Ahh, this is the final planned installment chronicling my love and devotion of Angela’s Painted Cottage, a vacation rental in the mountains of North Carolina that we stayed at a few weeks ago.   I can’t promise I’ll never talk about it again though.  Read part 1 The Painted Cottage, part 2 Good Bones vs Accessories, and part 3 A Case Study on Case Goods.

Today I want to focus on her upholstered pieces.  In my opinion, upholstered pieces are the scariest to deal with because they get the most wear, set the tone for the room and usually cost the most money.  Buying upholstered pieces can be daunting but, a necessary evil {although I think it’s extremely fun!}.  But, if you remember that just about anything can be slipcovered it will open up a whole world of options.

Like that parson’s chair up there.  I peeked underneath the slipcover to find what I think was a red flowered pattern.  I should have taken a photo to show you the before.  Angela found some inexpensive seersucker fabric and had a local workroom make the slipcovers for her.

This piece is a doozy, my family scrunched up the pillows because that’s how we roll and my dumputer is trying to steal the show but, you get the idea, the sofa is nice right? It’s a Pottery Barn sofa.  Legend has it that Angela found it for $10.  I had to find out if that was an urban myth or real, if there was truly hope for us mere mortals to find a sofa for $10.  It is true. Here’s Angela::

The upstairs sofa is from Pottery Barn that I found at a garage sale.  It was missing back cushions, but I didn’t worry about it since I was getting a slipcover made for it and would just have cushions made as well. The upstairs sofa as well as all the chairs are from a workroom in Waynesville, Superior Finish,.  They do really great work at a reasonable price

I also asked Angela about the chair with my favorite slipcover, the blue houndstooth with all the detail.  She gave lots of information so I figured I’d just quote her again, less work for me. I asked her about the cost of all of the slipcovers and if she felt like it was worth the trouble and cost, here’s her response, after the photo.

There is NO question that it was worth it!  I have washed the slipcovers many times, which ensures the house always looks fresh for guests.  I like knowing that most surfaces in the house are easily washable without calling in a special cleaning service.  Even the slipcovers in a non-traditional slipcover fabric are washable on a gentle cycle since I washed all fabrics before the slipcovers were made.  I couldn’t find my itemized receipt for the sofa and slipcovered chairs, but in my log book I wrote the total for all slipcovers was $900.  The sofa was probably $500 including the new back cushions and the chair slipcovers were about $130 each.  Depending on what you spend on the piece to begin with and what fabric is chosen for the slipcover, the final product of chair and fabric and labor could very well add up to the price of a brand new mid-priced chair.  The total for the PB sofa is $760–but just try to get a brand new slipcovered PB sofa for that price! But if you find a thrift piece and inexpensive or clearance fabric then you could come in way below a new piece.

And the absolute best reason for doing it custom–you get exactly what you want and a totally unique piece.  Don’t you think that every room needs one loner chair that is unique, different, and special? This is easy to do when thrifting, thinking about all the great vintage and antique chairs out there.  I found the tufted chair at Tobacco Barn years ago and had Superior Finish recover it with that houndstooth fabric (that I found at Vertigo in their remnants pile–the store I told you about in downtown Hazelwood).  We had it at our house but then as I changed my direction at home, it was sent to the cottage where I love it even more… Oh, that is the other good thing about slipping or recovering chairs–it only takes a little yardage, which one can easily find discounted at fabric stores.  And, I love that a person can have control choosing what kind of trim, details (like the wooden buttons) go on a custom piece.  This was important to me at the cottage because I wanted it to be unique and stand out from the other rentals in the area that are standard issue brown leather, woodsy plaid, and black bear themed.  I wanted it to feel thought-out and loved.

Angela,thanks so much for sharing your secrets, I think the information is invaluable and there is a plethora of knowledge just in that one paragraph.  Also, thank you for being open with the cost of your slipcovers.  I think they were well worth the money, you got exactly the look you were after at a better price and you can wash everything yourself without having to pay for cleaning.

The paint on the tufted chair at the cottage inspired me to paint my own chair.  Now I love it.

And, don’t forget, you CAN make your own custom slipcovers.  Remember my slipcover party I had?  We made my white slips in a few hours.  For detailed information be sure to check out the Lazy Girl’s Guide to Slipcovering.  My friend Pink from Pink and Polka Dot wrote the ebook.  She is the slipcover whisperer and every Friday she features all sorts of beautiful slipcovers.

PS, I’d love to find someone local, here in Charlotte who makes slipcovers.  I have a chair similar to the one up there with the blue houndstooth slip and I want a detailed slipcover for it.  Something that would drive me crazy to try to sew myself.  Anyone out there making slipcovers round these parts?  I’d especially love to find someone who has a blog or online presence.