6 Ways to Give Your Old Sofa a Second Life
Your couch has survived your chintz phase, your chocolate-brown-and-aqua phase and your no-time-to-decorate phase. With a few simple upgrades, you can make it look brand-new (again).
Downsize Your Pillows, Supersize Your Patterns
Shopping for throw pillows can lead to an overloaded sofa, but the number that works for just about every style is three, says Kenneth Wingard, designer and Home Made Simple
star. Oversize prints (like the large floral design shown here, from T.J.Maxx
) are very popular right now, and Wingard predicts that chevron lovers will love the season's new geometric pattern: Lattice, which they can add right into their existing mix. "If you stick to the same size for all three pillows, they'll look like they belong together, even if the patterns are different," he explains.
Photo: Amy Walton/The Blissful Bee
Swap Out Those Stumpy Feet
Look under your sofa: What do the legs look like? "Most have these round, oak bun feet, which were really popular around 2003," Wingard says. He suggests swapping them out for a tapered, square shape, which you're more likely to find in today's showrooms. Bonus points if the feet are brass: The warm finish is slowly taking over interiors, replacing the chrome and brushed nickel accents of years past.
Changing out the legs is easier than you'd think—decorating blog The Blissful Bee
(whose photo is shown here) offers a full tutorial on making the swap.
Photo: Chibi Moku/Martin Kobus, Inc.
Take a Dip into Ombre
If you really want a dramatic change, dip-dye a slipcover for a watercolor effect that will transform your sofa into a statement piece, Wingard says. Similar colors—such as navy dye on a blue slipcover—are a more subtle way to try the trend, but the real key to this look is making sure your cover fits tightly over the sofa, as if it were a second skin. (A loose, wrinkly fit will remind you of your college dorm room.) Your best bet? "Check with your local tailor or dress shop—they can custom-make one," he says.
If dying the fabric seems like too much work, you can always buy an ombre fabric, which is what designer Martin Kobus
did when he created this blue-to-white number for a home in San Francisco.
Trim Things Up
A nailhead trim can make a $400 sofa look like it's worth $4,000—and getting the look is as easy as creating a dotted line. Use individual nailheads for the most authentic look. If nailing in each one sounds like too much work, though, many crafts stores also sell 12-inch strips, Wingard says. "Line up the nailhead with the edge of the sofa's seam—you'll get a straight line of trim," he says. "It also looks the most natural, since nailheads are typically used for holding upholstery in place."
Warm Up Boxy Furniture
Modern sofas tend to look square or rectangular—perfect for that cool, geometric look. When placed by a Lucite table and other plexiglass, lacquer or metal accessories, they can feel cold and sterile. Wingard recommends softening things with a chunky, fibrous throw (the one shown is from T.J.Maxx) and a cable-knit ottoman. Nubby textures are the easiest way to convey put-your-feet-up-and-relax, he says.
Photo: Courtesy of Home Made Simple
Revive Your Sagging Sofa
When your plush sofa starts to look a little tired, your down-filled cushions are usually to blame. These need to be flipped and fluffed at least weekly to avoid a saggy, sunken look, Wingard says. If that's too much of a time investment, he suggests replacing them with feather-wrapped foam—it's less puffy and holds its shape better. Plus, the cushions look a little slimmer, bringing them more in line with today's styles.
Get more of Wingard's tips every Saturday at 9 a.m. ET/8 a.m. CT on OWN.
Next: 5 (not impossible) ways to amp up your living room