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The re-upholstery renaissance: McDonald Hartshorne

If nothing else, Covid-19 has had us focus on tackling those backburner projects. Many have spruced their homes with a new paint job, and while that goes a long way to aesthetic enhancement, shabby furniture can let the whole project down.

Artisan re-upholsterer McDonald and Hartshorne shares some wisdom on remedying that situation:



BOLSTER LIMP INNERS AND SEAT CUSHIONS WITH NEW INNERS – And don’t neglect rips or unravelling stitches. The sooner the repair, the better the outcome.

HEIRLOOM PIECES DESERVE TO BE PASSED DOWN THE GENERATIONS – A repair to framework, some woodwork stripping, repolishing and a reupholster, soon restores pieces to their original beauty.



A SCATTER OF COLOURFUL CUSHIONS – Bespoke new or re-covered cushions in a gorgeous fabric, creates a dramatic change.

KIWIS LOVE THEIR SQUABS.- Dress bay-windows, patio benches or caravans with new squabs, or refresh tired ones with inner padding or outer fabric for an eye-popping transformation. McDonald and Hartshorne stock a large fabric range, including superb NZ leathers, leather-look vinyls (plain and textured) and vinyls in many colours.

Keith Hartshorne can visit by appointment at your home, workplace or business. Free no-obligation quotes available. Send through photos for email quotes.
Commercial quotes welcome, as are insurance assessments.


Restoring greatness: McDonald and Hartshorne

Do you have a treasured piece of furniture you’d love to restore, but are unsure where to begin? Calling McDonald and Hartshorne Upholstery for a free, no-obligation quote is the best place to start.


top = before | bottom = after


The Christchurch-based re-upholsterers have more than 100 years combined industry experience, specialising in household furniture, re-upholstery, refurbishment, commercial jobs and insurance work.

Founded by Steve McDonald and Keith Hartshorne in 2004, the craftsmen are experts at both traditional and contemporary furniture repair and restoration techniques.

All woodwork restoration is completed by Seaton’s French Polishing.

The free quote can be discussed through email or with an onsite visit. Here, the McDonald and Hartshorne Upholstery team can bring with them the latest fabrics, a selection of vinyl, and leather samples from leading New Zealand tanneries, to help clients select the perfect covering style to match the piece’s new environment.

So, whether you have a project such as a family heirloom to return to its original glory, or smaller furniture repair jobs like seat and back supports or broken seat springs, give them a call today.

For more information, and to arrange your free quote, call 03 3717 500 or email


Transforming heirlooms

Bringing a new lease of life to a well-loved piece of furniture is McDonald and Hartshorne’s speciality. One such piece of family heritage – a cherished rocking chair – belongs to a client, Abigail.






“My great, great grandfather is believed to be the original owner of the rocking chair, dating back to the early 1900s or possibly the late 1800s,” Abigail says.

“My grand dad eventually inherited the chair and had it re-upholstered, but he kept pieces of the original fabric as inserts because he wanted to retain the connection to his own grandfather.”

When Abigail was given the chair, she wanted to restore it again.

“Respecting my grandfather’s sentiment towards the original fabric, I too have chosen to keep that material and will have it made into cushions. I love the look of the restored chair, but most importantly it represents for me the history of my family, the connection I have to my ancestors and the precious memories I have of my grandparents.

“I have a photo of them next to the chair in my lounge and it feels like they are here with me and present in my everyday life. This provides me with a physical sense of connection. I feel honoured to be the guardian of this chair until it’s time for me to pass it to a future generation.”

If you, like Abigail, have furniture in need of restoration, enquiries are welcomed at McDonald and Hartshorne, phone 03 371 7500.


Quality Furniture

New lease on life: you don’t have to say goodbye to old favourites anymore thanks to McDonald and Hartshorne

There is much satisfaction in bringing a new lease of life to a well-loved piece of furniture and that is McDonald and Hartshorne’s specialty.

“Customers are often amazed at our ability to return furniture to its former glory, or even better,” says Steve McDonald. “The work may be painstaking and require absolute attention to detail, but seeing both the finished article and the customer’s reaction is the real reward for us.”
Delight and amazement was the reaction from a customer recently at the sight of her restored traditional wing chair – handed down to her from her grandmother. “The chair was just a bare frame when it arrived in our factory, so it was almost like making a completely new chair,” Steve says.
“Over some 20 hours we built the frame up again with new springs, new webbing, foam and tetron. The frame was also reglued and cleaned and the legs were repolished. And finally, the chair was covered in a simply beautiful fabric.”
The stunning Designers’ Guild Palasini Cobalt velvet-style fabric was very carefully selected. “The customer wanted a colour and style that would represent her grandmother – a floral influence, but still modern, contemporary and slightly avant-garde. With its very wide wings and the eye-catching fabric, the chair now really makes a statement as a feature piece in the home – a ‘useful work of art’ is the way the client describes it.”
If you have furniture in need of restoration, enquiries are welcomed at McDonald and Hartshorne’s re-upholstery factory and fabric showroom at 430 St Asaph Steet by appointment – phone 03-371 7500. Or you can visit