Got an old sofa that’s still got years of hard wear left in it – but it’s looking a little tired and outdated? If your old sofa frame is still serviceable, but the upholstery is showing a little wear and tear, updating it could be just a matter of a few yards of fabric and some comfy new cushions. If you were smart enough to choose a sofa with a cushion back and seat, you can end up looking like you have a whole new couch by the time you’re finished. Here’s how to spiff up your old sofa with new upholstery and cushions.
Cushions and Style Decisions
If your couch has an attached back, your options for restyling will be a bit more limited. Still, you can make a big difference with new fabric covering for the upholstery and a change of style for the seating cushions. It can be as simple as choosing slipcovers for the couch and cushions in a livelier, updated style, or – if you’re daring – you can go as far as cutting away the attached pillow back and replacing it with cushions.
How Many Cushions?
Traditional styles use two or three cushions for both seat and back. If you’re just replacing the seat cushions, you have a few choices. If the back of the sofa is one piece – without attached or loose pillow-backs – you can use as many seat cushions as you want. One full length seat cushion lends a sleek, modern look to an older style. Just use the same fabric as you use for the sofa slipcover to make a cover for the cushion. If you like a more traditional feel, use two or three evenly sized cushions on the seating platform.
If, on the other hand, you’ve got a pillow-back sofa, you should stick with either the same number or a single cushion for the seating. In other words, if the back as three pillow sections, use either one or three cushions on the seat base. Anything else will give the sofa an oddly unbalanced feeling.
Covering Your Cushions
The fabric that you choose for the upholstery slipcover and casings for your cushions will be the major style decision that you make. It will also be a major factor in deciding how long your new investment will last. Among the durable, natural fabrics that you can choose are cotton, wool, linen and leather. Among the synthetics, olefin is one of the most versatile fibers available. You can find olefin upholstery fabrics in weaves that mimic nearly any woven fabric – that are wash and wear easy when it comes to care. Take the extra trouble to make sure that your slipcovers and the covers for your cushions are removable so that they can be easily dry-cleaned or machine washed.