I’m a fairly new reader. I found you when I looked for information about great sources for throw pillows. After reading the post, I went into my living room and imagined how some pretty new pillows would help spruce things up.
I stood there in the middle, staring at the upholstery. There before my eyes was 25 years of grape juice stains grease spots, not to mention some serious fading.
I don’t think that throw pillows will help that upholstery mess. lol
Hubs and I chatted, and
since the vermin kids are now grown and pretty much out of the house, we decided to reclaim our living room with some spiffy new upholstery pieces.
So, we went shopping at the only furniture store in town. (There used to be three) I thought I was tripping when I saw the quote for one sofa, four chairs, an ottoman, and nine throw pillows.
Are you ready? With S/H and tax, it was $21,513.74
Okay, fine. We just don’t have that kind of money.
After putting four kids through college, our funds have limits.
Then, I had the idea to have our old furniture reupholstered. I went to a place that I’ve heard good things about, a 40-minute drive from our town. I brought in photos of our furniture.
Well, Laurel, this time, the quote was about half the cost of the new furniture, but that didn’t include the fabric or the nine pillows. And it didn’t include S/H and tax. Plus, the guy said that if the furniture needed new springs, which I’m sure it does, that would add several hundred more dollars.
So, we’re still talking at least 15k!
I didn’t realize that getting my furniture reupholstered isn’t that much less than brand new furniture.
We’ve decided, though, that for the rest, we can’t afford to spend more than about $6,000.
I guess it’s Craig’s List and consignment shops for us.
It’s a shame because aside from the messed-up upholstery, the furniture is really quite good.
That’s a made-up Dear Laurel letter, of course. However, the essential information is today’s reality.
One option for Sofia is to paint the upholstery.
I first talked about painting upholstery in this post.
But, that upholstery was new, and the paint translucent, not opaque.
However, I adore slipcovers. I think it’s a great way to update old furniture.
Unfortunately, like a lot of things, the word has taken on some not-so-nice connotations.
For starters, I have a problem with the term “Shabby Chic.” Sure, Rachel Ashwell made a fortune with the brand, and I’m happy for her.
I have to admit that for about three years back in the late 80s early 90s; I liked it.
But then, those humongous chairs and a half and the faux chipped painted pieces lost their appeal.
And then, one day, there were ready-made slipcovers.
These are good if you have pets.
And, below reminds me of the “granny” decor mistakes. It’s just a little too precious for my taste.
But the above examples are not what I’m talking about when I’m talking about slipcovers.
This chic, not shabby slipcover is what I’m talking about
And this classic by Katrin Cargill.
And the rest of these beautiful slipcovers, too
Here are some beautifully tailored slipcovers over upholstery in Victoria’s Nantucket summer home.
This is Victoria’s old home in Nantucket from around 1999. Oh, how I would stare for hours. I painted my old living room this color, Ancestral from Pratt and Lambert. It is creamier than it looks here. And I used this gauze fabric from Henry Calvin for my old home and several clients.
Maybe you’ve seen this wonderful dining room on Pinterest. I adore the slipcovers and also that they used the barrel armchairs as side chairs, as well.
A classic English bedroom. Nobody does slipcovers, like the British!
Laurel’s favorite hotel and possibly because all of the furniture is covered in white slipcovers!
Windsor is one of my favorite interior designers. I love the chances she takes in her designs.
I’m trying to figure out if I think these conjoined twins are fantastic or not. We saw this interesting sofa in this recent post. I do love her signature detailing on the hem. However, I think I prefer Mark D. Sikes’ version (below) with a table in between the two sofas.
What better way to update some tired old upholstery with this charming slipcover from Les Indiennes (Tulipe Fabric)
Love the button detail on the back of this houndstooth checked fabric slipcover.
Where Can I Get Custom Slipcovers Made?
Anyone who can do custom upholstery can also make a custom slipcover. I have found that the price of slipcover labor is about half the cost of re-upholstery, and sometimes even less.
But, you might need a couple more yards of fabric, depending on the style. Some of the slipcovers do get tucked into the creases under the cushions. Therefore, when consulting yardage amounts, please be sure that these are estimates for slipcovers, not standard upholstery.
In fact, I could’ve just put a link to her site and called it a day. :]
How fresh is this classic ticking stripe on some dated fuddee duddee upholstery? You must check out her site. She’s located in the Kalamazoo, MI area, so you are in luck if you live around there! However, if you have an existing slipcover that’s kaput, she can copy it for you.
What Other Fabrics Are Good For Custom Slipcovers?
Another terrific source on the Slipcover Maker site is Big Duck Canvas; They carry a 10 oz. Cotton Duck. It’s a good weight fabric perfect for slipcovers, and it’s really cheap.
Of course, you can use linen as well as lighter-weight cotton.
You can use velvet, but I recommend using poly velvet.
Any fabric that drapes well is suitable for slipcovers. However, I would avoid silk unless it’s not sat on a lot. And please keep it out of the sun.
Karen at the Slipcover Maker also provides a shrinking service. If you are using cotton, I strongly advise pre-shrinking your fabric. You can also do it yourself, but I’d spend the $ and have her do it.
Below are two other sources for custom slipcovers.
If you live in or around Eagle Mountain, Utah, please check out Slipcovers by Shelley.
How fabulous is this red and white Buffalo check on this dining chair.
If you live in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC area, please check out Kristi, the “slipcover girl” whose website is called Pink And Polka Dot.
For The Adventurous and Talented who wish to turn their tired upholstery into a stylish new piece with slipcovers
Miss Mustard Seed, who I’m sure a lot of you know already has a fabulous
This clever woman covered an ugly brown leather Henriksdal chair from Ikea with a custom slipcover she made and get this. The fabric is a shower curtain from Target!
Diane, the author of Home Sweet Homemade, took a dining chair with some tired upholstery, made this cool corset-inspired slipcover, and put the chair in the guest bedroom. There’s a tutorial in the link.
This slipcovered headboard is a great idea and affordable. You can get it here, and it comes in 10 colorways!
While there is no separate category for slipcovers, included in this comprehensive directory are some of my favorite sources for slipcovered upholstery in Laurel’s Rolodex.
You might enjoy this post, What If The Furniture Doesn’t Fit?
Do any of you make your slipcovers? I know that some of you do, and I’m sure that I’ve left some things out. Please feel free to share in the comments.