Friday, 11 February 2011

Pale Sofa: Sin or Saviour?

Well? What did you think?

I think Wednesday's English Garden Party was one of the best Garden Parties I've ever been to.

Really and truly.

There were so many fantastic posts linked up from all over the world, in all different shapes and sizes. It was just amazing seeing it all come together.

Thank you all so much for coming. I had such a brilliant time.


Now...question of the day: pale sofas with little children...yes or no?

Would you? Could you? Should you?

Spill the beans, please.

{Not literally, obviously. That might stain, might it not?}


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65 comments :

Infatuated with Homes and Gardens said...

Personally I wouldn't, I love them but it would just be too stressful for me because, well I am like that:)

Chris said...

If only it's slipcovers, and can be thrown into the washing machine. I'm wishing for one for my living room loveseat.

The Flower Garden said...

An absolute no no for me with or without children. I like to relax on a sofa and couldn't if it was pale.
Not that I'm really grubby!
Jo x

Barefoot Apron said...

Get a sealer. A spray or if it's a slip cover that would work. You can also put a coat on that as well to keep it cleaner. You can buy a protective coating that you can throw in the wash with the slip cover. We have something simalir for our ski gear for water proofing it.

I have a 4 year old. We don't have probelms with it. But then again I have a rule that all the food and drink stay in the kitchen or dining room. Consumables are not allowed in the living room. :) Seems to work around here.

Hartwood Roses said...

It's not the children that I'm concerned about ... it's The Husband. He tends to plop his rear on whatever furniture, without concern about what he was doing or where he was sitting previously. We are in desperate need of a new sofa, but I'm undecided to the point of paralysis. Our current sofa is cranberry red, but I'm in the mood for a change. Choosing Mud Brown for a new one doesn't seem to be a very esthetic option.

Meera @ firstsense said...

I recently had this dilemma with a recent client project, they were set on a pale fabric sofa... with 3 children!

The answer was in the upholstery fabric: Kirkby House (part of Romo) - Crush velvets range. The fabric is apparently as good as being teflon-coated but feels lovely to touch (halfway between velvet and suede). Apparently, stains can just be wiped off with a damp cloth. Also, it's scratch resistant!

Personally, though, I prefer a dark sofa (a dark velvet Chesterfield to be precise).

Young Adventures... said...

We had white carpet when we moved into our home. Let's just say that our then three year old introduced it to chocolate pudding. :) I want my family to feel like they can live in our home. Having a pale colored sofa would stress me out, but that is just me. Have a wonderful weekend!

Brandi said...

I have an off white sofa, passed down from my mom(she bought it when i was 16). It's in the living room not the main lounging room, we hang out in the den. So we rarely sit on it. It gets dusty and it's more visible because of the color. I also have to have it professionally cleaned, which can be costly. I wouldn't recommend it, but since it was given to me I have one. I think having a slip cover is a good option.

Michelle @Shellsshabbyshack said...

Good morning, Sarah!

I was just thinking of doing a slipcover post, so it's fun to see the responses. I absolutely adore the slipcovered look. I've been dreaming of one, myself. I'm starting off small and working on one for a chair. I do like the idea that they can be thrown in the wash. I guess it depends on how much you actually use your sofa, as well. They are lovely to look at but we will stick with our tan couch for now. I think with lighter colored chairs it will work.

Have a wonderful weekend, girlie!
xo,
Michelle

Peggy said...

Sarah, oh what can I say! Well yes i have a cream sofa that costed me a small fortune( think that you could buy a car) and I love it. do comfy. But 6years later and a 3year old well it has turn into a greyish colour. It is only when i clean under the cushions that i can see the original colour!!! Would i change it?! Never and if i had to do it allover it will still be the cream sofa. Things are meant to be used. I like the rustic/bohemian look!!!!

Laura, Happy Homemaker UK said...

We have cream colored sofas - I have fabric of the same color tucked around the cushions - I throw it in the wash when dirty - good as new ;) Perfect for little hands and paws xOL

MariCrea said...

Your Wednesday's English garden party was a success!
This living that you show us is amazing!
I think that you can have a pale sofa with the kids if it is removable ...
because it is easier to wash a white coating than a colored
Many kisses
Mari

Backwoods Cottage Pam said...

I had a cream colored micro fiber couch and four kids in the 80's. The couch held up fabulous and when I sold it because I was looking for a new style it still looked great, so I would say it depends on the fabric. The micro fiber fabric I had looked like suede, was warm to the touch and had everything spilled, spewed and squished into it. Even ink pen was scrubbed onto it by my oldest son when he was 2. Everything came out! The couch came with a little info card with the "how to" of getting every sort of stain out and they worked.

2littlehooligans said...

i would love too. but let's face it, it would end up covered in chicken poo in two seconds! right now im actually obsessed with red couches!! oh yes, by far the best garden party!!

bibbitybob said...

