Thursday, July 10, 2008

White Slipcovered Furniture and Other Dirty Little Secrets

We have a couple of really nice pieces of slipcovered furniture at the Red Shed right now. I'm sure you have heard all the myriad of advantages of slipcovered great it is for kids and animals, because you can just pull off the slips and throw them in the wash....well, I am fond of slipcovered furniture but read on... as I have wanted to share the real truth and nothing but the truth about slipcovers for years.

Our first piece at the shop is the cute pink club chair below. It was custom slipcovered for the Red Shed by Barbie Sheffield of Sheffield's Custom Slips . Be sure to enlarge this photo and take a look at the pin tuck piping's gorgeous and so soft! Barbee is a seamstress extraordinaire! This great chair is only $289.00!

Our second piece at The Shed is this gently owned, slipcoverd couch from Quatrine. Quatrine is the Rolls Royce of slipcovered furniture manufacturers. This 8 foot sofa is a dark tea stained linen, with a raw edge piping detail, and down cushions. The slipcover, as well as the sofa underneath, are both perfect! New, it would have been well over $6000.00, but it could be yours for only $1999.00. You know what a deal that is if you have priced out a similiar piece.

Now, as I stated, I love slipcovered furniture, but here is what I have learned. I have a white slipcoved denim couch (below) in my kitchen (yes, kitchen). I have pets so I am SO THANKFUL that I can wash it, however the slip, being denim, it is VERY heavy, and I usually have to take it to the laundry mat (sp?) to use the industrial machines, and it can still take up to 4 hours to wash and dry all the pieces, so I usually only do it twice a year unless there is emergency spillage (yes, I am talking red koolaid). Then I normally, 1. Scream at the perpetrator 2. Rip off the cover, 3. Throw it in the bathtub with a lot of hot water and bleach, 4. Step on it with my feet like I am squishing grapes to make wine, then 5. Figure out how to get it from the tub to the dryer.

I really wish I would have had this couch made from a lighter weight fabric.

I have another slipcovered couch in my living room. It is a floral and made from a lighter linen blend. It is much easier to wash and I can easily do it at home so long as I split up the loads. I was told by the manufacturer that the slips are not actually made to wash weekly or monthly, but really just a few times a year.
As I mentioned, I have pets. Two cats, one dog, and one grandchild. As well as various visiting grand pets, step pets, etc. Well, a twice a year washing is not that often. So I know what I do in the interim, but I wondered about everyone else? A while back one of our Red Shed customers sent us some photos from her daughter's new home in Austin. Her new home was filled with gorgeous slipcovered furniture from Quatrine, and it was SO FABULOUS, here are just a few photos:

Well, we were dieing with jealousy. I had met the mom, but not the daughter and the the first thing I said was "I guarantee you, NO PETS, NO KIDS!" . Imagine my surprise when a few weeks later, this adorable young mom was shopping at the Red Shed with her two toddlers and she identified herself as the daughter! I said "NO WAY!" and told her about my comments. She said that she had not only kids, but pets and that most of the time the furniture was covered with quilts.

Well this made me feel SO Happy and Normal, because in reality, here is what my white couch looks like most of the winter:

And here's what is looks like most of the summer: (Thanks, Arthur, for demonstrating the need for a quilt) That's just the reverse side of the red one. The quilt is easily pulled off and washed on a regular basis, and can be ditched if "appropriate" company is coming over.

Here is the throw on my other couch (Thanks, Hunter, for the demo). I had a friend who told me that when people from church came to visit, she would throw a sheet over her couch so they wouldn't get animal hair on their dark suits. I decided to do just the opposite, and I just yank this blanket off when company comes, and stash it behind the couch.

So, I still have a LOVE AFFAIR with slipcovered couches! I have had mine for about 4 years and they both still look brand new. Also, if I ever get sick of the pattern or colors, I can just have a new slip made. I have other friends who have pets and stick with regular couches. They usually have to replace them every 2 or three years, even if they do try to cover them.
I just wanted dispel a few rumors and now you know my dirty little secret! What has your experience been with slips?



  1. Valarie ~
    Gorgeous gorgeous !!! I love love the slipcovers !! I have a denim white slipcovered sofa and chair and a half and they are quite heavy to wash ~ I guess the laundromat is where I will be when I wash it ~
    I love Barbie's work !! She is amazing !! I need to come in and see that chair ~ is it still there ?

  2. I love your blog and have nominated you for an award. Come on over to my blog to receive your award.

  3. Yes as of 7/15 the chair was still there. We had a chaise that matched it, but it went the first 5 minutes of the Saturday sale.

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  5. You have a lot of great slip covers(-: I have a blanket on my couch for Jack. He is such a sweetie too he always lays on the blanket. I love all your treasures!!!! Congrats on your award too!!!

  6. What a great post, Valarie! I need to come in to the shoppe and get my fix. Don't really have any experience (yet) with slipcovers but love the look. Yes, pets always rule the home and force us to cover our couches with blankets, but they are so worth it. Wish I was going to MN with you girls but can't leave the baby yet. xoxo kimla

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  8. Thanks, that was helpful...and lovely furniture.