When decorating your beach house, you may want a light and airy décor that reflects the environment. People often choose light fabrics that instill a sense of calm and peace. But what is not that peaceful is a fabric that is easily stained by spilled drinks, faded by the sun, or shows damage.
Especially if your beach house will be home to small children or used to host parties, you’ll want to choose fabrics that look good and are still easy to clean. After all, what’s so great about a holiday that requires extra work to enjoy it?
These days there are many plain and patterned fabrics available for both indoor and outdoor upholstery use. Especially in holiday homes and beach houses, the new trend is to use outdoor fabrics indoors. They have expanded in range and are no longer available only in a limited set of prints or colors. Even the texture has improved, making them a great choice for stylish interiors that last.
The best fabric for a beach house sofa will be one that is durable and hardwearing, sun damage resistant, and easy to clean. The best outdoor sofa fabric will be made of olefin or acrylic. For indoor sofa upholstery, choose duck or sailcloth, Olefin, acrylic, or Osnaburg woven cotton.
We all want to enjoy our beach house without worrying about how much work we will need to do to keep our sofas clean. I have some suggestions for fabric choices that can make a huge difference in your enjoyment of your beach house and withstand the rigors of indoor and outdoor traffic, harsh seaside elements like sun and sand while still looking good and in keeping with your beach house décor. Natural and synthetic fabrics will have their advantages and disadvantages.
The Best Natural Fabric For A Beach House Sofa
The best fabric will be the one that suits your décor style and is in keeping with the look you are going for, but which is also hardwearing, stain-resistant, and easy to clean. A good durable fabric will make all the difference.
Your fabric choice will depend on your décor goals and how much use the room will get. For an area with low use or for sofas with easily washed slipcovers, look into natural fabrics such as woven cotton or linen and canvases like duck or sailcloth. Choose a slipcover that is machine washable rather than dry clean only.
Sailcloth slipcovers come in a range of natural colors that will suit the relaxed look of a beach house. Check these out on Amazon below.
A lovely fabric with a rustic natural feel is Osnaburg, a loosely woven fabric similar to but less course than burlap with a subtle linen look. Originally Osnaburg was woven from flax and jute, but nowadays, it’s a generic term for a course-woven linen or cotton.
With natural fabrics, choose heavyweight options that can withstand a lot of use. Natural shades that will not fade in the sun are a good option. Another thing to note is that patterns are better at hiding spills and damage, so that is another option when choosing your fabric.
While leather may not be the first choice for beach house décor, consider a leather sofa as an option. It may be one of the best choices for a long-term, easy-to-clean sofa.
Leather is extremely hardwearing and easy to wipe clean. Hard leather also holds up surprisingly well to lotions and oils. Leather sofas are an investment, so my suggestion is to order swatches from the manufacturer of the sofas you like, and test them with abrasives like sand, pour water on them, rub in some sunscreen, and see how they fare.
With a leather sofa, you can avoid the trouble of removing and washing slipcovers and then having to struggle to get them back on.
The Most Durable Fabrics For Beach House Sofas
If your sofa is in a living room or sunroom where people are constantly coming and going, one tack is to choose fabrics traditionally associated with outdoor furniture.
Companies like Sunbrella have created high-performance indoor/outdoor fabrics that can be used for upholstery, and they come in a surprisingly large range of colors and styles. If I were looking to decorating my beach house and reupholstering my sofas, I would consider using one of these synthetic blend outdoor fabrics.
The variety of chic textures, colors, and patterns available in outdoor fabrics open up scope for your beach house décor. These days solution-dyed acrylic and Olefins can mimic many natural fabrics, giving you the look you want without the hassle of hard-to-clean and delicate fabrics.
Outdoor fabrics are generally more expensive than comparable indoor fabrics, but you will get more protection from elements, damage, and spills. If you choose a high-quality brand, your fabric will be sun- and sand-resistant, and their chemical coating will protect them against mold and mildew, making them perfect for beach houses.
What Are The Easiest Sofa Materials To Clean
Both natural and synthetic beach house sofa covers will get their share of water, sun lotions, and sand on them, so you will want something pretty easy to clean. Different fabrics will need different cleaning solutions, and some fabrics will have protections on them that need to be replaced. Always check manufacturer guidelines first. Most fabric manufacturers will have specific instructions for different spills such as oil, wine, and other stains.
Linen and cotton slipcovers
Depending on your budget constraints and how often you update your beach house décor, you will have various options. If you don’t mind removing and replacing slipcovers, these are great economical alternatives to reupholstering your sofas.
You have a large variety of colors and patterns to choose from to suit your style. Because the slipcovers are removable and relatively inexpensive, you can update your beach house look when you feel like it.
Make sure they are machine-washable rather than dry-clean only.
The downside is that slipcovers tend to get a bit shabby with time, and they can be a pain to put back on your sofas.
Of the natural materials, a good hard-wearing leather is the easiest to clean. Simply wipe it down. You will need to ensure you choose a hard rather than soft leather, as the soft will not have the durability you need.
A good leather sofa can withstand many spills, and many have a protective finish that helps keep them stain-free. You’ll need to condition your leather sofas, but you can make a basic and cheap cleaner and conditioner with olive oil and white vinegar.
New technology developed to saturate UV-resistant fabrics with color has been a boon for beach house upholstery. Fabrics made of Olefin or microfibre and other blends are stain, fade, and water-resistant. Olefin is a particularly good choice for a seaside house as it is also highly resistant to abrasion from sand and the buildup of mildew.
Cleaning them couldn’t be easier. Once the loose dirt is brushed off, a simple water and mild soap cleaning solution is sprayed on and worked in with a soft brush and left to soak before being rinsed away. Stains from oils like sun lotion can be easily cleared up with cornstarch to absorb the oil, wiped off, then cleaned as usual.
Whether you choose natural or synthetic fabrics, and whatever your budget limitations, you can find a durable, chic fabric that complements your beach house aesthetic and is easy to keep clean.
Look for fabrics that are hard-wearing and heavyweight. Fabrics that have been chemically treated to resist water, withstand abrasives, and resist sun damage are going to be your best choice in fabric for a beach house sofa.
Always check manufacturer instructions or guidelines on how to clean spills and stains to ensure your fabric is kept looking its best.