newspaperonsofaMost of us know the feeling: we look around our familiar home surroundings and get an urge to take a vacation somewhere else. Anything for a change of scene! This restless sensation of boredom or dissatisfaction with the rooms you inhabit every day often strikes in late Winter or early Spring, especially when the days are getting longer, but it’s still too nasty to spend much time outside. Being indoors doesn’t seem cozy anymore, just musty and confined. You might get the urge to start spring cleaning, but that won’t necessarily satisfy your growing desire for freshness and color. You buy some cut flowers, but that doesn’t solve it either. “A little redecorating, maybe,” you start thinking. “Curtains? Rearrange the furniture?” When you get to this stage, it may be time to reupholster a couch.

That’s not as odd or as drastic as it might sound at first. Look at it systematically: your sofa is one of the biggest pieces in your living room. It follows that its appearance – its size, its condition, its color scheme – are a sort of keystone for the atmosphere of the room. If you have a small place – a studio apartment, for instance – it could be the primary visual element of your entire home. So it also follows that improving its appearance will have a marked effect on everything else around it – and changing the color and/or material of the covering can be the spark for revitalizing the living space as a whole. On top of that, a craftsmanlike, professional couch reupholstery job can be done at reasonable cost.

Your first step would probably be to start researching reupholstery materials. There are many online sources for fabrics, but this is a case where you need to have samples in your hand. If you’ve located a local upholsterer whose references and prices you like, they can help you with swatches, or suggest mail order or local retail sources. They can assess your sofa, give knowledgeable advice about the types of material that will suit both the sofa itself and your lifestyle (silk is inadvisable if you’ve got puppies or toddlers, for instance). They can also tell you how much yardage will be needed for the job.

If your piece needs some “infrastructure” work — new springs, fresh padding, refinishing of exposed wood, etc. –, it’s good to know that repairing a sofa is likely to be another service the upholsterer offers. It can be efficiently done as part of the overall refurbishment.

When you’ve chosen your upholstery material, your couch can undergo its transformation. The effect this has when it resumes its place in the living room is always a revelation, even for experienced decorators. It’s like having a bridal gown custom-made – and then the “reveal” when the bride-to-be actually wears it for the first time. When your sofa, crisp and fresh in its new incarnation, breathes vitality into your home, it’s like spring has arrived, no matter what the season may actually be.