I’ve often preached about repurposing/remaking furniture so when this couch came my way I made no exceptions.

I had previously been living with my parents old hand me down couch. Which, in all honestly was a very respectable couch, plush, huge, and comfy. Unfortunately A) it was not quite my style and B) this couch was definitely not my color as my mother had it custom made to match her home. I spent many an hour watching Dexter and Friends on that couch so I have a fondness for it and couldn’t really complain. So I just bought a cheap microfiber cover for it and called it a day.

This is my parents couch without the cover on it, from when I was trying to sell it on craigslist. Forgive the blurriness of the picture it was taken with an iPhone.

My good friend literally gave me the couch and when I tried to offer her money for it she said “Just buy me a margarita some time and we’ll call it even!” I knew we were besties for a reason! So I was given this antique couch (she bought it from a garage sale for $50) and it wasn’t in the best of conditions, but hey never look a gift couch in the mouth right? It had a fun red elephant print on it, which was actually really cool but the fabric was faded and worn out. The wooden feet were dented, scratched and all around needed some love and to top it all off the springs needed to be replaced so the bottom looked like it was falling out. All in all it definitely fell under the category of “fixer upper”. Regardless I was in love with it. From the research I’ve done I can amateurly date it to the 1930-1940’s and kind of a Queen Anne style with the turned legs and tufted back cushions, you know if I had to guess.

I labored over what color to upholster it and at first I felt a pull towards a browny-lineny color, then I began to realize how tired I was of brown. No offense to anyone who thinks brown is the cat’s meow, but my last home had so much brown and it never felt warm like I thought brown was supposed to feel. Maybe I just didn’t do brown right…but I just knew that brown did not belong on the fabric of this sofa. Then I started gravitating towards a white, but lets face it, if you decide to bring solid white furniture into your home you better be prepared to cover it with plastic, or you will live to regret it, like probably within three to five days. So that eliminated that thought even though I still lust after someday having a very white airy home. So I admitted I’ve never been one for neutrals and I decided to go bold. As in bold purple, and I knew the wooden legs and trim needed to be repainted as well so I went with a semi-gloss black paint.

BOOM! Check out that couch action! It doesn’t even look like the same couch! I also love that they removed the cording from the center-back of the couch which I didn’t even ask for but I really think gives the couch a cleaner look.

It was reupholstered in Dallas for about $900. I know it sounds expensive, but when you think about everything the cost covered it really was worth the price.

1. I got the couch for FREE = money saved

2. I didn’t want to ruin an antique couch that had tufts and tucks and curves that an amateur seamstress such as myself did not feel confident in taking on. So it was better to splurge now than regret it later.

3. For $900 they were going to reupholster it, repaint the wood, repair the springs, and stuff the seat cushion to make the seat more cozy.

4. For the money that was put into it, the couch is worth much more now, not to mention it looks fantastic.

It only took about two weeks for the job to get done and I literally am in love. Like if it was legal to marry a couch I might attempt it. Have you ever loved a piece of furniture so much it was borderline inappropriate? Don’t be afraid to take the plunge and go for bold! Ahhh what a sigh of relief. Okay I’ve hit my gushing quota about my couch for the day, I want to know what you think………honestly, yes or no?

P.S. The after pictures are actually pictures taken in my new house, details on that next week! Have a great weekend!

25 Responses to Furniture Facelift – Vintage Couch

  1. Kim says:

    Hi Shannon, luv the couch! Also luv purple!!!

  2. Amber McNutt says:


  3. Lindsey @ arkadian belle woods says:

    That’s amazing!  You did a great job!  I’m getting ready to paint an arm chair in hopes of ‘saving’ it.

  4. Statia says:

    Oh my god.  I LOVE IT!  Seriously.  Like, I wish I had the balls to purple up a couch.  It’s my favorite color in the whole wide world, but my house is pretty neutral with the furniture to make up for the walls being all rainbow of colors (I have to incorporate it somewhere, right?  Still, I want to open mouth kiss your moxieness!  

  5. Connie says:

    I love it! And it seems from what I can peek at in your photo, it’ll really look grand in your house! One thing—if it was mine, I would have painted the legs satin white…but hey, I love it as is too!

  6. Susana says:

    OMG!  My husband just brought a similar one home and I told my friend I wanted it reupholstered in a bold color!!! You are my hero.  I live close to the Dallas area and would love to know the name of the shop that upholstered yours, please.

    • Susana,
      Fun! A reader close to home! Okay I think it’s called D Fabric Center, it’s off of Harry Hines, ask for Hershel, tell them that the Summers sent you. If he doesn’t remember which he probably won’t you may need to describe my couch, haha, I’m sure that will jog his memory. If you take the plunge and go for the bold or anything really I’d love to see befores and afters! http://www.dfabriccenter.com 214-654-0468


  7. Mccall says:

    Can you tell me which way the grain of the velvet is running?
    I’m assuming it’s going horisontally across the back of the couch and the seats, right??

    • Actually, the fabric that I chose was not velvet it was chenille which is retains less heat (yay!) and is made of a more yarn like material. However, you are correct, the grain is running horizontally from side to side.


  8. Kathy says:

    This is gorgeous! I love the purple which is my favorite color. Wonderful choice!

  9. Molly says:

    I came over from Better After.  I just had to comment because I am deep in the trenches of reupholstering a similar couch that I got off Craigs List last year.  My Mom helped me tear it apart and replace the webbing.  Then she taught me how to retie the springs.  We just finished that today and now she’s leaving (she was here for a week visiting) and I’m on my own from here on out.  I’m removing a salmon colored velvet and replacing with red buffalo checks.  But right now the buffalo checks seem a long way off!  Anyway, it is nice to see someone else’s finished product- it gives me hope and motivation to keep plugging away!  Looks great!

  10. ecran15 says:

    Where did you find the fabric?  What is the name of the color?  I love it!!  I am redoing my living room with purple accents, and I have a chair I inherited from my grandmother that would look fabulous with this fabric! 

  11. […] Although you may think that the cost of this remaking was a little bit too high, nothing can compare with the owner’s satisfaction of getting the thing she wanted.{found on compartmentlife}. […]

  12. Marcia says:

    Who couldn’t use a purple couch!!  Love it!

  13. Christina says:

    Ummm..this girl is totally jealous! Your sofa is FABULOUS!!!

  14. Genbean says:

    Judging by the print and shape of the couch, I think it’s older, but I’m no expert. It looks fantastic! Did the couch have a maker’s label or mark anywhere?