Posted by: UrbanGreenGirl | August 21, 2008

What to do with that damn old couch?

Do you have an article of furniture, a love seat or couch that you want to get rid of but don’t think anyone would pay for it?  You dream of having a fancy new modern couch in the colour of your choice but feel guilty when faced with the fact that you’d have to throw yours out?  Or maybe you were like me, you had a couch with a great structure by your wonderful feline friends took a liking to it, destroyed it and now you don’t know what to do?

Wait, before you throw it out and contribute to our every growing landfill problems, why not consider reupholstering it? I did.

I had a great sofa bed couch that I paid more than $1200 for but because my cats had torn the living day lights out of it, I didn’t even think I’d get $200 for it if I sold it on Craigs list and that bothered me because deep down, she really was a good couch.  Giving it to family wasn’t an option as sending it to Vancouver would cost way more than it was worth so I was faced with the dilemma of “what do I do with it?”

I did a little research a realised that reupholstering was the best option.  If the couch structure is good, reupholsterers can make a better quality couch then what you could purchase these days. They completely redo the foam, the lining and the fabric.  They also use better quality materials so the couch ends up lasting longer too.  And dare I mention that their craftsmanship is much better then the couches that are made on assembly lines in China these days?

I knew nothing about it but figured it couldn’t cost that much. I took to the the yellow pages online and started searching for reupholstering companies in my neighbourhood.  Most wanted you to send them a picture by email in order to figure out how much material they would need in order to give you a quote.

Ha ha, silly me, I thought it couldn’t cost more than say, oh I don’t know, $200-$300? Well, in reality, it cost almost as much as a new couch, but then I had to tell myself that the quality is so much better and I would save my couch from ending up in the landfill.

So if you call a re-upholsterer, don’t expect great customer service, someone to sell you on the idea of how amazing reupholstering is or how you are saving the environment.  They are craftsmen and could care less about great phone skills but boy do they do a great job. My guy even threw in extra arm covers!

The guy came to my house with fabric samples and I even did tests by rubbing pets hair on them then vacuumed it up to see how easy it was. He didn’t care. He was knowledgeable about the durability and because he wasn’t a “salesmen”, didn’t hide anything from me. He was even upfront about the cost of fabric and his profit, which when you count the hours it takes to reupholster a couch, isn’t much.

All in all, I can say I was very pleased with the results and would recommend it to anyone. Do check around with different companies/re-upholsterers though. The price varied by $500 depending on who I called. But trust me, it is well worth it.

Has anybody else considered doing it?

Update: February 15th, 2009

Due to popular demand, I am now posting the website of Creatif reupholstering , the company that reupholstered my couch.



  1. Slip covers work wonders as well! I really like what they did to the couch…it looks great!

  2. I never realized they could improve the structure of the couch like that. I thought they’d just change the fabric. It looks so much better!

  3. Thanks Jacquie! You really do get a brand new couch when you reupholster and you save the environment at the same time!

  4. We inherited a couch from the in-laws, and the style was modern, and the cushions were in great condition, but the fabric was hideous. That 80’s scratchy brown fabric.

    We’re fairly adept with the sewing machine, so we made a snug-fitting slip cover, and it looks just as good as anything from Ikea, but only cost us about $40 in fabric.

  5. Can I ask who you got to re-upholster your couch? I have an old couch that needs some new life and I’ve wanted to re-upholster it for a long time…


    • Hi Connie. Judging by your email address, I am assuming you live in the West so I am unsure if I can help you as the company I went to is in Montreal. However, I can tell you that I found him in the Yellow Pages. Take your time and call a few places, you will notice the prices differ from one to another. You can also see the quality of their workmanship from visiting their ateliers. Also, one important thing is to check the type of fabrics they can offer you. Often that will determine if you should use them or not. Hope this helps!

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