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Like wood floors, slipcovers can be both durable and stylish

July 03, 2013

Hardwood FloorsChanging slipcovers seasonally is a simple but effective way to introduce different colors into home decor, without the expense or work involved in re-upholstery. Like the classic hardwood floors in Anderson's Hermosa Plank collection, they can be durable but stylish features within a room design.

Slipcovers allow homeowners to change from a neutral color scheme to brightly colored patterns. For home decorators, they offer a way to unify furnishings of various styles. When a special occasion or holiday dinner takes place, slipcovers can add a new look to seat cushions and pillows.

They can also alter the style of furniture. A straight or pleated slipcover, for instance, can hide wooden sofa legs while a smooth, contemporary look can be achieved with a stretchy form-fitting cover. A traditional wooden-armed sofa can be converted into a modern piece by wrapping foam padding around the arms before adding a slipcover.

Mixing with pillows
Just as slipcovers are the quick-change artists of soft furnishings, adding colorful pillows completes the look. Mixing fabrics and patterns works best when all the pillows share some common ground. One color repeated in each piece creates a unified ensemble.

The choice may be as simple as matching the base color used for the furniture cushions or by adding an exuberant mix of bolder hues against a dark, neutral background. For a more subtle match, choose pillow hues that are complementary, but in the same tone as slip covered cushions so the two will blend well. Using softer colors gives the illusion of a monochromatic effect.

One way to get two looks is to have reversible pillows. They may have a different pattern on each side or a solid that reverses to a print or stripe. Choose reversible pillows that coordinate well with each other on both sides for the most unified look.

Home decorators should make sure the pillow fabrics have the same colorfastness as the slipcovers to ensure that neither will be ruined by "bleeding" colors.

Outdoor uses
In addition to interior home design, slipcovers are useful for patio and deck furniture, particularly in warm-weather areas where outdoor spaces are used throughout the year and furniture may be subjected to more wear and tear. Periodic cleaning will keep stains at bay.

While most slipcovers are made of washable materials, those that are used outdoors need added protection against sun and water damage. All-weather fabrics that resist the elements come in a wide array of colors and patterns that homeowners can use for slipcovers.