Ghost armchair designed by Paola Navone for Gervasoni

Recently at Style-Files, Danielle de Lange was mulling whether to buy the pricey ($1,000), chic  or a Ikea’s cheap, rather clunky and traditional alternative, the Ektorp chair ($199), below. She inadvertently pointed out a great lesson in slip-cover assumptions: the usual, standard approach with piping or neat seams is NOT the only way to go. Paola Navone devised a slipcover where seams are sewn inside-out, and the pillows are not squared and boxy but constructed of two squares of fabric. Rather than fitting the sofa perfectly, Navone’s slipcover drapes, imperfectly and wonderfully. It’s a great example of literally turning an accepted practice inside-out to create a fresh view.

Ektorp chair from IKEA

We know from experience that Navone’s look is possible to duplicate or riff on because we did it ourselves many years ago when we’d inherited a tuffed black naugahyde sofa from a friend. A friend who made women’s clothes helped us drape and pin muslin to make a loose, stylish slipcover whose hem intentionally bloused a bit on the floor. When we’d experimented our way to a pleasing, unexpected “look”, she sewed it in washed linen (preshrinking it before sewing ensures that the finished slipcover won’t shrink further).

Ghost armchair designed by Paola Navone for Gervasoni

To give you an idea of how to do achieve a deconstructed slipcover, we found pictures of a traditional slipcover in-process at Honeybear Lane, at the point where the fabric is pinned or stitched inside-out. It’s got some of the vibe of Navone’s.

Turning things inside-out is a principle that has many design applications. Restoration Hardware’s Portico Lantern is a good example. It’s made of natural cotton linen stitched around a metal frame with the raw flanged edges exposed, as those it were sewn and placed inside-out on the frame.

portico lantern pendant by restoration hardware


via Stylefiles

Related posts: two-tone chairs, using paint or upholstery
the best fabric pen for ‘drawing just for fun’
d-i-y pattern-painted sofa (and bed and table) legs
copy this: paint a pillow…sofa…bedspread…curtain…
copy this: partially painted chairs

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