Creating Luxury with Reupholstered Furniture

By Cindy Baldhoff

Today’s trends for luxury lean toward soft, tactile fabrics in rich colors that add a sumptuous feel to their surroundings. Whether in the living room or the bedroom, having one statement piece that takes center stage and then surrounding it with complementary furniture can completely remake the space.

In the living room, that statement piece is often the sofa. If you have a used sofa that you love for its great lines, but it’s starting to shows its age, then you can reupholster it to transform it into a new showpiece, setting the stage for a room designed for luxury.

“Any type of sofa works,” says John Knowlton, owner of J. Knowlton Antiques in Athens, Georgia. “The main factor is the length and basic style; is it informal and comfy, or is it formal with camel back and nice legs?”

That style will help you decide what colors and fabrics will work best to make it more luxurious, but he reminds you not to forget about the other pieces in the room. Since too much color on a sofa can overtake the existing furniture, he suggests making choices that complement rather than compete with what is already there.

Choosing the Right Fabric and Color

purple fabric  

“Velvet or any beautiful fabric can add luxury to a sofa or other upholstered piece,” Knowlton says. “The transformation is incredible.”

And, according to Tiffany Sterling Clum, owner of Upholstery Girl in Van Alstyne, Texas, it’s a great way to hold on to a piece of furniture you really love but that may no longer fit with the overall look of the room.

“If your furniture is older, of sentimental value, or was purchased as a quality piece many years ago, then there is a value to reupholstering it,” she says. “My favorite thing about reupholstering is the ability to keep my home the style I want while keeping my same comfy chairs, which I love.”

“The use of velvet is particularly popular, in part because it adds warmth and a feeling of luxury to the room,” says Clum. Choosing the right color of velvet is key in maintaining that feeling of luxury, however.

“Reds, purples, and emeralds — the jewel tones — have typically evoked a sense of luxury and richness through the ages,” she says, adding that it used to be only the wealthy who could afford to pay for fabrics that had been so saturated with color. Today, of course, textile practices have made it possible to attain these rich colors at lower prices, but they continue to be associated with luxury.

The softness of the fabric also helps create a sense of luxury, and Clum says if velvet is out of your price range, then there are alternatives for creating a rich, inviting look to your reupholstered sofa.

“Chenille can offer the same warmth, feel, and depth of color that you get from velvet, only it comes at a much lower price point.”

Complete the Look


Once you have created your centerpiece with a reupholstered sofa, you can begin adding items that complement the room’s new feel.

“A nice rug makes a huge difference for a fairly small amount of money,” Knowlton says. “We just added a beautiful patterned rug in our family room, and it made the entire room more elegant and plush.”

Other things to think about include adding accent pillows in fabrics like velvet and silk to continue the theme of luxury. And, if you’re looking for additional furniture pieces to fill out the room, CORT Clearance Centers allow you to find high-quality, used furniture for up to 70 percent off original retail prices.