Saturday, November 5, 2011

Slipping Up

I'm on a mission to redecorate our house, slowly but surely.  Our plan is to install new flooring and redo our kitchen in the next year or so, and I've been working to update the other rooms a little each month, too.

When we bought our house six years ago, it was decorated for the ease and convenience of two childless, working people.  Now that I'm a full-time, stay-at-home mom to two active little boys and Ryan works from home most of the time, we're getting bored with the way things look and are ready to change it up a bit, or a lot, to be honest.

As an educator by nature and training, it's my habit to become an expert on something as I learn about it.  Remember my quest for a VBAC?  Well, now that my baby bearing days are behind me, I'm having a blast soaking up as much information as I can about decorating, home design, and do-it-yourself techniques.

I really love the French country influence that is so popular now and I'd like to incorporate it into my home, just not on as grand a scale as places like Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware advertise.  In an effort to do this, I set about finding ways to creatively and inexpensively change the decor in my living room, which has a lot of dark pieces in it.  I changed the curtains earlier this summer, which made a huge difference and let in a lot more light, something I crave in my home.

With two little boys, it doesn't make sense for us to purchase new furniture right now, and even though I dream of linen sofas with damask details and velvet pillows, that reality is a long way off.  So how, then, could I transform my dark living room into something lighter?

Enter the magic of slipcovers.  I spent months reading about and analyzing different brands, requesting swatch after swatch, ordering and returning several different covers, before finally settling on these by Sure Fit.  The look isn't exactly what I dream about, but it's most definitely a change for the better in my book, and I was inspired by the lovely designs of this talented Houston decorator.  If she can use a slipcover, I figure, then so can I. I actually spotted the cover on her couch and emailed her, and she was gracious enough to tell me that it was, indeed, the one I had planned to purchase.

When I originally started this hunt several months ago, my target price was $250, which seemed a reasonable amount to pay for the look of new furniture.  In the end, my efforts totaled about $300, because of the look and style that work best with our pieces, but it's all washable and will last for several years, until we are ready and able to purchase new furniture.

I wanted to share this idea because, in this economy, we're all trying to save as much as we can, and slipcovers can be a really affordable way to update perfectly good, if boring, furniture without spending a fortune.  Think of them as the gold spray paint of furniture.

Here are the Before and After shots of my living room, taken with my phone, since I am no photographer.

For my next project, I'm working on my formal living and dining room, which are filled with retro hand-me-down pieces.