March 18, 2014


Good morning!  Happy Tuesday!  Hope you had a fun St. Patrick’s Day and weekend.  It was my birthday Sunday, so I spent the weekend celebrating with my sweet little family.  It was low-key, but I’ve felt so loved.

Today I’m sharing the after of that old yellow/orange couch I nicknamed Regina I found at an estate sale a while back.   Let’s first take a look back at what it looked like before.

sofa shot 5

While I could totally see this baby in the middle of an Anthropologie store, it’s not the look I wanted in my front room.  I called Brian, over at Rocky Mountain Upholstery, and started picking out fabric for reupholstery.

I knew I wanted a velvet, but I wasn’t sure which color.  Velvet is one of my favorite fabrics for upholstery (as evidenced by the blue wingback chairs).  It’s versatile, it cleans and wears well, and it feels and looks so luxurious.  Finding a quality velvet can be difficult for a good price, and I looked for quite a while.

Did you know stores like West Elm and Crate and Barrel carry fabric you can buy by the yard?  I went into my local West Elm store and grabbed a few swatches of their Performance Velvet in Otter, and fell in love.  It was exactly what I was looking for.  I waited for a promotion online, and used a coupon code to get 15% off of the 20/yd fabric (which is already a pretty good deal for a quality velvet, btw).

Ya’ll know I’m all about reupholstery, but it has to be worth it.  The key is finding a quality piece, for the right price.  Upholstery isn’t free, and fabric can add up, but I’ve had great luck finding great pieces to re-do, fabric at a good price, and I typically always use Rocky Mountain Upholstery because their prices are the most competitive, and their quality is superb.

The finished product is so amazing.  The old sofa is unrecognizable.

This particular couch has hand-tied springs and is down stuffed.  Retail, this baby would have cost at least five grand.  IT’s that high quality.  I paid $40 for the couch, $400 for the fabric (20 yards, for an 8 foot sofa), and $625 for reupholstery.  Total around $1,000.  You would pay more than that at a big-box retailer, and get half the quality.  This is a piece that will be in our family a long time, and because it’s so solid, I could recover it again in 10-15 years if needed and it would be like another brand new piece again.  So so worth it.

IMG_1724  IMG_1726 IMG_1727  IMG_1729 IMG_1730 IMG_1731 IMG_1732sofa before after

I’m in love!

Definitely not the right pillow situation going on here.  I’ve ordered some fabric for additional pillows, but it’s coming along nicely.  And I’ve got some fun plans for the rest of the space, that I’ll share soon.  This is the first piece for this space!

For now, we’re all loving this uber comfortable, like-brand-spanking-new couch.

Coming up tomorrow, I’ve got a real treat.  James and I toured the most BEAUTIFUL home!  I’m sharing all the details tomorrow!

Jen Signature photo JenSignature_zpse63747c4.jpg

  1. Anna // Gone Banannas

    March 18th, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Wow! This looks awesome. What a transformation!

  2. Jen

    March 18th, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Thank you so much!

  3. Steph | glitter & goat cheese

    March 18th, 2014 at 11:24 am

    That looks great! I have a swatch of the Otter performance velvet saved for when we get a new couch, too, but I always just assumed I’d buy a West Elm model … What a great idea to reupholster a used one!

  4. Jen

    March 31st, 2014 at 12:59 am

    Thank you so much! I love the fabric even more than I thought I would!

  5. Clara

    March 18th, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    That looks great!! Wondering where you got your floral pillows?!

  6. Jen

    March 18th, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    Hi Clara! They are custom, and I bought the fabric at Home Fabrics, but I’ll look for a source for you!

  7. Christa

    March 18th, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    The sofa looks amazing! I have been wanting to do something like this for a while. Thanks for the heads up about West Elm fabric! Could you do a post on how to recognize quality in older sofas/chairs?

  8. Jen

    March 18th, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Great idea, Christa! I’ll work on it. Watch for it soon!

  9. Keisha Schultz

    March 19th, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Just bought a grey velvet tufted bed. Trying now to add some color with pillows. Decisions… decisions!

