Breathing new life into loved and worn furniture

Re-upholstery how to blog

Breathing new life into loved and worn furniture

Let’s Talk Re-Upholstery

By re-upholstering furniture you can change the look of a space by introducing a different colour palette or texture. It’s a great way to refresh and add new life into a piece that has been well-loved and ultimately worn over the years.

So what is re-upholstering, exactly? If you’re wondering, it’s essentially just re-covering furniture with new fabric and replacing foam where needed.

It’s important to note when re-upholstering any piece of furniture; the part that can’t be changed is the frame of the furniture. The frame dictates the shape and proportion of the piece, so you have to love the shape if you want to keep it and re-cover or re-upholster it.


First up, let’s look at bedheads. They can be re-upholstered by covering them with a new fabric, possibly replacing the foam, and adding new trimming for extra flair. This could be piping, or studs, whichever takes your fancy. You can also add buttoning to the face/front of the bedhead if its been flat originally, for a fresh look.

reupholstered bedhead

Upholstered bedheads by Marylou Sobel Interior Design, find these in my portfolio.

If the bedhead has a timber frame, it can be painted and in some cases. For example, if the bedhead is carved it can be painted in a finish or gilded, which can be very beautiful.

Alternatively, you can add a slip cover as a very cost effective way of covering a bedhead, a sofa or chairs.

reupholstered bedhead

Bedhead upholstery designed by Marylou Sobel Interior Design, see more from this project in my portfolio.

Sofas, Arm Chairs & Ottomans

A lot of people get attached to that extra comfy armchair in their office or the sofa that has played host to many fond memories, so it is common that people re-upholster these favourites.

Again, sofas, armchairs and ottomans can be re-upholstered with new fabric, and changing details like piping, trims or studs. Slip covers can also be made which will make them more relaxed looking, and if the feet are exposed then they can be restrained or replaced.

By changing the colour or texture of the fabric used, this is what really gives you a new look. Replacing the inserts of cushions, the foam and in some cases, the spring coils can greatly improve the comfort level of the seats.

It’s important to remember that unfortunately not all loved and used furniture can be reused. The frame needs to be strong and intact but in some cases can be reinforced.

ottoman sofa armchair upholstery

Ottoman, sofa and armchair upholstery designed by Marylou Sobel Interior Design, find these in my portfolio.

Dining chairs

Similarly to both bedheads and sofas, dining chairs can also be re-upholstered. This time your options are again to re-cover them with new fabric, add slip covers, and/or improve their comfort level with replacing foam cushioning.

Timber can also be restained or painted to create a new, lovely finish.

reupholstered dining chairs

Upholstered dining chairs by Marylou Sobel Interior Design, see more from my portfolio.


To revive a loved lamp, one can have a new shade made. This is exciting as this time it can be a different shape as long as it suits the style of the base. The base can be painted in some cases, or the metal restained – maybe a verdigris finish, depending on the look you are hoping to achieve.

reupholstered lampshade

Upholstered lampshade designed by Marylou Sobel Interior Design, see more in my portfolio.

Re-upholstering certainly can be a very fun and exciting way to breathe new life into old but loved pieces of furniture. I hope you have found these tips helpful and get to enjoy your re-upholstery projects and ‘new’ pieces for years to come. If you would like to get in touch regarding my interior design services, please don’t be afraid to get in touch.



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