Wednesday, July 6, 2011

It’s All in the Details: Slipcovered Chairs

I bought some French style chairs at an estate sale last year.  While they are not perfectly historically correct in their design and are most likely repros from the 70s, I just couldn’t pass them up.  They were practically free and I knew with some new fabric and a plumped up seat cushion they could look fresh and cute.  Plus, I’d rather have “sort-of French style chairs” than NO French chairs!  Skip ahead a year and a half and I’m finally just getting to them now.  I decided to slipcover them instead of re-upholstering them and suddenly every detail became a laborious decision in my spinning head.  Tabs versus ties, plain linen versus a pattern, yada yada yada.  Ridiculous, I know.  I certainly have other more important things to think about and spend time on, but I oddly enjoy obsessing over details like these.  I suppose it’s obsessions like this that make designers valuable- I mean really, who would want to wrack their brain over this if they can have their designer do it for them?!?  And  wouldn’t one WANT his or her interior designer to be attentive to every little detail?  Ok, I’ve made myself feel much better about my OCD now.  And all kidding aside, I do feel grateful for this type of “dilemma”.

cdt suzanne rheinstein blue and white slipcovers

Back to the slips, I have always liked the striped slipcovers on Suzanne Rheinstein’s Living Room furniture.  I love that she outfits her whole room in the same classic pattern for the summer.  Her attention to the details of these slips is what keeps it from being boring.   She put ties in the right places to accentuate the curves of each piece.  She used a more contemporary flat flange of coordinating blue fabric to make edges more distinct.  Her choice to use an abundance of one single fabric in a bold stripe and in the perfect color brings her formal pieces down to an everyday level, and she hasn’t sacrificed an ounce of  style or elegance in doing so.


  cdt kitchen table chair slips

Joni Webb of Cote de Texas slipped her Breakfast Room chairs in white linen.  The thick graphic quality of the tabs highlights the shape of the chair and balances the sweet scallop detail at the hem.  Her choice of a solid white linen is very fresh and will work well in a variety of settings.  It allows you to let the rest of your space evolve without having to worry if those darn slipcovers will work with those new changes.



After years of being plain-linen-happy, I was actually itching for a patterned fabric for my slipcovers.  But in the end I decided that even though white linen may seem like the “easy” fabric for me to fall back on (and it will likely be in the wash every other day after sharing a space with a 14 month old), it just felt safer and more enduring of my taste than anything with a pattern or color.  Plus a pattern or color meant two other factors to obsess over.  Obviously.

{All photographs from Cote de Texas.}


Boho Farm and Home said...

I have the same obsession! The funny thing is I am decieve with my clients but with myself, I will over think EVERY detail.

designchic said...

I love the look of a tailored slipcover, and there is nothing more beautiful in the Summer than white linen ones!!

classic • casual • home said...

I have been washing off white slipcovers in our mountain how fresh and clean they look now. But the yellow pine pollen is drifting in. I think people think darker colors in a ski condo...but this definitely works for us.

mydeco said...

These do look great and they bring some character to a room.

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