Home Sweet Home on a Budget: Living Room Upholstery

Hello again, Remodelaholics!  Coming from from A House in Holland, I’m Ruth.   All through the month of May, I’ll be here on Saturdays sharing low-budget, high-style ideas for making your living room awesome.  This month, I’m featuring great ideas from all over the blogland that will help you update upholstery, decorate around a TV, and display family photos without breaking the bank.   On the last Saturday of the month (May 26th), you’ll have a chance to share what you’ve done to spruce up your own living room by joining the Home Sweet Home on a Budget Linky Party.  

Comfortable seating is generally the top requirement for a living room, the place where much of the gathering and entertaining happens in a house.   If you have a living room, chances are you have some combination of sofas, loveseats, and occasional chairs in it.  Because those pieces of furniture tend to be big and bulky, they can dominate the decorating scheme of the room.  That means if the upholstery is  worn, dated, stained, or displeasing, it will have a negative effect on the entire room.  The bad news is that replacing furniture–especially large, upholstered furniture–can be very expensive.  A decent quality sofa set can cost thousands of dollars if purchased new.   The good news is that there are lower-cost alternatives when it comes to refreshing and updating upholstered furnishings.  Check out these great sofa reupholstery ideas!


Tearing the original fabric off the frame of a sofa or chair and replacing it with new fabric is called reupholstering.  When a piece of furniture has especially good bones, sometimes all it takes to give it a second life is a change of fabric.  Admittedly, it’s a more complicated process than changing a light bulb, but the results are almost always well worth the effort.  And fantastic online tutorials available today make this a completely do-able DIY project.  Even if you aren’t brave enough to DIY a reupholstery project, hiring someone to do the work for you is often far less than the cost of new furniture and you have many more customization options–making the investment very worthwhile if you have a well-made piece of furniture to begin with.  Look at these amazing transformations:

{Sweet Pickins}

{Michelle Sorenson}

{Four Generations One Roof}

And a few DIY upholstery tips from All Things Thrifty.


Putting a tailored cover over existing upholstery is the concept behind slipcovers.  It’s the lower commitment option for refreshing your upholstery, and comes with a happy bonus:  slipcovers can be removed for cleaning.  The washability of slipcovers means that you can dare to try out the lightest colored fabrics–even in an active household.  The downside is that slipcovers tend to lend a slightly more casual feeling to a space, but that can be remedied with the thoughtful addition of details like piping, pleating, or ruffles to your slipcovers.  Low-cost options are available for purchase, you can find someone to do custom work for you, or you can try your hand at DIYing slipcovers like I did.  Here’s the wingchair I covered with a canvas dropcloth from Home Depot:

{A House in Holland}

Take a look at more ways that bloggers have covered chairs, ottomans, settes, and even sectionals.

{Nesting Place}

{Centsational Girl}

{Dear Lillie}

{Tatertots & Jello}

If changing your upholstery isn’t an option–even with these inexpensive and very possibly DIY ideas–check out Cassity’s tips for 1 Hour Design Updates.  She has some easy ways to switch things up that just may be the answers to your decorating dilemmas.

Can’t wait to come back next week with some terrific ways to hide a television in your living room!

Want to pin this post to Pinterest?  Pressing the “Pin It” button below will let you create a pin about the post in general.  If you’d like to pin specific inspiration photos from this post, please follow the links to the blogs they came from and make your pin directly from there.  It’s good Pinterest etiquette!


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