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There are plenty of good reasons to put a slipcover over a not-so-cute (or not-so-clean) sofa. Chief among them, it beats dropping thousands on a new one. The challenge is finding a slipcover that won’t end up looking as bad as what you were trying to hide in the first place, and we’d bet you’re searching in the wrong places. Because the best textiles for mending your sad sofa situation are probably already in your house.

Simply grab a bright blanket, a patterned coverlet, or a vintage handira and get to camouflaging. The tucking bit is optional; a peppy stripe or bold fringe appears especially effortless when loosely cloaked over the cushions. Here’s how to cover a sofa with throws, six different ways.

The Best of Both Worlds

Photography by Jason Frank Rothenberg; Styling by Kate Berry

“It’s not me to have a white couch or a white anything,” Los Angeles–based streetwear designer Beth Birkett told us. So it’s no surprise that she dyed her family’s two RH Cloud sofas seafoam green, then swaddled the cushions in a rainbow of textiles. Rather than choose one look or the other, she left the base uncovered for a bright contrast.


The One and Done

Photography by Brittany Ambridge

You wouldn’t normally think of a crisp white sofa as kid-friendly, but Jenni Li and Hans Gissinger managed to make it so in their Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, home. Their trick: encasing the seat in a wool blanket. When juice inevitably spills, it can simply be dry-cleaned.

The Gift Wrap

Photography by Jessica Antola

At Bird Brooklyn founder Jennifer Mankins’s Shelter Island, New York, retreat, tablecloths are bedding, denim is wall insulation, and vintage kantha quilts are sofa upholstery. Each section is wrapped individually, almost like they’re presents (and aren’t they?).

The Drape

In the case of a classic pattern like stripes, scale is everything. Flea Market Fab founder Jennifer Harrison sewed two blankets with different takes on stripes together: a chunkier, blocklike print and one made up of thin lines. The variety lends some soul to the neutral arrangement.

The Botanical

​​Sean MacPherson and Rachelle Hruska’s fort–meets–surf shack in Montauk, New York, is overflowing with Moroccan pillows and oversize blankets they’ve collected over time. A couple in subtle leaf and flower patterns—no ubiquitous palm leaf prints here—have ended up folded around their two daybeds.


The Embellished

Fashion designer Keren Craig went heavy on texture for the sofa in her reimagined farmhouse in upstate New York, loading up the backrests with a shiny tasseled Moroccan handira (known as a wedding blanket). An embroidered burgundy textile gives the celebratory pieces a down-to-earth spin. Cabin vibes, but with a little glitz.