This Affordable Designer Trick Will Up Your Living Room’s Upholstery Game

published Dec 10, 2019
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It’s always fun to mix up your home decor, but sometimes there are a few things that get in the way—you know, like time and money. But fashion and home goods designer Jenni Kayne has the perfect trick for freshening up your space that won’t set back your schedule or your wallet.

Kayne uses canvas drop cloths to upholster certain pieces in her home, which is especially brilliant if you live with kids or pets, as canvas is inexpensive and durable. “I love using natural and neutral textiles in my home, but the reality of three kids means that delicate, easily damaged materials aren’t always practical,” Kayne says. “If I’m keeping a space neutral, I love to add texture, so canvas is the perfect solution to both.”

Kayne has used this clever trick on everything from sofas to chairs to pillows, and even built-in bench cushions as seen above. “The possibilities are endless,” she says. “Canvas is one of the most durable fabrics—it’s easy to find and replace if needed and is much more difficult to tear or ruin than most common fabric options.” Obviously, a professional reupholstery job will yield better results, but in a pinch, Kayne has even draped a canvas drop cloth over a chair and used it as a makeshift slip cover.

Kayne also uses canvas drop cloths for crafting and tabletop, too. “I love using canvas to cover a table for crafting,” says Kayne. “It’s tough and durable, and its natural variance is more forgiving with spills and stains than a typical tablecloth.” She’s also been know to set a fancier table with a couple as well. “You could even layer a drop cloth over a larger rug in a kids’ play room if you’re worried about it lasting,” she adds.

So how does Kayne choose just the right canvas drop cloth every time? “I look for cream or tan options with natural flecking and variation—it feels like a high-end fabric and brings more texture into any room,” she says.

While canvas drop cloths are inexpensive and relatively easy to switch out, you’ll want to take care of the fabric to keep it looking new. Kayne advises, “You can keep canvas fresh just like you would with the rest of your light and white upholstered furniture by using Scotchgard or natural stain-resistant treatments on your fabrics every six months or so,” says Kayne. “This is great insurance for spills and stains and makes furniture much easier to clean.”