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A white couch and a toddler?
The two can coexist.

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Why I Raise My Family with a White Couch

Mindful Design

Confession time: I own an off-white dream couch while also raising a young family.

Some may call me crazy and others may think I am asking for it. 

Perhaps, I am. But, hear me out first

As parents, we give so much of ourselves and what we have to our children. It simply comes with the job, a true act of love. However, I am careful not to overdo it. 

I love my child with all of my heart and of course, I want him to feel comfortable in our own home. I don’t believe raising a child in an environment that stifles their natural tendencies is lucrative to their fundamental growth. Children should be encouraged to explore their surroundings, create their stamp on things and ignite their senses and creativity. 

 If there is any place for my child to feel safe to explore the world and the ways of life, home should be first on the list. 

However, that does not mean I will completely let go and hand over my home to my child. 

THE LOGIC 

I remember standing in the furniture store with a rep pondering my sanity on my heartfelt decision to go with the creamy woven swatch that made my heart sing. I really wanted to order the couch in that fabric but my mind kept coming up with reasons on why I would regret it later. 

At that moment, I had to make a choice: 

I sacrifice my desires and the ideal way I want to live for motherhood 
OR
I find a way to make my realities coexist with my desires. 

I was a person before I started having any children. I had interests, lived life in a certain way with a certain standard. And, you know what? Whenever I stop having children, this will still be the case. 

My husband and I were blessed by the Creator with a little life to help raise in this world. Our child met us where we were in life and from the hospital, we took him home to raise him in the best ways that we see fit. He has entered our space and therefore will live in accordance.

THE COUCH 

After signing a lease for a bigger space, it became obvious that our young family needed a new couch. A couch that could grow with us, offer style, durability and most importantly function. I began the search and intentionally started high-end. 

Why? I wanted to identify the best of the best and understand why it’s priced that way. Then, I would have identified the features that made me love that couch and begin to search for similar but ideally the same, elsewhere. Excellent quality for an affordable price is the name of the game for me.

I fell in love with Restoration Hardware’s Cloud Collection for its:

Depth: This is the secret to a comfortable couch! The deeper it is, the more likely you won’t want to get up. 

Style: Its modular body would provide a modern but functional design for our space in ways that would grow with us over the years because it is so minimal. 

Performance: I loved that many of the fabric options were treated to resist markings and staining. The option to choose between cushions being stuffed with feathers or foam (which was the case in 2021, not sure if this still is available today).

I was able to find most of these same features for less with the dupe version created by West Elm. The biggest difference is that it is assembled with both foam and feathers. 

I prefer just foam because picking up random feathers that scatter throughout the space overtime is simply annoying. It will also lose shape and volume overtime, needing to be fluffed up more. However, I knew what I was signing up for and decided to live with it. 

THE LIFESTYLE

  • As a family, we dine at the dining table. Once done, everyone washes their hands before doing anything else, especially our son. This teaches him a routine (which is also great for their development), cleanliness and sets the tone for manners.
  • If an adult ever eats on the couch, it is something non-staining and light (like apples or crackers) and we are very careful not to have it done in front of him. As far as our child knows, no one is above the laws of the house and we lead by example. 
  • The couch functions as a means for grounded communication as we sit and talk, a comfort for us to watch a program or read a book together and/or a place to rest. Nothing more and nothing less. 

Almost two years into owning a close-to-white couch (delivered when our son was just 15 months old) and we have not had any accidents yet. 

THE BACKUP PLAN 

Even though I plan against accidents as best as I can, life can and will happen.

These are the steps I took to lengthen the lifespan of my creamy couch if the worst-case scenario ever occurred: 

  • The “performance” fabric I selected has been treated to prevent staining. However, that does not mean that staining isn’t possible. It just buys me a little extra time and resistance to the possibility of staining. A help I gladly appreciate. 
  • I keep a bottle of Branch Basics All Purpose Cleaner, which is non-toxic and fragrance-free, around the house at all times. It’s my go-to cleaner for its safety and effectiveness and what I pick up first to immediately saturate any spills or markings. 
  • I also keep this Emergency Stain Remover spray around that worked its magic one time when red wine was spilled on my white silk shirt at a basketball game.
  • Finally, I have a local at-home cleaning company on speed dial in case everything that I try on my own fails.

So…now that I made my case, does my decision make more sense to you? 

Whether you decide to introduce a light-fabric couch into your home as well (or not), I wish every parent a piece of joy that helps them express who they are as they raise their family! Xx

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