I bought a gorgeous pale duck egg sofa for my flat and despite religious cleaning, no dirt allowed etc etc it's now looking decidedly grubby. And that's without children (although with OH and cat shape)...so as lovely as pale sofas are, I'd say no! x

michele at hellolovelyinc said...

pale? yes. absolutely. i have two sons and a no eating out of the kitchen rule and no shoes (strictly upheld) so there has never been an issue with lounging on the 3 white sofas. i see the dirt so i can address it immediately unlike darker forgiving fabrics which may have all sorts nasty history living in the fibers (which would make me a nervous wreck.)i love all the hues of white!!!

michele

Belinda @ Wild Acre said...

How wierd, just commented on another blog about the same thing. We have had ours for a few years, with 4 kids and a dog. Secrets to success? Simple, cheap covers,(Ikea, sofasofa - really lovely and dirt cheap), bung in wash whenever grubby and put back on before they are 100 per cent dry, to avoid broken nails and loss of will to live. Really not to hard to stay relaxed, and their is always bleach. Just no eating chocolate on them kids!!

Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

I wouldn't.
But that is because it is just one more thing to be a slave to.
It will need your attention too.
Extra something to clean.
Extra something to keep the kiddos and pups and cats limited from.
Extra (un-necessary) guilt for the culprit at hand (and accomplices)
But that is just me.

Pat

Carla Marie said...

Love it! Yes I would get one, as long as it had a removable, washable cover!

Loo xx from Jumbles and Pompoms said...

Interesting question, Sarah. Never. We have a bright red sofa and minutes after having had a professional cleaning person clean it, we (and when I say we, I really mean a small person) spilled something on it (grrrrr). The same small person also has a tendency to leave that ghastly slimey stuff (slime) on our soft furnishings and also takes her felt pens to bed with her. Enough said, I think!

Fabulous garden party, dahlink.

Leah - The Inside Story said...

I have a sunroom with a white lounge and it does get dirty easily, but the covers easily slip off to wash. I am now just tucking sheets of indian cotton over them and that way it is easy to just throw them in the machine. It is very hard to pass up a beautiful white sofa, so I will live with the washing because they look so good and I have a four year old.

Magali @ The Little White House said...

I would love a pale beige sofa when my living-room is remodeled. But I guess it just doesn't suit the way I live: my cat will go on the sofa whether it's white or not and I will keep drinking my tea, eating chocolate and sometimes even dinner on the sofa... So it's a no... But the idea I had was to have a sofa with two fabrics: a pale beige for the bottom and the armrest and something with a pattern for the rest...
Loved the garden party!

It's me said...

Beautiful !! happy weekend darling...love Ria....❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤....

Courtenay@Signal Hill Interiors said...

I have a white sofa! Well, off-white... was it white at one time? I don't remember. We eat on it, spill on it, whatever. It cleans up pretty good and if it's not perfect, oh well, that's what throws are for!

Luciane at HomeBunch.com said...

Hello sweetheart!

Thank you sooo much for your caring comment. Thank God I'm better today! At least I could sleep. :-)

Your garden party was amazing. So many people and it was just magical seeing all of this people participating. Congrats to all!!!


Sofas with children? Well, you know I have 2 and my couch is white, but the only white I would have is leather! It's easy to clean and you don't have to take it out to wash all the time and, very important, you don't need to be stressed all the time about it. I won't add anything to my house that brings me stressful time with anyone, especially my little ones. I know leather is pricey, but it's worth the investment. I think. :-)

Have a great weekend, Sarah!

xo

Luciane at HomeBunch.com

Post of the day: DEXTER INSPIRED DECOR. (warning: it's creepy!!!) :-)

Erin said...

I love the look of pale sofas, but for me it wouldn't work. I would never relax about having my kids around them. They do make beautiful rooms however. Have a great weekend!

Cindy said...

Hi Sarah,
Thanks so much for hosting the Garden Party!!! I have never had so many visits from a party as I did from that one, and of course they were all as sweet as can be, even if they did eat all the cookies!:)
Savior, I think, when it comes to white sofas. At least if they are slip covered. So many gals who have them say just wash them, bleach them if you need to and they are lovely!
Hugs, Cindy

GoldenValley50 said...

Funny you should ask, Sarah. For a zillion years ALL I ever wanted was a cream coloured sofa. However with 3 children (who had absolutely no regard for the niceities of life)I knew it would be a bit of a disaster. When my last child finally left home to go to Uni - I thought "yipee!" I can FINALLY get my cream coloured sofa. Fast forward one year......grrrr, guess what I'm doing this morning. REMOVING the beautiful cream slipcovers and spot cleaning the bits I can's remove. WHY? Well, Mickey our S.N.A.D. (Sensitive New Age Dog) blue cattle dog decided he needed a soft place to ROLL after frollicking outside in the mud! Hmmm.... ;)Sharyne

Lisa said...

