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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

White sofa question..

craftysasaNovember 27, 2012
I would like to buy a white sofa for my family room, and want to know how to protect it and keep it clean?

Do you think it is a good idea to have a white sofa if you have little kids like me?

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White sofa is nice ONLY before it's in living room with kids.
    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 5:49AM
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I think it is a great idea if and only if it is a white slipcover so you can wash it. Or if it is leather (and even then white might be a bit tricky, not sure). Otherwise I think a white sofa, no matter how well scotch-guarded, is probably not a good fit with little kids. But slipcovered sofas are great!
1 Like    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 5:51AM
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yes, it has a white slipcover that could be completely washed, should i add extra coverage like throw for an extra protection ? and how can I fix the throw to keep it nice looking?
    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 6:06AM
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I wouldn't worry too much about trying to fix a throw on it, but anything you want to keep on the sofa will cut down on how often the slipcover has to be washed.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 6:10AM
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Based on experience, I have two strategies for you. I love white sofas, too, and got one in spite of my husband's concern about the "dirt factor." First, I assume that you have a rule in your house that there is absolutely no eating or drinking in the living room, only in the designated eating area. In spite of this rule, you will still find evidence of wrappers, crumbs, and lollypop sticks in between the seat cushions that occurred when you weren't looking. (LOL) And on rare occasion, sometimes an adult has a drink or food accident when you are entertaining. These things are to be expected.

Option 1: Get a cheap leather sofa if you don't have pets that will chew or inevitably leave claw marks. When my kids were little we couldn't afford much and we got a cheap leather sofa from Value City furniture that lasted a really long time (12 years). It was so fabulous to clean. However, we had a cat that was declawed with the front paws but not the back claws, so when she leaped off the couch, the back claws naturally dig in. So I don't recommend this option if you are in the same situation.

Option 2: We can afford a nicer quality sofa now, but we still chose to go cheap because of the fear the kids would ruin it and we'd be upset that we spent so much money. We got a white slipcovered sofa from IKEA. The individual slipcovers are only $50 in the white color, and made of cotton so you just throw them in the washer. I absolutely love it, and it has cleaned up beautifully each time. I've had it about 6 months now. I wash it about every month or month and a half, depending. You can buy two covers and just alternate (like sheets), but I haven't done this.

I have a front load washer and use my steam option. I put in OxyClean and some bleach and it comes out perfect each time. I dry it until it is damp (never dry completely or else it will shrink), then take it out and smooth it on the couch. There will still be some wrinkles, but honestly, I haven't bothered to use my hand-held steamer to smooth the remaining wrinkles out (so that it looks perfect.) I'm willing to do this every month or so because I like the white color so much, I don't think it's a big deal. But it is some work that you need to accept. My kids are 12 and 10 now and I think they are actually worse about the eating thing in the living room than when they were little! :)

Good luck!
3 Likes    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 6:33AM
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Amenities Home Design
I have a white slipcovered sofa in my family room and a little dog who jumps up and sits on the back with little dirty dog feet. I bought 4 extra yards of matching fabric and drape it over the back, tuck it in behind the seat cushions (I use a shower curtain rod to keep it in place), then over the top of the seat cushions and tucked in. Then you only have to wash the extra piece.
2 Likes    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 6:43AM
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Nancy Hehmann
I did not allow eating in the living room and I also did not ever buy grape juice or Kool aid b/c I knew those things were impossible to get out. Plus Koolaid is high sugar content and tried to give my children more healthy alternatives.

My son tells his children (little) that they can only eat on the squares (tile in the kitchen)

One laundry item that has been invaluable over the years to remove stains is Goop hand cleaner. Inexpensive too. Great for red dirt and grease stains. Just apply it with fingers or a soft toothbrush and throw item in washer. I have never had the hand cleaner ruin anything'; but I make no guarantees. I just know it has been invaluable and is very inexpensive. My oldest son first experimented with it when he was 12 and it worked. I have not ever used it on upholstery.

Sofas are so expensive though white might not be worth the risk with ink and other items that are difficult or impossible to get out. Might be important to purchase something you won't have to constantly worry or nag about. They have to be children; its their time of life.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 6:46AM
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Do you really want to spend time washing slipcovers and putting them back on? Buy something practical and maintenance free,microfiber,real leather,velvety type of fabric e.tc. See last paragraph from Carolina Photo.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 7:00AM
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@Amenities Home Design, would you please explain to me how did you cover the seat cushions? did you use the same piece of fabric you used to cover the back or it was another piece?
btw you have a very nice organized living room:)
    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 7:17AM
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Thank you rockinrobin68!
    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 7:19AM
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Amenities Home Design
Hi craftysasa- Yes, it is one piece - long enough to drape 12" over the back of the sofa (my sofa is against a window so you don't see the back), then cascade down the front of the tight back, then tucked in and held in place with a shower curtain rod (crazy, but it works and you don't feel it when you sit!), then over the top of the seat cushions, then tucked in under them in the front. Approximately 2-2.5 yards. The cotton duck fabric is 60" wide, so I added several inches down the sides to fit the inside width of the sofa. You can use arm covers to protect them.

Thanks for the compliment!
1 Like    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 7:47AM
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If you can stand to go one step away from white, a good option is a pattern over white/off white.

We bought an off-white plaid in taupe, khaki and grey over 20 years ago. It is cotton/covered and was treated at the factory with stain guard. It's had adults, children and dogs (even though they aren't allowed) on it and it still looks pretty fantastic.

So, if you can bear to go a little away from flat white, this option may allow you to relax a little. Can buy a white slip cover for special occasions. A good fitting one can be about $500.00...You'd have a decent everyday piece, and a cover for special events...avoiding worries.

examples of light plaids or other white/off white combos
Great Neighborhood Homes · More Info

Kitchen, Family Room, Chicago · More Info

a blend/weave of a light color with your white/off white lends very well to accessory pillows, whatever color you choose... Enjoy.
    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 8:07AM
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