Posts Tagged ‘ask kate’

The Slipcover Report

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

It’s been a week of lethargy around here and the start of summer is totally to blame. We’ve spent most of the mornings just lying around and then sometimes we find the energy to do something fun but I admit it’s been nice being extra lazy the past two weeks. 

Ever since the house tour I’ve had a few questions, namely about the furniture in our home and especially in the family and dining rooms with other inquiries like how we live the way we do with kids and pets and my answer comes down to one word or choice that I’m sure several of you endorse and that word is this: slipcovers.

Slipcovered furniture is a mom’s BFF and I’m a true believer. What’s better than a washable piece of furniture when those oops and spills and mistakes of life occur? Slipcovers buy me piece of mind because I know (like last week) when applesauce gets spilled on them, they can go straight to the wash. I prefer the tailored fitted versions, the ones that mimic upholstered pieces but have the benefit of easy removal when “oh no mom I spilled on the couch” moments happen.

Our family room sofas and dining room chairs are our most used pieces and as a result, limbs and hands and paws are on them constantly so naturally they’re bound to get soiled. So here’s the slipcover report after all these years of living with them with kids and pets and life’s circumstances and the lowdown on my two favorite pieces of slipcovered furniture.

First the family room sofas. I bought these sofas five years ago – they are the Pottery Barn Basic sofa and loveseat and worth the investment. They were manufactured by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams (in partnership with Pottery Barn according to the label) and still are as comfortable as the month they were delivered.

pottery barn basic sofas centsational girl

This color of slipcover is (sadly) no longer available, they are the “Slate Blue” brushed canvas fabric, and as you know I’m a sucker for anything in the blue gray family so the choice was easy. The cushions are polyester which are more firm and hold the shape a bit better than down blend as I understand (but tell me your experience if you have the down blend versions). They’re not in direct sun, so I have no idea how the fabric color holds up those circumstances, but ours has been consistent through the multiple washings. 

I’ve washed these slipcovers more times than I can count and they still keep their shape, but a few tips: don’t wash all the cushion slipcovers together if you have both a loveseat and sofa, I’ve confused them before when they come out and struggled with which belongs with which. It’s better to wash the loveseat cushions and loveseat cover together, then just the sofa cushion covers, then just the sofa cover, in three separate washes. That’s my routine anyway. Also dry them on a low heat cycle and pull them out when ever so slightly damp so you can smooth any wrinkles away.

Also, the sofa is the foldout version, which we love for family movie night or kid sleepovers when we move the loveseat back a foot and move the coffee table out of the way and they all pile on top in front of a movie with blankets and pillows and popcorn.

In the dining room are the Ballard Designs Couture Chairs that I bought seven years ago and still going strong. I have three of the pleated slipcover sets for them, a dark brown velvet which is yummy in the fall, a cream velvet which I love in the winter, and then a spa linen (seen below) in a pale gray blue which I use in the spring and summer and complements the family rooms sofas nicely.

dining room centsational girl

The regular price on the pleated slipcovers is $49 but I wait for the $39 each sale or use a 15% off coupon (find it in House Beautiful or other publications). I like that the flirty pleat adds a feminine touch and that the chair legs are visible. They’ve gone through multiple washings as well and have held their color and shape for years.

So there you have it, the secret to sanity in my house: tailored slipcovers. Fitted and washable, I couldn’t ask for more!

 

..

Decorating Around a Leather Sofa

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

Hey everyone, it’s the start of a new week! Let’s kick it off with a recent reader submission, an email from Kristin who posed a design dilemma many people (*ahem* ladies) face when decorating their living or family rooms, and today’s focus is on that piece that so many dudes love, the leather sofa or sectional. I received this recent email from Kristin:

“Hello! I have been following your blog for years and I share a lot of the same styles but have a dilemma. My husband and I have a decent size house but one living room with a leather furniture set. I love the airy and clean looks of your decorating style, but the leather furniture purchased by my husband is big, dark, and manly.  We don’t have many windows and the walls are a light beige (Latte by SW) and I decorate with a lot of whites, blacks and beiges but I just feel STUCK! Any suggestions for making the room feel more light and feminine?”

Hi Kristin! This is a common dilemma, since many people own leather sofas and sectionals, and pieces upholstered in a traditional dark hide can feel visually heavy in a space. But I think it’s less about making a room feel more feminine and more about creating a room that is balanced with clever layering and accessorizing since (done right) leather sofas can be both attractive and comfortable. Here are five ideas I came up with to decorate around leather sofas.

1.)  Lighten Up.  A traditional leather sofa is dark by nature so the easiest way to balance that out is to accent and/or surround it with plenty of light for desirable contrast. A paler hue on the walls, soft cream or white accent pillows, and/or a light or white coffee table will accomplish just that!

leather sofa painted hive

The Painted Hive

essex leather west elm

West Elm via Apartment Therapy

leather chesterfield white walls

source unknown

leather sofa colorful rugs sfgirlbybay

SF Girl by Bay

   

Read the rest of this entry »

Pin It