotic hide has its own look, feel, history and sometimes-surprising characteristics." Wow! I didn't even know there were that many.  Stingray suprisingly seems to be very popular this year and because of the economy caiman also is popular, being that it looks so much like alligator. "Exotic hide trends for 2011 and beyond will include metallics, antiqued and varnished looks, and for budget-minded customers, cowhides and vinyls embossed to resemble exotic hides."  for the entire article check out: http://upholsteryjournalmag.com/articles/0411_ld_exotic_hides.html

Pink and Navy, and Purple too!

by Tavy at Howard's on 05/03/11

Upholstery Journal Magazine has recently reported that pink is in, in a little way. "Don't look for hot pink sofas anytime soon, but look for fabrics that incorporate stripes in pink and other bright, clear colors against navy backgrounds. You may also see pink piping on sofas and chairs." Pantone, which provides color standards for the printing industry and others,also named Honeysuckle, a lovely pink hue, as its color of the year."Neutrals still dominate with major upholstered pieces, but one of the other ways that color is creeping back into the upholstery world is with accent pillows that change with the season or the homeowner's mood. Bright accent pillows can change the entire look and feel of a sofa and chair upholstered in a neutral color...for the entire article check out http://upholsteryjournalmag.com/articles/0311_ld_color_trends.html

Check Out COMMA

by Tavy at Howard's on 04/16/11

We at Howard's Upholstery had the honor of working with David and Roberto from COMMA, both Californian Natives, and found their designs to be inspiring, functional, and visualy stunning. I personally like their "Mary Jane Console", a bar like table that has the bottles backlit and seen through opaque glass.  It isn't upholstered, but definetly makes an impression.  Their upholstered pieces are great too, I like the T.V. Cushions, the whole thing looks so different, and the concept is great.  David and Roberto prove again and again why they are worldclass architects and designers. But don't take my word for it, check them out at http://www.comma-nyc.com/.  Prepare to be amazed!

Howard's Custom Upholstery
Serving All of Southern California since 1976
  Family Owned and Operated
High Quality Furniture Upholstery in Orange County
For a ballpark estimate, email us pictures at: howardsuph44@gmail.com
Please include your name & phone#
We're the only Shop in Orange County to receive multiple Super Service Awards!
Sofa, patio cushion, dining seat & fabric discounts - see Promotions page
- Quality at a Just Price  -  Read our "Yelp" & "Nextdoor" reviews!
We are being very aware & deliberate to avoid COVID19.  Constantly sanitizing.
HOWARD'S CUSTOM UPHOLSTERY in South Orange County, California, since 1976, has Specialized in Upscale, Luxury Furniture Upholstery and the Construction of "Custom Built" Furniture.

We Pride Ourselves on The Quality of Our Work and Our Emphasis on Customer Satisfaction.  Once you visit our shop and speak to our staff, you will see that Howard's is the Best in the Industry!
We believe that furniture should be a long term investment and a legacy from one generation to the next. Howard's has worked hard to build a strong reputation within the furniture industry and our community. We take great pride in our craftsmanship and offer quality fabrics for your home, office or outdoor experience.

We specialize in:

Antique Furniture
Foam/Down replacement
Dining Seats
Patio Furniture
Cornice Boxes
Window Treatments
Duvet Covers
and more...

Call Us...(949)768-0106
24002 Via Fabricante #204
Mission Viejo, CA 92691 949.768.0106

At the very corner of Alicia Parkway - behind
Custom Comfort Mattress.
Turn into Via Fabricante, then turn left at 1st

24002 Via Fabricante #204  Mission Viejo, CA 92691
Hours of Operation
8am - 5:00pm
FRI: 8am - 2:30pm
SAT: 8am - 1pm
SUN: Closed
- Closed Holiday Weekends

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