This post is sponsored by Bemz. Their product + our style = the perfect collaboration. We hope you’re inspired.
Bemz makes transformative slipcovers. I have to admit, when I first got the email introducing me to the product, I was a bit unsure. Bemz makes slip covers for Ikea furniture. We have a big formal house and I was wondering: How is Ikea going to fit this house? Then fond memories of our Manhattan loft kitchen piped in my head. I LOVED that kitchen – and it was all Ikea. Back to the slip covers from Bemz… cause the next thing the email said made me GASP out loud: WASHABLE VELVET. Stop with me for a second and take that in. Washable velvet.
I was like: whaaaaat? Is that possible? This statement was major for me because I have a furniture problem to solve with our senior dog Nero. He’s claimed a couch as his own and it smells so bad, I’ve donated it. Really, it smelled that bad. I’m pretty sure Nero used the edge of the couch as a napkin and would run his face on it after eating. The couch became impossible to clean. I could wash the dog, but not his nasty couch. Of course I felt bad for even letting the thought of getting rid of Nero’s favorite couch enter my mind. Alas, Bemz saved me.
We had a few other design problems to solve like the fireplace where we needed more lounge-like chairs. Sugar is a lap dog, and she couldn’t really fit in the chairs we had. Nothing like seeing a pibble (small pit bull) demand to sit on your lap and not have enough space. Sorry Sugar.
I want to share the entire process with you.
If you have kids, dogs or messy friends this concept will transform your whole design point of view. I think having lots of slip cover fabric choices allows you to customize the look from casual to formal. Here’s how we picked what Ikea items would be a fit. I only looked at the profile of the furniture, not the fabric. The slip cover is from Bemz, and I went with velvet and linen to keep with the classical design themes of our house.
How I selected Ikea furniture.
Our house is really classic. I sometimes struggle with transitional designs so I lean really modern or really traditional. I’m a terrible rule follower, so I’ll break the rules to add some tension in the design every now and again. For the Ikea profiles I stuck with pretty traditional profiles.
Two Stocksund Arm Chairs
And an ottoman for Sugar to patrol the side yard. I think this style doesn’t look like something you think we’d pick, but trust me, we’re going to change a few things that will transform this piece by changing the fabric and legs.
Choosing slip covers from Bemz
Our dining room is an odd shape that we haven’t really committed to furnishing. An old dining table and chairs and Nero’s sofa, which was relocated from the living room. I really need one item it’s okay for Nero to snooze on and it look nice too. When I learned about washable velvet in so may colors, my head almost exploded. We have two options to look at. The only difference is color. This makes for a very interesting study in interior design and color theory! I geek out over stuff like this. I didn’t think I’d love the orange as much as I do, but it’s my favorite!
For those of you worried about Nero’s napping comfort level: don’t worry. He’s adjusted just fine. I actually think this Ikea sofa is more comfortable than the previous sofa. Nero had a snooze about 10 minutes after we set up the new sofa and didn’t move for 4 hours. He does like the pillows on the side better. And I can take this slip cover off and WASH IT.
For fun, we looked at the risky color, orange velvet and the more subdued Oyster color. Both beautiful in their own way. Which one do you like?
The chairs in the living room are so comfortable – perfect for conversations by the fire. We tried two colors, blue for the winter and a white linen for a summery look. I love to change things up seasonally and swapping out fabric and colors is beyond easy.
Also note the arm rest covers. Genius! I remember my grandparents having those and could have used them a few times with the dogs! You can barely tell they are on cause the sewing details are so nice. We also eat dinner and watch TV (I know, we shouldn’t). So humans are messy too.
There’s been a big debate in our house about if we should get a large ottoman or not. Sugar looks out the window all the time and Nero wants a snooze spot. I don’t like dog beds laying around on the floor. Seriously – I don’t know why but it really bugs me. It doesn’t feel like a considered part of the design or permeant. This ottoman is something we’ll use, and the dogs can use as well. AND I CAN WASH IT. Did I mention that already?
We changed a few items about this Ikea piece. First the legs (from Bemz). The legs it came with from Ikea were far too modern for me. Bemz sells these awesome legs that added a bit of a traditional vibe to an otherwise modern item. We haven’t decided where the ottoman will live: in the living room or in the dining room. Both dogs enjoy sunning themselves in each room, but us humans will probably use this in the living room a bit more.
Other Ideas for Slip Covers
Pillows: Pillow covers are also from Bemz. Don’t forget about pillows. I’ve washed out couch pillows to death, and swapping out a cover to something more washable is awesome.
Daybeds: I’ve been looking around the Bemz site and they have some really cool daybed covers (can you image in velvet or linen?).
Bedskirts: Y’all know I love a traditional design, and the pleated bedskirts are pretty classic looking too. Pair that with a mattress cover and layer with some vintage pieces… smokin’ hot.
After this whole process, I’m a fan of these slip cover. It’s smart because it’s less waste. The slip covers are made to order in Europe. Made to order companies don’t have stock sitting on a shelf that could wind up in the trash. I procrastinated throwing out old stinky sofa because of guilt. I’m glad I was able to donate it and someone is using it – but it still feels wasteful. If Nero ruins the slipcover, I can simply get a new one, and can reuse the furniture frame.
I really love the idea of switching out the colors every so often. I love color, but the idea of spending thousands on a dramatic color makes me nervous. It was fun to get out of my box a bit and take a risk on the orange.