Monday, June 20, 2011

Megan's Old Favorites: #1 Slipcovers

Good morning friends,
Yesterday I shared about some new things that I am currently digging (trays, graphic panel curtains, and glass jars). As I was researching/thinking about what things I was liking I looked around my house and in my Idea Book and realized that there are many things in decorating that I have loved for many, many years. I'll call them my 'old favorites'.

Idea Book:

Megan's Old Favorites: #1 Slipcovers

-Slipcovered furniture: It makes so much sense to me! We wash our clothes. We wash our bodies. We wash our sheets and towels. Why wouldn't we want to wash our furniture? It makes sense when you think about how often we sit/lay on our furniture and how long we keep our furniture. With slipcovered furniture you can wash it so easily! You simply pull it off and either get it dry cleaned (if it's a linen material) or pop it into your washing machine. Another benefit of slipcovered furniture, if you get tired of a slipcover or after years and years of use when you're tired of it, get a new slipcover and voila, new furniture for a fraction of the cost of a new piece of furniture. Have I sold you yet on the pros of slipcovered furniture? I think the biggest selling point for me is how much I like to look of slipcovered furniture: crisp cotton, soft, warm, pretty, with clean lines. Here are some of the many slipcovered pieces I've collected for the years:

This sweet little chair I picked up in Frederick, Maryland for $35 and has an orange fabric underneath. I took this white cotton fabric to my favorite upholstery place and had this slipcover professionally made with zippers for easy removal. I've already washed it probably 5 times or more.  I made the ottoman slipcover last week:

Crate and Barrell Slipcovered Chair and a Half
(I took advantage of their slipcovered furniture sale last March):

An old brown nubby ottoman from Steve's bachelor days that I made a  new white slipcover for:

Pottery Barn sofa purchased many years ago. The originial linen slipcover never really got cleaned even when I had it dry cleaned several times. That convinced me to go with  cotton slipcovers in the future. I had an upholestory business make a custom cotton white slipcover with zippers for it to give it a new life. (photo from our old Virginia house)

New Crate and Barrell  sofa that compliments that chair and a half:

That old Pottery Barn sofa now in our Raleigh house:

Slipcovered furniture I like that I found online:

From the original slipcover queen of decorating, Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic line:

Classic white slipcovered sofa:

Garden inspired slipcovered room:

Slipcovered sofa with this year's 'it' color, orange:

Slipcovered sofa with a lot of white and great light:

Slipcovered white furniture with pops of yellow and gold, a more formal look:

Slipcovered furniture with pops of red and pink, a traditional room:

Slipcovered white furniture with calming blues:

Slipcovered furniture with warm wood tones and neutrals:

A more rustic, modern approach to slipcovers with pops of red:

A traditional approach to slipcovers with warm tones:

An elegant mostly white approach to slipcovers:

Something I just tried for myself, the slipcovered headboard:

Here's my new slipcovered headboard (this room is currently getting a make-over):

Another new idea for me that I am currently trying out, slipcovered chairs:

More slipcovered chairs:

Which slipcover styles did you like best?

Slipcovered Furniture Tips:

1. Prevent Shrinkage: Here's tip about preventing shrinkage on cotton slipcovers: take your slipcovers out of the dryer when they're a little damp which will allow you to stretch them back onto your furniture easily and prevent shrinkage.

2. It's Worth the Splurge: Splurge and buy pieces that come with custom made slipcovers or pay a trusted upholstery business to make you a custom made slipcover for your favorite furniture. I have tried to save money and buy the cheap slipcovers that are made to fit any sofa and I am never happy with the fit. They look good when you tuck them into place on your sofa but as soon as anyone sits on the sofa, they get loose and look sloppy.

3. Go neutral! My personal philosophy is to purchase neutral slipcovers (in white, off-white, cream, or tan) and add the color to your room with paint on the walls or pops of color with interesting pillows or artwork. Your slipcovered pieces of furniture will have a much longer life if you buy them in neutral colors that you will keep for years. When you get tired of the look of your room, simply buy some new pillows or accessories in a new interesting color or repaint your room. This is a much cheaper and more practical option than buying new furniture. Also, if you buy white slipcovers you can add a touch of bleach to the wash periodically to freshen them up. However, don't add too much bleach, I made that mistake while trying to bleach my old Pottery Barn linen tan slipcover white- it literally fell apart in my hands!

As you look in your Idea Book and through your home, what are some things that you have loved for ages?

I'll post some more of my old favorites this week. I'd love to hear from you on what some of your favorites in decorating are.
Happy decorating and living-


  1. So much food for thought here. I never knew you could get slipcovers custom-made for any piece of furniture so easily. Is it expensive? And do you have to take the furniture to the upholsterer, or do they visit your home?

  2. Hello Avuxeni-
    Yes, aren't slipcovers awesome? Uphosterers can make slipcovers for anything. They will need the piece or a template to work from. I usually take the piece to them. With my large Pottery Barn sofa I took the old slipcover that went with it for them to take apart and use as a model because it would have been very difficult to get the sofa to them. I haven't heard of upholsterers making house calls but you never know. :)
    Take care friend.

  3. Hi Megan
    I just clicked over from Susan's Between Naps on the Porch. I've certainly enjoyed looking through your gorgeous blog and clicked to follow. Looking forward to seeing more.

  4. slipcovers are gorgeous AND practical! I love all the inspiration photos that you have found!

  5. Thanks Pat from Back Porch Musings!
    Thanks Laurel from Ducks in a Row! So many talented people out there! Have a great weekend ladies!