When people hear or see that I have white slipcovers on my sofa and loveseat, and most of my furniture is painted white, they always say, “Oh, I love white but I could never have it in my house because…
and then they usually mention kids, pets, a messy husband…
or some combination thereof.
Admittedly, I don’t have any small children (and no grandchildren yet) but we do have 2 big German Shepherds that live in the house and don’t get baths nearly as often as they should. We also have an indoor cat.
In my humble opinion, I think white slipcovers and white, painted furniture are absolutely the most family and pet-friendly furniture you can have. And although my husband was initially panicked at the idea of all the white, I think he would also totally agree with me now.
Being able to wash slipcovers is the wonderful advantage of having slipcovers instead of upholstered furniture. Every three or four months, I simply pull the slipcovers off and throw them in the washing machine with a little bleach. They come out looking and smelling so fresh and clean.
In addition, almost all spot/stain removers are safe to use on white since you don’t have to worry about color-fastness. You certainly can’t use bleach or just any stain remover on colored slipcovers or upholstery.
If someone sets a glass on my white painted furniture, I don’t panic like I would if I had wood furniture. In fact, I actually encourage guests not to worry about using a coaster if there isn’t one handy. Condensation from glasses doesn’t leave a mark like it would on wood. A coffee or tea ring wipes right up with a damp cloth.
We don’t hesitate to prop our feet up on the coffee table and I don’t mind one bit if family or friends do either, if they wish! If my painted furniture gets a little nick, chip or scratch in the paint, I simply get out the can of paint and a little paint brush and touch it up. Of course, if you don’t mind the distressed, worn look, nicks and chips just add more character and charm to a piece.
One other important advantage of white painted furniture…
it doesn’t show the dust as readily as dark wood or even black painted furniture!
Gotta love that, right?!
So, if you have always wanted white furniture but were very, very afraid because of kids, pets or a messy husband, I highly recommend easy, breezy white slipcovers and/or white painted furniture.
Edited to add: I have had a couple e-mails and comments asking for more info on my slipcovers. When I first decided I wanted white slipcovers, I initially bought ready-made slipcovers from SureFit. Although they were a very nice quality, they didn’t fit the style of my sofa and loveseat to my satisfaction (too much excess fabric for the skinny arms on my furniture) so I knew right then my inner “neat freak” would not be happy with anything less than a custom made fit. Since I don’t sew, and didn’t know a seamstress, I had the local Calico Corners store make these slipcovers.
The fabric is a matelasse. Calico Corners recommended it be dry cleaned but as I mentioned, it washes beautifully. I've had several matelasse coverlet/quilts for the bed and I know it does have a tendency to shrink so when the Calico Corners seamstress came to my house to cut and fit the pieces, I told her I wanted to be able to throw the slipcovers in the washer. She gave me 2 identical-sized pieces of the fabric to test for shrinkage. I washed and dried one piece and then compared it to the second piece. There was little to no shrinkage in the piece I washed but to be on the safe side, the seamstress cut the slipcovers just a little bigger anyway to allow for any possible shrinkage in the first washing.