Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Slipcovers date back as far as the seventeenth century. “Cases” as they were called then, were used to keep expensive surfaces clean, shield them from the sun and protect the more luxurious upholstery from wear and tear. Aesthetically they served many functions too. Outdated upholstered furniture was updated with new slipcovers in a fashion-forward fabric choice. Or as often was the case, the slipcovers could unify a room of mismatched pieces.

Interesting enough, historically, loosely fitted slipcovers were often constructed of linens and cottons. Tailored “cases” were typically made from finer textiles-worsted wool to velvet, brocatelle and needlepoint. Silks were often used, even leather. Glazing the fabrics, according to textile historians, was an early form of stain repellent thereby helping in repelling dust and spills.

I personally have loved and used slipcovers on furniture and skirts on tables all these years because they add so much versatility in look and liveability. As a mother, dog lover and frequent hostess, the “wash and wear” factor is and always has been an enormous selling point for me! A final point on the advantages of cases and covers-…..
Wouldn’t you rather remove and launder than reupholster???

Victoria Hagan

John Dransfield and Geoffrey Ross - Elle Decor

Ilaria Miani - House & Garden

Marisa Bartolucci - At Home with Town & Country

Victoria Hagan

Chatsworth House - House & Garden

Piet Boon - House & Garden

Michael S. Smith

Michael S. Smith

John Saladino

Carolyne Roehm

Bobby McAlpine - House & Garden

Amanda Lindroth - Veranda

Suzanne Kasler

Stephen Sills and James Huniford

Mary McDonald

Mary McDonald

Bobby McAlpine


  1. Beautiful post! I love the work of all of these designers. I especially love the work of Bobby McAlpine. He and I are from the same city.
    Loved your home in Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles. Keep me posted on your work.

  2. Gorgeous images!All of them! Asyou explained indeed the use of slipcovers goes back into the 17th century. I love to work with slipcovers. It is not only very practical but the use of it gives the room a more cozy radiance.
    Thank you for this beautiful post! Love the exmples you showed here!

  3. Thank you Teresa and Greet. Coming from both of you, your comments mean so much. Teresa-love that Bobby McAlpine, what a poet!

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