Slipcovered Sofas

If children, pets or just a messy spouse are concerns, nothing beats having a slipcovered sofa in a family room. The convenience of slipping off the cover, throwing it in the wash and having it come back clean and fresh and ready for more abuse simply can't be beat.

Most people opt for store bought, generic slipcovers, which are widely available in a variety of price ranges. They are slipped over a sofa to give it a slipcovered sofa look, but generally don't fit as well or as tight as a custom slipcover. For a slipcovered sofa look that blends well into the look of your room, it's best to do some planning before shopping.

Planning Points

Most ready-made sofa covers are designed to cover a sofa that's 78 to 96 inches long. Take your measurements carefully so your finished product, the slipcovered sofa, looks pulled together and decor friendly.

Once you have a feel for how you want your slipcovered sofa to fit into the room, ie., will it have a floral, gingham, stripe or solid print, and you know the size of your sofa (taking into account any specific design elements like rolled arms or a high back), you can go shopping.

For years now, Pottery Barn (www.potterybarn.com) has been considered a leader in slipcovered sofa sales. You an purchase a slipcovered sofa there, or the slipcover itself to slide over your existing couch.

For a less expensive alternative, Target sells a wide variety of slipcovers, including the popular Simply Shabby Chic line from Rachel Ashwell. These slipcovers, with their designer touch and lush fabrics, will give your old couch a solid, slipcovered sofa look in no time. Prices range from $99 to about $150.

Custom Made Slipcovers

You can also purchase sofa frames with custom-made slipcovers that are either fitted or somewhat loose, but this is the most expensive option. However, the great benefit of this type of slipcovered sofa is the cover is made for the sofa and for those looking for a more formal sofa, this look is a less shabby look and certainly more traditional.

There will be no tucking or tying or worrying about it looking messy, but it's an option reserved for those who are purchasing new furniture and are willing to pay the extra cost for the slipcovered sofa. Ikea offers slipcovered sofas at an affordable price.