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Choosing a Kid-Friendly Sofa Without Sacrificing Style

By The Inside

Lots of things change when you have kids, from how you spend your weekend days (goodbye lazy brunches, hello playground at 8am) to the playlists you have on heavy rotation. But one thing that doesn’t have to change is the quality and beauty of your décor. It’s a common myth that stylish furniture and kids don’t mix. Read on to learn our insider tricks for choosing a family-friendly sofa that can stand up to spills and sleepovers while still reflecting your grown-up sense of style.

START WITH A VERSATILE SHAPE

As the cornerstone of your living space, your sofa should be inviting, comfortable, and most of all, spacious enough to allow you to pile on and cozy up as a family. For all those reasons, a sectional is our top choice. Gone are the days of sectionals being bulky and drab – now they are some of the chicest choices out there, with plenty of options to please everyone from elegant traditionalists to diehard mid-century modernists.

Modern Sectional:

Our Modern Sectional is the perfect sectional sofa if you are looking for a minimal look without sacrificing comfort. Sleek and stylish, its brass legs add a touch of edgy glamour to any space. Like all of our sofas, the cushions are made from comfortable foam rather than down, which means no fussing or fluffing needed. Added bonus: the cushion covers zip off for easy cleaning.

Tuxedo Sectional:

If you like a more tailored look, opt for our Tuxedo Sectional. Its warm wooden legs make it a classic, relaxed staple perfect for any transitional-style room.

Slipcover Sectional:

For those whose tastes lean toward traditionally cozy, we love a Slipcovered Sectional. With a removable and washable slipcover that makes cleaning a breeze, this beauty of a sectional sofa offers a unique combination of style and practicality.

Sleeper Sofa:

Sleeper sofas are a great addition to any playroom or finished basement, as their multifunctionality is a dream for sleepovers and birthday parties. They instantly elevate any small space into a guest room, and their double-duty usage makes them a smart investment over a regular loveseat. And with our Tailored Sleeper Sofa, there’s no sacrificing form for function.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FABRIC

When it comes to choosing a sofa that will stand up to juice spills and finger paint smears, sofa fabric can your number one ally. The key: look for performance fabrics.

Performance Linen:

Our top choice for kid-friendly furniture is our performance linen. Made of hospitality-grade fabric, it is specially engineered to stand up to high-traffic use. Crisp and structured, it holds its shape beautifully without feeling at all stiff or scratchy. This fabric comes in an array of options and is perfect for complementing everyday rooms with a casual, easygoing vibe. Most everyday spills and stains will clean easily with just soap and water (all our fabrics come with specific cleaning instructions). If you need your sofa to be the tried-and-true workhorse of your living room, this is your best bet.

Performance Velvet:

Do you stare longingly at pictures of expensive silk velvet sofas? Well, you can get that same gorgeous, sumptuous look for far less without having to worry that you are one sleepover party away from having it permanently trashed. Our performance velvet comes in rich colors that guarantee your sofa will be the elegant superstar of your living room. Like performance linen, it cleans easily and holds up to daily wear and tear.

Pattern vs. Solid Fabrics:

According to our style whiz and Co-Founder / Creative Director Danielle (herself a mom of a sippy-cup-wielding toddler), the more intricate the pattern, the better it will hide stains. Danielle advises going with something that has a lot of variation in terms of both color and scale, like our leopard print or a chintz, banana palm, or ikat print. While something like a cabana stripe might technically be a print, with only two colors in a linear pattern, it will read as a solid. Also, you want to stay away from anything that has a solid white background, because spills have a sneaky way of landing there.

Dark vs. Light Fabrics:

It’s a common misperception that darker fabrics will hide everything. Anyone with dark-colored floors who walks around with a Swiffer attached to them on a holster knows what we are talking about! Besides dust and lint, dark colors are a magnet for pet hair (can’t forget the furry members of your family). Our founder Christiane literally rubbed swatches of fabric on her Yellow Lab’s back to see which pet-friendly fabric would stand up best to pet hair and shedding.

Two of our favorite neutral options are our Husk Performance Linen, a great basic that is very easy to clean, and Sand Performance Velvet, a tawny camel color which has a very clean but still super luxe look.

Leather:

Opinions are mixed on whether a leather sofa is the best choice for a bustling family room. On one hand, leather’s surface makes spills and cleanups relatively easy – all you need is a paper towel. Also, like your go-to leather jacket, leather furniture develops a patina after everyday use, adding a rich and well-loved look with natural wear and tear. However, if your kids have an affinity for drawing on furniture – especially with pointy pens and pencils – you may want to steer clear.

Other kid-friendly fabrics to keep an eye out for include microfiber, ultrasuede, twill, denim and wool. Also, the fabric used on most outdoor furniture (think: outdoor pillows) is designed for durability and to withstand the natural elements – perfectly suited for a tornado of children in high-traffic areas.

PILLOW POWER

Pillows do more than just add color or pattern to your sofa. In the world of kids, they are essential for building forts and piling on the floor to watch TV. Here are Danielle’s top tips for making your kid-proof living space to the next level:

  • Don’t be precious about pillows. This is the place to take risks and have fun because they aren’t a major purchase. Ranging from $49-$59, our pillows remove the intimidation factor. The outdoor pillows offer the same patterned punch (available in all 150+ fabrics) but without the worry.
  • If you opt for a solid-color sofa, add some visual depth either with patterned pillows or by color-blocking. For instance, Danielle recommends if you explore a Linea Ikat sofa, mix in a base of Ocean Velvet and then patterns like Muki Dot, Shibori, or an animal print like Fawn.
  • Don’t be afraid of pattern-on-pattern! “Mixing patterns is easy to do, especially if you have a limited palette,” Danielle explains. “My rule of thumb is to always think about balance. Small-scale patterns, like geometrics and embroideries, blend effortlessly with bolder, bigger counterparts, such as florals.”

TWO PRO TIPS

  • If you want to go the extra mile and protect your sofa from heavy-duty spills (think: grape juice for the kids, red wine for you), consider professionally treating your fabric. A professional cleaning service can come to your home and spray the furniture with stain-resistant, non-toxic solvent to further ironclad your sofa investment.
  • To further child-proof your family room and living room furniture, swap out your coffee table for a cocktail ottoman. The upholstery provides soft and forgiving corners, especially as the little ones start walking.

Being a parent can be challenging, but with these insider tips, choosing a stylish, kid-proof sofa doesn’t have to be.

By: Debra Goldstein, Staff Writer at The Inside

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