13 July 2009

Cote de Texas - Top Ten Design Elements – #2

image Continuing on with the Cote de Texas - Top Ten Design Elements, the choice for second place should be quite obvious to readers of this blog. Since linen took first place, slipcovers come in second place: these two elements naturally go hand-in-hand. While the benefits of slipcovers are extremely well-known, slipcovers can still be quite divisive. Some people love them and swear by them, while others loathe them with a capital L. Few are in the middle. My love of slips is solid - almost all of my furniture is slipcovered and I would never live with upholstered furniture again. Once you have lived with slips, the ability to wash them is very satisfying, especially sofas and chairs that are used on a daily basis, such as those in a family room. If you own white slipcovers you understand what I am saying. Our clothes naturally bring in dust and dirt from the outside air. The place where someone sits every day will become grayer and darker from this grime. If the fabric is white – this staining is very noticeable, and after about a month of daily use, it will be time to wash the slipcovers. If you have never lived with white fabric before, you probably have no idea just how much clothes actually soil upholstery. Imagine what might be lurking in and on a sofa’s upholstered fabric after five or ten years! OY!!!!!!!!

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This room in NYC is beautiful and I have long admired it. But I always wondered about the sofa – the family living here has young children - how in the world can they possibly keep this sofa pristine looking? While the tufted back IS gorgeous, I would have used a darker fabric, or I would have eliminated the tufting and covered it in a white linen slipcover. I would love to see what this sofa looks like today – a few years after this photo shoot.

So for many, the appeal of slipcovers, besides their casual look, is the cleanliness aspect, especially for families with pets and children. I love when my slips are freshly washed and put back on the sofa, fitting slightly tighter after a spin in the dryer. To me, not being able to wash or clean my sofa would be like never being able to wash my jeans. Living with two dogs and a husband who is apt to spend the weekend sleeping all day on the sofa, makes slips essential to my life. Of course, this is only my opinion. Most of my clients vehemently disagree with me and refuse to slipcover their furniture. I can’t force a client to use slipcovers – though I do explain their benefits. In truth, slipcovers are not perfect. You must find someone who is an expert at making them, otherwise they can be a disaster. I had to replace my last set of slips when they were made without prewashed linen and shrank (of course they did!) Another issue is ill-fitting slips. If the seamstress is not adept, the fit might suffer – it can sag, bunch up, and gather in all the wrong places. Linings can be disastrous too – if they aren’t completely preshrunk – and many seamstresses do not think of the lining’s potential to shrink. So, while slipcovers are fabulous looking and wonderfully hygienic, very serious care must be taken when having them made. Spending extra to hire a competent person is well worth the money.

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Uh-oh!!!! See what I see? Slipcovers that have shrunk!!!!! This should be avoided at all costs. Always prewash and dry the slipcover fabric TWICE if possible before sewing. Be sure the lining is preshrunk too. AND, just to be sure, make them a little long.

The history of slipcovers is a long one, having been around since the 17th century when they were used almost exclusively to protect furniture’s upholstered fabric. In later times, slips were used in grand houses covering furniture during off seasons when the family wasn’t in residence. In this century, slips were used seasonally to change out the decor. But, in 1989, Rachel Ashwell, from England, opened her Californian store Shabby Chic and forever changed how we used slipcovers. She began manufacturing furniture with slipcovers that were used as the primary upholstery fabric. Ashwell, with pets and young children, developed slipcovers that could be tossed into the washing machine. For Rachel, slips were an answer to the cleanliness problem. For years, her slips were rather loose, and the wrinkled, rumpled and slightly messy look was all the rage. As time has gone on, slips have become more tailored, fitting tightly onto the frame – sometimes so tightly it is almost impossible to tell a slipcover from upholstery. Today, most slips fall somewhere in between the wrinkled, loose fit and the contemporary-looking tight fit. Ashwell started a revolution in the furniture business – suddenly the demand for slipcovers was huge. To satisfy the consumer, major fabric house began selling cottons, linens, damasks, and even chenilles that were prewashed thus eliminating the need to lug twenty yards down to the washateria. Furniture stores started offering sofas and chairs with premade slipcovers. Chains like Pottery Barn and Ikea have had huge success with their slipcovered lines. And the slipped look has even influenced upholstered furniture: sofas and chairs now sport “waterfall skirts” – where the skirt falls directly from the seat in a graceful, long line – in order to simulate a slipcover!

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The look that started the modern slipcover rage.

While a large segment of people who love slips do so because they have pets or children, others just like they way they look. White slips lend a casual attitude to a room. They can be either beachy, or rustic looking. But use a gorgeous glazed linen in a deep, rich color to make a slip – and they will be quite elegant. Slipcovers can add a country look to a decor, but a tight-fitting slip can look absolutely contemporary. I adore slips that have detailing, like scalloped edges or double ruffles. Also – I prefer slips with long ties and buttons as opposed to zippers for closure. Zippers can break and often do – ties won’t. Slipcovers aren’t just for the family or living room either. Each week – I get one or two emails about an inherited dining room set that looks dowdy. My advice is always to generously slipcover the chairs – by doing this, you can turn a dated, old fashioned set into something youthful and attractive looking. I also get this same email once or twice a week: “I love white slipcovers, but I’m worried about them getting dirty and stained because I have pets and children.” Those emails never fail to amuse me. Pets and children are exactly THE reason to get slips! If you spill something on them, just wash them! If you stain your slips – bleach them! For those opinionated people that hate slipcovers but have never owned any, I suggest trying them out in a small way – perhaps on your favorite TV watching chair that always gets horribly stained and frayed. After five years – the slip will still be fresh and clean, while the upholstered chair will be dirty, worn, and faded! I promise you!!