I wouldn't risk it. I would be too upset if something happened to them and they were ruined. Gorgeous, but wait until the kids are older.

Christine said...

Nononononono. No way. I have pets too. Done white before, it didn't survive.

American in Bath said...

My rental came with a light blue sofa, at least I think it was light blue. This month alone I've spilled beer, cream cheese, and broccoli on it. Small children and light colored sofas would probably be a safer mix.

Mary Ann said...

When my kids were little I had a beige couch and never had any problems. Then we got a dig...still no problems. It really depends on the fabric I think.

lacarrico said...

Loved the garden party, we still have 3 inches of snow on the ground...
We have a pale sofa, with
1 husband, 2 sons, 2 dogs and 3 cats, I've really never had a problem...

michelle said...

I love the white and pale sofa colors and I so wish I could do it but I think I would drive myself crazy as well as my family! I would be washing that thing everyday! But that is just me, I really need to work on that too. :) I have heard both sides, some have no issues and some it just didn't work out. Wow I was really no help at all. :)

Rachel Noelle said...

Hi Sarah!!;) YES as long as they are slipcovered and you can oxy clean them!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!! Hugs~Rachel

French Farmhouse 425

Erin said...

My question is, how old are your kiddos and how well do they listen? My son turned four in December and I got my light-colored slipcover the month before. The sofa is off-limits to food, art supplies, and the like, and we've been fine since he's old enough to follow direction...within reason. Now, I have a friend who went to IKEA recently, bought a white slip-covered couch and her kids were squirting food coloring on it within an hour of setting it up. In my opinion, a light-colored slipcover works with children when boundaries are set and stain-causing items are removed from the general vicinity of the sofa. :)

Lisa said...

Slip covers would be a must. If you don't mind taking them on and off to wash. Another thought - Could you get a reasonal second hand sofa and have it slipcovered, for the children to use, in the same room, but enforce strict rules with the good white one. That way, the colors all match, and you don't have to worry as much about the good one. There must be a way you could make it work.

Cheers,
Lisa x

Stacey@A Sort Of Fairytale said...

seems to me that a slipcover is the best way to go for a pale sofa. i would think it would have to be white or off white, so stains or grime could be bleached out in the wash. i think i am going to purchase just this for our new home. i have a 7 month old, so we'll see if it becomes big trouble ;)

Theresa said...

Hi Sarah,
i have a white slipcover and I love it. I live with 3 boys, a dog and a husband, they do get it dirty, bit I throw it right in the wash.
I would never have a light colored sofa without a slipcover though...
Have a great day!
Theresa

Holly said...

I dream of light colored sofas. My hubby HATES slipcovers...and I love them. We had ugly furniture - compromise furniture - I had it cut up and recovered - they did a crappy job...and I am getting ready to make my own now...and they are going to be light!

High Street Cottage said...

Oh Sarah, this is a great question. I have had a pale sofa for over 12 years now, it's spotless. I have no children, but have lots of nieces and nephews. When we have a lot of family over with kids, we have a slip we put over it, or even a large sheet, or cotton blanket. It's known by the entire family and I preface by saying, "no one be offended by this, but we'll all feel better if I cover the sofa" and no one is. Kids do spill from time to time so it's no biggie. I suggest slipcovered sofas. Maria from Dreamy Whites just did a great post on her vintage linens and mentioned this very subject and how she keeps her covers clean with a family. Hope you have a wonderful weekend, xoxo tami

Classic Style said...

YES it works, I have two sofas, and they are white :) But they are slipcovers ;)

Tina said...

Have done (slipcovered from IKEA), LOVED them, let hubby talk me into getting something else (ie: more 'manly' and made of leather) post last baby...kicked myself every day since we gave them away!! Throw the covers in the washing machine with a little bleach...PERFECT:) Just my opinion ;) Hope you are having a wonderful weekend ~ Tina x

le@thirdontheright said...

I say no - two wee lads, the MIC and the pup - says no - we have two old chesterfield leather lounges and they cope with everything - just all wipes off .... hugs le xox

Noas' Libellule said...

About to buy sand colour sofa covers from IKEA to replace the grey one we have ... Ok we don't have children, that helps, but plenty of friends who like red wine - and surely that counts!So pale all the way!

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Sarah, I say yes with slipcovers or keep another cover over it and pull it off when guests come over. I love my slipcovered sofa in my sunroom. My dog gets it somewhat dirty, but it is easy to pull off and wash and dry.

Ann said...

Oh no, I don't want to worry about maintaining its pale color...
But now that my son is ten,
I'm having a pale one in the living room.:)

Privet and Holly said...

