Now that spring is here, you might be feeling a little frisky. But before you invite that new crush over to watch Casablanca, take a look at the living room furniture—that shabby old couch is certain to squelch any romantic vibe. Suddenly, our faithful old overstuffed furnishings seem dusty and dull. For a quick, affordable green upgrade, refurbish your sofa and easy chairs with organic cotton or hemp slipcovers you can buy or make yourself (we define "making" loosely—see below). More quickly still, lighten up your living room with organic wool or cotton throws that will warm you and your couchmate on chilly spring nights.

To buy

Semi-fitted, tie-on, organic cotton slipcovers by Sure Fit come in solid linen and sage or subtly striped blue and brown ($69.99 - $89.99).

To D.I.Y.

For a sexy loose look, cover your couch with organic cotton or hemp canvas in a 10-oz. weight, recommended for slipcovers. Take a measuring tape to your couch or chair, and wedge it into those crevices between seat pillows, back pillows and armrests, and so forth, adding twice those inches, as you would for pockets. The fabric comes in natural or sage, 58" wide and $24/yard plus $9 cutting fee for each length. You'll probably need to stitch two lengths together for a sumptuous cover—to hold it in place, make sure to leave room for a deep tuck every which way!

To fling

Warm your loveboat with an ivory organic wool throw harvested from Vermont sheep, $99.99. Fleecy organic cotton throws in chocolate, natural, shale and more colors are $94 at also has organic cotton throws in natural, $60, and colorgrown natural or mocha waffle weave organic cotton blankets, $115 for twin and $155 for double/queen, which at 90 x 90" could easily double as a slipcover.

Presto! Your living room is decked in new (and washable) spring regalia.

This article originally appeared in Plenty in March 2008. The story was added to

Copyright Environ Press 2008