Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Can a Couch Change it's Spots?

 The proverbial saying "that a leopard can't change his spots" is actually scientifically proven but a couch can change it's spots. And mine did!

I personally love a touch of leopard (or animal print, in most cases) in a room. I think it's a classic as proven by the use of leopard, tiger, zebra and more through the decades by many fantastic designers with fabulous taste. There really isn't anything more classic than @schumacher1889 le Tigre,  Lee Radziwill's couch,  or a zebra rug (faux, please!)

I semi-joke that "leopard is a neutral" and that's how I'm viewing my couch transformation. I moved this vintage (and very comfy) couch in to my family room a couple of years ago. I talk about why and what inspired me here.

(The wicker couch before)

Last fall, during my 'Family Room Fluff' One Room Challenge I searched high and low for an affordable, neutral, indoor/outdoor leopard print. It did not exist (for me) because I couldn't find the 'affordable' (for me) part. And needing indoor/outdoor was also key because we allow our beloved Cooper to snuggle with us on the furniture. 

(PS. Tennis balls are not allowed in the house. He is so sneaky!)

But I never gave up hope of finding this dream fabric and I never quit googling it from time to time ... and one day a link popped up and I clicked and there was affordable, neutral, indoor/outdoor leopard fabric for a too-good-to-be-true price!!

 So I ordered a swatch which came in no time.

And then I wandered around with the swatch looking at it in the room, in different light and with my pillows and such. And then I ordered it. 

I made a slipcover for my ottoman too. It was actually a leopard print already but it didn't match the new fabric on the couch. I wanted to preserve the leopard upholstery already on it so a simple cover was the best way to make it work in the room and still have the option of using the original upholstery in another place in the future.

I am not a sew-y person but straight seams are within my limits. I found a great, basic tutorial for recovering cushions waaaay back when I first got this couch and covered the faded cushions with dropcloth fabric. I've used it multiple times. If I had the ability to put in a zipper I would love that but stitching or velcroing has worked well. I've recovered a ton of cushions on thrifted furniture. There are some pieces that are worth having a professional upholsterer recover cushions and such on but some simply are not so this method works well.

I am absolutely thrilled with my fresh new (leopard) look. I've had white slipcovered couches for over 25 years and I still love them (and have one on the other side of the room) but this is a fun change for me!

Here are some really fabulous leopard couches in designer rooms to inspire you further.

First, the leopard couch at James Farmer's NC cabin is amazing.

I love the orange glazed walls with Aerin Lauder's huge leopard couch.

How do you feel about a leopard couch? Could you do it?


  1. I love this! It looks fantastic with the bamboo and with Cooper and even with the tennis ball! Love your style--

    1. Thank you so much!!Cooper does love his tennis balls!

  2. I love how your leopard sofa turned out! The leopard print is sooo good- I love how light the color way is!

  3. Oh gosh, thank you so much!! I couldn't believe how great the colorway was when the sample arrived :)