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White slipcovers make great furniture for beach houses – just toss in the washing machine after a summer of sand.

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Or, slipcovers can be used in more sophisticated interiors – as here in architect Bobby McAlpine’s house. Sofa by John Saladino who is also a great proponent of slipcovers.

imageThe Houston look championed by Renae Abbott’s Shabby Slips: seagrass and white slipcovers. I love the tabbed slip on the French bergere which allows the wood frame to show. Design by Michelle Stewart.

image The Houston designer, Joni Webb, uses tabs and scallops on her slipcovers in her breakfast room. In Houston, three places make the best slipcovers: Shabby Slips, Custom Creations, and Hien Lam.

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This gorgeous room by Dan Carithers is over 20 years old! It still looks fresh and modern with its slipcovers in white and taupe striped linen.

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Houston interior designer Pam Pierce’s daughter Shannon Bowers used a Rose Tarlow linen to slip her kitchen chair. Notice how beautifully it drapes, softly sweeping the floor. Perfection!

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Susanne Kasler used slipcovers with ties to dress down a “grown-up” dining room table. Until recently, who would have imagined putting slipcovers in such an elegant dining room?

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Charcoal linen – an unusual, yet chic choice of a slipcover fabric on a gorgeous, long Belgian-inspired sofa.

image White linen slipcovers and seagrass are a winning combination – always! Add a lantern and you have a fabulous look.

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His and hers chaise lounges in white linen are a perfect alternative to a chair and ottoman.

image Double ruffling is a great way to update a slipcover skirt. To copy this look, be sure to ask for the “double” or “triple” ruffle effect. Shannon Bowers again. I could stare at this picture for hours. Just gorgeous!

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A single Saladino-esque chair, slipcovered, is just enough in this room. Notice the cushion is slipped separately from the chair.

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In France, Kathryn Ireland slipped covered the sofas and the ottoman in plain linen. Pattern comes from the pillows and curtains. Ireland, like Ashwell, is from England and both designers helped push slipcovers into the mainstream.

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In Dallas, Lisa Luby Ryan updated her dining room – going from dark to light. The chairs were covered in linen slipcovers with button detailing.

imageVelvets and antique rugs are mixed with a linen slipcovered sofa. Slipcovers, when tightly covering the frame, can look dressier.

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This beautiful chair by Suzanne Kasler has a light blue linen slipcover with side ties. This photograph made the cover of Southern Accents – the chair was hugely popular.

imageInterior designer Lauren Ross was the slipcover queen of Houston until she moved her fiefdom to Austin!

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A Ross designed dining room chair with lots of detailing – her specialty: mini pleats and ties.

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This beautiful Ross designed slip has short pleats which shows off the chair’s charming wheeled feet!

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Belgian design: a sofa with long lean lines and no bottom or back cushions. And always, a slipcover!

imageIn New Orleans, Gerrie Bremermann mixed playful scalloped skirts and French antiques.

image John Saladino’s own apartment with his slipcovered dining room chairs with tie detailing in his favorite color. Saladino even has a line of furniture slipcovered in leather. Note – you can’t toss leather in the washing machine!

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All white slipcovers with ruffles and loose cushions.

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Straight back dining room chairs get tight slipcovers that play off the curvy table.

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Perfectly tailored slipcovers on the club chairs show linen at it’s prettiest.

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Michael Smith used slipcovers in an English inspired living room – the checks and slips make the room livable.

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In the Tanglewood House, I used white linen slipcovers to update all the furniture.

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Scallops and tabs were used on the French chairs in the Tanglewood House.

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Interior designer Suzanne Rheinstein used a blue and white striped cotton to slip everything in her living room for the summer season. Ties are used to allow the antique frames to show through the slips.

image Recently, Gerrie Bremermann mixed a Belgian inspired slipcovered sofa with contemporary and antique chairs in a beautifully eclectic interior.

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Bunny Williams used chintz and cotton ticking to cover this furniture in a typical English inspired look.

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In the Caribbean a beach house was done entirely in beige linen slipcovers. Colefax and Fowler did the design.

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In Dallas, a contemporary living room with a slipcovered Belgian styled sofa.

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In interior designer Dan Carither’s own home, he recently went from an all neutral interior to blues and whites with the help of slipcovers. Carithers once did an entire magazine spread on slipcover detailing: scalloping, tabs, and ties!

image I love these linen slipcover armchairs for this coffee table that doubles as a dining table.

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Windsor Smith designed a two sided slipcovered soft for her own home – complete with a mini pleat hem.

