Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

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z91
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Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by z91 » Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:10 am

My wife and I bought a sectional from a cheap furniture place (one of those "we're going out of business, but not really" places) about 7 years ago. It was right out of college and we just wanted something "cheap" -- pretty sure we got completely ripped off as over the years as I've noticed what quality materials are, this sofa is NOT. We bought it for ~$700 and have both complained about how uncomfortable it is the past couple of weeks. The padding has been pretty crappy support-wise and we thought it may be worth looking into a new one.

Trouble is we have two young kids (3 and 5), and they still spill stuff everywhere (milk, food, juice etc..). We were thinking about just living with the sofa the way it is for another 2-3 years and buy a nice one when the time comes. Used is out of the question for us as my oldest has allergy issues, and we prefer new.

The ones we are looking at now are about $500-700 from a reputable store and the quality is great. Our kids won't draw or tear up the sofa, we are just concerned they may dirty it up so much they'd accelerate the use out of it to the point of having to buy another one. We usually don't spend a ton of time on the sofa, but this winter has been pretty cold so we've spent more time than usual on it.

It wouldn't be a financial burden in any way to buy it, I just want to make sure it's not a premature purchase.

Are we overthinking this? Should we just find one easy to clean or put a cover on it?

mhalley
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by mhalley » Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:15 am

Kids are going to spill, so I would say get a slipcover that is washable.

harrychan
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by harrychan » Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:25 am

Get leather. Our leather couch has stood the test of time with spills, ink, you name it.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

squirm
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by squirm » Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:34 am

Couple bottles of Scotchgard. Spray several light layers letting it dry in between. Tell your kids no milk on the couch.

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somewhatentertained
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by somewhatentertained » Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:44 pm

We spent more than that, and got a very light color, but it is an indoor Sunbrella fabric, washable, bleachable, and has really stood up well over the past 5 years (kids were 1 and 4 when we got it). We'll probably keep it another 10. Funny enough, the first wear it got was from an adult guest who dripped ketchup out of her sandwich on the arm, which does not have a removable cover. Wiped right off. Everything else has come right out too, including potty training accidents by kids and pup, and the occasional washable marker artworks. Aside from the frame construction and fabric choice, be sure you are getting good seat cushion quality, as flat cushions are what had us shopping around before we got our sectional.

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:11 pm

How can juice get spilled on the couch? The rule in our house was no food outside the kitchen. Seriously, DS came home from college and I had to reassure him that he was an actual grown-up adult and it was ok to eat an apple in the family room. Because the No Food Outside The Kitchen rule was firm.

However, there is dirt and kids get sick and you might have pets and other things ruin sofas. Also, they go out of style and your tastes change. So I would go with a moderate priced sofa in a fabric you can live with for a while and not sweat it.

JBTX
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by JBTX » Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:45 pm

I started a thread regarding a $9000 sectional this summer. Quite a contrast from this.

While $9000 is arguably overkill I can’t imagine a quality sectional for 500-700. However if you got 7 years out of a cheap sectional with kids that is actually a victory.

viewtopic.php?t=225738

Yankuba
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by Yankuba » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:13 pm

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:11 pm
How can juice get spilled on the couch? The rule in our house was no food outside the kitchen. Seriously, DS came home from college and I had to reassure him that he was an actual grown-up adult and it was ok to eat an apple in the family room. Because the No Food Outside The Kitchen rule was firm.

However, there is dirt and kids get sick and you might have pets and other things ruin sofas. Also, they go out of style and your tastes change. So I would go with a moderate priced sofa in a fabric you can live with for a while and not sweat it.
+1 No food in the living room

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:17 pm

I made slip cover when my kids were younger.

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alec
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by alec » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:23 pm

My kids are 15 and 12, and they can’t drink anything but water in the living room. They still drop stuff EVERYWHERE.
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" - Upton Sinclair

Maya1234
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by Maya1234 » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:02 pm

We bought a leather couch when my daughter was a baby. It survived everything. We had a no eating outside the kitchen rule but like someone said, kids get sick, non food stuff gets spilled ( glitter from inside a card, paint rubbed off an art project that appeared dry). The leather has stood up to it all. But it was ALOT more than 500-700 bucks. And that was 23 years ago.

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bottlecap
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by bottlecap » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:28 pm

No food or drink on the couch and your problem is solved.

JT

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tooluser
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by tooluser » Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:20 pm

My life experience is that people are more important and memorable than furniture.
The discovery of America, and that of a passage to the East Indies by the Cape of Good Hope, are the two greatest and most important events recorded in the history of mankind. -- Adam Smith, 1776

barelybarefoot
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by barelybarefoot » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:25 am

Three kids under six and our light tan-colored leather sofa and lovd seat from Macy's still looks great. Got it during end of the year sale for $1200 for both. Easy to vacuum the crevices, there are no cushions to remove - it's all one piece. Easy to wipe down and wipe away markers etc (it's never on purpose and I'm still not sure who's the culprit). We thought about microfiber but I didn't like the look. Everything was purchased in 2010 and still comfy and not destroyed by kids.

georgenator
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by georgenator » Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:16 am

