Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Slipcover Inspiration

Slipcovers have come in and out of vogue, started originally to cover fine velvet and silk damask upholstered furniture for summer ease and comfort and long winter protection. At some point they fell out of favor, probably in the 80's, then again in the 90's they rolled back around. Since then, we see them more and more in every decor style. I think every single shelter magazine featured slipcovered furniture on the cover last year, and this year started off with a wonderful bang when the cover of HouseBeautiful featured the home of interior designer Will Merrill. (Above). What drew my eye to this cover was the line of the chair. You see - my "new" living room includes one of these beautiful throne style baroque chairs which I had no choice but to slipcover because I wasn't exactly sure what to forever upholster it in. Once I make that decision, the traditional pattern of my slipcover fabric will always be relevant and protect the upholstery, as they were intended. I searched high and low for inspiration:
Designer Credit: Mary Spalding, via Pinterest

I came across hundreds of photos of these beautiful chairs that had no arms slipcovered in a number of ways, simply, like these above. And more femininely like these: 

Designer Credit: Joni Webb

more ... 

Designer Credit: Barbara Westbrook

Photographer Credit: Robin Stubbert

Design by Belgium Antiquarians Alian & Brigitte Garnier via Cote de Texas

Belgium Interior Design by Design House Antiek Amber via Belgium Pearls

Designer Credit: Kathryn Ireland

They really are beautiful chairs. The examples here are mostly Os De Mouton chairs - mine isn't, but similar. It does have arms though - so although these slipcovers are beautiful, they didn't do me much good when it came to inspiration. So, off to arms it was - a little harder to find:

via Pinterest

Designer Credit Sydney Jerabek

Designer Credit: Lisa Luby Ryan via Veranda Magazine

Via InTempo Design, Luxembourg 


Designer Credit: Bunny Williams

Designer Credit: Bunny Williams via MarkDSikes Blog

Designer Credit: Bunny Williams via Cote de Texas

I love the chairs with the ties, but I simply don't want that look in more than one room. I have plans to have them in the dining room if all pans out the way I expect. So Michelle, my Slipcover Lady, and I sat down with the fabric and the chair and had a breakthrough! BUTTONS! Like in menswear. Of course, I couldn't find inspiration although I looked high and low. I trust Michelle though, so I'm sure that it will look gorgeous. I should have the slipped piece by Monday. A few things that are making the room come together though: 

My antique sofa covered in vintage rust/spice colored silk velvet. Mmmm - yes, it's as yummy as it sounds! The piece alone was gorgeous, but as I have mentioned a thousand times, I was so inspired by Mary McDonald's heavily staged estate living room: 

Designer Credit: Mary McDonald

I mentioned for a million times to Scott that I wanted a suzani. I mean, every birthday, every Christmas, every anniversary for the last 4-years, do you think I ever got one? When I realized that he had no idea what I was talking about ... I ordered one myself! 

Gorgeous, right? It looks so beautiful with the sofa (the exact color of the rusty/red of the center dials) and the deepest color is a beautiful chocolate brown (the exact color of my zebra hide rug). 

Of course the table is gone, the sofa has a new slipcover and has left this room, and the whole room is a little more eclectic, a bit bohemian, but also a bit glamorous. The blue and white garden stool I have is from Phil Michael Trading Company, and it stays. But it felt a little lonely. So I ordered this one after my friend Deserae suggested it. 

It's not the exact same - but I didn't want the exact same stool. I actually like this one better than the one that I have - it'll definitely be a wonderful addition. I switched out my old cart table with a low, large trunk with great painting and old travel stickers with wonderful topicality. 

Mine is old, vintage really - maybe antique. I didn't get much from the seller as far as the lineage. It's black, stunning - I'm in love with it. Atop it are my favorite interior design books, plus my new favorite accessory:

African porcupine quills! I have fallen madly in love with them! Head over hills! I'm not the only one:

see them in the basket on the mantel? I love this room! So personal. I bet there is a story behind every single piece. 

Even the basket is great, right? I plan on putting mine in a brass julip cup. I also sent for a pair of myrtle topiary ... I think I might order more.

via Tone on Tone, Designer Loi Thai

I of course, talked about a chalkboard over the fireplace. I also plan on using my gilded books. And this fabric: 

Uzbek Stripe in Sky from Calico Corners

I knew I needed to work on adding in a color - blue seemed reasonable, since the blue and white porcelains I have will litter the room. I use that word literally. It's my severe intention to have the room be overly layered. Living with all the things I love. Will some people think it's cluttered? Yes. Most definitely! Will others love it? Sure. I mean - it will be beautiful. But here's the best part! I'm decorating the space with things I love - and while this blog does share the ins and outs of my decorating trials - I've spent way too long picking up trendy things or trying to keep up with the Blogging Super World, and I'm finished! Will you love it? I don't know - and while I do await praise, the more important part I've realized, finally, is I don't need it because I love the room. 

My advice, if I had any in all of this ... beyond how to pattern pair and blah, blah, blah - decorate with what you love. What you're drawn to, in person! Don't fall into the gap of pages in your favorite shelter mag, or the screen of the blog d'jour. If you are drawn to it, there's a reason. Use it! Love it, and be confident in your decisions ... otherwise you'll be on a perpetual spinning ball of change that will not only cost you thousands, if not tens of thousands, but leave you feeling empty and talentless. You have tons of talent! And thoughts that are yours and only yours! Lead the way - create your own look! 


  1. Stefan I still cannot get over the vintage rust velvet settee! Those porcupine quills, the suzani! A look that is because of beloved and collected finds is always the best!

    All the Best in the Year Ahead!
    Art by Karena

  2. Artie, it sounds incredible and I love you are being true to your personal taste, which I know is fabulous!

    I had a laugh at Scott's seeming reluctance to buy the suzani!

    Can't wait to see the changes and especially the sofa!

  3. I can hardly wait to see it all come together!!!!! It is going to be sooooo fabulous! AND I know you are going to be so very HAPPY since you are following your heart this time around :o) I am totally loving those porcupine quills too!

  4. sir you are making my mouth water! I am about to go find my porcupine quills and put them out again! They really are very cute...I HAD mine in a silver trophy cup and they have put away during the reno.

    I can NOT wait to see what you do with the place!

  5. Artie... it's not about what we love, but what you love. Most of us cannot jump on every design trend that pops it's head up.. so we stick with what we love, what makes us happy. My friend, a great designer, just shakes his head at my choices, but it all comes together and I know that yours will be gorgeous.. the sofa alone with ensure that. I cannot wait to see your new room. I cannot wait to see "you"!!! you are such an inspiration.. have the happiest new year! xo marlis

  6. Really liked the encouragement needed it for tackling my master bedroom.

  7. The room-to-be sounds fabulous, Artie, and I cannot agree with you more about doing what you love. Follow your bliss!

  8. Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous Artie!
    Love, love, love the Suzani for its colours and Exotic flair not to mention your sofa dressed in regal velvet.

    Stepping out-of-the-box and choosing something 'you' love will certainly be rewarding in more ways than one.
    Warm hugs -Brenda-

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