sofa policies + why I’ll never go white again.

Happy Monday, wonderful people! We hope this post finds you rested and refreshed! Lately I’ve been getting quite a few q’s about our chesterfield, so just like our fridge questions, I thought I’d share here!

1. Jennifer wrote: How was it going from what you had (a slipcovered sofa) to this? Do you notice a difference? How does it compare?

2. Anna Wrote: I’m just curious, with your light couch, how does it all pan out? Do you allow your kids to eat on that gorgeous couch?

3. Esther wrote: I have to know how that fabric is holding up on your chesterfield? I also have 3 little children. They don’t eat in the room I would put it, but the adults occasionally drip a little coffee ;( Would that fabric disappoint when it came to cleaning up a few drips?

I realize that you could probably rename our entire website The Sofa Diaries. We can call one Damon, and the other Stephan and I’ll be Elena. And I’ll be all, Dear Diary. It’s all about me, I have obnoxiously straight hair, and I love this sofa, more. {And pretend Damon is real. What?} Okay. Digression.

But our sofa life was one big drama from when we changed our entire living room over (Check out those cabinets)…

To the drama that was my tragic (at the time) loss…

To that moment when angels sang a heavenly chorus and I first laid eyes on the sofa of my dreams. So now that you’re up to speed on our extended sofa history, and we actually tied the knot on the commitment side of wedded sofa bliss, beautiful idealisms aside, let’s talk sofa facts.

We live on this sofa. Really live on it.

We don’t like, roll around in Cheetos and Brownie mix with red wine and ketchup or anything, but we do live on it.

We’ve run the gamut in sofa ownership. And while we’re at it, home rules and policies. From one extreme: dark bachelor’s pad (read: overwhelming leather monstrocities and anything goes in the food department) to stark white (in our slipcover world with zero food beyond the kitchen) boundaries.

So I consider our new and improved chesterfield, though light, a nice middle-of-the-road approach to our previous experiences.

Hindsight is always fifty fifty, but I wasn’t ready for the white slipcover. I was miserable. Our slipcovered sofa, even though “washable” was in retrospect, a horrible choice for us. I can’t say I wasn’t warned. I guess I thought it was doable.

Once upon a time, when we were in survival mode with three under four (and two leather sofas) we were all about pitching food at our kiddos heads and turning on the television so we could retreat and catch an extra thirty minutes after a sleepless night. Now that things are more manageable, and we saw the havoc that wreaked (even on leather) (and after the addition of two more kids, realized three was a bit much to manage on the food front) we have a new policy.

No food in the living room. Before you judge a sofa by it’s fabric, I’m just going to say that as a basic rule for me, I don’t think it’s wise, to eat on something that’s so nice. I believe that you should definitely live in your home and enjoy it, and sometimes we (Jamin and I, with death threats from yours truly, cheat) but aside from fun little impromptu picnics on the floor with the kids, we have a no food policy in our living room.

What I noticed with our slipcovered sofa, was that I let it determine things for me a bit much. I actually lived in fear that I would stain that white sofa. I think I was (and in retrospect, rightfully so) fearful to take it off and wash it for the first time. Every time children came to our house, I felt like a total food nazi, making sure everyone kept stuff in the kitchen, and washed their hands afterwards. It’s funny how your own kids know the rules, but when friends are over, rationale is out the window. They’re all, let’s smash pizza on the walls and jump on our parents’ bed with muddy boots and open sodas! I realized I was kind of letting every little spot we gradually collected over time, rule my life with frustration.

Fast forward to chesterfield blissdom: We had this sofa scotch guarded as an extra precaution. And let me just tell you, it’s amazing. I won’t lie. I love to wake up in the mornings and sit with my kids while I slowly sip my coffee. We’ve had a few small drippage kind of spills. And liquid actually repels at first, so you have time to get to it, before it absorbs into the fabric. I’ve even found a few spots (it’s just inevitable with kids) but they come right up. The thing is, because of the texture of this fabric, even though it’s light, you can’t really see every little fault like you could on white. And it’s not that we’re neater. We’ve probably gotten sloppier because I can actually relax for the first time in months. It’s kind of like having blonde hair, and not really having to worry about those grays slowly seeping in. (I haven’t noticed one, yet, and I may cry when I do.) ;}

This sofa, compared to my last, is an absolute dream. Maybe ask me again in six more months after another flu season has passed, and we can check a few more explosions and traumatizing life events off our list. Gross, but true in the land of parenthood. Something tells me I’ll still be happy.

