Reupholstering Vs. Slipcovers


Personal preference ultimately becomes the deciding factor when choosing between reupholstering or adding a slipcover to worn furnishings. Each option has its fine points and its pros and cons, but before you take the plunge in either direction, there are four main things to think about when making a comparison between the two.

Time, Money or Both

  • The first thought when reviving old furniture is reupholstery. When you are smitten with a piece of furniture -- and know all it needs is a new dress -- reupholstery stands the test of time. But reupholstering furniture is expensive. If you have the money, quality furniture is worth the extra cost of reupholstery. If funds are tight and you want a quick fix now, a slipcover offers the best solution. Don’t be fooled by the name -- a slipcover can dramatically improve an outdated floral couch. A modern slipcover can fit furniture like a glove, and the best ones have a slip-resistant backing.

Quality Talks

  • Furniture with good bones is worth the time and money to give it a new look. If you find furniture at a thrift or consignment shop with a well-built and solid structure, pick it up, take it home and have it reupholstered. This option can save you money in comparison to shopping for new, quality-made furniture at prices you can afford. As a renter or homeowner just starting out, and your furnishings are not of the best quality, do not throw away your hard-earned money on reupholstery jobs. Slipcovers offer an easy way to dress up inexpensive furnishings without breaking the bank.

Location, Location, Location

  • Ask yourself where the couch, chair or ottoman will live. High-traffic areas such as the dining room, family room or kids’ bedrooms take the most wear. Slipcovers offer an excellent solution because you can remove and wash them easily. If you decide to reupholster a piece in a high-traffic area, choose a durable, stain-resistant and easy-to-clean fabric. Low-traffic areas such as sitting rooms, formal dining rooms and the master suite take less wear and tear. For these items, you can protect existing upholstery with a slipcover or spend the big bucks for a custom upholstery job.

Ins and Outs of Style

  • Trends come and go with the tides of time. If you want your furnishings to stay current, upholstery fabric choices become crucial. Some upholstery fabrics fade out of fashion within a year or two, while others stand the test of time. The best way to deal with style changes is by reupholstering furniture in classic neutral colors such as black, white, tan, beige or gray, and use accent pillows covered with fabrics in the latest style trends. As styles change, pillows are easy to swap out or update. Slipcovers are also easy to use or switch for different seasons, styles or occasions. In the end, make the choice that works for you.

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