Recovering a piece of furniture is a great way to update the look of a room for very little money and effort. With different upholstery or slipcover, furniture can look brand new, even if it is not. Even more than paint, recovering can make a room look elegant, casual or somewhere in between. And when you expand your fabric choices, you open up your design possibilities.
Home decorator fabric is generally more expensive than fabric for clothing. There is no need to limit yourself to material specifically for home decoration, however. Medium-weight fabric with a natural fiber content works well for slipcovers and upholstery projects, according to Elizabeth Dubicki in “Custom Slipcovers Made Easy.” Consider using chintz, canvas, cotton, cotton twill, denim, jacquard, damask, corduroy, cotton ticking and even suit-weight wool for recovering projects. Fabrics to avoid, according to Dubicki, include lightweight and tissue-weight fabrics, loosely woven fabrics, quilting cottons and fleece.
Color is a big consideration and it is probably the first decision you will make. Soft color tones go with practically anything, so if you want the chairs to blend into an existing design scheme, go with a color from the neutral family. Alternately if the wall color is neutral, then consider using a pattern in a bold color for the covers. Pick a darker version of the wall color or one from the same family. Consider using a patterned fabric with the wall or drapery color or one from the same family. Use your imagination, and don't be afraid of color or pattern. Because the covers will be limited to a small area on the chairs, a bold choice can bring a lively accent to the room.
- "Custom Slipcovers Made Easy"; Elizabeth Dubicki; 2007
- "Fabric Savvy"; Sandra Betzina; 1999
Caroline Fritz has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience, mainly for publications in northwest Ohio. She is currently an editor for a national technical magazine focusing on the construction industry. She has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.