Since the boys were born we’ve had quite a few friends and family remark that we’re brave to have white sofas in our home.
I’m not sure if it’s brave or foolhardy but I’ve always loved pale coloured sofas. They work well with most decorating schemes and can be so easily styled to tie in with our home, particularly if I get bored of the colour-scheme and fancy a change.
We’ve always gone for loose covers though rather than the fully fitted, upholstered versions as (even though I absolutely love them because they look so smart ) not being able to shove the outer covers in the washing machine — when they’re a bit grubby — would drive me mad so we’ve always avoided them.
In any case, I’ve always been quite good at looking after things and my boys are also learning — from an early age — to take care of their surroundings too.
Sitting room furniture is generally a big investment and you don’t want to have to keep replacing it every couple of years. I say ‘generally’ as, actually, the sofas in our conservatory cost less than a tenner — for the pair — from a well known auction site.
Yep. £9.99 for two perfectly good, Sofa Workshop, sofas.
I kid you not.
I’ve always been a fan of bagging a bargain. Why pay full price when there’s a deal to be had?
I’m a bonafide, card carrying bargain hunter; Ebay-queen and charity shop scavenger. Although these days there are less true bargains to be had as a lot of things are listed as ‘vintage’ which automatically bumps the price up.
But it’s so worth it.
OK, our sofas may not be everyone’s cuppa — they may not be iconic, design-led pieces, maybe even a bit dated — but they work.
Plus they saved us around £1000 so that’s definitely a reason for us to love them!
For the last few years, our sitting room has been styled with chartreuse, yellow and a turquoise-teal shade. My £9.99 sofas are covered in a variety of patterned and plain cushions and it’s so easy to alter the look and feel of the room simply by changing the covers and the rug.
These sofas have seen a lot of life since we’ve had them.
They’re not the largest sofas in the world — just 2 seaters — but they’re home to play, reading, telly watching, relaxing, wrestling, tickling, cuddling and sleeping.
They have cats and kids climbing on them.
They’ve been boats, rockets and all manner of other make-believe vehicles.
And to be honest, they’re perfect for the way we live now.
There’s a train of thought that suggests it’s tantamount to madness to have pale coloured sofas if you have kids but I don’t agree.
We have another — larger — sofa in the snug but that’s cream too. I think if you’re a bit mindful of your surroundings — and teach your littles to be too — there’s no reason why kids and white sofas shouldn’t mix.
Here are my top tips for keeping white sofas looking nice.
1. Choose sofas with loose, rather than fixed, covers. They may not be quite as contemporary but they offer greater flexibility as they can be washed if necessary.
If we were replacing our sofas, whilst the boys are little, I’d definitely go for loose covers again. The ability to pop them in the washing machine when needed has been the key to them continuing to look good.
2. Minor marks and stains can often be easily removed with a damp cloth and a little bit of diluted washing up liquid. When we’ve had more ingrained stains, I’ve used Vanish before washing and that’s almost always done the trick. Even with red wine stains.
Yep. That *might* have been me (totally was).
3. Use blankets or throws to cover your sofa. This is a fab way of keeping them clean, especially if you’ve gone for fixed covers.
4. It may seem obvious but we don’t allow certain food, paints or crayons in the sitting room. The twins do have snacks on the sofa — raisins or biscuits and water in sippy cups — but no chocolate or sticky food or drinks. We’ve got a kitchen table for that.
Having this simple rule means that the sofas have managed to stay looking good and our children are learning to take care of their surroundings too :)
Sofas are a bit like beds in that they get a lot of use. Choose wisely though and your investment should last a good few years before you need to shell out any more of your hard earned cash.
Even if it is just £9.99.
Thanks to Argos for asking us — and some other lovely bloggers — to share our tips for choosing and styling a sofa. You can pop along to see what everyone else had to say here.