Recovering a piece of furniture is a great way to update the look of a room for very little money and effort. With different upholstery or slipcover, furniture can look brand new, even if it is not. Even more than paint, recovering can make a room look elegant, casual or somewhere in between. And when you expand your fabric choices, you open up your design possibilities.
Home decorator fabric is generally more expensive than fabric for clothing. There is no need to limit yourself to material specifically for home decoration, however. Medium-weight fabric with a natural fibre content works well for slipcovers and upholstery projects, according to Elizabeth Dubicki in "Custom Slipcovers Made Easy." Consider using chintz, canvas, cotton, cotton twill, denim, jacquard, damask, corduroy, cotton ticking and even suit-weight wool for recovering projects. Fabrics to avoid, according to Dubicki, include lightweight and tissue-weight fabrics, loosely woven fabrics, quilting cottons and fleece.
Colour is a big consideration and it is probably the first decision you will make. Soft colour tones go with practically anything, so if you want the chairs to blend into an existing design scheme, go with a colour from the neutral family. Alternately if the wall colour is neutral, then consider using a pattern in a bold colour for the covers. Pick a darker version of the wall colour or one from the same family. Consider using a patterned fabric with the wall or drapery colour or one from the same family. Use your imagination, and don't be afraid of colour or pattern. Because the covers will be limited to a small area on the chairs, a bold choice can bring a lively accent to the room.