All is not lost. An affordable and easy way to revive your sofa is to get a loose cover that you can wash again and again for a fresh new look whenever it's needed.
This solution is particularly helpful if you expect that your sofa will continue to experience the same wear and tear in future with, for example, kids or animals in the house.
Big retailers such as IKEA and Freedom include sofas in their furniture ranges that come with a loose cover that can be removed for easy cleaning and even replaced altogether down the track for as little as $99.
Not all covers are suitable for throwing into the washing machine, however, so check the washing instructions on covers before you buy them and follow instructions on the care label if you do wash them. Alternatively, a dry cleaner can refresh your sofa for as little as $120 for a 3 seater, which is a fraction of the cost of a new sofa and will give you the same ‘brand new’ feeling to your biggest furniture investment.
"Loose covers are great when frames are in good condition and don’t require internal work to your item."Derek Martin
The next best thing to having your sofa fully reupholstered is to have a cover custom made to fit - a great resolution when your sofa is in sound condition in terms of build but has staining or fading that lessens its appeal. "Loose or removable covers are a great way to keep your fabrics looking new and fresh, we highly recommend them!" says Derek Martin, owner at Inform Upholstery.
"It's not fixed permanently to your sofa so can have slight movement," Derek advises. "But we can tailor to make the item appear upholstered."
Made to measure covers are removable for cleaning and can be easily changed to a new cover. In terms of timing, Derek says it can take from hours to one or two days from start to finish, depending on the style of your sofa.
It’s also the perfect solution for a short-term or seasonal pick-me-up to add a little extra warmth or colour to your living room. Your linen sofa may be perfect during the summer months, but there’s nothing like the appeal of corduroy or wool during winter.
As far as cost goes, using a three seat sofa as a guide, expect to pay from $800-$850 for polyester, corduroy and lower cost fabrics, and for wool, cotton and linen from $950-$1000 upwards, depending on the style and size of your sofa.
Top tips for keeping your sofa looking beautiful
- Professional cleaning is recommended unless otherwise stated on the fabric tag
- Safeguard your sofa with a good fabric protector, such as Scotchgard to repel liquids and block stains. Apply two light coats, rather than one heavy coat, allowing to dry in between each coat.
- Spot clean spills and accidents immediately with an upholstery shampoo