Cover Me, Bruce Springsteen.

I own a 700 page book that was supposedly written by Martha Stewart and it contains nothing but helpful advice on how to clean and fix every single item in your house. EVERY SINGLE ITEM. (Except for maybe a Schnauzer.) Anyway, I’m a little confused because she has taught me how to handle an unruly avocado tree, but she will not even MENTION slip covers.

We have two couches. I guess one of them would be called a love seat, because it’s 2/3 the size of the big couch. What is the difference between a couch and a sofa? (What is the term for someone who falls two notches below plebeian? There I sit. On the Plebeian Sub-Notch-Two Couch.) Our couches were purchased eleven years ago, and they are looking rough. The cats have scratched them. The dogs have chewed on them. The girls have (probably) thrown up on them. (They have. I’m just trying to spare your feelings.) I have spilled coffee on them. (Also, salsa. More than once.)

What I would like to do is spend thirty dollars to extend the life of my couches by two years, and I think that can be accomplished with slip covers. BUT, because Martha Stewart doesn’t discuss them, I’m starting to wonder if I have any idea what I’m talking about.

Jeff mentioned that Martha Stewart doesn’t cover (no pun intended, really) slip covers in her book because she believes slip covers are déclassé. With that said, please know that I wear my makeup exactly the same way that I wore my makeup in 1985, which was the year during which I began to wear makeup. Old dogs and new single trick ponies and such…

What I need to know is this: Do you have a passionate opinion about slip covers? Will you share it with me?

Please know that I don’t want to start a slip cover war. I just need to know if, because I am completely unarmed with information, I am doomed to repeat the mistakes of my reclining ancestors.

Yesterday I spun in the house for the first time.

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26 thoughts on “Cover Me, Bruce Springsteen.”

  1. I am passionate about slip covers! They are wonderful! We have used one to cover my husband’s old bachelor pad leather couch, and make it a fabric-y cozier brown.

    I highly recommend the stretchy ones, and be sure to insert some sort of 1 inch by 1 inch piece of wood or rod down in between the sitting pillows and back pillows. That will keep it from sneaking out.

    Ones like this are awesome:

    Or they have 2-piece ones if needed.

    Good luck!

  2. Martha would probably advise you to knit your own slipcovers from yarn that you spun using fibers harvested from your grain-fed alpacas. But that’s only if you absolutely must have a slipcover.

    I, on the other hand, believe that slipcovers have their place in this world and that the most important thing is that they fit well.

  3. Pro slip overs here too. I actually used them to extend the life of my old furniture, same as….. I wish, wish! I could afford to have my current couch/sectional professionally slip covered with a pair to spare, just because they are awesome and I love my sectional, but not the current, dirty covers.

  4. www. can help you with slip covers. They are also sold (or used to be?) at Bed Bath and Beyond and they had an “outlet” section on ebay a while back. When I wanted to have slip covers we had a pillow back couch and it was a no-go.

  5. Love the yarn.
    As for slip-covers they are good but try for better quality fabric so they still look as good after a wash.

  6. I think slip covers are very sensible. Especially with children and pets. I wish I had one on my family room couch (note to self….explore slip cover for family room couch). I think it is simply a different style (for example, I think Pottery Barn and Ren Hardware have offered). I have seen some really pretty ones. I’d say find one in a fabric you like, and just make it your look!

  7. I am pro slipcover. I had stuffing HANGING OUT OF MY COUCH. I bought a $60 slipcover. It saved my 14 yr old couch and changed my life. (then I got laid off and got a severance package and we bought a NEW couch. YAY for severance packages!)

    Martha can suck it.

  8. I decided I’m not getting a new couch until the current cats head toward the great scratching post in the sky. Stuffing hanging out of the couch, stains and messes. UGH! So, slipcovers. I think I had to spend around $60 for a big couch and a big chair/loveseat. I bought on either or I like my slipcovers better than I like the pattern of my couch now.

  9. So, slipcovers are two different things.
    The kind that is individually fitted to each cushion and to the couch itself – they are great, but they don’t cost $30.00.
    The kind that is an enormous bedspread thingie will be disturbed and look weird every time a dog or person sits on the sofa. IMHO, you will spend many hours fixing it.
    Do-it-yourself reupholstery??

  10. Slipcovers, especially that are actually washable, are great but expensive. The stretchy ones that go over the whole couch are inexpensive but look it. My solution has been to buy a queen or king Ralph Lauren flat sheet in a beautiful pattern, and two (or three for the bigger couch) king size pillowcases for the back pillows. tuck it in here and there, and throw it in the wash when necessary. That kind of sheeting is sturdy, lasts for a surprisingly long time and is much wider than a piece of upholstery fabric. Only problem? Ralph Lauren does not seem to make sheets any more, just duvet covers. Try eBay!

  11. Martha doesn’t live in your house. She gets no say about what you do there. And until you have a staff of inside/outside workers ready to implement your dreams on a daily basis (like Martha does), you shouldn’t consider whether you’re keeping up to her standards.

    That said, slipcovers can be fine, but ones that look pretty good won’t be cheap. Google “slipcovers” images and see if you like something. Go from there.

  12. I am currently considering getting a slipcover for the bench we keep at the foot of our bed because our male cat has shredded it beyond all recognition and yet the dog and the elderly cat need it to be able to get on the bed. So I am pro-slipcover in general, although all of my other furniture is leather, so there will be no additional slipcovers in my life any time soon.

  13. I have that book, too, and it makes me all panicky inside…also thinking about slip overs! but might just go with one of those cheap rasta style light cotton throws…

  14. My grandma always called her “couches, sofas, love seats” a divan. This same grandma could not stand Martha Stewart. I can kind of understand her dislike. I’ve gotten and used many recipes and tips from good ole’ Martha, though.

    There are some pretty great slip covers out there and I am in favor of them.

  15. Count me in the pro-slipcover team as long as they stay put. I haven’t had good luck in that department, but I haven’t really tried, either. I like the first commenter’s tip about tucking long 1×1 or rod behind the seat cushions to hold the cover in place.

  16. My grandmother called it a “davenport.”

    I wish all our living room couch needed was a slipcover. Three excitable boys have cracked the frame in a way that makes the couch sag on the left side if you sit there. We all know that we shouldn’t sit there but guests are sometimes surprised.

    Good luck!

  17. I can’t usually get a fitted sheet on the bed without turning it 600 times so I think slipcovers might just be what drove me insane for good. That said, I would be pro slip cover if I thought I could work one.

  18. Clear plastic. I’m begging you. AND an audio clip of someone sitting on the installed plastic cover…

  19. De lurking to say I’m pro slipcover too. I had a tan microfiber cover on my old couch for years. I purposely bought it too big just to be sure I wasn’t going to spend all day tucking it back in. Instead of tucking a rod in, use a rolled up magazine. Roll it up as tightly as you can and tuck it in. The magazine will unroll and fill the space, keeping your cover neatly tucked.

  20. EVERYONE that owns a Siberian Husky has slip covers… EVERY.ONE! Frankly, my slip cover consists of old sheets that either shrunk and don’t fit the bed, or are so bedraggled that they are embarrassing to put on our bed and completely covered by covers and never seen by another human’s eyes except our own… therefore we throw them on the love seat in the living room… don’t judge me.

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