Ahhh.. isn't this such a cute picture of Albert...? But, wait, what's that over there to the left? Is that someones foot? Yes... it is! This is not out of the norm for us when looking through our family photos. So many of them have someones BIG FAT TOE in it! In this picture Dawnelle, Ali, and Amber have been debating who's it is? Some are saying it's Ali's feet. I actually think they are MINE! Why does it happen that so many of our pictures look this way? Well, it's because our family loves ottomans.
To me there is nothing more relaxing than to be able to put your feet up when you sit down. So for this reason we have incorporated ottomans in our conversation seating. Having an ottoman is the next best thing to sleeping in your bed, but your still awake and you can share that relaxed feeling with other people without having them all climb into bed with you. Which is what often happens at our house.
Here is an ottoman that I had custom made at the Smyrna Delaware prison.
Let me give you a walk through of what to expect if you do go to the prison to have furniture reupholstered. First, you have to call and make an appointment. Then you will need a truck or trailer to hall off your furniture. Once you get there you will need to go into the main part of the prison where most people go if they have come to visit someone. The officers look at you through the glass doors. Tell them your going to the prison industries. They buzz you in and give you a special pass to put on the dash board of your car. Then they ask if you need an escort. You probably will since you don't know where your going, so you say "yes". You then get into your car and follow the officer in his car through the compound. You will pass the barbed wire fencing that encloses basket ball courts and grass with picnic benches and the actual prison cells. On occasion you may ride by when all the prisoners are out. Then you'll pull up to a small warehouse...go inside. There may be caged barking dogs as you get out of your car, ignore them. Once your in the warehouse you'll be met by a man who is in charge of taking your furniture, he will have a couple of prisoners to unload your stuff. At this point you need to know exactly what your having done. DO NOT rely on them for design tips. They are there to do exactly what you specify.
The prison I go to has fantastic tapestries, fabrics, leather, and cowhides. They will help you know exactly how much you will need for your project. If you go that route plan on being there for hours trying to pick out what you want in company with with the prisoner's watching you. They will let you take the sample books home, however I think it is best if you can make up your mind while your there. Depending on the work that they have to do, you might find that your project could take one months to a year to complete.
I wanted something very happy, bright, large and functional for this ottoman. So I brought in my own fabric along with pictures of ottomans that I love. I specified exactly where I wanted the fabric applied. There is usually a $10 up charge if you bring your own fabric. This piece measures 19"h x 30.5"w x 54.5" L and cost me $375.
The top lifts up and the entire ottoman opens to a large storage area.
The men are so GOOD! The craftsmanship is EXCELLENT!
Let me give you a little advice if you want to reupholster something. Think of how it will be used. Decide if you want a pattern. Tear pictures out magazine of what you want your piece to look like. They can completely change the look of a couch or settee buy adding tufting, or cushions. Remember if you have small children use a fabric that is durable and wears beautifully. Then 'GO FOR IT'! Don't be afraid of your choice or your ability. Have fun and enjoy the process.