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Reader request - slipcovered sofas

Today's reader request is from Bonnie: i saw the 'casually draped sofas' but i was wondering about slipcovered sofas. can they be chic? i have very young kids and i love white and cream sofas. dilemma. so i'm thinking my only options are leather or slipcovered sofas? am i right? can you do an entry on this? thanks. I have cats not kids so I'm no expert on sofas that are kid-friendly but I think your best options would be as you mentioned, slipcovered or leather. I think you should go for a white slipcovered one - that way you can throw the cover in the wash with some bleach if the kids decide to dump a glass of fruit juice draw you some pictures on it. Below are some photos mostly of white slipcovered (at least they look like it) sofas with a few cream ones and a couple dark colours thown in for the hell of it. Hope this helps!

Sköna hem
Hus & Hem
Sköna hem
Sköna hem

Apartment Therapy design*sponge

Family Living
Jan Eleni
Le Journal de la Maison
Le Journal de la Maison
Happy Homes

Reader Comments (17)

Breathtaking inspiration as usual. I absolutely love your website! Slipcovers and leather are two very practical options, but microfiber is exceptionally effective as well against spills, marks, and sticky fingers. A wet cloth rubs out most marks, and if the cushion covers can be removed, more difficult marks can be removed with home or laundry cleaners. I removed a black felt marker from a light tan sofa with a little effort. Again, loooooove your website, thank you for your energy and effort.

17 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

Thanks for showing so many slipcover options. I personally love the relaxed "come and sit on me" feel of a slipcovered sofa...besides, how could you not want something that you can clean right? I also love white couches so its nice to see all those options in white. Thanks again, loved it!

Oh love slip covers, i feel they never go old. But this pictures from Elle wtih the gray walls and white circles is amazing.

17 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDelishhh

As strange as it may seem, with kids and animals white slipcovers are often the best option. I visited the Montauk show room here in Toronto and cringed at the idea of spending so much money on a beautiful (and they truly are amazing) piece of furniture with two young boys and two dogs at home.

At Montauk almost all the sofas come with removable slip covers. The salesperson pointed out that the white cotton--above any other colour--was the best choice. The slipcover is easy to remove and can be thrown in the wash in a pinch. Add a bit of bleach and it's good as new. Other colours unfortuntately will fade and not give you the same brand new result after lots of cleaning. The other great advantage to slipcovers is if you're having guests or want an adult gathering, remove the covers and you have a totally new look. He said that after about 10 yrs., clients often choose to have new covers made.

17 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLSB

May I put in a word for white linen slipcovers? They look and last a cut above cotton, especially that tired old twill.

17 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTricia Rose

I'd swear the sofas in the first image are Ikea's trusty old workhorse Kalstad. But the bottoms are loose so it that a slip cover over the manufacturers slip cover?

17 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRenngrrl

I love these photos. I had an aversion to slipcovers because I am just NOT a shabby chic person, but in the end we broke down and got one. Ours is tailored and a light color. Our sofa would have bit the dust years ago with cat barf, hot sauce accidents etc., but the slipcover saved us. Now it's a little ratty and worn but all we need is to buy a new slipcover, not a whole new sofa!

17 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJess - Nest Studio

You wouldn't happen to know where that beautiful purple acrylic chair in the first picture is from? It's stunning.

All the best,

17 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterErin

I highly recommend white/cream/natural slipcovers for families with small children and pets. We've had a white slipcovered sofa in our kitchen for 4 years now. It has been incredibly easy to care for: just throw the covers in the washer with oxy-clean or a little bleach, let it soak, and wash as usual. We've been able to remove red wine, chocolate, ink, tea, spit-up, and blood. Pretty much any terrible stain you can think of has come out and the couch continues to look great. We just ordered two more pieces for our living room with cream colored slipcovers to replace sofas chosen for looks, rather than comfort and durability. (DWR and RoomandBoard make visually lovely furniture, but they're not particularly comfortable or designed with a family in mind. At least the ones we chose. Our bad.) Anyway, we anticipate years of use from these new couches. Just be sure that the slipcovers are made of a tightly woven material with overlocked seams. And I think the 'shabby chic' vibe comes from the whole look of a room, not just one or two pieces of furniture.

17 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen

i agree whole heartedly. i have three boys and have had white slipcovers for many years now. they're made with white denim. very inexpensive to make (if you're a seamstress), and sooo easy to clean. bleach or oxy clean and they're bright and white again. i usually do a flip of the cushions when they start to look dingy so i can drag out the need to launder.

17 Feb 2011 | Unregistered Commenterteresa

I'm working on a home made slip cover for my sofa but I was wondering if a spill wouldn't just soak through the cover...?

17 Feb 2011 | Unregistered Commenteranne

I love white slipcovers but there is still no way I could have, or still could do them in my house. With the kids (4) and the dog, I know they would be in the machine more than on the furniture!!

18 Feb 2011 | Unregistered Commenterquintessence

Like Michelle I have to agree microfiber is a great material for a family with young kids and lots of spills. I've had mine for over 8 years, I spot clean regularly and wash them in the washer 3 or 4 times a year which makes them look like new. Our slipcovers are a medium toned beige so my newfoundland's hair doesn't show up too bad. For looks, white linen would be my first choice for sure but it doesn't hold up as well and I'd see every black dog hair. Leather is another great option. I'm about to order a new sofa for my fireplace room and definitely going with leather.

I agree, with kids and pets, slipcovers and/or leather is the way to go. I have two large dogs, a cat and 16 yr old son. My two Karlstad sofas from Ikea have white, fitted slipcovers. They are a God send! Everything comes out of them, and the "doggy" smell washes right out.
PS we also have all glass (metal framed) tables in there as well. No rings from drink glasses and no need for coasters. All of the above sits on laminate flooring, which is indestructible. I like a clean, tailored uncluttered look, and its totally achieveable with modern products.

18 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBev65

I have four little boys who love to touch everything with their dirty, sticky paws. White slipcovers, surprisingly, are the answer. I've had white slipcovered furniture in my living room and dining room for the last ten years. Every few months, I pull the grubby things off and stick them in the washing machine with bleach and TA DA! They come out looking like new everytime! I have had to replace the slipcovers a few times because the bleach makes the zippers rot off after too many of washings. But luckily white ikea slipcovers only run about $50 a pop. Go for the slipcovers--so much classier than most of the leather I see around.

18 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBROOKE

I, too, love desire to inspire. My boyfriend and I are moving into a Victorian together next month and I'm trying to work with our existing sofas-- mine, sleek white leather, his grubby taupe leather. I was thinking of slipcovering both of them and have been browsing online and have observed the following: all the sofas have high arms. Will these slipcovers fit over our low-armed sofas? Won't there be a lot of extra fabric? Who makes slipcovers for sofas with low arms? Thanks so much for your help and inspiration.

20 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKrista

Any idea what the brand/make/model is on the one from apartment therapy? it's perfect!

2 Jun 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkjacobsen

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