Monthly Archives: November 2015

How to Make Your Home a Happy Home

This week we are going to take some me time out and talk a bit about ourselves for those who may or may not know about who we are and what we do.

New York Fabric Store and Custom Upholstery

New York’s Finest Fabric Resource and Upholstery Service since 1918.

Beckenstein fabrics started nearly a century ago. 1918, Samuel Beckenstein, a Polish immigrant, started his business making trousers for his customers to match their suit jackets when the original pair of pants had worn. His craftsmanship and the quality of his work lifted his business to prominence – there was even a song written about Sam Beckenstein in 1935 and sung by Barbra Streisand on her Color Me Barbra album. Before long Beckenstein’s small shop on Orchard Street  had become one of the world’s leading fabric companies.

drawing of beckenstein orchard st by Robare

Beckenstein on Orchard St.
Illustrations by Robare

Today, we carry on the Beckenstein family tradition of providing only the highest quality of service and a staunch commitment to excellence, providing New York City with fine fabrics and custom re-upholstery.

At any time you can find all different people in our storefront, from professional interior decorators and designers to homeowners and hobbyists. Some are in search for the perfect fabric to upholster a few throw pillows with so that they can complete their bedroom re-design. Other have pieces that hold a personal significance – like an occasional passed down from their grandmother that has worn and needs to be brought back to life.

So what is the Beckenstein Experience?

We have broken down the process into 5 simple steps – guiding our clients from drab to Beckenstein fab.

Home need sprucing up? It's time to give us a visit. Illustration courtesy of Robare

Home need sprucing up? It’s time to give us a visit.
Illustration courtesy of Robare

ONE. It starts with an idea; not ours – yours. Bring with your vision, your mood board, and your idea book.

beckenstein resource for fabric to bring your ideas to life

Feel free to get creative and browse through the thousands of designs we hold.

TWO. Next, let our staff help guide you through the thousands of designer fabric samples that we carry in-store. Holding the largest collection of designer fabrics in New York City, we can help you find that perfect pattern and texture to dress your padded headboard.

largest collection of fabric resource in new york city

Endless collections of designer fabric samples, wall coverings, and color schemes.

THREE. Once everything has been picked out, we will go over how you would like the fabric or window treatments applied. How will the seams be done? What about the padding or trim?

beckenstein fabrics resource and helpful staff

Don’t feel like you have to make all the decisions alone. Our staff is as big of a resource as our inventory.

FOUR. This is where we take the reigns. We will pick up your furniture from your home and bring it back to our workshop. Quality work takes time, so we ask that clients allow 3 to 6 weeks for service to be completed (depending on the size of the project of course).

beckenstein fabrics custom upholstery work

Our craftsmanship is second to none.

FIVE. Once your piece (or pieces) have been finished we will deliver them directly to you. Depending on the order, we will also install the items (e.g. window treatments, wall coverings).

the beckenstein fabric experience

Illustration by Robare

Are you looking to experience what tens of thousands of new yorkers have experienced over the generations? Give us a call at (212) 366-5142 or contact us online and begin your journey to a more beautiful home. Also, be sure to check out our current Get Your Home Ready for the Holidays special and your home perfect for Christmas.

And if you would like to contact Robare, the artist responsible for providing us these wonderful illustrations for this week’s blog you can visit his site:

Get Your Home Ready for the Holidays

If you have been visiting our site or subscribed to our specials newsletter then you know that we are helping our customers prepare their home for the holiday season. So this week we thought it was only fitting that we write a guide for those who need some vision.

discount upholstery fabric


Start by simplifying.

So where do you start? First, look at whichever room you are redesigning (say the living room) from a third party perspective. Take some pictures from the entranceway, from the sofa, from the fireplace, etc, and form an objective opinion on your room’s arrangement. How do these photos look? Is there furniture that seems to be in the way or crowding the area? If so, it might be a good idea to move that piece to another area or room, or even sell/give it away if it’s not worth keeping.

Alternatively, you can “rebuild” your living room. Picture the room empty. Then begin adding back furniture and decor. Anything that is left out can be done away with.

Now that we have removed what wasn’t needed, we can improve on what remains.

First, plan the arrangement. Two things to consider here are:

1. Flow

You want to make sure that everyone can easily move around the room, unobstructed by nightstands, floor lamps, and occasionals.

discount upholstery fabric


2. Focus

What should be the focal point of the room? Is it your holiday centerpiece that you place on the mantle of the fireplace every year? Or is it your new area rug that makes your open space concept much more intimate? Center your furniture around what matters the most to you.

discount upholstery fabric


Get inspired.

This is a good time to open up that Pinterest account of yours and start running through your favorite room designs. What pops out to you? Any pieces, colors, or patterns that strike you? Items could be as small as a must-have ottoman or be as drastic as reupholstering your sofa.

Lighten the place up a bit.

Also, don’t forget about lighting. Now that the evening night sets in earlier, you want to be able to illuminate the room with a flattering glow. Lamps, mirrors, and (of course) candles are a must. Use low-watt bulbs to warm the room and dim down the overhead lighting for a more intimate atmosphere.

discount upholstery fabric

Sourced from teakwood builders.

Solve the seating situation.

When you are entertaining guests, you have to consider if your living room will be able to seat everyone comfortably. Stacking stools and ottomans are easily tucked away when not in use, and benches and occasionals are welcomed additions to any living space.

discount upholstery fabric


You have only just begun.

Seating, lighting, and arrangement are just the start of preparing your home for the holiday season. Once you have the room organized and your pieces are reupholstered and refreshed, you can begin shopping for the nick-nacks and decorations that complete the seasonal look.

Looking For Finished Basement Ideas? These are the 5 Have-To’s.

For those with basements, we often have grand ideas of having a finished basement when first moving in, but usually end up filling it with the everything we couldn’t be bothered to unbox or sort for the past year. Yet back in your mind, you still want to turn that cold, dark basement into another addition to your beautifully crafted home. Well, it is time to buck up and finally finish that basement of yours. So what are the need-to-knows before starting?

1. Go all neutral.

Most basements suffer the curse of having a low ceiling and little light, so to start we want to find ways to open up the space and brighten it up. The easiest way to do this is to use neutral colors for the walls and ceiling. Grey, taupe, and any shade of white will make the room feel more expansive and assist in dispersing light around the room.

For those thinking gray, you might want to look into warm grays to keep your basement from feeling too cool during our famous Northeast winters.

2. Let there be light

As should be expected, you are going to need to bring more lighting into the room. Floor lamps are best when you need to make a room look taller. Recessed can lights are the perfect low profile solution for basements with low ceilings. Also, be sure to add a few mirrors to spread the light around the room.


3. Define each space without confining the room.

If you are trying to use the basement for multiple uses – maybe adding an awesome cocktail bar to go with your entertainment room – be sure not to add any walls. Keep the space as open as possible so you don’t defeat your lighting and décor efforts. Use area rugs to anchor down furniture and split spaces from one another without physical barriers.


4. Heated floors are a must.

And if the thought of concrete or tile floors is sending shivers up your spine. Carpeting really helps retain the heat but also don’t discount wood floors. Wood is always a welcome complement to a neutral color scheme and you can install radiant floor heating to keep from having to suffer walking across the basement barefoot.

5. Do not forget about storage.

Last, you probably do not have an alternative space to stick those miscellaneous boxes that we discussed earlier in this article. So be sure to create a few places for storage like floor to ceiling cabinets and closets that can stow away your college textbook collection and holiday decorations.