Tuesday, June 12, 2012

White Slipcovered Sofa and other Dirty Little Secrets

I love, love, love slipcovered furniture. They look so great in the magazines, but is reality as great as the fantasy? I have a white slipcoved denim couch (below) in my kitchen (yes, kitchen). I have pets so I am SO THANKFUL that I can wash it. The slip, however being denim, it is VERY heavy, and I usually have to take it to the laundry mat (sp?) to use the industrial machines, and it can still take up to 4 hours to wash and dry all the pieces. I usually only do it twice a year unless there is emergency spillage (yes, I am talking red koolaid). Then I normally, 1. Scream at the perpetrator 2. Rip off the cover, 3. Throw it in the bathtub with a lot of hot water and bleach, 4. Step on it with my feet like I am squishing grapes to make wine, then 5. Figure out how to get it from the tub to the dryer.

I really wish I would have had this couch made from a lighter weight fabric.

I have another slipcovered couch in my living room. It is a floral and made from a lighter linen blend. It is much easier to wash and I can easily do it at home so long as I split up the loads. I was told by the manufacturer that the slips are not actually made to wash weekly or monthly, but really just a few times a year.As I mentioned, I have pets. Two cats, one dog, and one grandchild. As well as various visiting grand pets, step pets, etc. Well, a twice a year washing is not that often. So I know what I do in the interim, but I wondered about everyone else?
A while back one of our Red Shed customers sent us some photos from her daughter's new home in Austin. Her home was filled with gorgeous slipcovered furniture from Quatrine, and it was SO FABULOUS, here are just a few photos:

Well, we were dieing with jealousy. I had met the mom, but not the daughter and the the first thing I said was "I guarantee you, NO PETS, NO KIDS!" . Imagine my surprise when a few weeks later, this adorable young mom was shopping at the Red Shed with her two toddlers and she identified herself as the daughter! I said "NO WAY!" and told her about my comments. She said that she had not only kids, but pets and that most of the time the furniture was covered with quilts.

Well this made me feel SO Happy and Normal, because in reality, here is what my white couch looks like most of the winter:
And here's what is looks like most of the summer: (Thanks, Arthur, for demonstrating the need for a quilt) That's just the reverse side of the red one. The quilt is easily pulled off and washed on a regular basis, and can be ditched if "appropriate" company is coming over.

Here is the throw on my other couch (Thanks, Hunter, for the demo). I had a friend who told me that when people from church came to visit, she would throw a sheet over her couch so they wouldn't get animal hair on their dark suits. I decided to do just the opposite, and I just yank this blanket off when company comes, and stash it behind the couch.

So, I still have a LOVE AFFAIR with slipcovered couches! I have had mine for about 7 years and they both still look brand new. Also, if I ever get sick of the pattern or colors, I can just have a new slip made. I have other friends who have pets and stick with regular couches. They usually have to replace them every 2 or 3 years, even if they do try to cover them.
I just wanted dispel a few rumors and now you know my dirty little secret! What has your experience been with slips?



  1. I have the Ektorp Ikea couch w/ slipcovers 2 sets to alternate, Still my favorite couch,! Love the white, also have the chair & ottoman. Do cover when my husband comes in dirty.

  2. I just bought the white Ikea Ektorp sofa cover of months ago. I have not tried washing it yet, but it needs it. One of the most annoying things is that every speck of lint shows up, but I knew that when I bought it thanks to a fellow blogger. Also the fabric on the arm is already pilling and we don't even sit there very often. Other than those small issues I love it. I need to find a cute quilt I can use on it!

  3. Valarie you just made me feel so much better about myself :)
    I have white slipcovered furniture that I wanted forever !!! I read online
    about how easy it is to care for because you just throw it in the washing machine with some bleach ~ no big deal ! Pet and kid friendly ~
    Yep just throw it in is really not so easy ~ It is an all day process with the cushions and pillows and my machine sounds like it might be dying a slow death ~
    Soooo I too have covers over my slipcovers and still have to wash it about every two months ~ I do love it and am kind of a freak about washing it ~ I think I need to go with the dingy dirty white look ! It would make life much easier !

  4. I have white slip covered furniture too! I have two dogs and no kids. I too keep quilts or sheets on the one sofa I have. I also have a loveseat that I keep a sheepskin on. Whats great about the sheepskin is my dogs love it and if there is a spill I can throw it in the wash and in the dryer. It works out well.
    Glad to know I'm not the only one out there with pets and white slipcovers.

  5. Yeah, it's horrible sometime the stains for white and really tough to maintain it but thanks to all who always suggest covers for white furniture particularly sofas where we spend or our pets spend most of the time. We can clean the covers easily when we want. I also use covers for my white furniture to maintain its quality and durability. Thanks for sharing this useful post. I usu