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The Bennison House featured a small sofa slipcovered in linen, with a nice, long, double ruffled skirt – I love the length of this skirt! Design by Jane Wood.

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At thisdining table, some chairs are slipped with a nice back pleat and tie detailing.

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Design maven Ray Booth’s NY apartment features a ravishing B&B Italia slipcovered chair – barely seen here. Of course they would cut off the best part of the room!

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Here is the B&B Italia chair – the slipcovered version is towards the back. This chair proves that slips can be contemporary and beautiful at the same time! I love the proportions of the slipped chair and the ottoman.

image No country loves slips more than the English, and here in the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire’s (say that one fast!) new abode after having to move out of Chatsworth, Debo used slips in her darling den. Lots of Ds. Here, in her late 80s, you can see how vital her life and mind still is. Most interesting is the fabric on her sofa, which used to be in Chatsworth a long time ago.

image The famous Blue Drawing Room in Chatsworth – several decades ago - with the same fabric that Debo now has in her Dowager cottage. Wonder if she bought new fabric or just used this old slipcover? This is one of my favorite rooms anywhere. The green skirted table under the grand painting is wonderful.

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Again the same room - photographed in 2002, in a Robert Kime slipcover. I like this slipcover much better!!

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Sophisticated dining room with beautifully tailored slips with wide banding.

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And beach living with white slips can be sophisticated too – Ralph Lauren’s place, Babe Paley’s former Jamaican beach cottage.

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Denim and dark green colored slips lend a casual look to dressy French antiques.

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Inherited, dressy dining room furniture is made youthful with slips and pleats.

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Shannon Bowers mixes slips and French antiques in her new Dallas home.

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Dark, deep brown walls make this white slipcovered headboard pop. Ties keep the slip on the caned, French antique located in a West University house.

image Slips don’t have to be white – here pink slipcovers mixed with blue and pink stripes and a pink rag rug look so refreshing.

image And, here light blue slips with scalloped edges prove not all slips are white! The settee wears a muted Bennison fabric.

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Houston designer Ginger Barber always uses slipcovers. Well, not always, but usually! Her own house has brown and white checked slips over Os de Mouton chairs and a linen slipcovered sofa.

image In this beach house, white slips with pops of lime green and a crystal chandelier are so fresh looking!

imageYou don’t have to slip everything to get the look – here in a contemporary interior, the host chairs alone are slipped.

image On Lake Travis in the Texas Hill Country, an authentic centuries old log house was transported to the site. Notice the contemporary red chair placed in the mix. To read more about this fascinating house, go here.

image And finally, the dining room in the Tanglewood House. Ties and double ruffles create the interest in the room.

Look for the next installment of the Cote de Texas - Top Ten Design Elements #3 to be posted soon.

I think you can all guess what it’s going to be!!!

167 comments:

  1. Joni you make a great case for "slips" any advice on how to find a good slipcover maker in Boston?

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  2. Joni, So far your top ten list of design elements would be exactly the same as mine!! Thank you for showing such a vast array of gorgeous pictures to illustrate the many ways slipcovers can add beauty, style, grace, elegance and functionality to a room! Can't wait for the next installment!

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  3. Joni, So far your top ten list of design elements would be exactly the same as mine!! Thank you for showing such a vast array of gorgeous pictures to illustrate the many ways slipcovers can add beauty, style, grace, elegance and functionality to a room! Can't wait for the next installment!

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  4. What a great post. So many varieties! I love the scalloped dining chairs.

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  5. Joni,
    As usual, you have amazed me with your in-depth mini sessions. There are so many great ideas in all these beautiful rooms. Thanks.
    Rhonda

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  6. Joni, one of your best posts yet. Thank you!

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  7. Hi Joni,
    I have two new natural linen slip covered sofas. I'm worried about the denim blue transfer from jeans. What has been your experience? Can that be washed off?

    Thanks so much. I love this site.

    Jennifer
    Atlanta

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  8. Wonderful as usual, who needs design school when one can learn so much on one little blog. This is the kinda stuff that isn't talked about in school (at least so far!). Keep sharing your knowledge & opinions both are so valuable. thanks, Karen

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  9. I noticed that Kathryn Ireland even slip covered her mantel (Sooty Slips?)... that seems a tad overkill, and also a little unsafe, no?

    Otherwise, great resource for all the potential design styles available.

    JoanK - if you want to contact me, I can offer suggestions for slipcover people in Boston.

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  10. I love my slipcovers, Joni! They are wonderful, and I've had them for years. They've held up very well and are so versatile and are fun to change.

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

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  11. I love slipcovers of all kinds, and loved many of the photos you posted. But I cannot believe how expensive they are, to have done by a good seamstress. A good shop here in town quoted me close to $1000 to slipcover a simple armchair with a separate seat cushion and covered in a "good" material. It was $600 for the labour and $400 for 8 yards of fabric at $50 per yard. As much as I want this chair slipcovered, I don't think I love it that much and could buy a new (albeit bargain) chair for that price.

    Is that the going rate? No need for a reply - more rhetorical than anything - I know it is not for the faint of heart...!

    xo Terri

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  12. I just your blog and it is terrific. Love the post and all the possibilities.

