Monday, 17 June 2013

Progress on the Livingroom: Custom Slipcover Goodness

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” -Paolo Coelho in The Alchemist.

I 99% believe this, mostly because of things like what happened this weekend. I recently wrote this post about my long-term plan for my living room, in which I stated that I'd like to replace our existing sofas with new ones in charcoal grey. I put a caveat on that plan, stating that it would take a while to save up the money for a nice sofa set. 

Well, in perusing our local classifieds sofa section (as one does when one has no plan to buy anything yet can't stop looking anyway...duh), I came across this ad:

Custom-build sofa, tuxedo styling, and only $45?!?!? I immediately showed it to The Boy and got his sign-off; I called the poster the next day and went to see it this Saturday.

You guys. Yes, the fabric is dated and floral and not charcoal grey at all....but it's pretty much my dream sofa in every other way. I LOVE the lines of the sofa, and it is SO comfy! The cushions are in great shape too, and since it's custom-built the frame is very high-quality and sturdy. I immediately began calling upholsterers to get quotes on how much it might cost to reupholster it in grey (I got anywhere between $495 and $1500, although the $495 estimate seemed too good to be true and the man couldn't spell in his email so I thought it was maybe a bit shady). Then, in doing a little digging, I came across the work of this magical artist, Shelley Anderson of Custom Slipcovers by Shelley. 

As the name implies, Shelley does custom slipcovers, and they're amazing! Here are some examples of her work: 

All 7 images courtesy of Custom Slipcovers by Shelley

I think it's amazing how well she matches up patterns, and most of the slipcovers look upholstered, not removable! Anyway, when I saw her work and that she's local, I got really excited, so this happened:

Yup. Spent my Sunday morning hauling our old couch out and new one in. Charli-dog approves. It's so comfortable!

I'm now on Shelley's waiting list and should have my new slipcover by early August. Slipcovers in general are not cheap (even ready-made ones will start at around $75), and Shelley's list price for a custom sofa cover is $420-$480 plus the cost of fabric. So although it's not cheap, slipcovers of the quality that Shelley creates take a lot of time and expertise, and I think her price is fair. Plus, the Boy and I decided that since we have a dog and are in the habit of washing the covers from our previous sofa frequently (dog hair, bane of my existence!), it is a better fit for us to do removable slipcovers than pay just as much or much more for an upholstered, permanent option. 

So, long story short, I've been brainstorming slipcover options! I've been Pinteresting my little heart out and this is what I've come up with sofa so far (mockup courtesy of my boyfriend's two-second 'OK I'll humor you, crazy gf' Photoshopping:


It's a bit hard to tell and our fabric wouldn't be quiiiiite so dark, but I'm planning on a charcoal grey fabric with black piping just on the sofa's outline, not on the cushions. I want to take off the skirt completely but don't know if I can yet--the legs are ugly and the skirt is attached pretty strongly. If I can't remove the skirt, I'm planning to make it all one long skirt rather than have the two pleats as it is currently.

What are your thoughts? My mom thinks it will be too dark, but we're eventually planning on getting wood side tables and a wood coffee table rather than the black items we have currently, so I think it will be ok. Plus, my dog is black and sheds, so I have to avoid too light of fabrics too.

Do you think I made a good $45 sofa purchase? Would you upholster or slipcover?

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