Budget Friendly Fixes for a Sad Sad Sofa

published Oct 31, 2016
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Living room with a hanging wall sconce
(Image credit: Samara Vise)

Your sofa is the centerpiece of your living room, and maybe your whole home, so you want it to look nice. Unfortunately, a sofa is also one of the most expensive furniture purchases you can make, and sometimes buying a new one just isn’t in the cards. Whether your sofa is saggy and sad, or just plain ugly, we’ve got some suggestions for budget-friendly ways to give it new life — and a new look.

If your sofa is sad and saggy:

(Image credit: Design Domesticity)

1. Give crumply cushions a little extra oomph.

Apartment Therapy contributor Ashley Poskin transformed her parents’ old sofa by plumping up the cushions with polyester fiberfill. Most sofa cushions have a zipper (usually along the bottom) that will allow you to stuff a little extra filling into a crumply cushion. Design Domesticity got great results with her sagging sofa by taking out the seat cushions, wrapping them in a layer of quilt batting, and then replacing the covers. (One of the commenters on Ashley’s post recommends using bonded upholstery batting, which is tougher and will hold its spring for longer.)

(Image credit: Chatfield Court)

2. Give your cushions a complete overhaul.

This is a bit more of an involved DIY, but if your sofa cushions are starting to get seriously limp, you can re-stuff them, or replace them entirely. For stuffed cushions, you can remove the old filling and replace with polyester fiberfill. For a foam cushion, remove the cushion from the cover, and use the old cushion as a template to cut a new cushion from upholstery foam. (You can buy upholstery foam at fabric stores, or upholstery specialists, or online. It comes in different thicknesses and densities, so make sure what you’re buying matches your sofa.) You can see the before and after above from Chatfield Court.

If your sofa is just plain ugly:

(Image credit: Krys Melo)

1. Replace the legs!

As we’ve documented before, adding legs to furniture can change its entire look. Krys Melo gave her IKEA sofa a boost with taller, thinner legs that make the piece seem more elegant and expensive. (Of course, any time you’re replacing or adding legs, make sure those new legs are screwed into the fame and are extra sturdy.)

2. Do a two-minute reupholster.

Here’s a quick sofa fix that will take you about two minutes: wrap a blanket or quilt around the bottom cushion, or the top cushion, or both. This is a great way to hide tears or stains, or just give an old sofa a new look.

(Image credit: Remodelaholic)

3. Try a slipcover for a completely new look or color.

Whitney of Carpendaughter shared this before and after with Remodelaholic. She initially pulled the trigger on a bright green Stockholm sofa from IKEA then needed it to go away a short time later.

Also Worth Noting:

Re-upholstering an old sofa is a bit pricier than the options listed above — but still cheaper than buying a new one. This is a great option for a sofa whose fabric you don’t love, but that is still in good shape. If the only issue with your couch is sagginess, upholsterers can tighten the springs, or tighten the webbing.

One More Thing:

(Image credit: Mind The Home)

If you want to prevent sagging to begin with, Mind the Home has some advice from a decorator friend, which is to rotate your cushions 180 degrees once a week.