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  13. AWESOME POST! And ever so timely in my little world.

    Sarah in Alabama

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  14. Those backlaced slips are fabulous - the Shannon Bowers photo, the grey dining room table (with the tapestry on the wall) with 1/2 the chairs slipped with that gorgeous back pleat is to die for - I want that room!
    Honestly, I'm not a big ruffle person, but that gorgeous Shannon Bowers photo with the tripple ruffle effect? I may be a convert now. (I want that rug and table, too!)
    I just love your posts, they are better than any magazine out there, and they are delivered much more often!! Thank you :)
    xo isa

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  15. My goodness, Joni! So much to see and be inspired by. I love the deatails on Lauren Ross' slips and that Windsor Smith room always makes me swoon... slipped sofa or not. That is a pretty impressive slipcover feat though isn't it?

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  16. Great post....lot of work on this one!

    I see you like Kathryn Ireland, one of my UK favs, I think she is based in Frisco.

    Yes, slip covers are practical, well made ones transform the most hideous furnitures into new ones.....but I agree, they are expensive as there is such a lot of work making them.

    Xo
    Ingela

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  17. I am saving every single one of these pics in a new "slips" file! Thank you so much for all of these options!! All those little details like ties and tabs give you so many ways to use them.

    Next...hmmm...maybe bergere chairs...lanterns? You use them well! I love your home Joni!

    Best,
    Michelle

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  18. Joni, you could do an phd about slipcovers... absolutely great!
    Would not have thought about the 2nd important design element.
    But I will need to post two or three of your pics on my blog... I am collecting ideas before the big holiday...
    ciao, have a good week!

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  19. Joni, thank you again for all you put into your post! This was great!
    The next one has to be seagrass!? Then maybe lanterns????
    Tina

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  20. That is a tremendous collection of slip cover photos! I have one, still not convinced that upholstery was not a better choice for us, slipcovers still look more casual than I am ready for yet! Be well, Joni

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  22. Sew much info on the slippery side of slips! Thanks Joni, a guided and wonderful post as always!
    Leslie

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  23. Thanks Joni for all the great info! I wish I had you with me on appointments with clients. Maybe you could talk them into using slipcovers!

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  24. I too love slipcovers ,I don't think you can go back to the other way , I just love the feeling I get after putting back on the clean laundered slipcovers , so fresh ,
    I toured an old estate house in my town , the founder of BUICK and their sofa's and chairs were all slipcovered , in the 30's and 40's I believe , there is no better way , to me either.

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  25. Beautiful post, I love all the images. My husband is in the hate category for slipcovers, but I think they are so pretty. I'm going to find a way to work a few pieces into the house!

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  26. Now I want minimum 4 sets of slip covers for each room. The better to get thru the seasons with.

    And, crazily I can see my beloved cat, Laskett, slip covered, with tabs, in each of your pics. It would make a great cat calendar.

    Oh, Chatsworth. Gardens, house, both stole my heart.
    .
    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

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  27. I love your scalloped slipcovers as well as the ones in the Gerrie Bremermann dining room! I only wish I could so well enough to make my own!

    Thanks again for another wonderful post. I am looking forward to Design Element #3.

    Nancy Williams

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  28. Mmm mmm Good!

    Thanks Joni! Yummy pics!!!!

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  29. You are amazing, Joni. Your knowledge knows no limit - I'm not just referring to this post, but your blog in general. You are the QUEEN of blogging. The best. Nulli Secundus (Second to None).

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  30. Beautiful! Slipcovers are the perfect choice for those of us who want a casual look! Does anyone know where I can get good slipcovers made in the Lexington, KY area? Many thanks!

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  31. In my next go-round, I must slip. Thanks, Joni---just a fantastic post.

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  32. Love this Blog! Cant wait to read all of your top ten!
    Thanks for spending the incredible amount of time this must have taken!

    ** I use slipcovers on Outdoor Garden Furniture for my clients Also!

    I love the fact that You can change the look of an entire patio, with new outdoor fabric!

    ...It's very Cost effective also, when you consider the price of new outdoor furniture!

    I have even done an umbrella!

    Have a great day!

    Vanessa
    RhinestoneContessa.com

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  33. I confess to finally getting a 'store bought' slipcover for a chair in the living room. Yesterday, infact, I put it on. Lovely! Natural cotton. Now the sofa is another issue I will need to have that custom made due to the length.

    You made your case very well my dear!

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  34. Joni -

    You have converted me! I always thought slip covers looked messy and wrinkled, but clearly I had not seen well done slips! The slips in your pictures are just gorgeous! I especially like the white and off white looks. And how right you are about the dust etc... that is brought in on our clothes, not to mention pets, and in my case teen-age boys - some of the dirtiest smelliest humans around. Certainly, a very good argument for slips!

