Giving your old furniture a makeover is an effective and economical way to improve the appearance of a whole room. Not only is a makeover a greener option ““ it involves reusing what you already have ““ it’s also much cheaper than replacing old furniture with new. Using slipcovers is an eco-friendly, quick and easy method of updating tired looking seats, helping you to improve the look and feel of an entire room on a limited budget.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Slipcovers are a planet-friendly choice because they enable you to stick to the green principles of reducing, reusing and recycling. You can reduce waste by keeping your old couch out of landfill and prolonging its useful life. The energy required to make and transport new furniture, and to dispose of old furniture, is significant. So, you can minimize your carbon footprint by reusing what you already have.
Alternatively, if you really need to get rid of an item of furniture ““ maybe it is the wrong shape or size for your room ““ you could recycle it by giving it to someone who could make use of it. At the same time you could buy some cheap secondhand furniture that is more suitable for your home. It doesn’t matter what state the upholstery is in, or whether the color matches your decor, as you can easily cover it up with a slipcover.
A New Look
As slipcovers are constructed to fit over an entire sofa or chair, they are perfect for concealing unappealing upholstery. They can be used to hide unsightly areas, such as worn, torn, faded or stained upholstery. Or you can simply use them to change the color of your furniture. For instance, many people like to use different color slipcovers according to the season. Others find they are ideal for coordinating their furniture with a new color scheme if they decorate or move house.
They are easy to fit, having ties or elastic to keep them in place. You can get a smooth finish by tucking any excess fabric into the cracks around your seats. They can transform an unattractive couch in minutes. You can also use a slipcover to alter the style of your furniture. For example, a slipcover with a straight or pleated skirt can be used to cover up wooden legs, particularly if they are scratched or chipped. By wrapping old towels around wooden arms, you can make them padded and then fit a slipcover over the top to complete the makeover.
Easy to Clean
As well as being much cheaper than reupholstery, most ready made slipcovers are fully machine washable, so it’s very easy to keep them clean. Many people use them on seats that are in good condition to protect them from wear and tear. If you’re a parent or grandparent, you’ll find it’s a lot less of a worry if a child smears chocolate or pizza on a slipcover, than on upholstery that would have to be scrubbed by hand! Pet owners find them useful too.
Mass-produced slipcovers are usually made from cotton, polyester, or a blend of both. From a green perspective, cotton is a better choice because it is a natural fiber rather than a synthetic one. Cotton makes a durable, hardwearing fabric that can stand up to a lot of use and regular washing. It goes without saying that organic cotton would be the most eco-friendly choice. However, as yet, organic slipcovers are not widely available. Sure Fit has a small range, for sofas and loveseats. So far, I have been unable to find organic cotton slipcovers for other types of furniture, such as armchairs, wingback chairs or recliners. I envisage slipcovers made from environmentally-friendly fabrics will become more commonplace as consumer awareness increases.
If you’re looking for a frugal fix for your mismatched or tired-looking furniture, slipcovers are a cost-effective solution. You can help the planet and make your home look nice at the same time.
The above was a guest post from My Two Dollars reader Caroline Williams, who always tries to save money and go green!