Is it worth buying a velvet sofa if you have young children?
Yes! Just because you have children (or fur babies), doesn’t mean you have to give up on style completely. And by god, Velvet sofas really do hit a ten out of ten on the style quota.
However, there is a certain standard of care involved in ensuring they maintain their gorgeous chic-ness for years to come, so here are my top 6 tips for all you mums /parents out there!
**This post has been sponsored by Sofa Workshop.
From the moment I decided I wanted a velvet sofa , I’ll admit to experiencing quite the roller coaster of emotions…
When they responded ‘Great choice, it’ll be with you in the next 4- 6 weeks!
Medina …. you rebel you! I thought to myself grinning widely.
In response to the look of absolute horror on my husbands face when I announced that we were getting a new sofa – a yellow one.
‘You what??’ he almost sort of whispered. ‘Are you mad??’ Clearly a rhetorical question because it was followed swiftly by ‘Whats wrong with the sofa we have now!?’
‘Nothings wrong with it…’ I replied laughing ‘…But this new sofa is so much better…. ‘
‘But velvet though..??’ his voice trailed off.
‘Velvet sofa’s aren’t what they used to be, ‘ I told him, ‘Don’t worry, it’ll be great! You’ll see!’
He didn’t believe me (heck by this point, I didn’t believe me either) but he shrugged his shoulders and went along with it all anyway.
Such a good husband.
At the back of my mind though, I did wonder, was he right? Was I mad?
As similar responses piled in from friends, family and online readers.
Friends: ‘But you have a young child…. how will that work?’
Mum: ‘Why would you do this Medina?’ (Wait….that sounded as disapproving as my husbands reaction – were they both in cahoots??)
Readers: ‘Is this an ad?’
And then I topped that all off by venturing on to Mumsnet (forgetting to put on my blinkers) and the first thing I see is Am I mad to consider a velvet sofa?
God, what have I done?,I thought
. . . . As I opened the door to two very jolly men…asking me.. if I was expecting a sofa delivery today?
Oh yes, I found myself replying quite calmly. Yes I am. Straight through here please…
What have you done?
That voice inside of my head asked a little louder, as I watched both men swiftly start to unwrap the sofa. And as they screwed on the feet and flipped the sofa the right way round
Medina, what have you….?
The moment when I took a good look at the velvet sofa
… and just about lost my thought processes
Wait a minute, …. that looks… AMAZING!!
I’m sorry to say, but for full three seconds, I gaped at the sofa. Like a fish. A carp, or perhaps, even one of those sea bass things.
Are you happy with it? One of the delivery men asked, gesturing for my signature.
Okay, brain, engage. NOW!
YES!! I (kind-of) screamed – startling the poor guy.
Yes of course, I loved it! And it was sooo soft!
But I’m going off on a tangent here. I want to get to the real reason for this post.
Ah yes …
HOW TO CARE FOR A VELVET SOFA
… when you have a young child… and a husband (who by the way still needed convincing that you had made the right choice.)
Like most sofa stores, sofa workshop has a great insurance package for larger accidents and spills – however the general day to day upkeep is kind of up to you.
So here’s my guide – and for the sake of this post, I’ll call it a Mums’ Guide
But full disclosure, I am by no means an expert on velvet sofas. This post is purely a response to quite a few readers messaging me on instagram asking about general velvet sofa upkeep and ‘how on earth I manage to keep it clean with kids’
The below tips are what I have found worked well for myself and family.
So again, not a professional , or a sofa guru. Feel free to laugh off this post as the insane ramblings of a sleep deprived mama. I can take it – I promise.
(Here’s a thought: how many more disclaimers can I lay down before the warranty expires here?)
1. ENFORCE THE ‘NO EATING ON THE SOFA’ (IF YOUR’E UNDER 10) RULE
So I trust myself when it comes to food around my sofa, but my child? Not that much (or maybe not all). Like most kids his age, he can be quite unpredictable. Some days he might decide to eat with all the grace of a crown prince and other days he actually forgets where his mouth is.
Its very unnerving…
I don’t like to say I had to train my son not to eat on the sofa, (because of all sorts of weird parenting implications) but in all truth , this is exactly what I did.
There were quite a few gentle reminders (as well as a few frantic ones)
‘Hey son, no eating on Mum’s sofa and lots of ‘Remember, you cant eat on the sofa’ before something finally seemed to click in his 6 year old brain and I heard this magical sentence..
‘Mum I have a chocolate biscuit- but I’m not going to eat it on the sofa ok?’ he announced, brandishing said biscuit rather proudly.
I kissed his little face. And that was that.
Wanna know I got on when I jokingly (kind of) told my husband he also couldn’t eat on the sofa? Major eye rolls and ‘the look’ (yes again). Turns out husbands are a little harder to train then kids.
2. MAKE USE OF THROWS AND BLANKETS WHEN CIRCUMSTANCES ARE OUT OF YOUR CONTROL
Ok so we’ve established where my child sits on that ‘trust to eat on the sofa ladder’ (to recap – just below myself and husband) . But other people’s children?
