Tuesday, 18 October 2011

White Slip Covers Gone



I'm throwing in the towel.  I can't stand it anymore. 

I have always, always, always loved white slip covered chairs and sofas.  I just love them.  I don't ever get tired of them.  I can change the look of them by throwing a new cushion on them.  They can be placed in any room in the house because they go with everything.  They are perfect in every way except for 1 major problem.  

White Slip Covered Chairs + 18 Month Old Baby + Big Golden Retriever = DISASTER

On the weekend the filth and grime of my white slip covered armchairs in our lounge room got to the point where I couldn't stand it any longer.  I ripped off the covers and threw them into a big tub of cold water with lots of Nappy San.  After a day or so of soaking I removed them and lay them out onto some towels on a big table and let them dry.

Tonight I put the covers back onto the chairs whilst they were still damp so that they would fit back on perfectly.  I was so relieved to see them on the chairs looking all white, fresh and pristine.

I walked away from the chairs for approximately 3 minutes.  I walked back into the lounge room and there it was.  Smack bang in the middle of the seat of one of the freshly washed chair covers was a big dirty 18 month old hand print of biscuit smudged right into the fabric.  I couldn't believe my eyes.

I ripped the covers off the chairs and I have vowed and declared - THAT'S IT.  No more white slip covered furniture.

Tomorrow I am going to work and I am going to select a fabulous patterned fabric to cover the chairs in which will disguise the dirt and grime. 

Good-bye pretty, simple, elegant, interchangeable, timeless slip covers.  I promise you I'll pull you out again someday when it's safe!!

xx
Anna

34 comments:

Haus and Home said...

You could have some washable throws for the seat area with a back-up for when the others are being washed.

j u s t i m a g i n e said...

Oh dear ..... I have a 12 and 13 yr old ... My chair used to be white too..... Don't hold your breath xxx

Luciane at HomeBunch.com said...

Finally!!!! Someone said the truth!!! :-)

I agree 100%!!! I wanted to have it all perfect around my house, but I simply cannot w/ 2 kids and a baby to be born in only 6 weeks. It's not realistic! Unless you have tons of money and many extra slip covers and extra help w/ laundry! Right?

I'm with you. And we can dream of having them again after the kids understand better... or so we think! ;-)


Have a Beautiful and Bright Day, Anna!

xo

Luciane at HomeBunch.com

kerry said...

I've been there!!! Now I'm thinking "Sunbrella" fabric all through the house! :)
Kerry

Janette - The2Seasons said...

I've been wondering how all of those pristine white covers that I see in tons of photos work in real life. Thanks for letting me know the truth.

pve design said...

Can you save the smudged one for posterity?
Like the door with the marks of little hands and paws...it becomes priceless and full of memories.
Show us what you select! I know it will be absolutely beautiful!
pve

FairyFiligree said...

I fully understand. Someday is probably going to be on the never never, but not harm done in dreaming. YOu can always tell folks all about the good old days!

Brown Paper & String said...

Anna, this post made me laugh so much! I have a 3 year old boy and all my fav interiors have had to go. I am even considering wipe clean couches, having just forked out £90 to have mine cleaned!
Jo xxx

brlracincwgrl said...

I love white! Unfortunately, I'm unable to have it in my house as it would be wrecked in 2 seconds flat! I'm still on the search for that perfect neutral color!

Julie Taylor and Danni Greenwalt said...

I can feel your pain! White with kids and dogs just dose not work.

Anne-Marie @ 10 Rooms said...

Ha! I've got one white sofa left, and only because it's in a room where dogs and food aren't allowed :) even then, the maintenance gets me sometimes...I've been considering black velvet...

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

Yup, I know! But take comfort in the fact that you will be able to use them again ..... in 18 years or so!

Jess said...

Ack...story of my LIFE! I love white. I settled for a creamy sofa. It only hides stains marginally better than white would. I am trying to go for more kid and dog friendly colours, but darn it, I just don't like anything as much as whites and pastels!

Thanks for the endless inspiration Anna.

Deserae said...

You are not alone....I threw in the towel and got rid of mine six months ago. I woke up one morning and decided I was sick of the upkeep. I do miss them but the new oatmeal color is sooooo much easier to take care of and keep clean. I do miss them and have a tinge of sadness when I see divine white rooms though :o)
~Des

Kat G said...

I solved my similar coffee dripping/two dogs/husband/baby on white slipcovers problem with white sheets.

Seriously. You just tuck them in inconspicuously around the slipcover. I do the seats and one arm of a chair gets a pillowcase that my old dog rests her face on. Also it turns out my sofa back cushions and seat cushions are exactly the size of a full-size fitted sheet.

I bought a ton of them at Ikea for peanuts and they are so easy to wash. Then I only have to wash my slipcovers about every other month to get the grey ambient dirt out.

It saved my furniture and I can keep my fresh decor that I ALSO love.

A-M said...

You should know that it doesn't all stop after the toddler years either. I have 2 sets of permanently filthy soccer feet always smeared on my white sofa. I have thrown overwashed white throws over mine so that no contact is generally made with the sofa. They get washed when they start looking grey-ish! Boys! A-M xx

Talia said...

Oh, how well I remember those days! I had (note past tense) beautiful white furniture until I had children. I was oh, so snobby believing MY children would never dirty the furniture. Eating crow is distasteful! :) Like you, I threw in the towel and bought a lovely patterned FAMILY friendly couch. Ahh....someday white will resurface in my house!

xx D said...

