Have A Sofa You Hate? Here’s How to Love It Today {A VIDEO!}

style an old sofa 1

I’m a sofa hoarder.

Once I own a sofa, it’s hard for me to let it go, I’ve got three sofas in the barn that are well over ten years old, one is this beauty slipcovered in white. One is khaki that’s seen much better days, one is denim that actually has rips–just like your favorite jeans.

It’s easy for me to look at them when they are nekkid and decide that I hate them–they are slouching in all the wrong places, faded and lived-in and loved-on.

But before you go thinking you need to replace your sofa, watch what styling a sofa can do



Y’all, we’ve opened up the Cozy Minimalist online program again–for a limited time and if you join the Community Edition now, you’ll have a room all finished in time for Thanksgiving!! Come on over and check out the new site! And look what a graduate of the Spring Cozy Minimalist program said about it:

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Become a Cozy Minimalist and find your style starting with what you already have!

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how to style a sofa

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  1. I love the video! Thanks so much for doing it. Do you have any advise for the dreaded dark leather couch? When I put lighter color pillows on it seems to make too much of a contrast. And does anyone know how to keep them from slipping off?!! :)

    • YES! I just added in a photo of my dreaded dark leather sofa! I like to add some dark and some light colors and be SURE to have texture, the sofa itself is already ‘slippery’ so you want some texture to catch the eye (eyes if you have two) it’s like roughage for a room!

  2. The video isn’t loading :( People on FB are saying the same thing. In the blog you talk about sagging cushions…any ideas on how to remedy that? We have brown leather sofas and I just changed out my pillows but the stitching is coming undone and the suctions are sagging and losing shape.

  3. Maybe you cover this in your cozy minimalist corse, but how do you deal with a very “loud” sofa? We have my grandmas tufted floral sofa and it matches nothing in my mid century home, but the hubs loves how it feels. Tips?

    • Hi Sarah! Well, if you have a loud sofa–that counts as your ‘funky’ so your pillows and throws can all be very toned down–you could even try all solids or quiet neutral patterns–I’d even go solid on the throw!!

  4. Another good fix for a truly saggy sofa is to re-stuff the cushions. I just unzipped them, took out the cushion and washed the covers in the washing machine (after researching how to do that safely for my fabric!) Then I took high loft quilt batting ( I have two cushions and used two bags of batting) I got on sale and wrapped it carefully around the cushion so it would be smooth and put the covers back on. Same went for the throw pillows. My pillows didn’t have zippers, so I carefully ripped one corner apart and added stuffing and then resewed them. The couch looked brand new and my husband was amazed at how many more pillows it seemed to have with absolutely nothing more than quilt batting and stuffing and a quick wash for the pillows. Styling took it to a whole new level!

  5. Great video. You showed us what needs to be done and why! Thanks so much for all the tips.

  6. Do you have a slipcover brand you like? Our couch is ugly awful but can’t afford a new couch.

  7. My leather couch is peeling! The leather is a super thin veneer surface. The construction is great, but I have to recover this thing. How/where can I find a covering for it that will both fit its shape and stay put? I had planned for it to last a lot longer than 5 years. It was made by Simmons.
    Thanks for any ideas you may have.

  8. Any thoughts about two identical sofas in the same room? Do you try to keep the same colors and textures on both? Or do completely separate things? Maybe keep the color the same (for unity in the room) but try different textures?

    • 1. I LOVE “dueling sofas”! Personally, I’d go with different pillows and throws–but the kind that are all friends–like you could mix and match any of them and they would work!!

      • Sounds good. Thank, Nester, I’ll try it. We actually love our sofas but the pillows are all old and tired. Time for a facelift!

  9. Is it still possible to view the last webinar? Due to some unforeseen circumstances this past summer, I didn’t have a chance to finish my self study webinar. Thanks.

    • Hi Vanessa!

      Yes, as a Cozy Minimalist, once you join, you can always go back and login and watch all the webinars at any time–even when we close the course–it’s still available for you to watch your content–it’s just not open for new members to join!! xoxo

  10. How fitting and inspiring! I’m expecting a delivery of fabric today to make slipcovers for our big, deep and cushy couches in our rec room. They too have seen better days and have rips in the favourite seating areas, but all they need is a bit of love.
    I love the big angel wings in the photo with the denim couch. Where did you get those?!

    • Marissa. What can you tell me about finding info on making slip covers. Our couches are very bulky with big, fat armrests. I just don’t know how to get started finding a pattern or some kind of instructions. The seat cushions are easy. Just measuring involved. But the rest is a mystery to me.

  11. That was awesome! I really loved the second styling… it’s incredible what a difference the pillows and throw made! I also love the white sofa with those blush pillows and the gray and white one. What a great shot of the whole thing. My eyes were just so drawn to the photo and beautiful colors.


  12. I always love the many wonderful textured pillows you use — I’ve been scanning stores for months trying to find some comparable to yours. Although I don’t have a loud, floral grandmother sofa like someone mentioned…I do have one in our living room that’s stuck in the early ’90s….covered in teal with a tiny bit of that rose/mauve that was so popular back then (just what was I thinking?) The cover is still good and the budget won’t allow a redo right now so, like you, I’ve relied on a throw and pillows….I went all soft creams and neutrals. I just saw a 10″ square pillow in a catalog that says “Our other home is in Paris” — how cute is that? Gonna order that puppy! Thanks for all your great tips.

