I have always loved the look of white sofas, but the thought of actually owning one scared me for many years.
Our house is meant to be lived in, so that means our couch needs to be livable too.
It needs to be up for the occasional Sunday afternoon nap.
Be willing to accommodate pizza and movie night.
Work as an office for me, when writing this blog or shopping online only sounds appealing tucked into the cushions in front of the TV.
It needs to invite Saturday morning coffee and midnight ice cream binges.
It must not be offended by dog slobber or an accidental swipe of a grease-stained hand (I’m afraid that husband of mine also likes to wrench on cars in his spare time).
In other words, it needs to stand up to the ins and outs of everyday living, and I was not so sure white upholstery would be up to that task – machine washable or not.
But after reading blog after blog about how easy and maintainable white slipcovers were – I decided to make the leap and just go for it. Aside from being too large for our living room and an unfortunate shade of olive green, our previous sectional was starting to show its age, so we decided to invest in something smaller, better quality (we hoped), and in the white slipcovered look I had forever been longing for.
While a sectional may not be the smartest choice for our long and narrow room, I love having a corner to cozy into when it’s time to relax for an evening, so we chose the PB Basic Small Sectional from Pottery Barn. The small sectional has one side that is a little shorter than the other, so that way I get my cozy corner and it takes up less room in our narrow space.
We’ve had it for a little over a year now and I have not regretted this purchase for one second.
The quality of the sofa itself is top notch. The frame is beyond sturdy and I love how each piece of the sectional (it’s three separate pieces) securely lock together to keep everything in place.
We chose to save a little money and opted for the poly fill cushions instead of the down filled. You still get to sink in and get comfy, but the cushions spring back to place when you get up – no need to keep fluffing everything back into shape.
… I do that enough with all those throw pillows I’m always piling on there… 🙂
As far as the slipcovers themselves…I LOVE them!
Again, we opted to save a little money and went with a brushed canvas (I really wanted a linen) in the color Natural. It’s a soft white color – not quite ivory, but not stark white either – and I think it works well in our house, so no complaints there either.
And I’m happy to say that upkeep has been surprisingly easy. I keep a bottle of Oxi Clean Spray on hand and spot clean any areas that get stained or start to look a little dingy, and go over it regularly with a lint brush (I have found that the Scot-Brite Pet Hair Remover works the best).
I was dreading the removal and washing process so I avoided it for as long as I could. I was certain I was either going to ruin our entire couch or never be able to get the covers back on correctly. Or both.
But I was so wrong. While it’s not something I want to do every other day, it wasn’t really that bad. I separated the covers into four loads to avoid overcrowding and threw them in the wash with a little Oxi Clean. Next time I’ll add bleach to keep them nice and bright for the long haul, but I was so nervous about the outcome, I forgot.
I’ve read it’s best to put the covers back on slightly damp, so I dried each load for about 25 minutes – I think I may drop that down to around 20 next time around, as a few pieces were pretty close to being dry and I found those to be a bit more difficult to put on. Regardless, everything went back on wrinkle free, so that was a nice surprise.
As far as getting the covers back on – the cushions are a breeze, the frames not so much. I was working alone, but I think an extra set of hands would be a big help next time, since it requires a lot of stretching and pulling to get those frame covers in place. There were definitely a few times I didn’t think they were ever going to fit back to where they belonged – but they did. By the way, it’s ok to curse a little for this part – I think it helps. 😉
Also, don’t feel bad if you skip your workout on slipcover washing day – I looked like I had just finished a 5k when I was done. True story.
Despite all the hard work, the covers washed up brilliantly – I had one small area (Alice tends to rub her head over that spot repeatedly) that didn’t come out as good as the rest, but I think I would have to point it out for anyone to notice. I spot cleaned it after and it looks fine now – I’ll just pay closer attention and spot clean it before the wash next time.
So would I recommend white slipcovers? Absolutely!
They may be a little more work, but I love the fresh and neutral look they provide to a room. I can’t really imagine having anything but white slipcovers in my house now. The washing process is an all day commitment – no way around it – and it takes a bit of time to get comfortable relaxing with them, but once you do I think you will find that they’re actually quite forgiving.
What do you think of white upholstery? Does the idea scare you or do you already have it in your home? Any tips for keeping it looking its absolute best?