Friday, February 22, 2008

Decorating: Slipcover Savvy

Slipcovers solve a multitude of problems. First of all, they can cover up outmoded upholstery fabric. By using decorator fabric, slipcovers instantly transform an old piece of furniture for today's fashion. Further, they unify a room. By using the same fabric on all pieces the odd ball chair is pulled together with the rest of the furniture. Slipcovers also enable you to change the look for summer and winter. And finally, slipcovers are less expensive than new furniture. There are fine workrooms and stitchers who can do the job for you. Check with your local sewing center or in the Yellow Pages.

The Right Fabric
When choosing fabric keep in mind that medium weight works best. It is durable, but easier to sew than a heavy weight fabric. Chintz is cool to the touch, especially good for summer and is often recommended for slipcovers.

Choosing A Pattern
Florals are easy to live with and will always be stylish. Even if the fabric fades, a floral print gives the furniture a look of having a past, as if the furniture was inherited by a great aunt.

Calm and Cool
Textured white or beige is refreshing and calms a room. Neutrals provide the perfect background for any color you might introduce. Stripes stand up to the test of time. You can use floral or tapestry pillows effectively with stripes.

Sew It Yourself
For anyone vaguely familiar with sewing techniques, it's not that difficult to make your own slipcovers. In their book, "Decorating With Fabric" (Clarkson N. Potter, Inc.), Donna Land and Lucretia Robertson give clear and simple directions for measuring and making them for any piece of furniture.

Trying It Out
Loosely fit slipcovers that are more draped than fitted have a casual charm. Wrapping cushions and tucking here and there can actually simulate a slip covered sofa if you want to try a fabric for awhile to see how you like it.

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