5 Ways to Change the Look of Your Sofa (short of reupholstering)

People’s preferences, style, and tastes evolve and change over time. Which is fun and exciting…unless your preferences change so completely that the sofa you picked out just a couple of years ago is no longer to your taste. Sofas are an investment, and it would be expensive and impractical for most of us to have to replace ours every few years, don’t you think?

While reupholstering is an option for a complete sofa overhaul, it’s not always feasible. Instead, you could look outside the box (and stay inside your budget). Here are five easy alternative strategies to update the look of your sofa without reupholstering:

Custom Slipcover.

Sweden style

Imagine this same space with a mint-and-peach floral print sofa. Not quite the same vibe, is it? Slipcovers are a genius (and super easy) way to transform the entire look of your sofa…and, consequently, your space overall. White slipcovers are a popular choice, simply because they can be bleached for easy cleaning, and because they provide such a clean backdrop for a variety of color schemes and styles.

Sofa-Covering Blanket.

Sweden style

On this long, vintage sofa, a large colorful suzani covers the bulk of it to (a) protect the sofa, and/or (b) hide its current state of disrepair. We might never know which motivation it is, but either way, the result is a perfectly casual, inviting, and well-traveled space. I like the carefree look of a throw blanket atop the bulk of a sofa, particularly if the throw tells its own story…and if it doesn’t cover the awesome fact that your sofa is on casters.

Small Throw Accent on Sofa.

Sweden style

If your sofa naturally fits your décor scheme and you enjoy the way it looks overall but you’d like a fresh look, this might be the shake-up strategy for you. Drape a small throw, such as an afghan or animal skin or print in the winter or light cotton blanket in the summer, over some part of your sofa to provide an accent color or merely for functional purposes. We’ve all seen throws draped over a sofa back or arm, but I like this non-traditional and unexpected example – animal skin over the seat cushion itself.

Recovered Seat Cushion.

Sweden style

A fabulous option for the perfectly imperfect sofa. Let’s say your sofa has a stained seat cushion, or it’s torn, or you just want to add a punch of color but don’t want to mess with regularly adjusting throw blankets. Recovering just one part of the sofa (in this case, the seat cushion) is an affordable and simple way to accomplish this…and isn’t the end result so fresh and charming?

Change up the Throw Pillows.

Sweden style

Perched on top of a neutral sofa, throw pillows can single-handedly introduce (or eliminate) a color scheme into the overall space. A fun way to alter the entire look of your sofa is through throw pillows. You can change them up for the seasons, the holidays, or simply as a way to freshen up your space.

(Tip: When your sofa is neutrally colored to begin with, it makes this step much easier.)

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.