In the fight to protect my furniture from pets, children, and the occasional misdirected glass of red wine I've been tempted — despite my better judgement — to go the way of my grandmother and cover everything from floor to ceiling in a layer of sticky plastic. Fortunately there are some ways to keep furniture in (more-or-less) pristine form without roping it off from the public.
For me, the best solution is to invest in pieces that defy abuse — solidly built furniture that can withstand the occasional stand-in for a jungle gym (see the surprisingly sturdy vintage Sirocco chair above), finishes that are easy to wipe down, sofa and chair cushions with slipcovers or covers that can be removed for washing (as much as I love tufted pillows, they are a big no-no in our house). And of course I've gone the IKEA and Goodwill route plenty of times when I know a piece will get it's fair share of pounding and I just don't want to worry about it.
How do you protect your furniture from home life's many messes?
Image: Sarah Rainwater