Hello buddies! I have been avoiding something for awhile now. It’s one of those things that I know will most likely be simple, it’s just the starting that’s hard. What can I say? Avoidance is easy. Here’s the deal, I want to recover the mid century six-cushioned sofa in our sunroom.
The sunroom is located off the master bedroom upstairs, it’s the room that sold us on this house. It seemed like the perfect place for us to hide away from the kids and hang out at the end of the day. Unfortunately this room never became that for us. We furnished it quickly and inexpensively after we moved in, and since then not much has changed. About a year ago we threw an old green rug down on the floor to help insulate it during the colder days, since then it has become a dumping ground for stuff that doesn’t have a home. I’d really like to make this room into the room we always hoped it would be, not the room that seems like an afterthought. Also, the above photo was taken when I was trying to make it look good, it does not look like that now.
As always, budget is a big factor for me, I want to update this and make it comfy on the cheap without spending a ton of cash. We have two pieces of furniture currently in the room. The orange upholstered vintage swivel chair has potential to be that fun bit of color in the space. I’d like to play off of it and add a blue graphic rug.
We also have the six cushioned sofa which is the ideal proportion for the space, I don’t think I could get a better sized sofa if I tried. The sunroom is small (7′ x 11′) and a big sofa would overtake the room. I’d really like to replace the cushions and recover this sofa – I’m so nervous about it though. As it sits, it is covered in old curtains, underneath that is alternating blue and brown naugahyde cushions. Yah, it’s kind of a dog.
When I mentioned doing this all the way back in July, a local reader, Laura of Lahlo Shelter – who also happens to be an upholsterer, offered me some good advice about where to find foam. I also bought this book and have watched a few youtube vids, I think I might stand a chance. I just need to actually go out into the world and buy my supplies, and be brave, and try it out. I’m thinking white, or light gray fabric for the new cushions – it is after all supposed to be a hang room for us grown ups.
So, who has upholstery tips for me? I’m considering making the seat one long cushion and then having three cushions in the back, but I could also just make it easy on myself and do two long cushions similar to the sofa pictured above. I need your guyses help, so leave me tips and encouragement, pa-lease!
Alison, can you spill the beans on your local foam source? I’m hoping to replace the foam cushions in our 3 year old sectional because it was built pretty cheaply with low quality foam. I’m also going to try tackling a few upholstery project this year – my grandma is a rockstar at it so I’ll have to keep her on speed dial. Now I just have to get over how ridiculously expensive upholstery fabric is.
Hey Becky – Laura suggested that I use Rochford Supply in Brooklyn Park. I’m hoping to make it out there sometime next week – if I can make it out of the house. I hear it’s going to get so cold again! I’m jealous of your resourceful Grandma.
I don’t really know much about reupholstered, but is there a way you could make the seat cushion one long cushion as opposed to three smaller ones? We have an amazing vintage sofa in pristine condition, and the only thing I don’t like about it is the seat cushions. There’s two and if you’re sitting on one they kinda separate. I’d love to get it reupholstered but it’s in amazing condition already so it’s hard to justify. Good luck on your sofa!
Hey Nikki, Yes I think I’m going to do the two long cushions. I like that idea very much actually. We also have the cushion problem at our house, the six that are on their now slide all over the place, it would be much better if there was only one to worry about – I feel your pain. Keep your fingers crossed for me :)
I recently tackled my first box cushions and discovered Sailrite’s video tutorials. They have so many helpful videos on upholstery! I would love one of their professional sewing machines, but was able to complete it on my regular machine with thick upholstery fabric. Cannot recommend these videos enough, SO HELPFUL! Here’s the box cushion video link on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-FuavPtwgQ And here’s their video library page on the Sailrite website: http://www.sailrite.com/Videos#!Videos
Kaitlin! Thanks so much for the vid links, I will for sure check those out. I’m glad to hear you had success on your sewing machine, I was a little worried about mine holding up to upholstery fabric – this gives me hope. Where did you purchase your fabric from? I’ve only looked at fabric.com so far.
If it was my house, I’d definitely go for the two long cushions over the six smaller ones – it’s a cleaner aesthetic and less cluttered, and also I really don’t like sinking into the cracks between the cushions. And knowing myself, if I did six smaller ones I’d run out of steam halfway through and never finish. I think I could maintain enough motivation for long enough to get through two, though, even if they’re bigger.
Yes, sold – you have all the right reasons! I am totally going to go for the two long cushions. Thanks Ann Marie!
I am new to our blog, found you via House-Tweaking.
Regarding your post-
are you kidding me? You’ve got this! Have you seen your kitchen? Love. Two long pieces of foam, you could always cheat it and staple the fabric to a light piece of plywood cute to size (so it doesn’t show). Also, if you drill holes in the plywood and pre-plan for button tufting, that would be cute, like your example. I can’t wait to see what you do!
