Before and After: Forever Couch

A long, long time ago I got a listing for a tag sale with this beautiful couch peeking out from behind a mountain of junk. I called the man hosting the tag sale and asked if I could get any more information and he thought I was crazy for calling about it. I loved this couch. All the tufting, the wood frame, even the fabric was ok and I could live with it if I needed to for awhile.

Couch BeforeMy neighbor was coerced into driving over to the sale so we could load it up into his pickup. Remember how it was behind a mountain of trash? Well, there was only one cushion showing and I sat in it, examined the fabric that I could, took the price tag and ran. What I should have done was remove ALL of the trash, no matter how long it took to examine the other cushions and the webbing underneath. The fabric underneath had a dark rust colored stain. And it wasn’t until we got home and my husband and I sat in it for awhile that the elastic webbing, which was old and brittle, stretched out and we were both almost sitting on the floor. Darn that $50 price tag.

I knew I was going to reupholster it because I just loved the profile of the couch that much. There isn’t a tag so I can’t tell who the designer was, or if it is a designer piece at all. I went to a fabric outlet store in Des Moines—one that sadly has since closed its doors—and found a beautiful gray fabric with gold woven through it. I didn’t know it at the time but it is from the Knoll Luxe fabric line that retails for way, way more than the $6 a yard I paid for it.

To find a reputable upholsterer I asked everyone I knew and found a guy who was just as detail-oriented as I was. He did a fantastic job and I couldn’t be happier.

Couch After



Check out that beautiful fabric. I wish I would have purchased the whole darn bolt. It’s held up exceptionally well considering we’ve been using the couch for two or three years.


Remember the tufts? There are 93 of them and I don’t think the upholsterer was super happy about them by the time he finished them all. These are tufts that are underneath the cushions. Such an unexpected detail.

Couch Metal DetailYou can see the metal detail on the legs here and all of the piping. I chose not to refinish the frame before reupholstering, and I’m not sure I’m happy with that decision. The frame did get scuffed up in the process, and I’m going to do some experimenting to see what I can refresh and cover up.

Couch After 2Now I bet what you’re wondering is what a couch costs to be reupholstered. Here’s the rough breakdown:

Original couch price: $50
Fabric (11 yards): $66
Straps: $50
Foam: $400
Labor: Anywhere from $700 on up
Total price: $1250+

That is an investment. But before I decided, I got estimates from several upholsterers and looked at how much a new couch of similar quality would cost. There’s one at Crate and Barrel that’s similar enough for $2,200. I think I made the right choice.

This entry was posted in Before and After and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. Cindy
    Posted September 25, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Permalink


    • Angela
      Posted October 1, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Cindy!

  2. Kate
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Angela, I absolutely love how you kept the original style of the piece in mind when picking new upholstery fabric. I think it is often easy to ignore a piece’s original style and opt for more modern fabrics. Good work! I do wonder which was worse: piping or tufts? K

    • Angela
      Posted October 1, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Kate! Well, the upholsterer knew exactly how many tufts and didn’t say a bit about the piping :)

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>