Wednesday, February 9, 2011

cheap (ish) couch update

couch update
{Sorry about the Klean Kanteen in the foreground here. I'm too lazy and forgetful to re-shoot this.}

We've been needing to update our Pottery Barn sofa cover for literally years now, but the replacement slipcovers are so expensive. $499 for the brushed canvas--just the slipcover. Yikes! So for years and years I quietly (and sometimes not so quietly) hated my slipcovers, but didn't know what to do about it.

Finally I realized (via Wisecraft) that the Ikea Ektorp slipcovers fit a PB Basics sofa. Hooray! I still hesitated for quite awhile, because the $49 slipcover (the cheapest one, in white, and the only one in our price range) just seemed too cheap. Would it even be anywhere near upholstery weight? Finally, in desperation I ordered it. Our old slipcovers were just too gross. And happily they fit! And are pretty sturdy! I wish I had done this years ago. The fresh white is such a relief after the ugly Pottery Barn green (I had immediate buyer's regret when I bought it originally, about 10 years ago).

What do you do about living with kids and sofas? Kids + sofas are a dicey combination if you ask me. I'm beginning to think that brown leather would be the answer. How do you manage your couch with kids around?

couch in winter



the latest sofa cusion

25 comments:

Chris said...

your couch looks comfy and cozy, especially with the beautiful homemade throw and pillows. i dream of a leather couch - i also think it might be the best solution with kids. but we have cats, and they would shred a leather couch in an instant.
we have a semi-nice futon with a stained slip cover but throw an old afghan over that.
you've inspired me to sew some new pillow covers - hopefully this weekend!

Deb_in_oz said...

I had to laugh at the end - we upgraded to a chocolate brown leather soaf + 2 recliners covered in lighter brown macrosuede. very kid friendly!

Lise said...

I agree, leather must be the best kid solution. We've got a 2nd-hand Ikea couch and are on the 3rd slipcover we've bought for it! That, plus lots of draped-over bedspreads, define our "decorating" right now.

nicole said...

slipcovers are easily washed which makes life so much easier with kids!

Simply Playing said...

We have an Ikea couch (different style) with zip off microfiber covers that I wash twice a year. I'm so thankful that they are washable otherwise we would of had to throw out our couch from all of Sam's drool when he was 1 (now 4 1/2)!

Tammie said...

i love this post.

our sofa is a constant irritation to me. i want the kids to be comfortable on it, but yet i dont want to be steam cleaning it every other month. we have many pets so leather is out of the question. the most sofa related ease i ever had was when i had a futon. it was a nice dark wood and i had three different futon cushion covers that could be thrown in the wash. i got rid of the futon though because something silly in me thought it was never a "real sofa." id give anything to have it back.

One Crafty Mumma said...

I had to giggle at the brown leather sofa comment at the end too - we bought one about a year ago and seriously it's so good for children. Nothing shows (unlike the lightly coloured fabric sofa we had before that was permanently dirty) and I dress it up with colourful handmade cushions.

Aussie Mum said...

Yes we have brown leather - not very exciting but I have three little boys so I found it the easiest to clean. I love your new cushion covers by the way - I really must make some new ones for our sofa.

Maiz Connolly said...

"Stop jumping on the couch."
"No jumping on the couch."
"Guys, there's a rule in our house about jumping on the couch."
"Shoes. Off. The. Couch."
"Do you want to jump on my bed?"

I must say these things about five times a day. I remember YEARS ago when we bought this couch that my mom said, "That's not such a good couch for children." And I'm pretty sure I rolled my eyes and said, "Uh, Mom, we don't have any children."

Your new slip covers look great, and if they get stainy, you might have to tie-dye them. Tea stain them? I'm sure you'll think of something!

FatrdlasNotizBlog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FatrdlasNotizBlog said...

We have a white leather sofa (from IKEA) - it's quite easy to clean. Your renewed sofa looks good!

Kelly and Kelly said...

We have brown leather. Not my favorite to look at or design around, it's huge and looks huge/dark because of the color. But it still looks like new.

Lina said...

Glad you found a cheaper alternative! I have slip covers in my family room which I wash or sponge clean when necessary. For our living room I have brown leather which at the time I thought would be more robust with children. Until my two year old son started chewing the arms one day (teeth marks still there). Also my daughter wrote on the back of one with a marker - but we managed to get that out...!

