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When we moved into our sixth-floor walk-up a year and a half ago, I came bearing linen sheets and a few accessories. My roommate, by contrast, lugged her three-seater sofa up all six flights without so much as a single professional mover. It sat unaltered in our living room for three months, a real point of pride—for her. 

You see, for all its merits—it fits the space to a T and is ridiculously comfortable—the sofa is not the most stylish. I’m all for oversize, retro silhouettes, but this one took it to a whole new level. Plus, the dark charcoal shade made our already small space feel 10 times tinier. 

But new couches are expensive, and I wasn’t about to get rid of a perfectly functional one in the name of vanity. (Also, I’m pretty sure that after all the effort it took to get it up the stairs, my roommate would sooner ditch me than the sofa.) The middle ground? A $75 slipcover from Target. And let me tell you, it completely changed our living room.

Sofas photo
Farmhouse Basketweave Sofa Slipcover, Target ($76)

First, the material. It’s faux linen, which looks similar to the real deal but doesn’t come with the stress surrounding potential spills. (You can just pop it in the wash after a red wine–fueled night and it’s as good as new.) Plus, since it’s a thicker fabric, the furniture underneath isn’t visible. In fact, it doesn’t look like a cover at all. 

I also love the pale grayish oatmeal color—it brings warmth to the space while still brightening up the one-window room. The granny-esque design itself may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but given I would live out the rest of my days in an English countryside cottage if I could, it’s perfect, ties and all. I’ve piled it high with throw pillows (here’s what it looks like in real life) for some color. 

If you’re also dealing with a problem sofa, you’re in luck: The slipcover look is trending; there have never been more options on the market. (Besides Target, check Etsy, especially if you’re looking for something more custom.) I really can’t say enough good things about this one; it’s like I have a whole new piece of furniture, except without the dent to my bank account—or the struggle to carry it up six flights of stairs. 

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