Good Questions: Can I just reupholster the cushions?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

An email from Sharon:
I recently acquired an old couch and the cushion foam needs to be replaced as well as the cushion fabric as it is a bit worn. I’m afraid that I won’t find a fabric that is a good match, as the couch is old and from the 50’s or 60’s.

My question is, should I go with the closest that I can find or should I reupholster the whole thing in new fabric?

I don’t know how strange it would look if the cushion fabric was a little off from the rest of the couch in color or texture. I would like to salvage it in any way possible as the couch really appeals to me. Any advice?


We vote for a total reupholster or a totally different color for the cushions. We wouldn’t go for a match at all.

If you are putting the money/effort into the reupholstery job it just seems worthwhile to get the whole piece redone – of course it will cost more but you will basically have a new sofa instead of just new cushions. It seems like it will be a pricy job though (lots of fabric involved, that tufted back). If you really love the lines and have a vision for the sofa in your place, we say go for the whole job…

If you opt for just new cushions we would stay away from trying to match it – we’d go for a nice, funky color combo. We’d look for a similar fabric texture and weight but opt for a off-beat color choice.

Suggestions, ideas and advice from the AT:Chicago design minds kindly requested below!