Well, most of them have missed the ladder altogether, as in they aren’t even on it! Which is why this next tip is pretty much a given .
I realize it would be quite unreasonable of me to expect;
a. the same level of love towards my velvet sofa from other peoples children
b. other children to actually listen to the no eating on the sofa rule
Hence the blankets – and/or any other types of stylish sofa coverings I can get my hands on.
I usually pile them on when I know I’m about to have kids over, but try not to be too obvious about their reasons for being there.
Do you like this new cover I bought? I’ll say to Mum. I saw it online and just had to have it!!
Nothing at all to do with the fact that your child is an extremely messy eater and likes to use my soft furnishings as hand towels
(this I don’t say), obviously. My mouth has no connection to my brain at the best of times, so I usually have to rehearse better versions of speech before hand – just in case…
So far this approach has avoided any major accidents …
Which brings me to point three…
3.BLOT RATHER THAN SCRUB STAINS OR MARKS ON YOUR VELVET SOFA
Should the worst happen, and you find yourself in the terrifying position of watching a spillage occur (in slow motion – like all the worst things in life do)
Do not panic… I repeat do not panic.
Else you’ll do the first most reasonable thing you can think off (that’s after screeching like a banshee at the culprit), grab a water soaked sponge and start furiously scrubbing.
Wrong… well not about the swift reaction reaction but about all the frantic rubbing.
You see, velvet material marks and stains quite quickly. Scrubbing will only push that stain further into the fibers. What you need to do is dab/blot it with a dry cloth or paper towel without applying too much pressure.
Add a little heat to dry it with a hair dryer and then give it a little brush to the pile from prevent it from matting
All of which you cannot do if you do not remain calm…
For more sinister marks, steaming, or dry cleaning solvents will work. Here is one natural home made remedy I have used myself which worked wonders: Lemon and Baking soda.
And baby wipes (as informed by a reader) !!
Here are a few other I haven’t tried – but the reviews are positive!
(If like me you are the kind of person who likes to scroll to the bottom of product pages to read reviews before even thinking of buying (or trying) then we could be best friends)
Washing up liquid and water
Keep in mind though, more sinister spillages may need to be removed professionally
4. VACUUM AND BRUSH YOUR VELVET SOFA OFTEN
To minimize the wear of your velvet sofa and protect its natural sheet, vacuuming on low power with a brush attachment will help!
Notice I said often and didn’t actually specify how often?
Let me explain
If you’re still reading this, I’m assuming that you’re a mum (like me). And like most mums’ – fantasize about your home being spotless (with minimal effort on your part) and shining floors that are cleaned and vacuumed daily – twice even
When it comes down to it though, reality is quite the opposite. Surely if you cant even find time to vacuum your floors, how would you then be expected to vacuum your velvet sofa daily too?
I agree.. the pressure of being a mum is already slightly unreal
Lets just go with often – or a very optimistic weekly?
And should you happen to vacuum up a few of your child’s stray LEGO pieces (I see you, lets not pretend it wasn’t deliberate), word of advice – say nothing.
The results could be catastrophic.
5. PLUMP THE CUSHIONS ON YOUR VELVET SOFA OFTEN
This can make a huge difference to the look and feel of your sofa. It helps to prevent any long term wrinkles that might be hard to get rid of in the future.
Here is a picture of my sofa before a plumping session..
and heres an AFTER
Looks like a completely different sofa right??
And if you’re wondering how to actually plump cushions, Sofa Workshop have explained it perfectly here; The best way to plump cushions is to remove them from the sofa, punch them from all sides then drop them onto a clean floor. This pushes air back into the cushion , maintaining its shape and comfort.
In other words, plumping is a great guilt free way to release any sort of stress or tension that might be building up inside.
I’m taking a wild guess here, but maybe you’ve had one of those typical hectic days? The kind of day that starts with a manic school rush and ends with you slumped half comatose on said velvet sofa. You’re watching a tv show that you don’t understand (its in Spanish), but as you have no idea where the remote is, keep watching it anyway. We’ve all be there.
So plump those cushions – it helps…both parties
I should know.
6 MONTHLY MAINTENANCE – INVEST IN A GOOD STEAMER
Can’t say I’ve had the opportunity to try this yet (mostly because I don’t own a steamer- it is on the birthday wish list though) but apparently a good steaming once a month helps to restore the sheen of the sofa and removes pressure marks.
And there you have it – all my tips on how to care for a velvet sofa. I would love to hear from you if you’ve ever had a velvet sofa (and kids at the same time!)
Now to finish the living room makeover! Here are some other views of this space:
And just because the days are getting a little shorter and colder (and because this sofa makes me feel oh so warm and fuzzy inside when I think about the coming winter) I’ve created this little checklist: 7 Signs you’re in Hibernation Mode! I got 7/7.. what did you get?
***This post was sponsored by Sofa workshop. This sofa was gifted to me for the purpose of this this post. I only partner with brands I LOVE and think you will LOVE too! All ideas, photos and opinions are 100% my own.