  10. Jamala

    March 19th, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    That looks fantastic.. I love creating new from old.. great fabric choice


    March 20th, 2014 at 11:14 am

    […] planning to put them in my living room, alongside the beautiful newly recovered sofa I shared with you earlier this week.  I envision them looking something like if these two chairs […]

  12. The Week in Review | March 17-21 | Where We Are...

    March 21st, 2014 at 6:02 am

    […] amazing makeover happened over on With Heart. Check out her page to see Jen’s incredible before sofa. Maybe Dana should give Jen a call to […]

  13. Lauren Miranda

    March 27th, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    I have been debating on two swatches of West Elm’s performance velvet for well over a year now. It’s between Otter and Shadow. I really would like a mid tone grey…but their dove gray is too light and I’m afraid shadow might be too dark. Otter seems like the best choice, but from other peoples pictures it sometimes read a little purple. What is your experience with this, because your sofa seems to look like a true medium toned gray (with maybe even a little brown in it, which is okay too)

  14. Jen

    March 27th, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    Hi Lauren, I don’t see any purple in the tone. I definitely think it has a gray/brown undertone, and I love it so much! I went through the same process– I thought the dove gray was too light for the room (and my toddler) and the otter turned out even better than I thought it would. Hope that helps!


    April 1st, 2014 at 8:57 am

    […] room is average sized.  It’s not very big, but has enough space for a sofa (Regina already has a home in there), a couple of chairs (that’s where these babies are going to go […]


    April 30th, 2014 at 8:34 am

    […] Couch […]

  17. Rachel

    August 12th, 2014 at 9:04 am

    This makeover is incredible. (I just came over from your feature on Thrifty Decor Chick, and I do believe you have a new follower!)

    I’m having so much trouble finding a quality sofa at a reasonable cost. Lately I have been seeing old couches like these, very often in “mint condition” and wondering…

    I dad no idea West Elm sold their fabric. What a great way to create a couch with fabric that you KNOW will wear well. You’ve given me some things to think about…Thank you!

  18. Jen

    August 12th, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Thank you so much, Rachel! So glad you found me!:)

  19. Lina Sung

    December 4th, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Your living room looks great! Can you tell me if the color in your pics are true to life? The otter color generally photographs too brown for me, but this looks like a true gray. Is this how it looks everyday?

  20. Jen

    December 7th, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Hi Lina, thank you! I think they are pretty true to life. It definitely has some brown undertones, but I would say it’s gray for sure. Hope that helps!

  21. Lisa

    March 16th, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Absolutely STUNNING! I am currently obsessed with gray, and was hoping you would pick the gray as I was reading your post. We are in the middle of giving our master a facelift, we picked a mid-tone gray for three walls and I’m torn about the accent wall, it will definitely be a darker gray, just have a bit of trouble deciding. I did have a question for you, well maybe a couple lol. Can you give me some ideas on drapes and accent colors for throw pillows etc. Thank you so much and I love your style!

  22. Jen

    March 19th, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Hi Lisa, thanks for reading! I do offer e-design services. You can email me at jen (at) for more information!

  23. Inspiring Furniture Restoration Projects: From Blah to Rad

    August 7th, 2015 at 9:02 am

    […] A beautiful couch redo with just the basic solution: recover with new fabric! You almost can’t tell that the new sofa is an upcycling job. […]

  24. Inspiring Furniture Restoration Projects: From Blah to Rad | Interior Design Blogs

    August 7th, 2015 at 9:26 am

    […] A beautiful couch redo with just the basic solution: recover with new fabric! You almost can’t tell that the new sofa is an upcycling job. […]

  25. Inspiring Furniture Restoration Projects: From Blah to Rad - Proverbial31

    August 7th, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    […] A beautiful couch redo with just the basic solution: recover with new fabric! You almost can’t tell that the new sofa is an upcycling job. […]

  26. caryna

    August 30th, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    Love love love everything about this old sofa, thanks for sharing your great ideas.

  27. Jen

    September 6th, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    Thank you so much!

  28. Nancy

    January 7th, 2016 at 12:28 am

    So I went to the link in this article that leads you to the West Elm page and the Performance Velvet Otter and its $120 per yard, not $20. What am I missing because I love that color on your couch!?!

  29. Jen

    January 7th, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Hi Nancy, I’m not sure what to tell you– they must have raised the price? You could call West Elm and ask them why it’s so high now. The color otter also looks a lot more brown in the photos now– maybe they changed the fabric or something?

  30. Kellie

    April 12th, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    I’m wondering how the fabric has held up under daily use–can you give an update. I love the idea of the West Elm Preformance Velvet for a new sofa but a little nervous about durability. Thanks!!

  31. Jen

    April 13th, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    Hi there! It has held up beautifully! We love it.

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She’s Jen. He’s Jon. We’re believers in the power of home, fearless DIYers, and eternal optimists who know with a can-do spirit, elbow grease and some guidance, you can create a home you love. We love a good project—or 20. Stick around and we’ll have you pulling out the paint brushes and fluffing throw pillows in no time.

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