Thursday, May 22, 2008

What I'm Loving Now: Slipcovered Sofas

[Photo credit: Pottery Barn]

To me nothing says laidback luxury like a slipcovered sofa. Even if a room boasts other precious pieces, the mere presence of a comfy, slipcovered sofa says, "My home is meant to be lived in and enjoyed. Relax and stay a while." That's a heck of a lot for a couch to say, right? ;-)

[Photo credit: Lisa Romerein, Sunset Magazine. Designer: Michele Adams, MiGi]

Anyway, I absolutely love this type of furniture in crisp white but I don't have the nerve to try it in my own home with two toddlers on the lam. However, I secretly admire those who do. Yes, you always hear that you can just throw a white slipcover in the wash or bleach it if it gets dirty/stained. But I am convinced I'd be doing that everyday! Can someone really spill the beans and tell me that white slipcovers are not as easy as folks claim? Nevertheless, it looks fabu. However, if you're a mere mortal like me, a darker neutral or even a bright hue may be more functional.

[Photo credit: Jean Allsopp, Southern Living]

Color aside, slipcovers are a great way to pull together mismatched furniture or to change the look of your room on a whim. Slipcovers are certainly easier to clean than regular upholstery and cheaper than reupholstering in general. In fact, what makes the pieces I have shown similar to upholstery is that they are customized to fit the shape of the sofa and also feature separate back and seat covers. This creates a tailored fit that is very elegant.

Photo credit:

Custom-made slipcovers are of course more expensive depending on the materials chosen and the complexity i.e. lots of curves vs. a clean-lined silhouette. However, if you are handy with a sewing machine, making slipcovers are a snap. Otherwise, pre-made slipcovers like the ones shown above (natural cotton duck cover, $49.99) and below (merlot cover with box-seat cushion cover, $89.99) are another budget-friendly choice.

[Photo credit:]

Feeling nifty? Click here for this tutorial (found via Apartment Therapy) that explains how to slipcover a reading chair. The directions would actually work for virtually any type of furniture and are quite detailed. So happy sewing!


P.S. I've been working on a slipcovering on my own sofas with the immense help and talent of my sister-in-law who is a sewing wunderkind. I will post before and after photos when it is complete.

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