    Genevieve

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  35. A great thing to do when having the sofa reupholstered - if you can afford it, of course - is to have a set of slipcovers made at the same time to give yourself a winter and a summer look - or you could emulate what Joni says and skip the reupholstery and have two sets of slipcovers made at once - perhaps a flowered for summer and a heavy beige linen for all other times - Suzanne on St. Simons Island

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  36. Love, Love, Love that Slips were #2, and what a great collection you have given us to study and drool over.
    And I got to look at the Tanglewood House again.
    Joy

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  37. I love slipcovers but it's next to impossible to find someone who makes them. I know they are out there but it's like a secret society at least in Dallas my friends and I can't find and slipcover makers.

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  38. I am almost Converted - you have made a great case for the slip! Your extensive gallery of images, has many options. And i am especially drawn to the more tailored linens..

    Great post - and also, a note to say thank you - i know how much effort goes into creating one of these posts ...

    Vitania

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  39. * DARN IT ALL!!! My LOVE AFFAIR w/ slips has never even gotten past "Step 1"~ (yep, "the man" does NOT care for them in any way, shape or form!), buuuut, I STILLLLL just love looooking at them!!!)...

    Personally, I adore their more casual look ESPECIALLY if one has alot of super-fine ($) pieces~~~ I believe it balances things out and makes a space more "approachable"... even a little "humble", because, DESPITE the cost, I suspect MOST/MANNNY don't realize how $$$ good ones really ARE!

    NOW, since I'd just "DIE for something slipcovered", I'm simply wondering... how difficult might it be to get a casket slipped?!?!?! (Ha!)~

    FAAANNNTAAAABULOUS POSTING today, as ALWAYS, dearest one!

    Hugs and thanks,
    Linda in AZ *

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  40. I'm currently trying to decide on the color of the slips on the sofa I am ordering from Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams. I'm drawn to a slightly off white slipcover, but have considered going for their bright white slip, which can be bleached.

    Anyone out there have an off white slip? Can you comment on how it comes out of the wash? What sort of detergent is best for slipcovers?

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  41. * And BTW, the selection of pics you chose????? ~~~~ D*I*V*I*N*E... with a GREAT BIG "D"!!!!!!! Yummy to the MAX!!! XO *

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  42. Another fantastic post Joni! I am sincerely looking forward to the next eight.

    As a hobby sewer (who also has dabbled in upholstering) if you don't mind me mentioning to your readers; the cost of slipcovering is more expensive namely due to the following two reasonS:
    Labour -- draping (fitting) and/or pattern making, cutting, supplies, sewing which includes many steps such as finishing of raw seams, applications of lining etc.
    Yardage: Based on an Upholstery Estimator chart, 25% MORE fabric is 'generally' required. (ie: 16 yds. of Upholstery fabric equals 20yards of Slipcovering Fabric.)

    Also: This estimate does NOT include repeat pattern on fabric which should be matched (railroaded), sections that require lining, decorative skirts nor loose back cushions, shrinkage (as you have mentioned) etc.

    In summary, regardless of that which I have mentioned I agree with you Joni that they are a great investment!
    -Brenda-

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  43. Another gorgeous posting! When we lived in England -- my mum had slipcovers made with Sanderson fabric -- and they lasted more than 20 years! But I can remember the wrestling matches with the sofa as she put them back in place! C'mon Joni -- I want to see the photos when you replace your slipcover after washing! Any trick-of-the-trades for washing? I must stick to store-bought ones due to tough budgetary control measures! sigh.


    Jan at Rosemary Cottage

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  44. As a mother of four I whole heartedly believe in slip covers. Personally, I prefer the tighter fitting ones. Can't wait for the other eight.

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  45. Beautiful Joni. I've been thinking about slipping the sofa in the sunroom. I bought a pre-made cover that was supposed to fit, but didn't. I will have to go custom. I'll be sure to let you know when that happens! :)

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  46. Loved the slipcovered casket idea! Note to Joanie: what a fab way to really go out in style! It just makes me smile. I love the look, but I can't give up my love affair with fabrics(colors, patterns, textures) to go the white linen only look. But in Houston's tropical climate, I think the look, the feel and the practicality makes beautiful sense.

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  47. Joni, I have to give you alot of the credit for my love of slipcovers. I have always liked them, but always thought they were so droopy looking and not chic. Well, you certainly changed my mind on that and when I was picking out my new sofa a white slipcovered sofa was my ONLY choice. I love this collection you put together, they really are so beautiful!

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  48. Love all the wonderful slipcovers. I especially like the chairs with the cute bows in the back. Great way to perk up a room. Hugs, Marty

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  49. I am SO glad you are extolling the virtues of slips.
    I have white slipcovered furniture in my front room. I can still recall my clean queen neighbor with 4 children saying to me "I would never have that. It gets so dirty." I told her to go home and take a white cloth, dampen it and run it lightly over her dark upholstered sofa. I told her she would be surprised just how dirty your couch is. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it isn't there. I would rather KNOW my sofa is clean. :)

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  50. Joni,
    Thanks for all of the time you put in for this informative and beautiful post. Loved all of the pictures.

    I am really looking forward to reading about how well seagrass stands up to pets and children. All I have read seems to indicate that it stains, is not that comfortable underfoot and doesn't hold up well. It looks great in pictures but I am not sure it is practical. I know you will fill me in!

    Thanks for this labour of love.

