Home & Garden

Slipcovers can freshen your decor without blasting the budget

Creating a new look or simply freshening your home’s style can be a costly endeavor. But there’s one decorator fail-safe that can give your home some pizzazz without blasting your budget: slipcovers. Whether you love them or hate them, they’re versatile and indispensable for giving rooms a revamped look quickly and easily. You won’t even have to move the furniture.


If you’re just starting out in your first apartment or your furniture is a hodge-podge of styles, slipcovers can create a unified look. For example, by selecting a single color of slipcover, you can make your whole living room look well planned. You can also increase your decorating options once you have a single focal color to work with.

Need a sofa but don’t have the cash? Slipcovers are a cost-effective way to use bargain furniture you find at flea markets or garage sales.

Once viewed as elements of a casual, comfortable look, slipcovers today are more adaptable. Pick a set in a patterned fabric and suddenly that plain sofa has a funky new look. A good upholstery company can create slipcovers with contrasting piping, such as white duck fabric with navy or red to recover old furniture at a beach house. Or take a staid chair and have a floral chintz slipcover made with a flouncy skirt. Suddenly it’s right at home in a little girl’s bedroom.

For all furniture

Whether you have plain wooden barstools, a wingback chair or a beat-up recliner the family refuses to part with, there’s a slipcover that can do the job. Maybe you’re tired of all those leggy chairs in the dining room. Adding slipcovers suddenly gives them an elegant upholstered look. Headboards can be slipcovered, as can futons, ottomans and even side tables.

Different styles

When you want to add slipcovers, don’t think you have to stick with white duck fabric. Get creative. Use a boldly striped Mexican blanket to create a colorful cover for a headboard. Go with a restful matelasse blanket to create a slipcover for a sideboard, entry hall table or headboard.

If you sew and are looking for a fun summer project, making slipcovers might be the ticket. You’ll pick up a valuable new skill and your rooms will be refreshed. Look online for instructions on how to design your own slipcovers.

If the DIY route sounds daunting, you can easily slipcover a sofa or chair by simply tucking painter’s drop cloths over the pieces. Cut a drop cloth large enough to cover the cushions, then tuck excess fabric underneath. Even easier? Order ready-made slipcovers online.