I simply adore this sofa. When people see it in person, they tell me they like it even more. It’s the best thing since sliced bread with tufted goodness, and even sleep-able. While I’m (obviously) a huge fan of thrifting and saving and DIY, when it comes down to it, there are some things that are absolutely worth investing in. And Waiting for. For us, a nice, sturdy, lovely sofa, is one of them.

I rushed into the (practical, at the time) slipcover, wasted our money (though I thought I was saving) and immediately regretted it. I realize thousands of people own slipcovered sofas and it’s great for them. It just wasn’t for us. I spent the entire time obsessing over spot cleaning and prevention. I was working for that sofa.

This chesterfield has been an absolute game changer. It works for us. 

I hope that answers a few of your questions, friends. If you wish to read more about the details like length availability, fabric types, etc. be sure to check out Andella’s Chesterfield section, here!

Tis the season for sofa shopping…Don’t forget: Andella is offering a 10% off coupon for our readers! Just enter the code HANDMADE at checkout. If you’ve been eyeing their fabulous eye candy, now’s the time, until October 15th. As always, Andella offers free (!!!!) shipping in the continental US.

I guess it’s kind of like shoes on in the house or shoes off…what’s your sofa-and-food policy? I’d love to hear! And if you have any more q’s about the chesterfield, be sure to ask them here. I’ll do my best to answer them!

Have an inspired day, y’all!


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55 Responses to sofa policies + why I’ll never go white again.

  1. Kelsey says:

    Great post :)

    I’m no mom yet, but as someone who grew up with a “no food anywhere in the house except in the kitchen” rule, I have to agree with it! And the “shoes off in the house” rule is definitely something I’ll be passing down to my future family.

  2. It seriously is a gorgeous sofa. I’m glad it works for you guys too.. living in fear of a dirt smudge is way too stressful!!

  3. Erin says:

    Growing up it was always the rule that there was no food in the living room, but it was never an issue because the kitchen (with a peninsula and stools) and dining room were directly open to the living room. I think for my mom it was more an issue of not smashing things into the light carpeting than the furniture.

    As an adult with no children, I find myself often eating in the living room. But the dog on the couch is where I draw the line! Fur and drool on my nice couch drive me nuts and gross me out!

  4. Pamelotta says:

    I try to have rules in my house. I try even harder to enforce them. That being said, someone is always eating on the couch in my house. That also being said, I have one couch that is half slip-covered (it needs a skirt and cushion enclosures) and already needs to be washed and one sofa that is still in it’s original red and blue plaid glory. The slipcover for that one is wadded up in a bag because some of the seams need to be ripped out and redone. I just can’t seem to finish that project.

    When it’s all said and done, I’m sure we’ll still be eating on the sofa. By the way, yours is magnificent!

  5. Tiffany says:

    I’m really like all the color in the pillows on your sofa. The green, orange, yellow, navy are all playing so nice together. My brain is a churning…

  6. Paula says:

    Love your new sofa! Very helpful and informative post! We raised five children eating in our living/family rooms, and I think it made our mealtimes more special and with focus on one another and not what was on the TV:) Thanks.

  7. Jenny wells says:

    I have a 15 year old beauty that is near and dear to my heart :) I bought it for (shudder) $1300 as a single girl because my grandma talked me into it. It is a light blue denim an oh so comfy. It has been in 2 apartments, my parents garage for several years and then in the 2 homes I have lived in since marrying. I have
    Had it slip covered once ( mom and I made the cover) but after so many washings it shrank :( now with 4 kids under 6 I am awaiting the messy phase to pass to buy a new one. We attempt no eating in the livin room but it doesn’t seem to work. I can’t wait to get a new one but currently the Oreos smeared on the cushions and the ” uh oh I didn’t keep my pants dry” don’t cause me a heart attack. I just take the covers off the cushions and wash them. One day….one day…. I’ll have a new one ;)

  8. Shaunna says:

    Totally perfect post on this. In agreement 100%. We’ll be making the change as soon as possible. :-)
    xoxo,
    shaunna

  9. Tara says:

    I am an absolute nazi about not eating on the couch…for kids. Hubby & I are allowed but it happens VERY infrequently. No pets allowed either. One morning this summer I woke up to find red dirt dog prints on my cushions and I thought I was going to lose my mind. Luckily the dirt was dry & I could brush it off with a stiff brush. Hubby got a “stiff” reprimand & reminder to dry the dog’s feet off after coming in in the morning & to make sure she doesn’t jump on the couch. The only things on my couch that are a little worse for wear are the pillows, which can be dry-cleaned or new covers put on & a spot on one of the cushions that hubby cleaned ink off of with a cleaner & didn’t spot test it. Wound up bleaching it & feathering the fabric. I wanted to kill him. I would’ve rather had the tiny ink spot.

