Beyond Florals: Designs for Reupholstered Furniture

Buying used furniture is a great way to give your space a “new” look without actually paying new furniture prices, but it’s also possible to spruce up your own used furniture by giving it an entirely different look. Reupholstering existing furniture allows you to opt for new colors, patterns, and fabrics that make a tired piece of furniture come back to life before your eyes.

“I love the concept of upcycling and reusing furniture,” says Meredith Raffel, founder and executive director of The Arts Alliance in Mason, Ohio. Raffel enjoys working with furniture and has completed many reupholstering projects to give new life to older pieces. “I like the hunt, and I love the find. A good quality piece of furniture doesn’t go out of style if it has good bones.”

She makes a strong case for reimagining a piece of furniture in exciting new ways. You can also make a big statement by redoing even small pieces like footstools and chair cushions. “There isn’t a staple gun and good fabric that aren’t fun to work with,” she claims.


Upholstery Trends

Brand New Look

Part of creating a new look is knowing what works well in terms of fabric textures, colors, and patterns. Rose Kipper, owner of R. Kipper Interiors in Atlanta, Georgia, notes that a tired, outdated piece of furniture can get a fresh new look from reupholstering instead of heading to the scrap heap. “That can change the entire look and feel of a room,” she says.

Floral designs have enjoyed their share of popularity through the years, but experts say that design trend has been put to rest for the time being. In 2017, florals are used primarily on accent pieces rather than as the dominant pattern in furniture. At the 2017 Milan Furniture Fair, florals topped a list of DOA design trends that also included damask, glossy stone, and minimalism.

So, what’s stepping in to fill all that former floral space? Color — and lots of it. Keeping up with trending colors can help you choose the hottest new look for your reupholstered furniture.

“Sofas done in blue, fuchsia, or blush velvet are trending right now,” Kipper says. “You want to make a statement. Blush pink is becoming very hot, and for those who like deeper colors, pumpkin and persimmon are gaining popularity.” Blues are also a popular choice, and it’s hard to go wrong with a pleasing shade of blue that complements the rest of the room’s color palette.

Reupholstering furniture is about more than just a new color or pattern. It includes different types of fabrics and textures. For 2018, expect to see a more tactile approach as touchy-feely fabrics like suede and velvet step into the spotlight. The move is part of an overall progression toward more comfortable shapes in chairs and couches, with many designers opting for low, plump, and puffy living room furniture that exudes comfort and style. “You’re also going to see more embroidered fabrics,” Kipper says.

If choosing new colors and textures for your space seems a little too daunting, Kipper recommends reupholstering your couch and/or chairs in a neutral color, as those are permanent pieces that take more work to change. “Then you can change out the pillows to keep up with current and trending colors,” she says. “Pillows are much less expensive than a sofa.”

If you’re not a do-it-yourselfer and you plan to have your reupholstering done by a professional, Kipper advises considering all your options. “If you are on a budget, slipcovers can do the trick, and then you can add a few new pillows,” she says. “This way, you still get a new look but at a much lower cost.”

She also only recommends investing in new upholstery for high-quality pieces with frames that are in good condition. “Make sure you have a reputable upholsterer, so you end up with a finished piece that is comparable in quality to the original. If the sofa or chair is not of great quality, then you are better off getting something new.”

When you’re looking for high-quality pieces of used furniture to make over, CORT Furniture Clearance Centers provide a wide selection of gently used styles in great condition. Whether you choose to reupholster or not, you can find top quality options for your space that won’t break the bank.