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  51. Hi Joni
    As well as being the QUEEN of blogging you are my QUEEN of SLIPS!!! I love slipcovers. I have always had white slipcovered sofas in my home and the one time I didn't use slipcovers I regretted it. The slips you did for the Tanglewood home are divine as well as Saladino's leather slipcovers.

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  52. Loved #1 the linen and love #2, slipcovers. I just bought some linen last week to create some diningroom slipcovers and just pulled it out of the dryer after pre-washing. How timely to get this post and have even more inspiration...beautiful examples from casual to formal and everything in between!

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  53. Great post Joni and I always love all your great photos!...I've been thinking of doing 2 chairs in the livingroom. They'd look cute with pleats :0) Maybe someday I'll get around to it lol..:0)

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  54. Nobody does a tutorial on design elements as well as you!! So complete and highly detailed. I'm printing it up to show my clients. Many thanks for all of the work!

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  55. You are so right about slips. I have a Quatrine sofa I bought several years ago in white chenille. Even when my kitty got made at me and made two liquid deposits on my sofa, I was able to wash it and with the help of chemistry even got the base sofa clean. I wish all my chairs were slipcovered. It is the best thing to put them back on all fresh and clean, looking like new!! Great post!

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  56. Joni -
    An excellent primer on the multitude of looks one can achieve with slips.
    I can't tell you how much resistance I get when I suggest them: people assume they have to be prissy.
    McAlpine/Booth/Saladino certainly are the Kings of elegant-but-simple
    slips!
    JJjjj

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  57. LOVE this post! Thanks!

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  58. I love my slipcovered dining room chairs. Over the weekend, I redid and iron bench, I bought several years ago. I painted it black, covered the upholstered seat with an inexpensive linen blend, just to see how it looked in the dining room. I'm now on a mission to have a simple slipcover made for the bench, in heavier 100% linen, perhaps. I have the plan in my mind and will do a sketch. I know someone who might do the slipcover, for me.

    Wonderful post, Joni.

    ReplyDelete
  59. This post goes into the top ten, definitely! I agree about slips-- my DH and I have allergies to dust mites, pet dander, etc. and the only way to really get clean is slipcovers, I am now convinced. And for stuff that can't be slipcovered, leather. It beats having to take time off to babysit an upholstery cleaner, and they can certainly ruin a piece if they don't know what they're doing.

    Instead of bleach, try this formula: borax + washing soda + Oxiclean + "natural" detergent. This works better than bleach, it won't rot the fibers as quickly, it's better for the environment, and it doesn't leave that nasty bleach smell.

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  60. My Guess: Seagrass/Sisal Rugs

    ReplyDelete
  61. Love the pics, Joni! I always pause the longest on the white rooms. Isn't that weird? I love looking at them in pictures, but in my own home, I can't imagine having all white walls.

    I plan on doing a slipcover for the Queen Anne sofa we have in the living room. The fabric is too fussy for the casual look I am going for. My kids like to crl up and eat popcorn, and damask doesn't say snuggle to me. I am going to do my first attempt out of drop cloth material - I love the coloring, and if I mess up, I can buy more cheap!

    ReplyDelete
  62. Joni! Congratulations! This is not only WOW but a tool for designers to use to show their clients the versitility of slipcovers.. They can exist in any venue and be stunning. The selection of pics was superb. I was inspired and hope to pass on our passion for slipcovered pieces.......

    ReplyDelete
  63. Joni--all my living room furniture is slipcovered in white--and we have two dogs and messy menfolk. I did buy enough fabric to have two sets of the seat cushions made--as these get harder wear and tear. And I swear by Oxyclean pre-treating of any stains--even a whole glass of red wine came out. Just be sure you don't let the fabric dry until you see that all the stains come out--with the red wine this took three tries--but it did all come out--you don't want to let the dryer heat "set" any stains with white fabrics.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Grandma Zella made us 2 sets of slip covers. I should said Saint Zella. She made them out of white denim. Each set lasted about 10 years. The denim didn't exactly wear out but the zippers and the "crisp whiteness" sure did.

    She used the first set as a pattern for the second set. So your second set should be a tiny bit cheaper than your first.

    Our children did unspeakably evil things to those slipcovers, over and over and over again. We bought new furniture when they fled the nest.

    Did I mention St. Zella? I hope you have one in your family. Zella knew exactly what to do. Home sewing like that is a lost art. It could certainly be a lucrative lost art.

    ReplyDelete
  65. I really need a beachy decorated room with a big sailboat like the one you've shown. I LOOOOVE that!

    ReplyDelete
  66. I loved each and every word and photo on this post. I have had slipcovers for years... raised 3 kids with slipcovers... no problem. Thank you again for a great great tutorial.

    ReplyDelete
  67. What a great post! So much beautiful eye candy! I love my slipcovered sofa. You are so right, it's amazing how dirty it gets and it's so nice to be able to throw it in the wash!

    ReplyDelete
  68. Wow, great post as usual! I have to go back and savor all those wonderful photos. What a great resource you are!