Ha! Thanks Amy! Oh man, tufting would look great but that’s going to have to be one of those things that I feel out as I go along. Right now, I’d be happy if I could trim the cushions in piping successfully. Thanks for the boost!
I just reupholstered two couch cushions (first time) and learned two lessons. #1: Stripes are awesome everywhere but on your first upholstery project; use a solid. #2: Use a seam ripper to take apart the old cushion covers so that you can use that material as “patterns” for your new cushions, even if you are going to do something a bit different. You can also reuse the zippers (if your current cushion-covers have zippers). Take a lot of pictures of the dismantling process, and use the pictures as a guide when you get stuck on details.
Thanks for all the tips Cindy! Yes, I am totally avoiding any sort of pattern, so check! I will make sure to have my phone handy for pics, and I will see if I can use any of the pieces as a pattern for the new cushions! Thanks!
What about using your beloved white wicker sofa in here?
Hi Robin, good idea. That sofa is still hanging out in the garage, I can’t part with it yet. Unfortunately that sofa would be way to large for that little space :( Thanks for the suggestion.
Hi! I just found your blog from Hi!Sugarplum, and binge-read it last night. I love your house and your amazing sense of style. I also want to let you know that you are nothing short of pure evil, I may have spent $250 today at Ikea (plant stands, our windows have no real ledges) and the garden center filling my place up with plants. Horrible person. I’ve added you to my RSS feed. Yeah.
Your home is so beautiful, and I love your tree!! Oh, and that snow! How I dream of a white Christmas, which will never happen here in Miami… it is still in the 80s! Thank you for sharing your lovely holiday cheers! hommy office in your house
I wish I had some tips and hits but upholstery is the one area that intimidates the hell outta me. Easy reupholstery of dining cushions im Ok with, but a serious chair job sends me running. I need to get that book though. Its on my list. Good luck sweets. I know itll come out beautifully.
Just jump in and do it. I have a chair that sat in my bedroom.. completely uncovered and taken apart for a couple years because I was so scared that I would make a mistake. I finally forced myself to start and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought. I’ve got the piping yet to go, but it is looking just fine in all of its imperfect recovering that I’ve done so far. Know that it won’t be perfect, and no one but you will notice. Good luck!
Mill End Fabrics in the Twin Cities is going out of business right now – maybe you could snag a good deal on some fabric.
Thanks for the encouragement Kara! I’m GOING to put an order in today and then yes, once I have all my supplies in one place I’ll destroy this project! Thanks for the tip on Mill End, I will see if it’s possible to get over there this week.
You could always take the upholstery class at Blue Sky Gallery. I believe they have a class for box cushions. My niece redid a settee for the class and the results were fab.
Thanks for the tip Liza, I’ll have to consider that is a back-up-plan. I wish I had more time to take classes ;)
I was wondering if you’d done anything on this yet!! Ok-Fabric tips (besides SR Harris which we mentioned before I think) did I also mention Rochford has marine grade vinyl you can buy there? I’m talking looks like leather, feels like leather, awesome colors, virtually indestructible, totally mid century appropriate, and I think he quoted me $10/yard on it! CRAZY. I’m using it for a couple of wire chairs I scored on CL.
Also, I love single cushions, and Rochford will cut to size for you (for a small fee. $5?). My only tip on long cushions is measure, measure, measure. The longer the seams, the easier it is for your corners on a box cushion to not line up.
Hit me up if you need anything! And thanks for the shout out! (Even if I just took my blog offline. :/ )
Laura! You are so great for giving me all this info, Thank You! I just ordered foam from Rochford online. I’m a wimp and it’s too cold to go outside with the kids and Rochford isn’t open in the evenings. I’m hoping it will be arriving in a day or two and shipping wasn’t to expensive locally.
Okay, measure, I will remember that! I am a perfectionist, so hopefully that will play in my favor (or drive me crazy), keep your fingers crossed fir ne! I was looking for your blog just the other day so I could link back to it, that explains it – if you have a website I’d love to include a link back to you.
No blog anymore! It was really an interesting, very existential deciding-who-I-am moment (or something), so I’m just on Instagram for now!
Also-right before you referenced me, and I mean like the DAY you posted this, I was talking to my boyfriend about you and you’re amazing walking every day, doing so awesome, looking so great-ness, and pulled up your blog to show him, saw your new post, read my name, had a lovely surprise happy moment. So thanks!
That’s so great Laura! Are you waling or considering walking? I know it’s hard in the winter, but it’s felt good to get out on the warmish days. I absolutely hate the gym but I make myself go. Okay, I’m gonna go find you on Instagram now!
Oooh, this should be good.Looking fraword to it. No pressure!Nerves? Pint of whiskey and a chocolate bourbon and Bob’s not just your Uncle, he’s your friend for life and he really, really loves you , ya know?WV is ‘imsbalex’ which is a wee bit too close for comfort
That’s a smart way of thinking about it.
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