Best Place to Get Overstuffed St. Louis 2002 - Luttrell Upholstering Shop
Anorexia gave upholstery a bad name, but there's something to be said for the comforts of amplitude. In 1950, Jay Luttrell rented a little yellow building in Brentwood and started his upholstery business. Four decades later, his son Woody, the fifth-youngest, took over. Woody started delivering and pulling weeds when he was twelve, got a kick out of working the staple gun and fell into the craft when college bored him. Now he's run the place long enough to see the trends cycle: Decorative nails are back, and so are fancy braid and gimps and rope, not to mention leather. "It breathes," he explains, "and it holds up." Woody likes the variety of his work -- "Every day a different chair, and not too many chairs are alike" -- and he likes the people he meets. Bob Costas the other day; baseball catcher Ted Simmons before that. "We did furniture for the governor's mansion," he says, "but I can't remember which governor." The trick to quality? Caring what's underneath. "Nine times out of ten, in a bad job, the burlap's not on properly or the springs aren't tied right, and it's collapsed from underneath, which makes everything look bad," Luttrell says. "My first four years, about all I got to do was tie springs."