1. Home
Send to a Friend via Email

Video:5 Easy Ways to Update a Sofa

with Greg Dunlop, IIDA, ASID

If your sofa is starting to feel like an eyesore, you don't necessarily need to drop a lot of cash on a new one. See some simple, low cost ways to revitalize your couch and your living room.See Transcript

  • All Videos
  • All Home Videos
  • Interior Decorating Videos

Transcript:5 Easy Ways to Update a Sofa

Ever feel like your home needs a change but you can’t afford to buy all new furniture? Ever wish your sofa could look new again? Well, my name is Greg Dunlop for About.com and I’m an interior designer here to talk to you about five creative ways to invigorate that old sofa.

The Sofa as a Centerpiece

There are only a few pieces of furniture in your home that will serve you as well as your sofa. Whether you need a nap or a place to entertain, your sofa can become a cherished possession. But after years of use and changes in your personal style, it might be time for a refresh. Now, before you go and implement the design ideas I’ll present today, let me make my first suggestion.

Move the Sofa

Have you considered moving your sofa? If you’re feeling restless and that your old sofa isn’t working for you anymore, just try moving it somewhere else in the room?

So many things affect a room visually: furniture placement, the light quality coming from windows, color, texture…you name it. Sometimes, floating the sofa in the room will give the space a completely different feeling and you haven’t spent a dime. Just do two things: get a friend, a spouse, a child, or a brother to help you move it AND remember that you might have created a new traffic pattern in your living room. You don’t want to crash into it in the middle of the night on your way to getting a snack.

Cover the Sofa

If moving it doesn’t work, one of the best ways to make your old favorite look new again is with a slipcover. Now, we’ve come a long way since our grandmother’s slipcovers so don’t be nervous about making this purchase. Slipcovers are sold in many different patterns, colors, and sizes so think about your new design scheme and I guarantee that you’ll find one that works for you. Definitely make sure you measure your sofa to ensure that you buy the right size slipcover. Also, you’ll notice that some slipcovers have a sliding “belt” on the backside that helps you get the perfect fit. A good quality slipcover can cost about $150.

Replace Sofa Cushions

Another creative way to change the look and shape of your sofa is to replace some of the cushions. Most sofas have two or three back cushions that can be removed. Don’t try this if yours are sewn onto the sofa. That would be bad, very bad - trust me. But, if they can be removed – take them off and store them in a cool dry place. They can be easily replaced with new pillows that will not only look different but will give your old sofa a whole new look and feel.

Now, the key to making this tip work is knowing some simple dimensions. Measure the distance that the old back cushions take up and also measure the depth. This way you can determine how large the new pillows need to be in order to fill up the back. Also, if your preference is for a really squishy down pillow, consider some smaller firmer pillows that can line the back of the sofa and help with additional back support.

Add Dimension to the Sofa

OK, if your goal is to bring some new color and texture into your home and you still really like your sofa’s upholstery, an easy change can be throw pillows or a blanket. If your sofa has a pattern, buy some new pillows in solid colors. If your sofa upholstery is a solid color, pattern can be a great way to inject some new life into your space and onto your sofa. Take a look at this…

Rearrange Items Around the Sofa

Another great way to make your sofa look different is to change what sits next to it. This could be anything from lamps to end tables to the artwork that hangs above it. It’s sort of a trick of the eye but definitely an effective way to make YOU feel like something has changed. And sometimes, isn’t that all you need?

Sofa Revitalization Recap

To recap – we’ve covered (5) ways to invigorate an old sofa:
  • Try moving it
  • Buy a slipcover
  • Replace the back cushions
  • Introduce throw pillows
  • Change the accessories or furniture around your sofa
Give these ideas a try and you’ll see how easy it can be to make your old sofa a new favorite.
About videos are made available on an "as is" basis, subject to the User Agreement.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.