    • Casey says:

      Hey, next time you might want to try a little miracle I found called “Folex”. It’s an inexpensive carpet stain remover that I’ve used on every couch I’ve ever had. Never bleached any fabric and it’s gotten out everything from permanent marker to blueberry juice. You just put a little on a cloth and gently dab till it’s up.

  10. Kym says:

    We bought a new sofa set in a wheat color when we moved into our new home a year ago. It was such an exciting purchase for us because we splurged and bought the grown-up couch and not the $299 special :-) Our rules were no eating and no dogs but I have to admit, one year in we have broken both of them.

    Sometimes I feel life is to short to not snuggle on the couch with our pups and enjoy some dinner. Ask me again though when/if I ever spill a glass of red wine or something :-)

  11. sarah says:

    this is not about the sofa – love it, though! – but I’m curious about the box under your coffee table, with the metal and wires and gorgeous blue – what is it? :)

  12. Samantha says:

    I think I would be MORE scared with your (GORGEOUS) new sofa than I am with my white slipcovers. I know I can wash and/or replace my slipcovers and I can live with a few stains since we have two little boys – 3 and 1. A sofa without a slipcover that could be removed makes me feel nervous. Funny how we stress about different things! I hope someday I can upgrade to something like yours though!

  13. Sarah says:

    How is that you always address my exact dilemma? I’ve been debating a navy or light gray sofa for a long time. Last night, I started considering a white slipcover, assuming washability would be amazing. Alas, I have 2 children and we definitely do sippy cups and light snacking on the couch. Your post is helpful!

    Now gray or navy? Or??? Maybe you can help. Pretty please. I have an amazing dark teal, white and periwinkle-ish ikat rug, super saturated color. My walls are quite light- SW Eider White, to be specific. I hate that I agonize over these decisions. Decorating should be fun!!

    Thanks!
    Sarah

  14. Sandy M says:

    Your site is more than beautiful! My favorite color is white and I would like to live in my large 3BR apt where EVERYTHING is a bright cool white, with accent colors of.. off white and ecru (?) ;) I am now an empty nester. No more kids of any age or messy pets (except 2 white lovebirds). I love your new chesterfield and your old very white slip covered sofa. My attempts at finding white slipcovers have failed. They have turned out a wheat/tan color. I actually purchased a black sofa set yrs ago to please a hubby who left us and the sofas many yrs ago. It’s my turn I think. White, white and more white for me!! What do you think?

  15. Jenn says:

    I am LOVING your chesterfield. SUCH a wonderful choice! For those of us who still have that white slipcovered sofa (or a white, not slipcovered sofa – we have both) – try dealing with smudges and stains with hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle. It’s worked wonders for us!

  16. kat says:

    Thank you for releasing me from my dream of having white slipcovered sofas. Your explanation made me realize I would live for those sofas too. And I have 4 kids (8,6,4,and 14 mos), so that would not make any sense to have those sofas…I would become a crazy person.
    I like the idea of light beige or a natural fiber look. That Chesterfield is gorgeous. Then I can still use the pillows and curtains for some excitement. I think that is what I’ll do, as soon as I can unpack and recover from moving 3 weeks ago…

    • HA! You’re welcome! Perhaps one day, you and I may return to that white dream. But something tells me by then, there will be grandkids. And I will be roping off rooms when they come to visit… ;} Enjoy your beige beauty. It’s totally underrated…and a little less common in my book!

  17. Kimberly says:

    I LOOOOOVE your sofa. Truly, madly, deeply, love. And I totally just revealed my age with that late 90s song quote! But yes, loooooove. I was CONSIDERING leather for our NEXT sofa for the durableness…but you are making me rethink it! Our current sofa policy is: food: okay, markers: okay, sharpies: maybe.

    You see, we need a NEW sofa. But we don’t ever want to get rid of this sofa…because even though it is beige (with kids) and has seen better days, it is SO comfortable. And we are in a townhouse. And we hope to buy a househouse in two years…with a den…for our comfy ugly sofa. So, for now, anything goes…and then, later, we will have rules. Oh, dream sofa, I long for you and will write a magnasofa of rules for you!

    ps. love your blog!

