photo by Eddie Ross
Months ago I started thinking about getting the master bedroom ready for summer. I got a mountain grass rug (the same as sea grass), painted my dressers white, and got some new bedding including a deep drop ruffle white bed spread, and some some new toss pillows. I also put up some white sheer curtains. The last piece of the scheme was a white slip cover for the velvet slipper chair.
Everyone thinks about white slipcovers sooner or later. And everyone has them sooner or later. It might just be an off the peg one from someplace like Sure Fit, or maybe one from Ikea. These are fine, but they really can't compare with slipcovers made especially for your furniture.
I have had slipcovers made, but they were in chartreuse linen, and also in black and white toile. But I never had white slips made. When I wanted to have one made for the slipper chair, I called my upholstery man who quoted me around $400. I also checked a couple of other places, and the price was more or less the same, plus the cost of the fabric (around six yards).
It was more than I had to spend, so I went online and did some looking around. I thought I might find a ready made one for what I thought was a pretty generic chair shape. I didn't find one, but I found a great company called Before N After Slipcovers.
The price for a slipper chair white twill cover was around $150., and that I could do! So I just went to the site, and followed the instructions.
They give you diagrams to take measurements from, and I did it, sent them the order, and just waited for the turn around, which is about four weeks. I didn't mind the wait because it was still winter, and I was planning ahead.
I got follow up e-mails from a very nice and capable woman named Sue, and I decided to keep it simple, and not micro manage. A few weeks later my slipcover arrived in the mail.
Oops! I guess my measurements were not correct! I sent this picture off to Sue, and she asked me to measure again, and that she would re-do it. I had sent her several photos of my chair from every angle, and she e-mailed them back to me with little arrows on them as to where to EXACTLY measure. She never made me feel stupid or bad. She couldn't have been nicer about it. This is excellent customer service.
While I was waiting for the redo to come, I looked at the Before N After web site again, and found this really great chair seat slip for $55.
It made me think of the beloved queen of white slips and sea grass, Ms Joni Webb of Cote de Texas, who has written the definitive book on the subject.
I also revisited some of Joni's postings about slip covers, and had the aha moment. I forgot to ask Sue if they pre-washed the fabric! I had done this with the green linen slips myself before I handed the fabric over to the seamstress. So I shot off another e-mail or two, requesting a pre- wash, or making the slip at least 20% larger.
Many of us own Parsons Chairs, and Before N After does many versions of slipcovers for this work horse of a chair starting at $109. They have a zillion fabric choices, or you can use your own fabric.
Anyhoo, my do over came a few days ago, perfect timing since it is well on the way to summer here already. It turned out so nice! And it looks great with all the other summery things I added. It's a little bigger in lieu of pre-washing.
Adding all the white accents with the blue walls really looks fresh.
I already had quite a few white accents, so it wasn't rocket science to add a few more.
The room feels more and more like being at the beach.
I've had the mountain grass rug down for a couple of months, and it is terrific! Dirt and dog hair do not show at all, and the grass smells sweet, and feels great on bare feet.
I've had this bench for years and years, and had the slip made for it at least ten years ago.
I'm loving the lamps I painted to look like alabaster. The photo is by Edgar Sierra, that he took right after Katrina. It was exhibited at The New Orleans Museum of Art.
My lady saints are in a niche on an antique twig table.
The other night table has another Katrina photo, showing a naked woman climbing out of the rubble of what once was her house.
All in all I am very happy with the changes I made for the summer.
If you're thinking of white slipcovers for the summer (or for all the time) give Before N After a try.