I Never Thought I Would Be a “Leather Sofa Person”—But It’s the Secret to a Cleaner Living Room
And I’m never looking back.
For the past three and a half years, my living room has been living a design lie—in the form of a white slip-covered sofa. When I first bought the IKEA Ektorp sofa with a pristine white cover, I convinced myself: It's a slipcover, I'll just toss it in the wash every week. I'll have no problem keeping this white sofa clean! Fast forward three years. While I'd spot-cleaned the sofa often and even bought a replacement cover at the two-year mark, I had lugged the heavy cover to the laundromat a grand total of zero times. While I aspired to the minimalist look of a white sofa, the reality of my cleaning routine didn't match up. So when I moved apartments recently, I knew it was time to admit defeat. It was officially time to trade in my slightly dingy-looking white sofa.
After finding my couch a lovely new home on Craigslist, I began my hunt for a beautiful, yet easy-to-clean replacement. As I debated upholstered cotton blends vs. tufted velvet vs. microfiber, one option surfaced on my Instagram feed that checked all the boxes: Article's Sven Leather Sectional in Charme Tan. Was it durable? Check. Was it easy to wipe clean? Check. Was it beautiful? Double check. No one was more surprised than I was to find that this leather sectional was actually my dream sofa.
Growing up, my parents had a leather sofa—and I hated it. It was a little chilly in the winter, blankets always slipped off it, and why couldn't we just have a soft upholstered couch like other families? As an adult, what I realize now is that with three messy kids and a dog to take care of, a durable leather sofa was the ideal option for our family. Not only would it stand the test of time, but it would develop a rich patina with age. Plus, unlike fabric upholstery, the leather didn't trap dust mites or pet fur, making it more hygienic and allergy-friendly. In fact, that sofa (and my mom's diligent vacuuming routine) was the key to our clean-looking living room.
With that realization, I knew I'd found my dream sofa. And in the past two weeks since the Sven was delivered (which I'm proud to report I assembled by myself in less than 15 minutes!), it has lived up to (and far surpassed) my expectations. As someone who likes to snack on the couch, I'm not easy on my sofa, but so far, chip crumbs and baguette debris have been easy to brush off. According to the leather care card that came with the sofa, the leather hide (which was sourced as a by-product of food production) has been hand-rubbed with oil and wax protectant, giving the sofa a layer of defense again stains.
While I luckily haven't had any major spills yet, Article offers the following cleaning advice for when the time comes: First, vacuum the surface. Then, using a soft white towel, massage a high-quality leather cleaner onto the surface. Repeat every two to three months, and avoid harsh chemicals that can discolor the leather.
Last week, when a friend stopped by to check out my new apartment, she admired the latest addition: "Wow, that sofa makes the entire room." That's when I realized that I had (once again) introduced a design lie into my living room. The sofa's sleek design and buttery soft leather helped me fake the appearance of a "grownup" apartment, while concealing all the crumbs. Calling all messy households with kids and pets (or just some couch-snacking grownups), this leather sofa will be your best-kept cleaning secret.