Three kids here and we have a pair of Flexsteel leather sofas - either the Blake or Bryant models. They have held up great with lots of traffic, no food though. For an additional $75 we could have purchased a lifetime replacement warranty but chose not to. In hindsight the warranty would have paid off as the couches could have been replaced with all of the scratches on them.
Last edited by georgenator on Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

aceoperations
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by aceoperations » Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:22 am

The "no food on couch" rule is good to enforce. When it fails (and it will), we have a faux leather sectional sofa we bought from IKEA. Spills can be simply wiped away. I would stay away from light colored cloth or cloth-like upholstery because even when kids are not eating on the couch, they always seem to have sticky hands that are covered with a several layers of dirt :D

onourway
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by onourway » Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:50 am

We bought a quality leather couch for about $3500 when our youngest was born. Now we have 3 kids under 7 and the couch has survived everything we've put it through and still looks great. It's large enough for the entire family, and the focal point of the living room. It has been worth every penny.

I can't imagine you can get anything that will last terribly long for $700 so just consider it another temporary piece and enjoy it.

angelescrest
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by angelescrest » Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:56 am

harrychan wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:25 am
Get leather. Our leather couch has stood the test of time with spills, ink, you name it.
Definitely leather! Wipes clean so easily.

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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by forgeblast » Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:04 am

Had IKEA couch chair love seat and slip covers. It lasted until it didn't anymore. Went with leather and worried but now we are so happy we did.
Wipes right up.

aristotelian
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by aristotelian » Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:10 am

Buy the couch. +1 on the no food rule. Cats are much worse than kids.

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:16 am

We love our leather sofas, but then you have to have a rule about no pens or highlighters in the living room, because those ink stains are permanent. As are the cat scratches. But sometimes it's ok to have furniture that looks lived-on.

stlrick
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by stlrick » Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:23 am

Depending on how you and your wife feel about these sorts of things, you may want to look into issues with the flame retardant chemicals used on upholstered furniture. This is not false-fact fear-mongering. Here's a reference to just one recent article in the medical literature:

http://journals.lww.com/co-oncology/Abs ... for.3.aspx

stan1
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by stan1 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:27 am

t60 wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:10 am

The ones we are looking at now are about $500-700 from a reputable store and the quality is great. Our kids won't draw or tear up the sofa, we are just concerned they may dirty it up so much they'd accelerate the use out of it to the point of having to buy another one. We usually don't spend a ton of time on the sofa, but this winter has been pretty cold so we've spent more time than usual on it.

It wouldn't be a financial burden in any way to buy it, I just want to make sure it's not a premature purchase.

Are we overthinking this? Should we just find one easy to clean or put a cover on it?
If you can find a sofa you like and believe to be high quality for $500-700 then by all means go for it. You can buy a $700 sofa every five years or buy a $3500 sofa every 25 years to approximately break even. If you are happy with a lower cost sofa you can mitigate the risk of kids/pets/adults damaging an expensive sofa plus keep up with changing styles with lower cost furniture. But I wouldn't go sit on a $3500 sofa. You might decide that the $3500 sofa is a lot more comfortable than a $700 sofa.

peseta
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by peseta » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:08 pm

This is the ideal scenario for a slipcover. With the ones they make these days (at least the good ones), you can't even tell it's a slipcover. You can get made-to-measure ones for about $200 online.

Our rule is food and drinks okay in the den, but not the living room. The den gets beat up, but the living room stays nice. It must be a Polish family thing, my mom and grandmother do it too. My dad calls my parents' living room "the shrine" . . .

peseta

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lthenderson
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by lthenderson » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:18 pm

We have older kids than you and I still won't trust them with new furniture yet. We bought new leather furniture back before they were born and while spills wipe up easily and they still look decent, the padding on them is definitely not what it used to be. Personally, I wouldn't splurge on a good set of furniture until the last kid leaves the nest.

WildBill
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by WildBill » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:25 pm

Howdy

IKEA. Comfy, decent looking sofas. Any color you like. Replaceable covers, in any color.

Cheap. Indestructible. I love mine after 20 years. Every so often I get a new cover in a new color.

Be aware that my wife is not enamored as I am, but that has to do with the local Ladies Sofa Buying and Bragging Sweepstakes. The leather one she got has been totaled by kids and dogs, while the IKEA hums along.

In fact I am lying on it now typing this, comfy and relaxed.

Happy napping

W B
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Broken Man 1999
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:41 pm

We had patterned furniture when the children and grandchildren were small, in fact just replaced all with leather. Patterned furniture hides stains well, the pieces can still look OK usually until you can get them professionally cleaned, if needed.

Though, I haven't noticed many patterned furniture pieces other than accent chairs. OTHO I make it to a furniture store every decade or two. There might be acceptable patterns that don't remind one of granny's sofa with her hand-made doilies on the arms.

We didn't buy inexpensive furniture when the children were small, but we did pay for the scotch-guard (or some brand) coatings that cost extra. Money well spent with the spillers in the family. Overall the furniture lasted well, frames and coverings held up well, but honestly even I was getting tired of it.

We allow eating in living room for adults only, and only with a folding tray. Children have a small table, plastic chairs, all on a ceramic tile floor out in the sun room. Spills are not an issue.

