Use Slipcovers for a Budget Furniture Makeover

by Simon Phillips

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If you're a tightwad like me, it's likely at least some of the furniture in your home is secondhand. Either it was handed down from family, snapped up in a yard sale or even "freecycled." It's satisfying to know that my armchairs cost next to nothing and my sofa wasn't bought on credit. However, there is a downside to all this penny-pinching, namely that all these random pieces of furniture can make your living room look more like a student dorm than a tastefully furnished home.

The good news is there is an economical solution to this image problem. Use slipcovers. This way, you can simply cover up all that ugly upholstery and give your seats a coordinated new look. Yes, you will have to spend a little bit to buy the slipcovers, but as they can be used for years and make tatty old couches look almost as good as new, I think this is a worthwhile expense. Besides, pre-made standard-size slipcovers are actually very reasonably priced, especially compared to what it would cost you to buy the material and try to make your own. You can get a decent quality loveseat slipcover for around $50-$60 and often you can find special offers to get a discount off the regular price.

Furniture slipcovers are easy to fit over existing upholstery and can be used to hide a multitude of sins. Well-used sofas tend to look tired, often with nasty stains that refuse to budge or torn fabric. A sofa slipcover can instantly disguise all this and also has the benefit of being machine-washable. So, next time you spill your coffee or your dog jumps on your couch with muddy paws, you can just take the slipcover off and wash it. If you've got pets or young children, or your furniture simply gets a lot of use, it's worth looking for an extra-durable fabric when you choose your slipcovers. Cotton duck or twill are good choices as they can stand up to regular washing without losing their color or shape.

Another situation where slipcovers can be useful is if you move or redecorate and find that your seats don't look right with your new color scheme. Using slipcovers is an inexpensive method of giving your furniture a makeover to fit in with your decor. Similarly, this is a good way to transform the look and feel of your room for minimal effort if you're entertaining or just want a change for the new season.

Even if you've got an awkward item of furniture and you don't think a regular slipcover will fit, there is usually a solution. For example, you may have an old-fashioned wood frame sofa with wooden arms and legs. Here you could use a slipcover with a straight or ruffled skirt to hide the legs and give it a more modern style. With the arms, you could tie polyester batting round them to give them enough padding for the slipcover to fit tightly. You could even use an old towel or blanket if you want to be really thrifty. It doesn't matter, as you won't be able to see it once the slipcover's in place.

If you like the idea of saving money by prolonging the life of your old furniture rather than buying new things, then slipcovers are an affordable option worth considering.

Simon likes saving money and takes pride in making his home look good on a shoestring budget. Visit his site for more money-saving tips on how to use slipcovers to transform old furniture. You'll also find the latest coupon codes, including discounts on dining chair slipcovers and wing chair slipcovers.

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