If your sofa is looking a little tired but you’re not ready to give up on it just yet, try one of these easy updates. You might be surprised just how simple it is to teach an old sofa some new tricks.
New Throw Pillows
The easiest and likely least expensive option is to get some new throw pillows. Throw pillows have the power to transform a room's ambiance in almost unlimited ways. You can play with pattern, shape, size, and material. If you currently have something neutral or dark, mix it up with a bright and bold. If you’ve got a floral pattern, try something geometric. You can also experiment with texture—instead of a material that’s rough, opt for something soft. Throw pillows come in every imaginable style so there’s no limit to what you can do.
Add Some Nailhead Trim
If you’ve got a plain sofa and you want it to look more formal, an effective technique is to add some nailhead trim. Determine the lines of the sofa you want to accent and then nail in the tacks—try to place them at even intervals of roughly 1/2 inch. Just be sure to choose a solid part of the frame so you’ve got a solid foundation for which to nail the trim.
Remember, you cannot apply this technique on a slipcovered piece; it only works with original upholstery.
Stuff Saggy Cushions
If your sofa is looking saggy, there’s a good chance you can make it look better by restuffing the cushions. But don’t just shove a bunch of cotton batting because it will result in a lumpy cushion. Instead, take off the cover (most sofas these days have removable covers) and wrap the cushion in a layer or two of quilt batting or foam wrap. If you find it shifts around, secure the batting with a spray adhesive. And if you find there are still a few saggy spots, now is the time to fill them with extra pieces of cotton batting.
Switch Out the Legs
You can give your sofa a subtle but effective new look by switching out the legs. Most sofas are not made of a single frame construction. In many cases, the sofa seats, backs, and arms are manufactured as one piece and then the legs are screwed in after. So if you want to make a change, it’s really easy. If you can’t find new legs you like, simply spray paint the old ones with a new color and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the difference.
Cover it Up
Slip your sofa into something more comfortable and stylish in order to give it a fresh new look. Slipcovers aren’t as expensive as they used to be, and they’re available in a huge variety of fabrics and colors. You can have them custom-made if you want the perfect fit, or you can buy something in a standard size for a looser fit. And if you have an IKEA sofa you’re in luck—there are a few companies that make slipcovers specifically for IKEA furniture.
Change Surrounding Elements
This isn’t a sofa hack per se, but sometimes you can completely update a piece simply by changing what’s around it. Try some new art on the wall over the sofa, some new wallpaper on the wall behind it, or even new side tables and lamps on either side of it. When it's surrounded by different and beautiful things, your sofa might just look a little different.