Slipcovers might be just the thing to protect whatever you buy.

Good luck on your purchase, whatever it might end up being.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by TheEternalVortex » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:58 pm

Bought a cheap leather couch for $800 six years ago and it’s going strong (we have two young kids). It’s also super comfortable. So I don’t think you have to pay all that much to get something decent.

squirm
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by squirm » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:00 pm

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:16 am
We love our leather sofas, but then you have to have a rule about no pens or highlighters in the living room, because those ink stains are permanent. As are the cat scratches. But sometimes it's ok to have furniture that looks lived-on.
Wife and I bought a couch, I said no to leather, instead got fake. $600 instead of $5000. The cats will eventually destroy it, so I'd rather be out the$600 instead of the$5000.

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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:24 pm

Yah....we bought the $4500 leather couch/chair/ottoman and the protection plan. 2 years later, they were hauling them out because every one had some kind of stain that they couldn't get out. Took $1600 and bought cheap microfiber units and took the rest as a cash refund. Have had them now for 10 years and they have literally worn out but there's no stains. I think they're made of synthetic recycled styrofoam and assembled by aliens.
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IMO
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by IMO » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:33 pm

I don't know if I could handle or even desire a "no food or drink outside the kitchen" rule, glad I wasn't raised in such a
strict household.

Just like car interiors, cloth type materials, no matter how well designed for significant wear and tear are going to
show some stains/wear with the typical person who also eats/drinks in cars.

If you really want a couch to last, I don't think there is any comparison to the gold standard of leather. If people have issues with leather, I'm honestly confused what type of leather they are getting. Be it couches or cars, leather has been the absolutely more durable seating material in my experience (asides from some vinyl stuff in the 70's/80's). Especially as OP is mentioning allergy issues, as a slightly damp cloth will remove more allergens than the best vacuum on a cloth type material.

Let the kids eat/drink and be kids, and let the dog up on the couch if you want. Life's too short to stress out about trying to assure
no real life accidents occur on one's couch.

onourway
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by onourway » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:39 pm

With leather furniture it completely depends on the type of leather and the buyer's expectation. If you want perfect uniformity, that style of leather will show wear and stains quite easily. There are other types, such as waxed leather, that is intended to 'break in' and will show all sorts of scuffs and scratches as part of the character. This is what we have and it still looks great after many years of kids doing anything they want on it.

Topic Author
z91
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by z91 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:46 pm

TheEternalVortex wrote:
Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:58 pm
Bought a cheap leather couch for $800 six years ago and it’s going strong (we have two young kids). It’s also super comfortable. So I don’t think you have to pay all that much to get something decent.
This is what my understanding is too..I honestly see no reason to spend more than $1k on a sofa other than handing out additional profit to a company. I think there are some great points in this thread. I will probably spend a bit more than $1k this time around hoping to have it last ~10 years when the styles change.

I didn't think about the allergy issues being prevented by leather. DW is the one that hates leather, but will do anything to protect our son from allergens, so that's probably the way to go for us.

I absolutely loathe shopping for furniture because of how many options there are, and that I will likely be paying a huge markup on it. Some of my colleagues suggested buying a $8-9k sofa which is incredibly expensive IMHO.

My kids (and myself) all eat in the living room and don't plan on changing that anytime soon. When we watch movies, we snack, and that's just not gonna change. I'd rather spend the time cleaning it every so often.

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Pajamas
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by Pajamas » Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:57 pm

Put a couple of sheets of cardboard or some masonite under the cushions and throw a sheet over it until your children are a little older.

mmcmonster
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by mmcmonster » Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:03 pm

harrychan wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:25 am
Get leather. Our leather couch has stood the test of time with spills, ink, you name it.
We bought a leather sofa set from Ikea about 19 years ago (first big purchase after me got married). The sofa set still looks fairly good. It's survived at least 5 moves over 19 years.

Ikea actually has a pretty good selection and the prices aren't out of this world. We recently retired the Ikea set (moved to kid's area of the house) and bought a set from Stressless for the livingroom. Crazy expensive but also the most comfortable leather I've ever sat on.

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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 7:46 pm

tooluser wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:20 pm
My life experience is that people are more important and memorable than furniture.
My parents had the no food in living room and both my brother and I knew we were important. And we also know how to carefor items bought with hard earned $.

Toadandfriends
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Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Post by Toadandfriends » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:16 pm

I love my Home Reserve sectional - it sounds like they are in your price range. They are located in Indiana but ship in flat boxes anywhere. You get to choose your layout and parts and fabric. They have a soft washable pet friendly fabric that repels liquid (not scotch guard) You can order a replacement arm, replacement cushion or just a replacement slipcover “part” (for example an arm slipcover) since they make everything. Later on you could split your sofa into chairs or a chaise (order a different arm or side panel or ottoman) etc and use as reading chair in a bedroom. I think it is very comfortable - you can order one armless unit first on a trial. Their customer service is great- love dealing with family company. Of course you have to put it together! I ordered big flat arms so I would have a spot to put tea, wine, and coffee :)
Best,
Toadandfriends

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