Updating a couch

For common shapes and sizes, you may be able to find a reasonably-priced slipcover at your local furniture store.If you're handy with a sewing machine, you can make one yourself.If you've already flipped over the cushions to conceal the stains and discolored areas, you can mask the spots or problem areas with a couple of things.Try a couple of decorative couch cushions that improve the looks of the couch while distracting from and possibly hiding the discolored areas.Use individual nailheads for the most authentic look.If nailing in each one sounds like too much work, though, many crafts stores also sell 12-inch strips, Wingard says.

Over time, from wear and tear, repeated spills and natural light exposure, a couch can become stained and discolored. In fact, just because a couch has become slightly discolored, you may be able to simply clean it.When placed by a Lucite table and other plexiglass, lacquer or metal accessories, they can feel cold and sterile. Nubby textures are the easiest way to convey put-your-feet-up-and-relax, he says.Wingard recommends softening things with a chunky, fibrous throw (the one shown is from T. When your plush sofa starts to look a little tired, your down-filled cushions are usually to blame.Shopping for throw pillows can lead to an overloaded sofa, but the number that works for just about every style is three, says Kenneth Wingard, designer and Home Made Simple star.

Oversize prints (like the large floral design shown here, from T. Maxx) are very popular right now, and Wingard predicts that chevron lovers will love the season's new geometric pattern: Lattice, which they can add right into their existing mix.

A slipcover is basically a tight-fitting garment that goes over the cushions and rest of the couch and is permanent affixed.