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Slipcovers or Upholstery?

Deciding between slipcovers and upholstery can be a difficult decision. I looked at all the pros and cons and came to an easy decision. And I love the outcome.

Deciding between slipcovers and upholstery can be a difficult decision. I looked at all the pros and cons and came to an easy decision. And I love the outcome.

When it comes to having chairs and sofas redone, there are usually two choices, slipcovers or upholstery.

Either will give you a lovely end result – a new outside garment for a piece of solid furniture. But how do you decide between slipcover or upholster? It’s important to consider the use, the condition of the furniture piece, and cost.

A few years ago I was trying to decide what to do with my living room sofas. I absolutely loved the slipcovers that my friend Liz Marie Galvan had in her home. Those pleats are to die for!

liz marie slipcovers

I love the look of Liz Marie Galvin’s slipcovers 

Slipcovers or Upholstery

So which is it? Slipcovers or upholstery?

Here are some questions to consider when making this choice:

  • How is the piece of furniture used?
  • Is it likely to get dirty and will you want to be able to throw the slipcover in the laundry?
  • Is there a lot of wood on the piece that might make a slipcover not practical?
  • Is your piece of furniture worth saving?

If your couch or chair is well built and sturdy then you will probably want to invest the money and pay to have your piece reupholstered or slipcovered. If the furniture is well made and quality workmanship, then do it.

If the furniture is cheap and flimsy, don’t bother. I think second-hand or vintage furniture is usually well made and better constructed than what most of us are buying today. Unfortunately to buy quality, new furniture today is very expensive.

Look at these chairs again Liz Marie had slipcovered!

liz marie galvan sitting area

I love the look of Liz Marie Galvin’s slipcovers 

I finally decided to send our living room couches out to be slipcovered. That’s because they use to look like this. The couches were well made but dated and “grungy looking”. 

Living Room Before Photo

I really wanted a lighter and more neutral palette in our living room. And you can find out why here.

All I did was print a photo of Liz’s chairs and hand it to my local upholstery guy. I told him I wanted my couches to have a pleat like hers!

Which is More Expensive?

I found it interesting that the labor was much cheaper for slipcovers. For example, it cost me $300 to have a slipcover made whereas it was $400 to have the same chair upholstered. It also costs $300 more to have my sofa upholstered than to have a slipcover made.

The fabric yardage amount and cost was the same for a slipcover or upholstery. I chose slipcovers because they are more practical to wash (especially since I chose white fabric) and I just like the look more of slipcovers versus upholstery.

The End Result

pleated slipcovers

Don’t these look a gazillion times better?

Here are some of the items featured in our living room.

Plus, look at how the style of the couches even looks different. In the before photo, the style looked dated. But now, with the white slipcovers, they look great.

living room slipcovers

And the best part?

I had these couches slipcovered five years ago and I still haven’t had to wash them. They are in our living room, which means we don’t use them as often, but I have comfort knowing I can wash them any time.

If you want to know how to wash your slipcovers, be sure to read this post How to Clean Slipcovers.

Which do you prefer?

Pin the image below to your Remodel or Home Decor boards on Pinterest (just click the Pin button in the top left corner). You can also follow along with me on Pinterest!

Slipcovers vs. Upholstery

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about leslie

ABOUT LESLIE

Welcome to My 100 Year Old Home. I started my blog so I could share my passion for entertaining, décor, cooking, and crafts. You will find all this and more right here. Read more…

33 Responses

  1. I have a Camelback sofa witches almost 75 years old. I am debating to have it slip covered instead of reupholstered. Would you recommend Crypton fabrics for aslipcover?

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I'm Leslie,
Welcome to My 100 Year Old Home

I started my blog so I could share my passion for entertaining, décor, cooking, and crafts. You will find all this and more right here.

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