I can definitely tell it’s January. Once everything is neatly put away for the next ten to eleven months for Christmas, things are looking a little stark. With this clean slate, you start to reimagine a space and want to fill it with something new. Everyone is thinking about refreshing, renewing and (applaud)…repurposing.
Before Christmas I picked up this beautiful and comfortable second-hand chair from a client that she found for a steal. It could definitely slide into any decor with its creamy solid fabric that was still in excellent condition with very little wear or soiling. But sometimes you just want a little more. That’s where I come in. Emily didn’t have to think too hard about what fabric she wanted. She had already used this “Fawn” printed fabric from Hobby Lobby on some dinette chairs seat cushions.
It washes beautifully with very few wrinkles so if need be, she can remove it, wash it and slip it back on. The print and color fit perfectly into her beautiful neutral color scheme that is throughout the main level of her home.
This chair had a couple of questionable design elements to consider, the large scrolled arms and the attached back cushion. My client wanted to keep the casual look of the arms so I created a slipcover with tucks around the arm curve and with the help of self-cording, followed the flow of the side.
The other challenge was what to do with the attached back. I had two options. 1. Detach the pillow case, leaving a fabric hole in the back, though it would be covered with the slipcover. 2. After removing the pillow case with stuffing (did you know that there is a zipper on the bottom?), flatten the case and tuck into the back. I decided to start with the second option to see if that would work so if she ever wanted to back to the original fabric, she could easily do it. And it did.
Finishing the chair with a corded bottom really leaves the chair looking like it’s been reupholstered but with the flexibility for change and cleaning.
When I brought the chair back to Emily’s house this week, she had a space all ready for it where the Christmas tree had been. Once placed it was like it was always meant to be there and gave the corner of the room a subtle punch of personality. The nice thing is that she could still slide this chair into any corner of her house and it would look great and fit right in with her design.
Do you have a piece that you have been putting off updating? If you are wondering if it is a good candidate for a slipcover, I would be happy to help you decide.
This sturdy little side chair came to me in desperate need of a new dress. Originally an upholstered chair, it sported a very worn and ill-fitted, possibly shrunk, slipcover.
My client had already purchased and prewashed the heavy weight and large floral printed fabric, so when I got the chair and fabric, it was ready to go. I wanted to pay special attention to the layout of the floral placements on the arms, front back, seat and back so that that overall very wild floral print would be tamed a bit and settle on a spot. I had limited fabric to work with and when all was said and done, literally had scraps left.
The original slipcover had a side zipper however, due to the shape of the chair I suspected it wouldn’t be needed for easy removal with the proper “tuck-in” fabric allowances in the inner corners. I always like to try to get away with not installing a zipper if possible. I think it adds to the overall “upholstered” look of the slipcover.
A simple corded trim on the bottom of the chair finishes it off.
I actually took this chair project to my lake house to work on since I was planning on being there for over a week.
I was impressed with how this fabric selection fit so well into my decor and provided just the right pop of print and color no matter where I put it, in front of a black table, red door or my robin’s egg hutch. I love it and so did my client!
It’s been a busy summer of client projects, new granddaughter, trips, lake visits, festivals, and home projects. Now that fall is here my attention turns to fall decorating, rearranging furniture (again!…as my husband rolls his eyes and patiently goes along with my ideas), and smaller client projects all while anxiously waiting on the arrival of my fourth grandchild…but the first from my son! Stay tuned for a blogging catch up!
Happy Fall Y’all!
I found these two chairs and ottoman for $100 with the intention of slipcovering them for my soon to be finished bonus room/workroom/she-shed/study/escape room at the lake. I was looking for matching club chairs that wouldn’t be too big but would be comfortable enough to snuggle up on and were in good condition.
Almost immediately after I got them home, I started to doubt my decision. They “looked” stiff and uncomfortable. I considered reselling them and starting over before I invested any more in them, but after further “comfort testing”, I decided it was probably the dark and “office-like” fabric that was getting under my skin. If I found the right fabric, they might just work. Since I’m a hands-on kind of person, I went fabric shopping so I could actually feel the fabric and drape. I found a knobby textured yet soft boucle fabric. It reminds me a little bit of terry cloth, but not snaggy. Normally I don’t recommend upholstery fabric for slipcovers as it is harder to sew, doesn’t have the drape of natural fibers, and isn’t machine washable. Since these chairs had very simple lines, would be in a room with very little traffic and I wasn’t planning on removing them to wash them, I didn’t think this would be a problem. I planned to Scotch Guard them as well.
I chose a neutral color so I could accent them with pops of seasonal colored throw pillows. A tan velvet piping and two-inch velvet band on the bottom gave the chairs even more softness and elevated these chairs to another level. I LOVE them.
I think they turned out great and now meet all my criteria….matching, comfortable, soft and versatile. My plan was to use these as the fall/winter slipcovers and make something lighter and “lakey” for the spring and summer (stay tuned). That’s the beauty of slipcovers. You can actually change your mind and recover them if you get tired of the fabric or just want to change things up by the season or your mood.
If you are trying to decide if slipcovering is right for you, checkout one of my favorite blogs and inspirations, The Slipcover Maker to know when it is a good idea to go with a slipcover and when it is not.
I have to admit when I was asked if I could slipcover over these Arhaus chairs, I wasn’t sure it would work. With the attached pillow-type curved back, I knew it would be a challenge. I took that challenge and was determined to find a solution so that my friend could get updated chairs to put in her room.
I decided to make a partial under-slip for the top part of the chair to smooth out the back first. Then I could treat the back as normal. It ended up looking similar to a wingback. Easy-peasy.
My client decided on a Robert Allen print that would work well with her floor rug, compliment her brown leather couch and give the chair a fresh updated current look. The print would also work well with the décor and fabrics in the adjoining rooms so if she wanted to move things around they would look great no matter where they landed.
So with my scissors, pins, and bobbins all loaded I began the transformation. I was antsy to see the end result. But slipcovers are a patient and methodical process….there would be no races on these. There was a lot to match and think through. Because of the directional print with a repeat, I had my client order extra fabric. I had to be very careful in cutting my pieces and matching. I wanted to match as much as I could not only on each chair singly but in relationship to each other and from the back view to give the chairs a professional clean and upholstered look. I think I achieved that.
Things were coming together great when we had a tornado warning and a two-hour power outage in the last couple hours of work. So the dogs and I hunkered down in the basement, with the slipcovers, trimming and clipping seams.
Initially we thought we would do a Velcro closure on the back, but with the extra tuck in and small “wings”, I was able to make a solid back for a cleaner very fitted look. You just slip it on, position it, tuck, smooth and wallah! You can hardly tell it is a slipcover. I am so happy with it and hope my client is too.