Updating and refurbishing a couch

What happens when you decide that your family room couches are looking tired and dated? You buy new ones of course and that’s where the problem starts – you live in an already fully furnished home. Oh what a dilemma! Actually for me, the solution was surprisingly simple.
I have long been dissatisfied with my patio furniture. It was bought long before the area was enclosed and never really gelled with its new, updated surroundings. In a rare moment of clarity, I realised that it just had to go! So, an advert was duly placed on Gumtree and in a flash it was rehomed with a charming couple and now enjoys a setting much more suited to its rustic charms.

Happy in it's new home
Happy in it’s new home

Hmmmm, an empty patio and new couches to be delivered on Monday. What is a girl to do? There’s only one solution and that is to utter the words that strike fear into the heart of every man, words that have the smartest, most successful and devoted of husbands pale with trepidation. “Let’s rearrange the furniture, darling!”
Sitting here on a Sunday evening with my exhausted husband prostrate on one of the the newly refurbished and relocated couches, I can share our weekend’s activities with you.
Anyone who read my ‘frugalista’ posting will know that I am genetically incapable of allowing a refurbishment opportunity to pass me by, so here is how I went about updating my dated couches to furnish my sunroom.

Outdated and uncomfortable.
Outdated and uncomfortable.

The sagging seat cushions were desperately in need of new foam. That was an easy fix and only required a credit card and a quick trip to the shops. The large, bulky and very dated back cushions were more of a challenge. The fabric had been discontinued a decade ago, so no more was available. No problem! I unzipped them, removed the bag of stuffing and to the absolute horror of my stunned husband, began to unpick the seams. That done, I cut them up, joined them to a coordinating backing fabric and voila! New updated scatter back cushions!
Actually, it wasn’t quite a simple as that, so for anyone who wants to try this for themselves, here is how I actually went about it:

Deconstructed 'old' cushion back
Deconstructed ‘old’ cushion back

1. Measure the back of the couch and decide how many cushions you need and what size they should be.
2. Make the cushion inners. I used curtain lining fabric and reused the stuffing from the now dismantled back cushions to fill them.

All the pieces, inside cushion bag, cushion front and cushion back
All the pieces, inside cushion bag, cushion front and cushion back

Note: Make them slightly smaller than your finished size, as you’ll want to wrap them in batting before inserting them into the covers.
3. Unpick the existing large back cushions until you have two large flat pieces of fabric (saving the zips, piping and sides for another frugalista project).
4. For each cushion, cut one front panel from the upholstery fabric and one from a coordinating fabric for the back. Sew together along 3 sides to form a bag.
5. Insert the cushion inners covered in batting. Any additional space can be filled with extra batting.

It's easier to insert the batting after the inside cushion is in place
It’s easier to insert the batting after the inside cushion is in place

6. Neatly hand stitch the open end closed (or insert a zip if you’re feeling energetic, but as you’re unlikely to ever want to open them, why bother?).
7. Repeat as many times as you need to make the required number of cushions.

A successful makeover - new scatter back cushions, new foam and a new sunny location!
A successful makeover – new scatter back cushions, new foam and a new sunny location!

This, of course, wasn’t all … the carpet from the dining room was moved into the sunroom, along with the side table from the family room and the tub chair sand otterman from the study … but that’s a story for another time. Happily though, everything has found a new home and my bare family room awaits its new furniture.


8 Comments Add yours

  1. Well done, it does look good.

  2. Daphne says:

    Cathy I am gob smacked . That is so clever . And looks awesome . Didn’t realize how out of date our couches are . And of course loved the way you wrote about it .

  3. Chris says:

    Amazing what can be done when you have the queen of ideas and a good appie. 🙂

  4. Brian Colmer says:

    Hi Skate,
    Reading this latest offering from you reminds me of our parents verandah in Vale Close, but let me rather try to follow the story through. The first of your words/phrases I want to comment on is ‘Rustic’, I seem to recall that it was you who said that ‘Rustic’ is simply another word for ‘Old’. Here were you referring to the Odd couple who bought the outside furniture, Chris, or were you simply being kind? I am one husband who has no fear of the phrase, “let’s re-arrange the furniture’, you see the answer is simply – NO. Why on earth would you mentions Chris’s Prostate in the middle of a blog, and then go on to make reference to the art of batting when we all know that it is the Rugby season. I was gob-smacked to learn that someone actually still owned a sewing machine in the 21st Century, even better that they used it. Finally, I have to comment on the photo of the newly re-furbished couch, which looks great by the way, but ti is very 1960’s to have an indoor couch outside. Just thought I would say. Love you, Brian

  5. Emma says:

    That really suits the outside room.. You and your ‘appie’ did a great job.. Who do we call to book our couches in for a facelift tee hee….

  6. I did something similar with loveseat in our sunroom, but only replaced foam and batting. Did you cover the foam in the bottom cushions with anything first or just stuff it in the cushion cover (like I did, lol)? Thanks for the visit!

    1. So sorry for the delay in replying, your comment was stuck in my spam folder 😦

      I covered the foam in batting before pushing them (with difficulty) back into the covers. An effort, but worth it for a softer look. 🙂

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