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Best of Arlington 2017

José Goncalves & Sons Interiors

Best Furniture Repair/Upholstery

Carlos Sequeria, José Goncalves & Sons. Photo by Liz Lynch

If you’ve never heard of José Goncalves & Sons, a small workshop on Lee Highway specializing in custom upholstered furniture, there’s a good reason. “Some [interior] designers like to keep us a secret,” says office manager Maria Pereira.

Although the shop doesn’t advertise, Goncalves’ work can be seen in places like the White House, where the master bedroom’s upholstered headboard and drapes were reportedly ordered by former first lady Laura Bush. A bipartisan operation, the firm has also built furniture for the Clintons’ home in D.C., according to manager Carlos Sequeria.

Sequeria, who recently succeeded the shop’s namesake founder, began learning the craft of upholstery in Portugal at age 12. Today, the workshop still relies on European-style craftsmanship—drapes are hand-sewn, and chair legs are hand-turned. Though many orders are shipped to New York City, the Hamptons and Miami, local customers have an edge: they can test the cushions as their furniture is being built or repaired, and have them adjusted to their perfect level of fluffiness.

—Laurie McClellan

4808 Lee Highway, 703-528-5272

Other top vote-getter:

New England Antique Furniture Repair