Here's the real deal about those amazing white couches everyone seems to have in the farmhouse/cottage style decor world. Spoiler: they aren't easy to maintain... but they're still worth it!
When I first found myself in love with Joanna Gaines and her style- I noticed those cozy white couches she always uses to stage homes. A quick search on Instagram also showed these couches to be very popular within the farmhouse decor community. I popped over to Pinterest and found numerous articles claiming how amazing they were: so easy to keep clean, perfect for kids and pets! I'll admit- I was skeptical of these reviews, how could white couches be so easy? ...but I still wanted these couches!
Pottery Barn has the "real" ones at a not-so-bargin price of $1399, but we already had IKEA couches and I knew I could buy the white slip covers. Except, unfortunately, IKEA stopped making the the blekinge white option, so I found and bought them on eBay for $100 each. Not terrible for a whole new look.
I put them on our couches and loved the way they immediately transformed our living room- definitely added a bright, airy feel.
However, it wasn't long before our pets were all over them. How could I keep her off them? Look at that face!!
...plus, I thought it would be fine based on all of the raving reviews.
Warning: it wasn't.
After about a week, this is what our couches looked like:
Gross- but mostly just pet hair. I was slightly disappointed that they weren't staying as clean as others claimed, but with some light vacuuming- the covers were good as new:
Perfect! I already vacuum my floors, so I figured I'd just also vacuum the couches at the same time and we'd be all set...this worked out for about two weeks.
Then sometime in week three, I noticed more than just dog hair stuck in the couches. There were random crumbs and dirt all stuck in/on there too..
and when I vacuumed them, there was still spots left behind.
I washed the covers in the washing machine. I had previously washed my old covers, so I knew it was possible, but they were colored. I used my all-natural detergent and a little bit of diluted bleach in hot water. PS- the detergent is awesome and I've got on sale right now for a STEAL. Check it out here.
Afterwards, I put them in the dryer. I was careful to take them out when they were still slightly damp because I didn't want the covers to shrink.
I loved that the slipcovers came out all white and clean! While they didn't shrink, they were CRAZY wrinkled. A big wrinkled mess, actually.
I steamed them with my little hand steamer, which took a long time. Almost 2 hours to get all of the wrinkles out. I was disappointed to be spending so much time doing that, but they did look brand new...so there was a little silver lining there.
I just finished washing my couch covers for the third time, and while they keep coming out a lovely bright white free of pet stains and hair, they seem to have shrunk down a tiny bit each time, so now they are a bit harder to get on the couch. I might try to air dry them next time, but the problem is while we are actively washing and drying them, our couches look like this:
Which is not only unattractive, but also uncomfortable. So I try to wash them on nice days when we can be outside and not have to sit on them. To dry them out on a line would take a lot longer than the dryer though, we might not have a living room for a few days...
I've also given up on steaming them all the time...Here's what they look like right now:
And I'm okay with that. They aren't perfect, but they've got a lived-in cozy vibe and still brighten the room.
So my overall review: These couches will definitely give you that country, cottage, farmhouse look- but require a lot of effort to do so. They are really affordable in terms of a monetary investment, but they are high maintenance. These couches/covers require regular vacuuming or lint-rolling and approximately once a month washings. It is a relief that they were affordable and can be washed if someone spills on them.
Love it: the look of them, and with our pets on the couches a lot- I do like being able to wash out the pet hair, dander, and general mess that comes with them. When we spill a drink or there are snack crumbs, I'm not worried about being able to remove those messes.
Don't love it: They look dirty fairly quickly. If anyone's coming over to the house, I feel like I should vacuum them. The wrinkles: I've come to terms with them but I would prefer to not have them there.
Do you have white couches or slipcovers? Do you want them? I hope my blunt review helps you decide; let me know in the comments!