Slipcover Trends and Styles

Thinking about slipcovers? Here are 10 things you need to know before you buy (or DIY).
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February 02, 2016

©Pottery Barn

Photo By: Susan Teare ©Susan Teare

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Photo By: Pottery Barn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

The Slipcover Solution

Slipcovers are practically synonymous with seasonal makeovers. What feels fresher for spring than a crisp, clean face on a chair or sofa? And there’s nothing cozier than putting on velvet or micro-suede covers when the leaves start to turn. 

Wash-and-Wear Style

If you love the basic shape of a piece, but the upholstery just isn’t doing it for you, slipcover it. Furniture covers are an especially smart solution for families with small kids or pets, because they’re wash-and-wear.

Choosing Standard or Custom

Will a standard slipcover work for your furniture, or do you need a custom one? Custom slipcovers are perfect for modern or traditional rooms. But if you’re into cottage, vintage or eclectic, a rumpled slipcover may be just what the decorator ordered.

Follow the Shape

What shape is your furniture? Whether they’re loose or fitted, pre-made slipcovers tend to follow simple silhouettes. If you have a sofa with an unusual form or a very overscale chair, it will be tougher to find standard options that do their job well.

How Big Is Your Budget?

Custom slipcovers are significantly more expensive than pre-fab versions. If the cost isn’t in the cards, a standard slipcover may be the way to go. Or, if you’re confident in your sewing and upholstery skills, you could try your hand at stitching a slipcover on your own.

Think Outside the Sofa

Slipcovers aren’t limited to living room chairs and sofas — they’re a great way to revive other pieces as well. How about a flirty skirt on a dining room chair?

Trim It Up

There’s nothing easier than tossing a sheet of fabric over a sofa than pinning and tucking it into shape. But you can give it a little extra moxie by using a fringed blanket, oversize shawl or other cover with fun trim.

A Range of Colors and Patterns

It used to be that slipcovers came only in a few basic neutrals, but that’s changed — nowadays, you can buy them in bold colors, lively patterns and interesting textures. 

Keeping It In Shape

Over time, slipcovers will slide, so you may need to tug them back into place. Bonus tip: For a custom slipcover, consider investing in extra covers for the seat cushions, which are hot spots for wear and tear.

How to Clean Slipcovers

Most slipcovers will come with specific care instructions, but in general, wash them every few months in cold water on a gentle cycle and dry on low heat. Depending on how often you launder them, slipcovers will last for a few years before they need replacing.

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