Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Easy, Breezy Cottage White Slipcovers & Painted Furniture

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. 
 IMG_2715 (C&E)
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.

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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. 
IMG_2709 (C&E)
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. 
IMG_2710 (C&E)
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?!
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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.


Stop by to see Kathleen @ Faded Charm and the links for all the other bloggers who are sharing anything and everything  white today for “White Wednesday #12.”




Pauline said...

WOW!!! Your home is beautiful. Thank you for sharing this post...I confess to thinking that white would be too cold. However, after seeing your home and all the good points of white, I believe now that this is probably the way to go :o)

Have a blessed day!

Nancy @ Live love laugh said...

I love all of your white, especially the slipcovers! Did your sofa come covered or did you have them made? I have a high (wing) back sofa, and wish I could find a slipcover for it! None of the slips I have seen will work!The fabric on yours is so pretty.

Sandra said...

Very pretty! I love it! It has a femininity look that I would love to have in my house. :)

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Oh Girl I love it...its so clean looking..May you have a great day my friend...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh I love the look of your white slipcovers and your white furniture. It all looks so fresh and what a treat to be able to use any color you want at the moment for decorating. I love it. Hugs, Marty

Nice and Easy Antiques said...

You are 100% correct!...make it 200...Our kids grew up in a all white, sofas, etc and it has been the easiest way to keep it always looking fresh, clean and pretty. No worries about water marks...or scratches! White makes any house easy to live in!!

Cindy said...

Your whites are all gorgeous! Thanks to you I am slowly going white, too. I am going to order white slipcovers for my living room chairs very shortly here. Where did you get your slipcover for your couch? Would you recommend Sure Fit slipcovers? Thanks for all your help. Hugs, Cindy S.

Lady Pamela said...

Very well written. I love the black birdcage in your living room. Great place for a plant.

June said...

Your home is beautiful and I love the white. Your sofas are so pretty and all your pillows. I love my white and pastel slipcovers. I know that I couldn't live without slipcovers. I like to change things up too much.

Rhondi said...

Hi Shari
I have a white matelasse slipcover on our sofa in the living room. I wish I had it when our kids were young. I just throw it in the washer and dryer and bleach it if necessary. I love it!
Rhondi said...

I just loved this post. Beautiful room. I am so close to wanting to redo.

come visit

Lisa said...

so in love with your slip covers! Thanks for all the info!
Hugs, Lisa

Anonymous said...

Hi Shari! Oh, I love your beautiful whites and those slipcovers look wonderful! It's hard to imagine you have all of those animals running around in your beautiful home! :)
Thank you for popping in to share in my joyness!
Be a sweetness,
Shelia ;)

janet said...

Shari, i have seen your room before but thats okay because i can never get enough of this beautiful room. We bought our tv stand at a yard sale and painted it a cream color and i couldn't agree more, you don't see the dust and such, its my favorite peice.
thanks for sharing, love love love this room.

Faded Charm said...

Beautiful slipcovers. I've been wanting some for a couple chairs I got from Craigslist. These would look great on them. Thanks for sharing.


kathi said...

I love your white rooms and furniture! You are inspiring me to get back to painting some of my old furniture!
Lately, I've been really distracted with my miniature making!

Mary said...

Just gorgeous, Shari! I love the green you choose for painting your living's perfect with your rug and white the coffee table, too...everything looks wonderful together! My family room sofa is slipcovered - it is absolutely wonderful to be able to take it off, have it cleaned or wash it, and put it back on, all fresh and like new! That is the only way to go...and Calico Corners does excellent work. Your home looks very warm and inviting...I just might have to come visit!


Cami @ Creating Myself said...

Couldn't agree about white slipcovers & painted furniture more .... & I have 2 dogs & 5 grands (who are here on a weekly basis).

At our last family get-together, my sister gasped "OMG... wait until you see what Coleson did!" I check it out & he has (he's 2)colored on my sofa w/ a marker. I just shrugged my shoulders & said "No biggie!"

