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Slipcover Decorating Tips
By Simon Phillips

 Performance Twill Oversized Chair Slipcover
Photo provided by GetSlipcovers.com

Whether you’re renting a furnished flat with worn-looking or unfashionable sofas and chairs, or you’ve furnished your home yourself using an assortment of comfortable but outdated secondhand seats, then using slipcovers is an affordable and simple way to give your furniture a stylish new image.  Chair and sofa slipcovers are designed to fit over the top of existing upholstery and are held in place with elastic, ties or zippers for a tidy appearance.  Most furniture covers can be machine washed so there’s no need to worry about the occasional food or drink spill.  Slipcovers are also useful for protecting good quality upholstery fabric from wear and tear, which is worth remembering, especially if you’ve got children or pets.

Here are some helpful hints if you’re thinking of using slipcovers to give your home a makeover:


  • Give some thought to what colors or patterns will best match your existing décor.  Look at colors in your carpets, rugs, walls, curtains and pictures for inspiration.  If you’ve already got a lot of pattern or color in your furnishings, then opting for a slipcover of just one solid color is a versatile option.  Alternatively, to bring a touch of color and life to bland or neutral décor, patterned slipcovers could be ideal.  Choices include floral prints, stripes, plaid and much more.


  • If your furniture is likely to get a lot of use, look for a slipcover made from a hardwearing fabric such as cotton or twill, which is machine washable and able to stand up to wear and tear.  If you are looking for a light colored slipcover to cover dark colored upholstery, make sure the fabric you choose is thick enough or lined to ensure the original upholstery doesn’t show through.


  • Good quality slipcovers are designed for a snug fit, but if after lots of use your slipcover is looking a bit creased, a good way to smooth it out is to gently spray any wrinkles with water using a plant mister and then smoothing it out by hand.  Another tip for a smart, tailored finish is to make sure any excess fabric is hidden from sight by using a wooden spoon to push it into the cracks around the edges.


  • If you want to cover a seat with wooden arms, it’s easy to tie polyester padding round the arms before fitting with a slipcover, for an instant new look.  Foam batting can also be used to cover leather furniture before covering with a slipcover, to stop slippage.  In the same way, wooden backed dining chairs can be covered with batting or an old blanket before being transformed with elegant new chair covers.

These are just some tips for decorating with slipcovers.  Using slipcovers is an inexpensive and versatile method of giving tatty or unattractive seats a fresh new look and is a great way for a renter on a budget to add their personal touch to their décor.

Simon Phillips is an interior design enthusiast and a contributor to Get Slipcovers an online resource offering all types of furniture slipcovers, as well as helpful tips on using slipcovers in the home.

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