Today, I’m talking about my white Ikea Ektorp furniture and how I keep it white and clean 4 years later. With a big old farmhouse in all its historic charm I want furniture that is light and airy to brighten the living spaces. For me that means white living room furniture. With two young kids running around as well as an elderly lap dog, that might seem like a headache to try and keep dirt and dinginess at bay. I am living proof that it can be done!
Farmhouse style decorating tips with white furniture
The farmhouse craze is still going strong and though the trend is not the reason we purchased our historic home it helps that there is so much decor inspiration out there. In my experience styling and decorating our 1800s farmhouse I have learned a few things.
- You can’t go wrong with white.
- Take the time to find the right white (not too off-white and not too stark white) depending on if you’re talking about wall color or objects like furniture.
- Different wood tones can really complement a space especially if it is predominantly white or neutral color schemes.
- Keep rooms neutral and light for easier decorating and accessorizing.
Now back to the furniture. I’m going to tell you why I bought my white Ektorp sofa and two white Ektorp armchairs and how I have kept them in pristine condition the last four years. Most decorating enthusiasts are familiar with the Ektorp sofas from Ikea. Well, I am here to sing their praises. I love Ikea for many things from their organizing bins to kitchen gadgets and even garden planters.
I know Ikea is not everyone’s cup of tea but I’m going to tell you why I am a true believer for certain things during certain seasons of life. My style is modern farmhouse with a good mix of decor brands. I love Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware and have many pieces from them but during this season of life with young kids, pets and busy lives I love the affordability and easy maintenance of the Ikea Ektorp line. These chairs and sofa were purchased four years ago when we moved into our 1800s historic farmhouse. I was reluctant with the white and despite everyone telling me I was crazy decided to go for it.
Reasons I chose Ikea Ektorp Furniture
First things first, the look. I knew I wanted white, comfy furniture and sitting options in the main living room. This room gets great light, has fun built-ins to decorate and is painted a creamy color to tie it all together–it is one of my favorite rooms in the house!
Secondly, I want furniture that is easy to clean. With a toddler, a newborn and a dog running around at the time they need to be cleanable. Thank goodness these Ikea Ektorp pieces are all slip-covered! These covers are easily removed, machine washable, bleach-able and replaceable.
Lastly, I love the flexibility of these pieces. If I should change my mind about the color of the furniture, color scheme in the room, configuration of the room or number of pieces I want in the room– no problem! Because they are slip-covered I can purchase different color covers or replace an existing slip cover should something catastrophic happen.
- Remove all cushion covers and slip covers
- Machine wash warm. If your covers are white add bleach as instructed by your washing machine. (you may need to do multiple loads to give ample space in the machine).
- Tumble dry low until slightly damp
- Reassemble onto furniture and cushions
- Bonus: Use scotch guard on heavily trafficked areas for extra stain protection.
- I went for 1 sofa and 2 arm chairs instead of 2 sofas so I would have more configuration options.
- With young children I allow snacks in that room but limit the type of snack. I try not to give things that could melt and smear on their hands like chocolate or peanut butter. Think things like gold fish crackers, apple slices or veggie straws.
- Invest in a back up slipcover to have on hand. This way if Ikea should ever discontinue your color or adjust their design you have practically a brand new piece of furniture with the new cover(s).
- I recommend washing (and bleaching if your covers are white) seasonally. This routine has kept mine looking perfect four years later.
- Use scotch guard for added stain protection.
- Common sense tip: with small kids make it a habit to wash hands immediately after meals, messy snacks and coming in from outdoor play. It will minimize the chances that kids will touch the furniture with dirty hands. Same with pets make it a habit to wipe pets paws with a damp cloth when coming in from outside.
I highly recommend these furniture pieces. I DO NOT regret the white. If anything I love it more the longer I have it. So flexible and versatile. Easy for seasonal decorating as well. If you want white furniture then get white furniture! Don’t let fear stand in your way!