Laurie said...

WE bought the leather 15 years ago, and while it is just beginning to show some natural age, it has a few holes where a 2 year old a child stabbed it with a sharp pencil. Now there are more, a lot more, where a 3 year grandchild poked the same arm with a pencil...so while they have worked, they still need to be replaced.

Meg said...

I love your slipcover--it looks so fresh! We have a large brown micofiber sectional/chaise. We bought it before we moved into this house five years ago. Without any room measurements, just us saying, "yeah, it'll probably fit." Not the smartest way to buy furniture! But it fits. But the brown...oh, I am tired of the brown. I feel like it has forced me into a color scheme that isn't really "me." And since it's huge (and not from PB or Ikea), slipcovers would probably have to be made and be very expensive. I'm hoping that making some pillows will help change it up. Sorry to ramble on--this post has touched a nerve! I hope you continue to enjoy your "new" couch!

PatsyAnne said...

keep buying slipcovers, one a year and then washing and patching the old ones to be brought out and used for specific months - a red or green one for Christmas, OR a white one with red and green winter print patches serves the same purpose... then after the holiday's the old one go to the closet and out comes a new one for the winter, then another for the spring... and so one... so save your old cover, wash it well and patch for pulling out in summer with sandy, wet kids and animals... when you know that you only have to look at it for 2-3 weeks, it makes it more acceptable...
Patsy

Maiz Connolly said...

I like PatsyAnne's idea! You could get creative with hand stitching patches over stains that don't wash out, maybe with some cool vintage fabrics.

Andrea said...

I hate, hate, hate my sofa (ugly blue denim hand-me-down with way too many cushions), but I have always felt guilty contemplating the purchase of a new one--plus I have been researching flame retardants for months, and I would only want a couch that was free of them, but that's hard to find and more expensive. I really want something beautiful, but even with a food-only-at-the table policy, the couch still gets abuse (dirty fingers, building forts, runny noses, someone even managed to drip black wax on it)...If I do find a sofa I love, will I be able to live with it without freaking out every time one of my kids goes near it? (Though your choice of white makes me feel my imagined color of light yellow wouldn't be so bad!) Oh, and we have a leather recliner (also a hand-me-down) which I also hate (and not just because it's big, red and ugly)...it's freezing cold in winter and sticky in summer...never nice to sit on IMO.

Sarah said...

my mother keeps telling me that she wishes she had bought her leather furniture years ago. We have nice furniture that washes up bell but has taken quite beating and will be redone in a few years. I think yours looks very inviting and warm.

Julie said...

Love your new white slipcover...I've often wished I had a pottery barn sofa.

makeitmama said...

We have those Ikea white slipcovers on our couches and they wear really well. We have the dog/kid combo too, and if you just throw those covers in the wash with a little bleach you'd never know about the mud, markers, and other mayhem that make their way onto them.

HeatherLee said...

We bought the ikea sofa because it is machine washable. I do let ours hang to dry. We have the ektorp sectional.

Laura said...

i love your new slipcovers! i love the idea of a neutral base that you can play with by changing out pillows & throws. we have a patterned sofa that we bought years ago - it's held up very well, but i'm tired of the print. i would love to buy a slipcover, but i don't think it's a standard size. the good side to the pattern is that the stains don't show, which is nice with little ones around.

Jenna said...

I too laughed at the end...brown leather for us. We first chose an inexpensive red microsuede couch (which I LOVED) but cheaped out on the chemical stainproofing (which I regretted instantly) and it turned into a nasty looking mess. I too was appalled by the cost of slipcovers and at the time. Now as a second seating space we have a futon couch with a washable stainproof cover. That works best for us (three kids & two dogs) aside from the leather.
I was shocked at how easy the leather is to wipe/dust clean and it will only gain character as it ages, right? ;-)

Debs said...

Yes! I've been looking for affordable and yet tasteful sofa covers for a long time. It seems they are no less expensive than going out and buying new sofas. There surely must be a market for a better range of sofa covers. I go for throws, the bedspread type, but they soon look untidy when they become untucked. I seem to be the only one in my family who can sit on a sofa without squashing the cushions and untucking the throws! My friends with kids do indeed have brown leather sofas.