Wednesday June 13 2018

Breathing life into dirty, old sofas

Breathing life into dirty old sofas

It is important to first asses the extent of damage before refurbishing a sofa. Photos by Esther Oluka 

By ESTHER OLUKA

Do you have old, saggy, worn out or stained living room sofa seats and are wondering what to do with them? Well, wonder no more. There are a number of things you can do with these seats.
Robert Magato, a manager at sofa king Interior designers in Namuwongo, a Kampala suburb, says there is always a possibility of repairing the worn out seats.
“Old sofas can be repaired to look like extremely new ones,” says Magato.

However, before the repairs are done, Magato says carpenters first assess the extent of the damage of the sofa sets.
“If the problem for instance is with the interior part of the seat, we open it up and check things such as the springs [to see whether it is still intact) or even the foam (to see if it is still firm]. In case the springs are weak or the foam has weakened, replacements are made,” Magato says.

On the other hand, if the problem is with the exterior part of the sofa set, for instance, if it is a cloth sofa that got torn, the material (cloth) is replaced with a brand new slip cover.
If the tear is on a leather sofa set, Magato says the hole is patched up.

Clean up
Juliet Nabwami, a resident of Mukono, says her two children, boys, aged six and four years respectively, always have a tendency of accidentally spilling liquids on the family’s cloth sofa set (comprising six seats).
“On many occasions, it is either tea or juice you will find poured onto the seat,” Nabwami shares, adding,” In the past, my youngest son loved sleeping on the couch and would occasionally urinate on it.”

Over time, the seats began to omit a very nasty odour.
“I would get really embarrassed on occasions when visitors came as some would ask about the smell,” she says.
Unable to take any more humiliation and bad smell, Nabwami called up professional sofa cleaners who extracted the stains and removed the odour, leaving the seats clean and fresh.

Add scatter cushions
Charlotte Mbabazi, an interior designer, says the other trick involves covering up an old couch with a number of decorated scatter cushions.
“Consider using bright colours as these will add life to your couch. With these, a visitor may not notice the seats are either old or stained,” says Mbabazi.
The other alternative is using “throw blankets” to cover up a particular parts of the couch.
“For instance, if part of the arm chair is either torn or stained, use the throw blanket to cover up the spot,” Mbabazi says.

Alternative use
Not everyone may have the money for revamping or even cleaning an old or dirty sofa.
For instance, Claire Ayo says she failed to repair an old leather sofa set in 2017 after the carpenter asked for Shs800,000, an amount she could not afford at the time.
In the end, she decided to remove the old leather sofa set from the living room and placed it inside the family’s reading room.
“It is where my four children sit at times while revising their books,” says Ayo.
An old couch does not always have to be relocated to the reading room, says Scola Birungi, an interior designer.
“There are other alternative places in a house to consider, for example, a corridor, bedroom or even balcony,” says Birungi.
Other than that, Birungi adds that worn-out sofa sets may also be used as part of the interior decoration designs.
“It is possible to have these seats purely as designs. One only needs to know how to tactfully make it stand out as a house hold design,” she says.
Birungi adds that if a sofa set is entirely out of it’s metallic frame and cushions, the cushions may be removed and the frame maintained for purposes such as gardening or installation of flower pots.

Prevent sofas from aging fast
Joseph Mawanda, a sofa set dealer says:-
•Try as much as possible to stop children from playing on sofas so as to limit tendencies of tearing and dirtying the seats.
•Similarly, children should also not be allowed to drink or eat food while seated on sofa sets. Infact, this is the reason why some parents always insist on children having their meals on dining tables.
•You do not always have to wait until the sofa is very old, rugged or smelly to either get it fixed.
From time to time, have the sofa sets cleaned and fumigated by professionals to get rid of pests, stubborn stains and bad odour.

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