Depends on the sofa!
I change our sage-green
chenille cozy slip out
for a more linen-y cream,
sage and tan stripe from
April to October. Our
sofa is BIG and cushy and
so are the four cushions, so
washing and changing the
cushion covers IS NOT
"easy peasy" in the slightest.
I generally wear work-out
gear 'cuz I work UP a sweat
fighting these cushions off
and on!!! And you need a
BIG washer to wash the covers...
And then you don't want to
dry them, but rather let
them air dry and then put
them back on the couch damp,
so they stretch. Which means
the sofa is off-limits for
a time. Okay, has my response
worn you down?? Believe me,
I LOVE the cream look, but
yowzer, unless you have a
small and simple sofa, it takes
work to wash and replace the
cushion covers : )!!
xx Suzanne

Michelle said...

Somedays, I wish I had a solid color sofa, it would be easier to change out pillows and what nots. But on the other hand, I so love my floral sofa :)

I think with little kids though, it might take all the fun out of "using" it, I'd be too worried about stains. Now they blend in, LOL.

Rachel VanHook said...

Thought about white slipcovers for our couch...(3 yr old and 5 month old at our house!) But I think I'd be washing it all the time. I'm thinking of a stone colored fabric now. Still the nice solid neutral look and on the lighter side but maybe it would be a little more "forgiving" than the pure white....

Anonymous said...

Why not? But keep it covered with colourful throws when the youngsters are about, then in the evening, when you are feeling sophisticated and glamorous, whip off the throws and enjoy!
Pam

Luciane at HomeBunch.com said...

Hey, sweetie!!

Thank you so much for your comment! Your comments always makes me smile and laugh! I love your personality... you're a special girl.

I hope you're enjoying your weekend!


xo


Luciane at HomeBunch.com

Post of the Day: JENNIFER ANISTON'S HOUSE FOR SALE!

Luciane at HomeBunch.com said...

Hey, sweetie!!

Thank you so much for your comment! Your comments always makes me smile and laugh! I love your personality... you're a special girl.

I hope you're enjoying your weekend!


xo


Luciane at HomeBunch.com

Post of the Day: JENNIFER ANISTON'S HOUSE FOR SALE!

Valerie@chateaualamode.typepad.com said...

Hi Sarah, as much as I absolutely love and adore Rachel Ashwell and her shabby chicness I could never bring myself to do the white couch thing. Believe me I would love to have them...I just think so not practical. Rachel says just pop them in the washer, but I swear not everything comes out in the wash. That's my two cents. Just to let you know I'm "liking" you on Facebook. Have a great Valentine's Day!

Valerie@chateaualamode.typepad.com said...

Hi Sarah, as much as I absolutely love and adore Rachel Ashwell and her shabby chicness I could never bring myself to do the white couch thing. Believe me I would love to have them...I just think so not practical. Rachel says just pop them in the washer, but I swear not everything comes out in the wash. That's my two cents. Just to let you know I'm "liking" you on Facebook. Have a great Valentine's Day!

Valerie@chateaualamode.typepad.com said...

Okay, that's totally embarrassing that I'm on there twice...so sorry!

LindyLouMac said...

Although I have pale sofa covers now it is something I would never have contemplated when my children were young!

Melissa said...

oooh sarah- i am so sorry i missed your gorgeous garden party!!!

next time i'll be there...

i say a huge YES to pale sofas with kiddos as long as they are slip covers you can get off and wash wash wash or bleach!!

the house feels like yours and the children can still relax....

that is a gorgeous sofa!!

melissa x

Daydream Living said...

Hi Sarah,
Thank you so much for joining my blog, it's always nice to meet new people! Like your blog, will come back to read some more, and yes, we too have a white sofa, washing is the only solution, 2 kids and we also have two white leather sofa's, much easier to clean.
Take care,
Maureen x

bicocacolors said...

I loooooooove the pale sofas,
but only if they are washable!

life and the little things... said...

I would like to have two houses. One that is all whites and neutrals and is a child free zone and then one that is purely child friendly - not a white sofa in sight! A girl can dream...
Alison xx

Kathy said...

I agree - Slip covered! Keeps you lighthearted about spills etc.. and if you truly love the light colored couches then it meets that desire!
Kathy

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

I don't think I could do it. I have a plaid couch (which seemed like a good idea 10 years ago, but I don't like it so much now). The plaid tends to hide spills, stray crayon marks, drool, etc. I fear a white couch.

Philigry said...

I know I am late to the party, but I say yes, yes, yes! I have three kids, and a dog with two white sofas. They are covered in white denim. Yes they get dirty, but they look new everytime they come out of the wash!

Glenda Glasrud said...

Nononononono. No way. I have pets too. Done white before, it didn't survive.

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