    I was just looking at the slipcovered sofas on the Restoration Hardware website this morning (they're on sale). Do you have any experience with those? I'm a bit worried about shrinkage.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Ahhh. What a great resource for slip ideas! I've used them forever...four kids, great danes, red wine (oooooh!). Can't imagine life without 'em!

    Did anyone else notice the "slipcovered" fireplace mantel though? The kathy ireland home. That may be pushing it for my likes!

    Great post...and yes I can imagine what is coming next!

    ReplyDelete
  70. I love slipcovers too! I'm still on the hunt for my perfect slipcovered sofa. Do you think white is the way to go, or would you consider a cream or off white fabric? I have an "ivory" leather barcelona chair and can't decide if I should match it...

    Thanks for sharing all the images! My favorite is the Gerrie Bremermann room!

    ReplyDelete
  71. Thanks Joni for so many wonderful pictures. Can you tell me where you found the pic of Dan Carithers new blue slipcovers? Which magazine. He has always been a favorite of mine and I adored his neutral home. Did he change everything?
    Great post as always!

    ReplyDelete
  72. What a carnival of images & thank goodness for that!!! So many think old lady or just plain linen, but you opened so many eyes!!! Yes it can be contemporary too!!!
    I love simple fabrics with the yummy accents & Dan Carithers image & Lauren Ross' chairs just is it for me. So much eye candy...
    merci!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  73. That was another A+ blog, I love the look of slip covered parsons chairs with dressmaker style buttons down the back...and maybe a big beautiful ribbon around the waist of the chair with a large bow behind...for girly parties etc...
    Joni, if you would not mind could you explain what they do to make a Double ruffling skirt. Would you have line drawings on how its done, I so love the look, amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  74. Oh and Joni what is with so many woman saying their husbands will not have ... in their homes.
    Don't they know the home is the womans domain? Maybe it is just me but a happy wife is worth it's weight in gold or other things...
    hehe lol me bad...

    ReplyDelete
  75. Wow, what a great post. I love slipcovers too - have to have them with kids!

    The Ross covers are divine.

    xo,
    cristin

    ReplyDelete
  76. Joni,
    Wow! What a collaboration of slipcovered photos! And some of my favourite tear sheets!

    Thanks for a beautiful post! And as always, thanks for the e mail! If you haven't had a chance to see... I have a lil' thank you note to some of you on my blog- a few posts down!

    XX
    Michelle

    ReplyDelete
  77. As usual...FANTASTIC post! Where you get the energy for these beautiful & informative posts is beyond me! I must say though, my fav is: His and hers chaise lounges

    Long time no talk to sweetie...hope all is going well? Next time you get "outside the loop" come see me!

    xo...deb

    ReplyDelete
  78. Great post! I do not have anything slipcovered right now, although I am planning on having my dining room chairs slipcovered to reduce the formal feeling of the room. I keep putting off projects like this as I am waiting until I move, but now I am thinking - why not go ahead and get my dining room chairs slipcovered now? It has nothing to do with moving.

    I also realized that I really like the waterfall look in upholstered furniture. I hadn't made the connection with that look emulating the look of slipcovers.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  79. I kept looking for the room that was my inspiration for the slipcovered lifestyle, the SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE living room. A Google search of that set is what lead me to your wonderful blog!

    ReplyDelete
  80. Really great informative post Joni! I love the look of slips, but don't have any at present. I have a chair to upholster in my bath and maybe a linen slip?! Thanks for all the wonderful inspiration photos.

    Please do NOT tell my husband that there are husbands out there who sleep on sofas all weekend......Oy, he'd never get his honey-do list finished if he possessed this knowledge!!!shhhhh!;)

    ReplyDelete
  81. This post is truly amazing. So imnormative, stylish and helpful. THANK YOU!

    ReplyDelete
  82. I've had yards of fabric for several years waiting to be made into slipcovers. You've inspired me to get to it!

    ReplyDelete
  83. From the charcoal to the corn flower blue, to the pink. With the double pleats, ruffles, scallops, ties & box-pleats; all are stupendous. I'm nuts for the blk & wh stripped door. All photos are inspirational, many thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  84. Joni, this is such a wonderfully informative post full of eye candy. thank you for all the info. It is fun to see your favorite elements, it keeps me coming back for more of Joni.....Hugs Kathysue

    ReplyDelete
  85. Joni,

    An amazing post! We use the slipcovers all time with the Swedish furniture and there is no faster or easier way to change a look of a room. Thanks for sharing all of these fantastic examples!
    Rhionda & Edie at Eleish van Breeems Ltd.

