Finding the right sofa can be challenging. Take it from someone who has been on a year-long mission to find the perfect one! On my wish list was a sofa that was durable, well-built in a show-stopping colour. Then I realised that the sofa I owned was my dream sofa. DOH! It was the sofa covers that I had fallen out of love with. In this post, discover how to extend the life of your upholstered sofa with made to measure furniture covers.
I’ll be honest with you, my five year old sofa was looking past it’s best. After a fruitless search for a new sofa, that’s when Plumbs reupholstery and sofa covers stepped in to help me. They offered to extend the life of my sofa with minimal hassle and fuss – music to my ears! How? With snazzy new made to measure sofa covers that would be made bespoke for me and my living room.
Now, I have the most peachy sofa you can dream of (just take a look). It’s got plump cushion pads that don’t dent. AND I avoided all trekking around furniture stores looking for an expensive replacement.
** These sofa covers were gifted in return for my honest review**
Extend the life of your sofa
Have you heard of Plumbs? Let me introduce you. Plumbs started in the 1950s as a family-run business selling from a market stall in Lancashire. They are now a leading made to measure upholstery company that offer expert advice in the comfort of your own home nationwide.
All their covers are made by their team of craftsmen in their factory in Britain. Their work come with a 3-year guarantee (which is peace of mind for savvy shoppers). There are over 800 fabrics to choose from – ideal if you are a fussy customer like me.
I bought my sofa off eBay 5 years ago for £150. It’s called the Bluebell from Sofa.com – and it was virtually brand new at the time (the previous owners were leaving the country). I gave it a small makeover to help it vamp up my living room in the short term (you can see what it looked like before in this post).
But after nearly five years of Netflix binges and cosy nights-in, my sofa was starting to look shabby. Irritatingly, my dog had taken to sitting right in the middle of the two feather-filled seat cushions pads which had caused the sofa to dip in the middle.
Like lots of busy homes, I was FOREVER plumping up the cushions to make them look neat and shouting at the dog ‘GET OFF MY B****Y SOFA!’ – it was a battle I was forever losing. Hands up if you feel my pain!
I did a lots of internet research on what to do. My problems boiled down to the following:
- I couldn’t find a sofa I liked within my budget.
- I also didn’t like many sofa companies choices of fabrics.
- The more I looked at other sofas, the more I liked my old sofa.
- I didn’t want to go for loose ready made sofa covers (they never fit your sofas properly).
- My seat cushions needed love and attention to make them comfy to sit on again.
Why I went for sofa covers rather than a new sofa
You don’t have to go sofa shopping: Looking for a new sofa can be a minefield of choices – choosing what shape, colour and fabrics can feel very overwhelming. With made to measure settee covers, you don’t have to leave your home to makeover your furniture.
I tried to look at different shapes and styles of sofas, but I was naturally drawn to designs that were virtually the same as my current sofa. Plus, I couldn’t afford an expensive one and I was dubious that one that cost less than £1,000 would stand the test of time.
You don’t have to move furniture in and out of your home: When I knocked my living room through into one (read about that here in this post) I blocked off a door that accessed the room. This meant I wasn’t 100% sure how I would get a new sofa into the room – and more importantly how I would get my old one out without chopping it up into pieces.
Most sofa companies put the onus on you to make sure it will fit. The only type of sofa I could fit into my narrow hallway was a modular one – and even then…I was relying that I had taken exact measurements.
It’s good for the environment: Over the past year, I have been thinking more about the impact that buying new can have on the environment. Getting rid of a perfectly good sofa and replacing it with a new one didn’t sit very comfortably with me especially when you know how many good-as-new sofas end up being thrown away. In the UK alone we send 10 MILLION household items to landfill every single year.
And did you know – that on average a new sofa generates 90kg CO2 emissions. That is the same as 35,715 plastic straws, 450 plastic bags, 5,940 disposable coffee cups – or the equivalent of burning 10 gallons of diesel. For every 24 sofas reused, we could save over 1.5tons of CO2 emissions. That’s info is shocking when you start drilling down the facts.
How easy was it getting sofa covers made?
The team at Plumbs stepped in to help. They suggested that I updated my sofa with their ‘Designer Cover’ range. This range has a relaxed, contemporary aesthetic and I was very impressed with the huge range of fabrics that I could choose from. Take a look at the Plumbs fabric range for sofa covers and reupholstery here – there is a shade for every home. Most of the fabrics are machine washable – joyful news if you have a mucky puppy like me!
These made to measure sofa covers didn’t require Plumbs to remove my settee from my home (which you would have to do with a reupholstery service). Instead their design consultant, Katie, came to my house to go through some ideas with me, show me the fabrics – and take my sofa measurements.
Katie took 100s of measurements using pins. And I called in about 20 samples all the colours of the rainbow. I knew I wanted a bold shade – and I wanted a linen effect. I went for Plumbs Bayswater in Lava – which is a beautiful woven fabric made from 48% cotton.
Within, 6 weeks the covers had been made by Plumbs just in time for the new Year. Katie then came back to my home and fitted the sofa covers personally to make sure they fitted exactly.
She also brought with her new seat pads made from rolled fibre so they retain their shape. They are so comfy and squishy. No matter how much the dog tries to flatten them, they stay all nice and bouncy. No more plumping of my cushions every morning!
Oh – and the furniture covers can be taken off and popped in the washing machine when they need a clean.
New sofa covers costs
My bespoke covers would cost around £1200 in total for my exact sofa – but this is with no discount applied (which there would generally always be available if you look on the Plumbs website).
The breakdown of the cost is £200 for the two large new seat cushion infills
And then £100 on accessories like the velcro turn under and the armrest covers.
This means the covers themselves would cost £900 (no discount applied).
And the covers come with a three year guarantee and that price also includes the measuring and fitting service.
Originally, this sofa was £1,500-2,500 brand new (depending on the upholstery fabric). And I was looking at brand new ready-made sofas for around the £1,500 mark. For £900 I have a sofa that looks and feels like new, without the bother of disposing this one – it’s better for environment (and my wallet) and it was a hassle-free service too.
Extend the Life of Your Sofa
Lots of my friends have commented on my sofa – thinking it was a new one. When I explain that it is my OLD sofa but with NEW COVERS, they can’t believe it!
The fabric colour just pops in the room – and the fit is exact. The only downside, is it has made me want to decorate the whole of my living room again. I want to add more peachy and blush tones to my space too.
More importantly, I feel like I have done my bit for environment by not throwing away what was actually a perfectly good sofa (abet one that needed refreshing). There is no reason why my new-look sofa will not least another 5 years.
Like this idea? Arrange for your local Plumbs design consultant to visit you today – totally free with no obligation.
I hope this feature has given you food for thought when thinking of decorating your home – never feel that your interior ideas should be constrained by your budget, your ethics or your room’s logistics. There is always a design solution out there.
What do you think of my new look sofa? Do you think it has changed the look of my home? Tell me in the comment box below.