I don't allow anything but washable markers in the house & almost all my furniture is slipcovered so it really was no biggie.

My sons' girlfriends complains to me about them never using coasters. I tell them that they have to blame me for that. Our furniture was always painted so they never got into the habit.

Donna Lynn said...

Beautiful post, and I love your white slip covers, I have heard from other gals that they are so easy to throw in the wash, you have confirmed that! Thanks for sharing your lovely home with me.

Karin said...

Hi Shari ~ I just discovered your beautiful blog via Cindy's Romantic Home blog. I have enjoyed every bit of what I've seen and read so far and am looking forward to checking out your older posts as time permits. I am an animal lover as well and have had loyal German Shepherds in the past. Jasmin, Bo and Finnigan (love the name!) are beautiful.

Take Care,

Karin said...

P.S. Kitty is gorgeous too!

nikkicrumpet said...

I adore the all white is so beautiful and fresh! It makes me want to redecorate something!

Rebecca @ Belle Blog said...

your living room is so pretty. I love it.
♥ Rebecca

Anonymous said...

Nice blog…. It isn't easy to choosing that perfect Living Room Furniture. It needs to be ergonomically viable and superior when it comes to comfort.

The Chubby Dove said...

You're blog is so pretty!

I have a husband, two boys, a white couch and two white chairs. Love them all!

Unknown said...

Sheri I somehow found this site and I am so glad I did. I was reading your blog about your home and your list of things you like. I always though my style was traditional but it's only in the last 3 years I found that cottage is the one I like and keep looking at in magazines. Your list of this you like are so much like mine. I have been struggling to redo my couches that are 26 years old. I started to slipcover them but they are black and brown dark print and upholstery guy said the white will show the old fabric. So I guess I will have to go with reupholstery. He said the parts that get dirty are seat covers arm covers and back and since mine have 3 bottom cusions and 3 back I guess that might work to wash them. I would like to find reasonable price on Matelasse as I think it has more texture than just twill or denim which seems so plain to me. Hope I can find some fabric that will work.

I also love your fabric on the rocker, is that available to purchase somewhere.

Shari @ My Cottage of Bliss said...

Bonnie, I wish you had an email address linked to your comment so I could email you directly. I can only hope you will return to check the comments here becase I have some info you might find helpful.

First, you might be surprised to learn the "fabric" on the rocking chair seat is just a pillow case I slipped over an old green chair cushion I had. It isn't even secured in any way...just wrapped and tucked! I did wrap the cushion with a plain white pillow case first so the green wouldn't show through the delicately printed pillow case.

When I was looking for someone to make slipcovers for me, I did not find any upholsterers in my area that make slipcovers. I was told upholsterers don't sew...they staple, tack and glue so your upholsterer might be trying to sway you away from slipcovers to get your upholstery business. Just something to think about...

Now that I have both matelasse and brushed twill slipcovered sofas, I find I like the matelasse MUCH better than the brushed twill. It almost seems like the texture of the matelasse hides the dirt a little better. It also looks more crisp with less wrinkles, which my inner neat freak likes! ;)

Some matelasse fabrics are fairly heavyweight so you might not have a problem with color/print showing through. Before you reupholster your couches, you might consider buying a small piece of matelasse to throw over your couches to "test" whether the fabric on the couches will show through. (You could always use the fabric later for a pillow or another project.} Or you could take one of your cushions to the fabric store and try it in the store without spending a penny. If you do, indeed, see the current fabric color or pattern through the matelasse, I'm sure there must be a solution. Perhaps your couches could be wrapped in an inexpensive material first (like I did with the rocking chair cushion). It would add to your expense of having slipcovers made, of course, but if you have well-built couches (which they must be if they have lasted 26 years--mine are 30+ years old), it would be worth the investment.

Bonnie, the bottom line is you need to be happy because you are going to be looking at your couches every day. If you truly want white slipcovers, I would not settle for going the upholstery route.

Good luck! I hope you will keep me posted on what you end up doing.