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Before and After Midcentury Sofa Reupholstered in Velvet by DIYwithADD

Before and After: A Midcentury Sofa Gets a Dramatic Face-Lift

Here's a post from CasaSugar Community member diywithADD from the Su Casa group:

I'm not  an interior designer, but I play one on my blog diywithADD. Two years ago, when Scott and I married and bought our apartment, neither of us had a sofa that was worth the back ache of moving, so we immediately started shopping for a comfortable, quality, down-stuffed sofa for our living room that would last for years to come. After test driving snazzy sofas at ABC, Crate & Barrel, Jonathan Adler and Mitchell Gold, I began to feel like Goldilocks herself. Nothing seemed to fit the bill for comfort, long-lasting quality, and affordability. They, literally, just don't make sofas like they used to. Down stuffed cushions, kiln-dried hardwood frames, and eight-way hand-tied construction seem to be a thing of the past — at least, in our price range they are.upholstered sofa, brownstone  renovation, ©Moya Mc AllisterFortunately, my father was willing to part with the eight-foot-long, mid-century, "tuxedo cut" sofa that he inherited from his mom. Like its original owner, Granny's sofa is a classic beauty and it fits perfectly in our long, narrow brownstone living room. The base was sagging and the slipcover was threadbare, but there was no mistaking the quality in this family donation.

The more I shop for furniture to fill our freshly-plastered rooms, the stronger my commitment grows to salvaging distressed, but quality pieces, whether they be family hand-me-downs or thrift shop finds. I've recovered several old chairs, an ottoman, and even a simple loveseat, but re-upholstering an eight-cushion sofa is well outside of my DIY skill set, so I found a local professional to tackle this monster project. I give huge kudos to the folks at Brooklyn Mercantile, who transformed our sofa from Granny to GRAND while our apartment was being gutted. We couldn't be more thrilled with the quality of their workmanship. And the sofa was finished just in time to move in with us to the renovated digs.

Continue reading to see the before picture to compare. upholstered sofa brownstone renovation ©Moya Mc AllisterI chose to cover the sofa in a heavy weight Kravet cotton velvet. I went with a stain-resistant Sunbrella woven blend for the contrast piping. Lots of folks cringed when I described my contrasting color/texture idea for the piping, but I love it. The navy velvet dresses up the sofa and the rope-like piping breaks up the long lines and brings a casual, nautical vibe to our eclectic home. Most important of all, the sofa is now comfortable. Our living room décor is still a work in progress, but Granny's spiffed-up sofa will always be the focal point (unless Dad decides he wants it back after seeing the transformation).upholstered sofa brownstone  renovation Photo: ©Moya Mc AllisterLet me know what you think! And I'd love some suggestions on how to spruce up the rest of the living room. Comments on diywithADD are always appreciated and reciprocated. Happy decorating, ADD


All photos © Moya McAllister

Have you done any DIY projects lately? Be sure to post photos and tales in the Su Casa group!

texdoll texdoll 7 years
Great Job!! They don't make sofas like they used to, so glad you saved this one!!
whats-her-name whats-her-name 7 years
Great living room!
limelindsey limelindsey 7 years
jaxsprat, you need to "like" this article. It's right above where the comments start. It will be saved into your favorites!
jaxsprat jaxsprat 7 years
Can I save this story for inspiration? I don't see that option.
diywithadd diywithadd 7 years
Hi jaxsprat. I detailed the costs for reuphostery in a comment here: I hope that helps. And leave any other questions in the comments at the link above. I promise to respond right away on All best, ADD
jaxsprat jaxsprat 7 years
I'd like to know how much this cost.I've always wanted save and reupholster an shabby treasure
flowergirl flowergirl 7 years
nancita nancita 7 years
Wow! I mean, wow! What a great rescue for a well-shaped but not-so-modern sofa.
sgdish sgdish 7 years
Fabulous furniture fix! Your vision was fantastic and you should be proud of the outcome. Older pieces can be made so much better than the newer stuff, that is unless you can afford to pay a ransom for it!
seefree seefree 7 years
diywithadd diywithadd 7 years
Hi everyone. I'm so happy that you like my granny's sofa. I can't answer questions here, but if you leave them in comments on my blog, I'll answer every single one. I promise. Happy decorating! ADD
skigurl skigurl 7 years
It looks super cool. and I love the whole room. I'm always impressed with people who have vision like that. I'd never be able to see past that ruffly skirt and do what you did (until maybe now!) I would like to know how much a transformation like that cost...
LittleMzFit LittleMzFit 7 years
My sentiments, exactly! Amazing.
vx93 vx93 7 years
looks amazing. i love it
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