I definitely have a thing for slipcovers and swivel chairs! Here’s why they were the perfect answer to my living room design and lifestyle needs.

Furnishing Our Maine Home

I have furnished our home here in Maine almost completely from scratch.

New home, new location, and new life!

I wanted to start fresh.

So, we packed up the relatively few things that would make the journey with us to Maine.

And then I had a huge estate sale to get rid of everything else. It really was something!

You can read all about our move here and construction of the house in my blog post Chasing a Dream: Our Coastal Maine House Story, Part 2

And while I have scoured antiques stores and auctions for many of the furnishings and accessories in the living room, I bought the sofas and chairs in one fell swoop new from a local store.

In fact, I ordered them before the home was even finished!

Using the architectural drawings, I figured out the living room layout and chose furniture and fabrics, taking location, design and lifestyle into consideration.

Almost 6 years in, I am still happy with the choices I made.

When it comes to the soft furnishings, I can say unequivocally that slipcovered furniture and swivel chairs were the two most important elements that allowed me to realize my design vision for the living room.

And they continue to combine for a versatile design that flexes for our family’s needs and lifestyle throughout the year.

While still being beautiful.

Here’s why I definitely have a thing for slipcovers and swivel chairs!

And maybe you should too!

Slipcovered Furniture

The living room in this house actually is for living.

There is a tiny den which seats five in clown-car style for movie- and tv-watching.

But the living room is where we gather. Where the grandbabies play. Where we all stretch out on the sofas to read or catch a cat nap. Or like me at this moment — to write a blog post.

And of course you all know who else is a big fan of both the sofas and the comfy chairs. Hint: They are brown and white and have a combined total of eight legs.

I needed furniture that was comfortable, durable, and also met my design requirements. I.e. — looks nice!

Slipcovers were the answer!

Why do I love slipcovers?

  • Easy maintenance: Slipcovers are hands down the easiest way to keep your furniture clean when you have pets, kids, or regular human beings who sometimes make messes. Just toss them in the wash and they look as good as new! Patterned fabrics and performance fabrics are the easiest to maintain. And only use prewashed fabrics that can go in the washer and dryer.
  • Customization: Slipcovers allow you to get exactly the look you want, whether you mix and match patterns or go for a versatile solid. In the main living room seating area, I chose a mix of stripes and solids to go with the paisley pattern on the ottoman coffee table I moved from Maryland. And last summer, I had pretty new floral slipcovers made for the swivel chairs next to the fireplace.
  • Seasonal Transition: One of my favorite ways to mark the seasons is by changing the living room slipcovers. In the winter the loveseat gets a cozy soft blue chenille and in the summer everyone’s favorite blue and white stripe. The sofa wears a warm beige linen in winter and a crisp white in the summer. The fireside swivel chairs alternate between cozy fleece and a summery floral cotton.
  • Style: I love the relaxed coastal cottage style of my slipcovers. They make the space feel like it is someplace you can sit and put your feet up. But you can also get slipcovers that are more tailored and traditional or sleek and modern.

You can read about our summer living room in my post Easy Breezy Coastal Maine Style: Our Summer Living Room.

And the fall living room in My Seasonal Living Room | Evoking All the Fall Feels

What are some other advantages of slipcovers?

  • Versatility: Slipcovers make it easy to change the look and feel of your furniture with new fabric or a different style.
  • Cost-Effective: Instead of buying a new piece of furniture to update the look of your room, it is much less expensive to achieve a fresh look with a slipcover. And you don’t have to worry about “rehoming” your furniture piece or adding to the landfill.
  • Protection: A slipcover can extend the life of your upholstered furniture by protecting it agains wear and tear and spills.

Where Can You Get Slipcovers?

I am asked all the time where I get my slipcovers.

Here are some slipcover sources:

  • Manufacturer: Most of my pieces came slipcovered from the manufacturer, Four Seasons Furniture. Buying a piece of furniture that is already slipcovered is a great option, because you often then have the option to purchase additional slipcovers that fit the piece exactly. This is great if your cover is damaged or if you want a new or seasonal look. These days you can purchase slipcovered furniture from many manufacturers at all different price points.
  • Local upholsterer: For that one-of-a-kind piece, find a local sewing workshop or upholsterer who can sew a custom slipcover for you. This is the way to get the best fit. I got the name of someone local from the store where I bought my furniture. She made the two sets of slipcovers for the fireside swivel chairs.
  • Make them yourself: If you are proficient with a sewing machine, maybe you can make your own slipcovers. Marian/Miss Mustard Seed has tutorials on her blog for all kinds of slipcover and upholstery projects. I have shared a few easy sewing projects here recently, but sadly slipcovers are way beyond my competencies. Kudos to you if you are up for it!
  • Online slipcover sites: If you google “slipcovers online”or something similar, there are a number of sites that pop up. While I can’t personally vouch for any of them, I know that there are people who speak highly of Bemz. They primarily make slipcovers for Ikea furniture, but they also have “multi-fit” covers in a wide range of fabrics.
  • Couch covers: For a beachy or “shabby chic” look, there are simple “seamless” linen or cotton throws that simply drape over your sofa.

Ann’s Slipcovered Furniture

My good friend Ann, from Dabbling and Decorating, and I have a lot in common.

