Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Green and Frugal Way to Revamp Old Furniture

Whether out of a desire to save money or a duty to keep still-useful furniture out of the landfill, it can be difficult to turn down a secondhand sofa or armchair when it is offered for free or a small price. The downside can be that while they may still be quite comfortable, they may not look the best or go with your current décor. Fortunately, slipcovers offer the ideal solution for a variety of reasons.

Save money

Buying new furniture for a home is an expensive proposition. It can be much cheaper to let someone else buy new and then take their castoffs. Owners very often get rid of furniture not because it has outlived its usefulness but because they no longer like the way it looks. Pay attention when family and friends are remodeling and find out what they are doing with their old furniture. Don’t worry what it looks like, just find out if it is still comfortable and not in need of being repaired. Often, owners will part with it for next to nothing just for the opportunity to be rid of it.

Help the environment

Recycling old furniture and keeping it in a home means it is not going to the landfill. This not only saves money, it helps the planet. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, furniture accounts for more than 9 million tons of waste in American landfills. It only makes sense if a sofa or chair is still comfortable that it should be kept out of a landfill.

Make it look good

Unfortunately, older furniture often has upholstery that is downright ugly. That is where slipcovers come in to play.

Furniture slipcovers come in a variety of colors and styles for sofas and easy chairs. With so many choices available, it should be easy to find something that will make that old furniture fit in with the rest of the décor in your house.

Prices range from around $35 up to $100 for sofa covers. With their affordability, several can be purchased and the look of furniture can be changed year round.

Get the right fit

Of course, taking advantage of slipcovers does not do much good if the wrong size is purchased. Below are some tips to keep in mind when shopping for the right slipcover.

First determine if a stretchable or non-stretchable slipcover is desired. Stretchable slipcovers fit tightly to the furniture, while non-stretchable types will have a skirt or similar piece of hanging fabric covering the bottom.

Measure the maximum seat cushion width in the front from arm to arm. Then, measure the circumference, or total of all four sides, around the sides of the couch.

Slipcovers offer many options if you have a habit of rehoming unwanted sofas or recliners. They help protect the environment and they save money, while adding a dramatic change to a room.

This is a guest post from Caroline Smith, who tries to make green and frugal choices when furnishing her home. She has written for a number of blogs and owns a website all about slipcovers for loveseats and ways to use them to recycle old seats.

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