  13. Loved his video! Quick, informative and easy to replicate! I have he leather sofa too, so I appreciate the answer to the earlier question! Also, where did you get that first gray/black/off-white plaid throw?! It’s exactly what I’m looking for for my living room and Master Bedroom (about to finally “Cozy Minimalist” our room), yay!

    • from Target!! they have great throws this year!!

      • Jill Hilbrich says

        Thanks! I think I just saw one on Sat. I have one of the lighter gray ones they sold for the fall collection, but hadn’t seen the one you had in the video. Then, we stopped by and there was one that looked strangely familiar!!

  14. Love this video, so helpful! After all these years of never finding the right pillows I’ve been looking at pillows that are TOO small! Those feathery ones are to die for and they’re just the coziness my navy couch (and the matching chair-ugh) need!

  15. Oooooh, where did you get the cream feathery ones at? I love them!!!

  16. So fun, loved your video!

  17. I found it very frustrating to watch your video. I have a good internet connection and typically never have issues watching clips on line, but yours keeps stopping, or skipping around, or the audio slips and doesn’t match your mouth. I wasn’t able to watch it through, even though I tried reloading the page like five times. Can you just upload a normal YouTube (preferred) or a Vimeo (okay) video next time?

    Also, please turn the auto-play off on your Cozy Minimalist site! Took me a minute to figure out which tab was playing sound before I could find it and turn the video off. Super annoying.

    I normally love everything you do, so I hate to be a whiner. But this was very frustrating!

    • Hmm – thought I’d chime in on this because I do believe it’s something on your end?? Maybe just a fluke with your computer on internet? I watched it twice and on my phone as well and it was fine every time (and I’m on the worst country wifi.)

      TEchnology – you can’t live with it, can’t live without it. I always say. Hope it works next time for you because it’s a great little video.

    • Oh no! So sorry April, you are the only one who’s mentioned having trouble with this–this is the way we do all of our course videos too and we’ve had almost 2000 people complete it with no problems!

      as far as on the site, we prefer auto play–not something I do here at Nesting Place but we figure that once people click, it’s because they want to find out more and it’s obvious where the sound is coming from–so sorry it’s been trouble for you!

  18. Loved this and going home tonight to change things up a bit.
    Question(s)…I love the idea of changing out pillows for a fresh look on sofas, beds, chairs etc. My problem is that I tend to buy new pillows that I like but then find that my pillow stash becomes out of control. Do you typically store your pillows that aren’t being used for a rainy day down the road, or do your purge with each new look? If you store them, how do you store them (space bags)? Or, when you add to your pillow arsenal do you just look for new pillow covers without the insert?
    Gotta love pillows!!! :)

    • I make zippered pillow covers for mine – easy to put on and take off, easy to launder, and easy to fold up and put in a drawer – doesn’t take much space. Plus it’s fun looking for interesting fabrics – many times you can find something in the remnants at JoAnns big enough for a pillow cover. I like changing them for the seasons – change out the throw too and you have a whole new look. Loved the video!

  19. We have a ten-year-old olive green microfiber sectional. It is very well-made; it looks almost brand new. We love its function, but I no longer love the color; I love the popular white slip-covered look. The only problem is that the back cushions are attached. Do you have any suggestions such as companies that sell slipcovers for this style of sectional? I’ve searched without any luck. Meanwhile, I might have to see what white pillows/throws would do for now!!! Loved the video!

  20. Love the video and inspiration. We love having the throw pillows on our couch and love seats, we are reupholstering our couches early next year, a while after the baby comes next month.

  21. Please…. I must know where you got those angel wings on the wall ?!!

  22. Hey there,

    i saw that you answered a question about dueling couches… I wanted to know what your thoughts were on couches that don’t match. For instance, the one we have now is off white, clean lines, and cute feet, but due to the limited seating in our living room, we would like to squeeze in another couch? The second one is off white, slightly rolled arms, skirted, but the same scale. Any thoughts about them co-existing in the same room? LOVED your tips on styling! Will definitely be incorporating those as i re-work my living room!

  23. Can you share where the big fluffy white pillows came from? I’d love those. Thanks for the video? I had no problems viewing and am looking forward to styling my sofa for the holidays…..

  24. Erin Lehman says

    The wreaths! They’re local to me, and I’d love one to hang on our new front door!

  25. Hannah Reid says

    I enjoyed seeing your style in action thru the video! Thank you for sharing those beautiful examples and tips with us.

  26. hi myquillyn! thank you for posting this! the timing was perfect as i need help with my old couches. but it looks like it might be hard to find room to sit on them with all the pillows? do you just move them aside when you need to sit? thanks!

  27. Just came here from the Flower Patch Farmgirl to watch the video, but it’s not working for me…hmmm – any ideas on how I can view it??

  28. Amy Torbit says


    I know that this is an old post but I am desperate to know where you got your denim sofa. I have combed the internet and can’t seem to find it. Thank you!

  29. Where can I find that denim couch? I love it!

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