Thank goodness for that!! I too love the look of white but gave in many many years ago. Three boys, four dogs and one husband means nothing white ever ever again..and in all honestly I was wondering what your secret was..lol

Valorie Hart - The Visual Vamp said...

OMG you made me laugh! I did the same thing! But instead of swapping the very-hard-to-get-off-launder-and wrestle-back-on slipcovers, that always got dirty 3 minutes later, for print fabric, I re-upped my furniture in a soft faux white leather that I have had looking fresh for four years!
White slip covers - love them, but they lie!
xo xo

Vic Bibby said...

Oh how I relate... as the Mum of 3 small girls, a big golden retriever, and two cats who like to sharpen their claws on my new sofa - eek! But I'm sure your fabulously patterned fabric will look gorgeous. xxx

Natasha in Oz said...

I will always be grateful to you for suggesting that I don't get grey and white ticking for my kitchen bar stools Anna! The pink fabric you chose still looks great and washes beautifully.

Have fun choosing the new fabrics!

Take care and best wishes,
Natasha.

Shell Sherree said...

I love white slipcovers too, Anna ~ but I can really understand the uphill battle with sweet kid/pawprints in abundant supply! Even my one black kitty cat is challenge enough...

Ann said...

I am SO happy to hear that a woman of style and good taste has the same problem I do with white covers! My one white chair is washed regularly and on wash day is back to grimy in hours. In every mag I read someone says smugly how wonderfully practical white slip covers are... Now I know they don't have boys or dogs!

Cote de Texas said...

oh anna! rethink!!!!!!!
that handprint will still be there, dirty and grimy, but you won't be able to clean it.

here's what i do - i have a wonderful, large, old throw - a rug really that i put on my sofa. it's much easier to wash that than the slips.

Millie said...

Ours have weathered the 5 sons & all their mates, a Tradie husband, red wine, Betadine liquid (don't ask!!), chocolate pudding etc over the past 16 years. However all that's minor compared to the arrival of our new puppy Lulu. I'm with you Anna, the slipcovers are going to the upholsterer's as a template for something Puppy proof! Good luck sweetie.
Millie xx

Hillbilly Mama said...

Oh no don't tell me this! I'm getting ready to cover my sofa in white with 15 month old son in tow!!! ......guess I better invest in some more laundry detergent....:)

Mela Fitzgibbon said...

may I suggest army camouflage for the next 20 or so years...xx

Anna (A Newfound Treasure) said...

I know!! I wish I could have all while couches and chairs but it's a disaster with children. One day we will have our perfect and clean homes back. For now, I embrace the fact that they are well lived in. :)

Anna
http://www.anewfoundtreasure.com

Pat said...

Finally, honesty. Prints hide a multitude of sins. And while we're on the subject....seagrass/ jute/ hemp rugs. I can't see them in my house either. No matter what I say the soccer boots come in, along with mud molds of the cleats that are then ground into the rugs. Luckily I go for old orientals, picked up at estate sales and bare wood I can sweep up.

Verandah House said...

I often think if only we could scrub them all at the door with bleach, eat outside, a fantastic device that washes feet before entering and teenages who love fake tan are banned from the house, okay that would not be normal and not really a home but it would be kinda nice for awhile :))

Cooper and Millie said...

Ahh Yes I hear you!.. My pallete of white furniture & splashes of colour worked amazingly until.... My son arrived. I have a 2 yr old that is turning my house upside down!.. God give us all strength.. that is all.. lol... x Marns.

chanteusevca said...

Cannot believe I tuned into your blog today when I'm sitting here thinking I should pull the slipcovers off once again this month and launder them. I don't even have an 18 month old or a puppy. I do have nine grandchildren, but even they aren't the problem. It's my dear, sweet mostly neat hubby. It's his dark blue jeans and the small bits of dropped dark chocolate he likes to eat every evening. And I suppose there is a little bit of strawberry juice from one of the grandsons. But that's my fault. I knew the issues with white slips before I opted for them. And I love it when they are pristine. But it just never lasts, not even in our house. I was swayed by their beauty and the fact that you can take them off and wash them clean again. I just didn't realize that I would be washing them so often. We've only had them a little over a yeear and I've probably washed them at least once or twice a month! So I am with you too. I've already picked out the fabric for our next pair of slipcovers. Maybe I'll save the white ones for summertime when we are outside more.

mollie's mom said...

I agree with you - I love love love my white slipcovered furniture. I have teenagers and 2 golden retreivers!! I feel your pain but I'm not giving up yet. Mt friend actually had a seat and back cover made out of the same fabric as her white slip. It fits over the back and tucks under the seat. Before she has company she pulls it off and her cushions are pristine. My dogs lay against the back of my slips because they have pleated skirts that reach the floor - to hide the giant tumbleweeds of dog hair :( - but next time I might try shorter slips with legs exposed and the cushion covers. Your blog is fabulous. It's a treat to visit and look at all the beautiful rooms. Marcie@madebymolliesmom.blogspot.com

Gen said...

Oh Anna, I feel your pain! I moved house when my kids were 3 and 1 and our modular sofa was dismantled in the process. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw what was between the two pieces of sofa. Think a menagerie of biscuit crumbs and goodness knows what else. New house, new rules. It was declared, no more eating near the furniture. It's either the kitchen bench, the table or outside. 3 years on and it works. Maybe you can have those slip covers back sooner than you think!