  18. Carole says:

    I love the sofa too – as well as the coffee table! Would you share where you found it? Thank you!!!

  19. Stephanie says:

    I love your sofa and living room but I need to know more about your print over the sofa.. it appears to be a mash-up of instagram pictures perhaps… please share where I might make one of my own!!

  20. I love your couch! I also have a linen couch. It’s slipcovered, so I can wash it it needed. And I love it. But I do stress some about the food on the couch. I have a 2 year old, so there’ always a possibility that she might sneak a chocolate covered mouth past my husband. :) I have had to wash it a few times when we’ve had friend’s over and their kids have eaten chocolate in my living room. But other than that it’s been great! I do not let my daughter eat anything in the living room that could stain it. Like no strawberries. But she eats popcorn in the living room. No harm in a little popcorn. :)

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  22. Stacey says:

    When we moved into this house 8 months ago we were planning to get new family room furniture. I really wanted the white slip covered stuff and still ooh and ahh over it. That’s such a pretty look. But I’m a little on the obsessive side…we drink coffee and cokes…we eat on the couch…I just knew that white wouldn’t be realistic. Funny thing – I Googled, “the truth about the Ektorp sofa” and found great feedback both directions. The kicker for me was that one person said even company didn’t want to sit on the white because they were afraid of getting it dirty. That just wouldn’t work! So we ended up with a sofa that is slightly darker than yours…still very neutral. I like it!

    I’m reading posts out of order today. Just read this one after reading your post about the true life of your Chesterfield/dream world. I want to tell you, my kids are 20 and 23…I wouldn’t trade the forts and movie watching sessions on the couch for any thing. Never choose furniture that makes it impossible to enjoy your life.

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  25. Marcie says:

    I just happened upon your sofa post from your summer home updates post. I love your sofa! I am in the market for a new sofa and we have a 19month old and a dog. I’ve been trying to decide what to do. I’m definitely not going to purchase a slipcovered sofa. Are you still happy with your Chesterfield sofa and do you have it in the linen color? Thanks! Love your home!

    • Hey Marcie! We still LOVE LOVE LOVE our sofa. Seriously. It’s one of my favorite pieces. It’s super comfy, the finish has held up fantastically and it just really still looks amazing. I would tell y’all if it wasn’t… We love it. ;}

  26. Lacey Dippel says:

    Hi! I love your living room! I have to know- where di you get your coffee table? It looks like you might have redone that- if so, how? I love it!! Thanks!!

  27. Ok. I think it was fate. I’m redoing my living room after 10 years, and have been hunting for the perfect sofa. I seriously thought that the slipcover style was the way to go. and you bet I had my sights set on WHITE (or cream…). THANK you for your honest and hilarious posts! It was exactly what I needed. A dose of reality and a good laugh. So glad you got the couch of your dreams. It’s beautiful. ;)

    -Les

  28. Ann Ruggles says:

    Hi! I just found your blog, and I love it! I have a few questions about your Chesterfield: I see that you ordered it from Andella; did you have a chance to sit on it before you bought it? From their website, it sounds like very good quality, but buying a sofa online is a scary thing! Why did you choose to buy from them? Are the high arms comfortable? I’ve considered this style, but worry that my husband will be annoyed by the high arms. Is the linen holding up well? I had heard that linen on furniture stretches and wrinkles. Thanks so much for answering; I’m going to explore your website now!
    Ann Ruggles

    • Hi Ann! We purchased the chesterfield because we saw it in the store. They have a local business here as well called Granville Furniture. They are sweet, honest, hard working people, and that’s why we chose to buy from them. From now on, any major furniture piece we need, we will buy from them. It’s a repeat customer kind of thing. ;} I wasn’t going to purchase one without sitting on it either, so I totally understand. It’s my favorite piece in the house. It has down-topped cushions, and the fabric is just perfect enough to hide the crazy things my kids put on a sofa so that you can’t see every single smudge. The tufting in the back is super comfy, and if you sit for a while, you may prefer a pillow behind your back because of the nature of the sofa. I have bad posture. ;} No wrinkling here, just a natural look. As far as your husband getting annoyed about the high arms… that’s just a style preference I guess. There is some working around the high arms if I have a drink in hand. But let’s just say if there was a fire in this house, and everyone else was out safe… I’d be putting this jazz on my back and hauling it out the door. ;} Stupid, but true. My daughter even got a bloody knee on it the other day, and with a little water and rubbing, it came right up. Hope that helps. It’s our favorite ever piece. ;} Sturdy and wonderful. ;}