We both have homes in Maine, love the color blue, enjoy exploring antiques and thrift stores, often accompanied by our four-legged friends.

Ann also shares my appreciation for the ease and fun of decorating with slipcovered furniture.

She just got new furniture for her Vermont home, and I can’t wait to see it! She is sharing the big reveal (as well as a new-to-her vintage Turkish rug) in today’s post Vintage Turkish Rugs Elevate Your Living Room Design.

No surprise, I think we also have one of the same fabrics in our home now!

Be sure to tell Ann and her dog Ella that I say hello!

Swivel Chairs

Since moving to Maine I have become a huge fan of the swivel chair.

I have five — three in the living room, one in the bedroom, and one in the guest cottage.

And bonus — they are all slipcovered too! Win win!

Why did I choose swivel chairs for our living room?

Figuring out the furniture arrangement for our living room was tricky.

It is a long narrow space with a wall of windows plus a glass door to the deck flanked by two floor-to-ceiling windows.

The front hall opens into the room by the fireplace, and there is a door to the den in the back corner.

And of course I wanted the seating areas to focus on the ocean views out the windows, but I also needed to create conversation areas and account for the fireplace as a secondary focal point.

I ended up dividing the room into three sections. At the back there is a game/work table and walk-through to the den. The main seating area is in the middle. And then by the fireplace, another small seating area.

Swivel chairs were key to making this arrangement work!

A swivel chair placed between the two seating areas does double duty, working for both spaces. It can join the main area, or turn 180° to face the fire and create a cozy gathering spot for three.

The two small swivel chairs by the fireplace can face each other and away from or towards the fire.

They can also rotate to take in the view.

On a sunny winter morning, my favorite spot is the chair closest to the door. I turn it to look straight out at the ocean, and bask in both the view and the warmth of the sun. It is heavenly!

Without the flexibility of the swivel chairs, the furniture arrangement in this room just would not have worked.

Do you have a tricky space in your home that would benefit from a swivel chair?

What do I love about swivel chairs?

  • Flexible furniture arrangement: Because they rotate 360°, swivel chairs can be used in many different ways! They can pivot between two areas of a room or turn to face multiple focal points.
  • Entertainment and conversation: Swivel chairs provide an easy way to face different directions while watching TV or engaging in conversations.
  • Easy access: Swivel chairs can allow you to have access to something without having to get up or move your chair!
  • Design: Swivel chairs are popular these days, so you can find a style that matches your aesthetic.
  • Fun: The fact that swivel chairs spin around makes them kind of fun! I can’t tell you how many times Maddie has jumped up on chair and gone for a little ride! Taking a spin has also also proven to be entertaining for my grandbabies!

Some swivel chair options

It seems like everyone has hopped aboard the swivel-chair train. From high-end to budget-friendly, there is a swivel chair and a style for every home!

I have the Four Seasons Sarah accent swivel/glider in both the living room and guest cottage. It comes in several sizes. I have the small. It is super comfy and you can choose from 400-plus fabrics for the slip cover.

Maddie and Cisco’s favorite chairs in front of the fireplace are the Braxton Culler Greyson Swivel Tub Chair. These are the ones for which I have had slipcovers made locally. I love their petit size, and they wrap around you like a hug.

Serena and Lily has 26 different styles of custom swivel chairs at a higher price point. The Grady Pleated Swivel Chair, available in over 150 fabrics, is particularly sweet!

The Ayden Slope Arm Slipcovered Swivel Glider from Pottery Barn ticks all the boxes!

The Namesake Crawford Crawford Pillowback Comfort Back Swivel Glider in blue gingham is a much cheaper dupe for a Serena and Lily chair. It would be lovely in a nursery!

The Lundberg chair from Laurel Foundry on Wayfair has a coastal vibe with its blue and white striped upholstery.

This Week Into Next

Looking back, it was kind of an uneventful week…

Or maybe just a regular old week — volunteering at the food pantry, content creation for Instagram and the blog, Peloton time, and housework.


I did go down a fun rabbit hole last weekend, though.

Have you heard of Homeworthy? It is a media platform that features interior design video tours of homes given by the owners.

Among others, I watched a tour by Bunny Williams of her amazing country home in Connecticut.

Boston designers Gary McBournie and Bill Richards showed me around their Nantucket home in a converted boathouse.

And I learned that designer Leslie Martin and I both like to decorate our beach cottages (hers is on the other coast) with shell-covered items.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg! There are over 300 tours, and more added each week.

If you love home design, you will definitely want to head over to Homeworthy!

You are welcome!

Home at Last

Speaking of home design, Gil Shaffer’s new book Home at Last came out this week. I just picked my copy up from the post office today. I can’t wait to settle in with it this weekend.

In between episodes of Homeworthy…

In Zoë’s Kitchen

Thank you all for your support of Zoë’s newsletter venture!

This week she is sharing recipes for Soy Scallion Tofu Bowls and Dilly Bean Stew With Cabbage and Frizzled Onions. I can already vouch for the bean stew.

Check out her newsletter for a link to the recipes, her tips and tricks, plus her signature taste-to-time ratio!

You can read this week’s newsletter and subscribe to receive future issues straight to your inbox at In Zoe’s Kitchen on Substack.

That’s all the excitement for this week!

Be well, friends!


Highlighting coastal decor and lifestyle, Maddie and Cisco, and the way life should be...