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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Slipped Up

I'm still looking for the perfect chairs. Maybe that sounds picky, but I've already got chairs that are best described as "beats nothing" and I would really like to move it up a notch. I feel like Goldilocks and the beds, they're either too big, too small, or too ugly. And lately, they've been too slipcovered. I must be the only person in the world who doesn't love (or even like) slipcovers. All the magazines rave about them, showing rooms with white slipcovered chairs and sofas, usually on hardwood floors, and with a beach house theme. They call it easy and carefree.

And wrinkled. They left out wrinkled.

Magazines show these wonderfully decorated rooms with wrinkled, slipcovers, usually white slipcovers. Why white? Since when is white easy and carefree? And on a beach? Does a sofa like this say "come plop your filthy, sand-encrusted self on me, and bring your filthy, wet dog too"?

Actually, any mother who has ever mopped the kitchen floor knows that the very minute, no, the very second you finish, a kid is going to step on that wet floor, usually with muddy feet. So to answer my own question, "do slipcovers invite dirt?" the answer is a sad yes. And are they carefree? I guess that depends on whether or not you can live with dirty slipcovers, because they are never going to be totally white again, even if they are washable.

But getting back to my subject, which is actually wrinkled slipcovers, I still don't understand the appeal; I've just never been a fan of slipcovers. They just look frumpy and sloppy to me, and I've got enough of that in my house without adding it on purpose. Magazine houses are staged to look their best, and they still show wrinkled slipcovers. If it is wrinkled after a professional has pulled in the sags and bags with strategically placed pins, and the photographer gets just the right angle and lighting, I can imagine that it would look like a herd of monkeys had been living on it in my house.

Now before you roll your eyes at me and say "But Marti, not all slipcovers look like they were made out of a used laundry bag," I'll admit (grudgingly) that you're right. But my aim here is to entertain while imparting this great wisdom to you. Oh sure, there are some nice looking slipcovers in magazines, and possibly even in houses of real people. But by and large, I think most slipcovers look slipshod (pun intended). If you think I'm wrong, just take a look at pictures taken by real people of real furniture in their real homes - furniture that they really want to get rid of.

There are the slipcovers that drape - one size fits all (or none). They come in all colors and all fabrics. Makes no difference, they still look like a dust cover for furniture in haunted houses.

A step above those are the draped throw with ties. Those fit about as well as a hospital gown. Again, one size fits none. You've worn them, you know what I mean.

Then there are the ones with the general shape of the sofa or chair, with elastic sewn in to define the arms and cushions. The overall appearance resembles a sofa, the way the Pillsbury Doughboy resembles Giada De Laurentiis.

Some people try to make it look more furniture-like with carefully placed throw pillows.

There are the stretchy ones that fit like a sausage casing.

Some lace up the back for a "custom" fit, like a straight jacket with ruffles.

And last are the custom covers. Some come with the furniture at purchase, and some are made for the piece later. These are the best of the lot and they still have wrinkles.

And if your slipcover gets dirty from all that wet sand, and you can't get it clean, you can always put another cover on your slipcovered sofa.

Some people can't get enough slipcovers, and some people have had too much. I'll take upholstered, thank you.

Until next time, may you have blessings and no sand in your cushions,


  1. Oh,Marti, I sooo agree with you. Slip covers never improve the look of a piece of furniture (as you pointed out)!

  2. I've never found a slipcover I could stand either. I bought one once, about 30 years ago - had that spongy substance on the underside that's supposed to "grip", but just makes strange sounds ("psssss") when you sit on it. No thanks! :)


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