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  • Writer's pictureJacqueline Loiacono

How to Update Your Sofa on a Budget

Have you ever wanted to change your sofa or living room seating and just do not have the extra money? Well, I definitely have... I often feel the need to change things in my home, it makes things feel fresh and new. Not only does changing furniture around give me the feeling that I am in a different space, but it often changes my perspective in life and even inspires me in a way. However, I did not have it in my budget to spend a couple of thousand or even only hundreds of dollars on a new sofa. So what is a girl to do?

Before we moved from Queens, NY to Greenwich, CT I had a 3 seater, microfiber gray sofa that I bought from a discount store. It was close to $700. It was very comfortable and had pretty, silver studded hardware detailing the the arms of the sofa. When COVID was just beginning to keep us at home, the neighbors upstairs had an accident with their Air Conditioner and it flooded through the ceiling and ruined my pretty couch. I was about to get out of bed to teach my students from my makeshift classroom in the living room and I heard water dripping heavily. It was coming out of the ceiling most of the night and soaked through the couch. I cleaned it and used a dehumidifier for days, but the cushions were ruined. I was afraid it would start to grow mold. Thankfully, my neighbors offered to buy me a new sofa (they were the nicest couple also with a dog that Arya barked at constantly through the apartment door).

I felt guilty getting an expensive sofa. I know it was an accident and so many people were out of a job during COVID including my neighbor. I knew this couch was an extra expense. I made sure to find an inexpensive one that was similar in size. I knew we were also looking for another apartment to move into before our wedding and I didn't know what the layout would be. To help with the unknown layout, I decided to get a navy blue sofa from Bob's Discount Furniture Store. It was only $499 dollars and had a chaise lounge that was able to be changed from either side of the couch. The chaise piece was just a longer cushion with the ottoman underneath so it seemed to be the best option for us.

I've always wanted a large sofa or even the right sectional big enough to fit 5 people, but I have to remind myself that we aren't in our forever home yet. A big couch in a small apartment is not doable, even if it fit it would make the room seem overcrowded. When we moved into our new apartment, I wasn't sure how I would arrange the living room since it was combined with the kitchen in one open space with a fireplace that was off-center. We knew we could really have the couch on one side of the room because we wanted to fit the TV over the mantle. Thankfully, since the couch's chaise piece was able to be changed to either side I did not feel limited in my living room design (especially when you're the type that gets the itch to change things around like I do all the time).

After a few months of living in our new place, we decided to paint the walls a deep blue color called Poppyseed by Behr Paint. I always loved bright and neutral farmhouse pastels, but my style was shifting. I started to really like dark, moody colors but now it clashed with our navy blue sofa. I still liked the couch but it blended in to the wall too much. I couldn't keep looking at it that way, but obviously wasn't going to buy a brand new couch after getting this new one less than a year ago (and didn't have the money anyway). I was also getting annoyed with the chaise lounge piece. Since I refurbish furniture for a living and acquired new pieces for the room, the chaise cushion started to limit the ways I could rearrange the furniture to give ample walking space. So I decided to cut it. What better way to change a couch than to chop the chaise in half and buy a new slipcover?

All I had to do was to take off the cushion cover and cut through the batting and fabric. Since it was a moveable piece, there was nothing solid in the cushion and was easily cut (only took a few minutes to cut it and trim off the excess fabric from the cushion). I put the cushion cover back on and folded the edges in the back (shhhh...don't tell anyone I didn't sew it or hot glue it I was too lazy) until I have the time to mend it properly. After some searching on Amazon, I found the perfect velvet slipcover in a golden coffee color. I thought it was the perfect contrast against the blue wall and it pulled the colors from the basket wall that Brian and my brother had helped me to put up. I've always loved velvet and it definitely helped that velvet is a big trend right now so there were so many options to choose from.

The slipcover came in three different sizes, small, medium and large based on the number of seating cushions and length of the sofa back. I liked this particular cover because it was sewn to look like a real couch cover with a slipcover for each separate cushion. In order to keep the cover in place, it comes with four styrofoam rods to stick in the back of the couch underneath the cushions to keep the slipcover in place. I have to say, as soon as I put it on it made a drastic change in the room. It brightened up the space against the bold and moody wall, and is extremely easy to clean. You just take off the elastic cover and throw it in the wash. This simple diy is an awesome alternative for anyone who is just plain tired of their furniture and doesn't want to spend a lot of money to change it up.

This simple furniture hack made me breathe a little easier. Changing around one small thing can make your whole room feel updated and brand new. If you're feeling stuck or your home feels stale, look around and think of the easiest ways to update a space. Slipcovers, new pillows and paint are just a few ways that can help you to love your home again. I hope this simple budget friendly trick inspires you in some way. It sure brightened up my day. I encourage you to consider bold choices in your style options. If you don't like your surroundings, you can change your view. Just like our bodies and minds grow and evolve, our styles can grow and evolve too.

xoxo Jacqueline

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