    ReplyDelete
  86. I am convinced! Now the only remaining question is whether to have slips made for my existing chenille family room sofa or to buy a new sofa with two sets of slips...one for summer and one for winter. I'm not sure white linen year round would look right in Chicago. Also, can I mix white linen with two distressed leather chairs also in the room? Lastly, does anyone have a slip contact in Chicago? Thanks Joni. I LOVE your blog and have been reading it for years.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Am totally with you on slips!! loved all these images & saved so many of them. JUST GORGEOUS & IU can't get over the simple elegance slips lend a room.
    hmmm... seagrass?
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  88. Slipcovers are the best! Enjoyed this post so much, Joni and what I would also love to know is where does one find such beautiful and special lampshades like those shown in the Shannon Bowers photo (fifteenth one down on your post...). Deborah

    ReplyDelete
  89. Wow...you are so amazing. It's nice to know if anything happens to my collection of saved bits and pieces...I can just go to your blog and it's all there! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  90. I have more than enjoyed this post. Ran a link back to yours from mine... My thing is that - in spite of what you said - would like to try to make some???? any direction on some how to do?

    thanks...lylah

    ReplyDelete
  91. Great Post! As always! And I am so excited for #3 because I KNOW it is going to be all about seagrass (and I have been dying to hear your take on it). Thanks! Bethany

    ReplyDelete
  92. Joni,
    I have saved this as reference. I have a slipcover file, but this includes so many more styles and ideas. Also the tips to prewash and make them longer than usual are great! It never occurred to me. As usual, an outstanding post~
    xx-Gina

    ReplyDelete
  93. Joni,
    Now this is how a slipcover post should be done! Just fantastic!
    I used the Shannon Bowers double skirted settee as the piece of furniture that my niece is sitting on in her watercolor portrait that I did a while back. Love the whole room. Beautiful examples Joni & I couldn't agree more on the white.
    Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  94. P.S. I too am saving this as a reference for my own home. Meanwhile I am desperate for a new white PB Basic slipcover for my family room couch that everyone & the dog hang out on. Would even buy gently used! New, is not in the budget this month!
    OOps, sorry, kind of tacky to be soliciting on your post. excuse my manners. XO Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  95. You are doing us all a great service with such an informative and descriptive and illustrative post! Thank you Joni!! This is definitely one of my favourites!!
    You are the best!
    Maria

    ReplyDelete
  96. Long, long ago in a blogging world far, far away - you and I would marvel at bloggers who got lots of comments; we'd ask 'how do they get so many?' - now I find it so hard to leave a comment that will be original enough; with substance - but I do want you to know that your work, your writing, your publishing gets better every week. Thank you Joni.

    ReplyDelete
  97. The one with the shrunken slip covers -- sort of looks like the chairs' underwear is showing...

    Great, thorough post. Thanks always Joni for putting out there all your thoughts and hard work.

    ReplyDelete
  98. It's so funny that with all these comments saying they love slipcovers, I still get people who ask me how I could have a white sofa and chair!!!! I wash them, people!
    Although, the Ikea ones don't wash well and do tend to shrink. Thank goodness they are so inexpensive!

    I LOVE Geri Bremmerman's work in New Orleans! And I love Shannon Bowers' work too (one of my friends works under her) - you know, even in this economy, she is busier than ever. People must be catching on to the practicality of slips!

    Wonderful post and beautiful pictures! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  99. Love the top ten designs! I think I saw on your blog what you called the "perfect bed" ie the # of pillows, covering etc. But haven't been able to find it?? Could you direct me-working on my master bedroom.
    Thanks
    Sylvia

    ReplyDelete
  100. Great post, chock full of inspiration! Details, fit and style make the difference. FYI, Calico Corners makes great slipcovers and guarantees quality 100%. JoanK, there are four stores in the Boston area--go to calicocorners.com. They have beautiful printed linens now that are perfect for slips.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Okay, now that I want to slipcover everything in my house, I guess I'll have to send fabric and measurements to you, because I don't think anyone in our area could do slipcovers that end up looking this great. Mine would look like those in your first photo! laurie

    ReplyDelete
  102. Ooops! Of course I didn't mean the first picture, I meant the one with the "too short" slips! laurie

    ReplyDelete
  103. Chicago - I love white slips with brownleather.
    you could do brown velvet pillows with it too - i love that look!
    Joni

    ReplyDelete
  104. I am very much impressed by your blog, you can find more Wood Dining Room Chairs that suites your budget.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Dear Joni,
    Thank you for this in depth tutorial. I've been pleased with my club chairs that I had slipcovered after your blog sold me on the idea, and a new sofa that I had slipcovered is being delivered today! Yes, Terri, this is painfully more expensive than upholstering--labor alone for the slipcover was $835. But Joni's dirty jean analogy is a perfect justification--I love clean laundry!
    Ennis

    ReplyDelete
  106. Love all the great photos - really helps me narrow down the type of slipcovers I'd like to have. Question on fabrics - I am having a slipcover made for an upholstered rocking chair in my newborn son's room and the seamstress said not to get anything 100% cotton because it would constantly be wrinkly. Many things I liked at the fabric store were 100% cotton. Any other fabric suggestions? I searched for the Duralee linen fabric you have listed but can't find it online.

    ReplyDelete
  107. Quick question ... the white jean comment got me thinking, has anyone out there used white denim for slip covers? Does it keep it shape? Love love love my white jeans and they seem to just get better as they get older ... and wash really well no matter what's on them. Love my linen slacks but definitely don't have the same life span as the denim. Not sure if you can compare clothing to slip covers but want to make a wise investment. I'm thinking about doing Belgium linen on the windows and denim on sofas. Would love feedback from anyone out there that's been there, done that.

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