Tick Tock: Decorating by Deadline

I don't know about you, but I always seem to have a long decorating to do list.  With my decorating ADD, the wear and tear of a house filled with mammals, and tastes that far exceed my non-existent design budget, I"m always a couple of steps from completing a space.  The only thing that seems to spur me into action is a deadline, specifically a party date.  Once I know other people are on the way over, I'm motivated to tackle my to-do list.
In the past, Christmas company motivated me to finish my master bedroom, a Mardi Gras party forced me to pull the backyard together in time for a parade celebration, and a dinner party led me to make some changes I had been contemplating in the dining room:

Anyway, I recently reviewed my list, and realized that there were only a couple of major items on it, and even those were in the realm of doable.  So I've decided to start planning a party so I'll get to work.  I'm thinking of a bloggers lunch.  Sometime in early Septemeber.  I figure that's enough time to finish, but not so far away I'll just keep procrastinating.

First biggish issue:  slipcovering a pair of chairs for the living room.

My inspiration is the Bloomsbury house, Charleston, home to artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant.  It's every thing I love:  original art, "tired" colours, slouchy clipcovered upholstery, and lots of pattern and colour without being overwhelming.

The problem:  the chairs are "dog-eared", so slipping is a necessity, not a luxury.  I'd love to reupholster them, but I can't afford it.  And with the menagerie in the house (4 adults, 1 100lb dog, 2 cats), I need the cleanability of slips anyway.
I was originally planning to cover the chairs in slips made from these coverlets from Urban Outfitters,, which you can see under cleo.  However, when they came in, the colours weren't true to the on-line pics, and even with a friend tea-staining them, I never really liked them.  However, they were cheap (discontinued), and I've been using them as throws:
I've been trying to convince myself they give off the cool BOHO chic vibe of the Buckingham sofa from Elle Decor, but I never really could bring myself to believe it:
However, the point is now moot.  After a year, I finally got around to turning them from throws to fitted slips and realized that constant washing had already worn-out the fabric (they weren't heavyweight), so now I need to find a cheap alternative.  And by the way, Cleopatra Schwartz, the cutest sweetest dog in the world did not chew the chairs.  It was this stray below during his foster stay, but who could get mad at a face like that?:

I could use the washed canvas in off-white I've used for other slips in the adjoining living room/office:

But I'm afraid that much solid cream is a bit bland.  I've found some inexpensive altneratives from fabric.com,  (thanks Visual Vamp for the heads up)

There's classic ticking in black and ivory, which I've always loved, I know is durable, and would tie in the black and white art in the room.  I also found a couple of prints I liked.  I'm going to have to test those, though.  They're printed on cotton duck, but weren't listed as washable.  I've ordered samples, will wash on hot and see how they turn out.  I don't mind a faded time worn look as long as they don't run.
Wish me luck.


M.A said...

Love the chairs. I find it so hard to decorate and buy furniture with two dogs in the house. It's always a battle between the heart and the mind. Sometimes you just have to go with practical (which is most of the time not pretty and classy)
Goodluck with your fabric choice.

Linda in AZ * said...

* I love our home (Of COURSE, there ARE changes I would MAKE... "natch", RIGHT???)... buuut, our dog IS unquestionably a HUGE part of this family (well OK... she's "the boss!")...

HOWEVER, when it comes to design n' decorating, I've FINALLY stopped "worrying" (hard to do for a perfectionist, but I'm much happier "THIS" WAY, & so is my husband!)...

As I've heard it said, "You only go around once, BUT, if you do it RIGHT the FIrst TIME, once IS enough!

I say do whatever your HEART tells you just "feels right" (altho yes, I WOULD stay away from fine silks, etc!)... There's ALWAYS a "SOLUTION" for certain (ie: pet) concerns, but life without a dog would be, well, THE PITTS!!! Loved seeing yours!!!

Linda in AZ *

Kim@Chattafabulous said...

You know I have three dogs (one is a puppy) two kids and a husband so my house is never ready for a photo shoot! I don't allow my dogs on the furniture because I have white slip on the sofa and I just don't have the time to wash it every other day! I can relate to everything you said, tho. Nothing gets this girl moving like a party deadline!

Rebecca R. Dyer said...


Cheap, looks like linen, indestructible. You can also dye them to look like some of the heavy French linen.

Put a 2nd set on while you launder the 1st.

If you have pets, you must be practicle. This is smart, attractive and no stress.