There’s a high chance that as you read this sentence, you are sitting on a piece of Ikea furniture. I say this with confidence as I myself am sitting here, typing away on my Poäng. Owning Ikea furniture is a rite of passage in the first stages of adulthood. It’s affordable and it has that pleasing Scandinavian design. On the flip side, Ikea furniture has the reputation for being somewhat disposable, and it’s common for people to buy Malms and Ektorps under the pretense that they’ll replace them with something better a few years later.
If you have a set of dining chairs from Ikea that has seen years of good use and is looking a little shabby, a fresh, custom cover can make it as good as (or better than) new.
Recovering old Ikea furniture with custom slipcovers is a great alternative to buying new furniture, because it’s less wasteful, relatively inexpensive (depending on the textile), offers greater customization when it comes to design, and can be done without hiring an upholstery service.
There are two start ups, Bemz and Comfort Works, which specialize in making custom slipcovers for Ikea’s lengthy list of dining chairs, sofas, stools and other upholstered goods. Unlike Ikea, both offer a broad range of options when it comes to material, color and style.
I first encountered these companies when I was in the market to find replacement slipcovers for a set of well-loved Nils armchairs. Ikea had discontinued the chair, so I went to Bemz and swapped the old white canvas covers for a set of velvet ones, each in a different color. Where Ikea limited my wacky decorative impulses, Bemz let me go all out, and the result was exactly what I wanted. They have a three year guarantee on their covers. Comfort Works, meanwhile, also makes covers for Pottery Barn and Muji furniture, and includes three-year coverage and free international shipping. It’s worth looking at both just to compare fabric options.
With Bemz or Comfort Works you can, like me, make your otherwise plain Ikea furniture a little more unique. So even if you aren’t in the place where you can drop thousands on a Milo Baughman loveseat, tricking out your old Ikea furniture is an affordable, eco-friendly, and, above all, way more fun solution to replacing your furniture.
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