At Kelley Astore Interiors we believe and are working towards, making interior design more sustainable. It’s a difficult balance to strike: on one hand, you want to be mindful and avoid excess waste, but on the other hand, you want each design to be perfect in your eyes and in your clients’ eyes. But humans make mistakes and change their minds – and that’s where we have to get creative and consider repurposing. Recently we upholstered two down-filled custom-made chairs and one ottoman for a client in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. They were originally covered in mauve fabric with a black floral design. I actually really liked this fabric on the chairs. However after they were made, and placed in the sitting room, we realized that the fabric was not the right choice for the design.
The rest of the room was a very neutral color palette, featuring a lot of earthy and beige tones. The walls were painted in a beautiful Farrow & Ball shade called Oxford Stone 264, which is a lovely sandy color. Against the walls and the rest of the decor, we found that the original fabric was a bit old-fashioned and stuck out in a way that we didn’t want them to. After speaking with my client, we agreed that the room wanted a more subdued and lighter fabric than what was originally chosen. Something that would compliment and blend into the rest of the design rather than becoming an eyesore. But we had already upholstered them – did this mean we would need to start over and reupholster all of it? That would take a lot of time and money…but more importantly, it would result in a lot of extra waste we didn’t need to produce. What else could we do?
This is when I realized a simple, quick, and easy solution: instead of starting over and re-doing the entire project, we could have slipcovers made! So that’s exactly what we did. This meant that we could completely transform the way the chairs and ottoman looked without wasting unnecessary time, effort, and materials. Together we browsed through a variety of different fabrics and settled on a gray/black and off-white ticking stripe patterned fabric from Pindler (my favorite place to source fabrics!) We were able to bring samples of this fabric into the space, and we knew that it was perfect.
My workroom ladies got busy stitching the slipcovers, and they were done in no time. Afterward, we installed them over the original cushions. After a quick steam, the chairs and ottoman were completely transformed. Looking at them, you would never be able to tell that slip covers were being used. My client absolutely loved the modern edge of the striped fabric. To add color and balance back into the design, we paired them with lovely little red cushions. I think the chairs and the room look absolutely fantastic. My client was happy, and the best part of all was that very little waste was created in the process! I will definitely continue using this trick in the future.
Try it yourself!
If you love all things design and fabric, be sure to check out our latest article on our 2021 Autumn Color Palette featuring plenty of fabrics from Pindler. To pass the time this fall, why not learn how to make your own slipcovers to easily transform a furniture piece you already own? This trick really does open up so many opportunities, and I couldn’t be happier.