  29. Jessica M says:

    I made a white slipcover for our sofa, and wrote an article about it too! I’m sure we will buy another eventually. The way you approached your kitchen is the same way I approached the couch/family room. Everything is painted, slip covered, etc…I’m tired of waiting to save thousands of dollars for furniture…

  30. Sheree G. says:

    OK, I have followed you for a while now, and can I just say, “I love you!”? You have so inspired me that I am considering starting a blog of my own and I have not one creative, crafty, decorating, DIY bone in my body. We’ll see, but you HAVE inspired me. My sofa question is, “Is there a type of sofa that is similar to the Chesterfield but has a higher back?” I do love the Chesterfield, and the linen fabric is my soul-mate! But I’m tall and I just wonder how comfortable it will be for me. Any thoughts or ideas or suggestions are much appreciated!!

    • Hey Sheree! Thank you so much for your sweet words! You are too kind. go for it on the blog-you’ll be amazed with how enjoyable it is! I am sure they make taller tufted sofas, and I would just start by searching with those words… but if it helps, my husband is 6’4, and our sofa fits him just fine. Ours is honestly a little large for me… I’m 5’4 and if I scoot to the back for sitting, my feet won’t touch the floor + the back hits my shoulders. I hope that helps! ;}

  31. DARCI says:

    Hi there!! I am on the hunt for a chesterfield sofa just like this for our new home! I’ve been planning on getting the one from Pottery Barn (super similar), but wanted to get your feedback on this w/ regards to comfort. Is it a comfy sofa overall? The PB Chesterfield is lacking a little there for sure!

    Thanks in advance – I so appreciate it!
    Darci

    • Hey Darci! We love this sofa. We just had hardwoods installed, and I took the kids out of the house to have it done while Jamin stayed behind to help with it all. He slept on the chesterfield for many nights in a row and it was no biggie- it’s that comfy. I have too in the past… when he’s out of town and all three kids want to pile in our bed, mama escapes to the chesterfield because it’s much more comfortable to crash there than to contend with arms and legs and etc. poking me all night. It’s very comfy, is my long, drawn out point. ;} I hope that helps!

  32. KayLynn says:

    Hi!! Thanks so much for the info on this couch…I am in the market and think I am going to go for this one! I have 4 little ones and definitely want to scotch guard it. What did you use or was that an add on feature through Andella? Thanks again!

  33. alyse says:

    Hi there!

    I actually purchased this exact sofa (thanks to your glowing reviews) and had a question for you regarding scotch-guard? Did you buy the cans at the store and go to town or did you have this professionally done? I noticed you said you had it scotch-guarded so didn’t know if that is something someone did for you.

    I’ve got a few cans I purchased for this sofa, but now I am a little scared to use until I know :)

    Thank you!!

    Alyse

    • Hey Alyse! yay! We hope you enjoy yours as much as we have ours! We had the people there, do it. That’s probably not much help, but I’d definitely read up on it – I’m sure pinterest is chock full of good recommendations. I hope that helps! ;}

    • Kate says:

      Hi Alyse! Did you end up getting the sofa? And did you end up scotch guarding it yourself, or did you have Andella do it for you? We have a newborn, two dogs and a cat. Am I crazy to buy this sofa?! It is this or a washable white slipcovered sofa. But based on Ashley’s experience, I’m leaning towards my dream sofa which has always been a chesterfield. (I don’t want to do any “bereaved planking” either way…). Also — did you get the 118″ or the 90″?

      Ashley — I love your “voice” in your blog posts! So good. Question: how do the cushions and fabric hold up? Any sagging? Our current sofa also has some down fill and it sags like no other…we want to avoid that with the new sofa we buy.

      Thanks!!!!

      • Hey Kate thanks so much for dropping by and the kind words! We say DO IT! We have absolutely nothing to gain from telling you this… other than our own personal experience. It’s totally been worth it. You can see a recent photo with the cushions unfluffed in our recent home tour for fall here you can see a small amount of sagging, and that’s only because we were lazy and haven’t fluffed/rotated our cushions in a while so it just happens. But that’s easily remedied. I hope that helps as an honest answer – we are very happy with our sofa. It sheds feathers, but has held up splendidly! We have been extremely pleased with this sofa. It’s been worth it.

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