The Unexpected Living Room Staple Jessica Alba Has Zero Regrets About Splurging On

published Mar 6, 2024
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Jessica Alba headshot
Credit: Amy Sussman/Getty Images

When it comes to choosing what pieces to save vs. spend on at home, interior designers have thoughts. Nate Berkus, for one, cautioned against buying expensive everyday glassware — a smart tip, as you don’t want to break the bank on something, well, breakable. Meanwhile, Emily Henderson previously suggested sticking to affordable sheets so you can allocate your bedroom nest egg elsewhere. But what types of products are actually worth investing in long-term? Jessica Alba just weighed in, and it’s a somewhat surprising living room accessory. 

Apartment Therapy recently caught up with the actress-turned-entrepreneur, who was honored as one of our 2024 Design Changemakers alongside Lizzy Mathis. While interviewing the pair, who co-host the Roku home reno show Honest Renovations, we asked them to pinpoint the one home item that they’d consider worth the splurge. For Mathis, couches are the way to go, as a high-quality, well-made style can last for decades. And Alba’s pick? Slipcovers.

As a mother of three children and two dogs, Alba noted that she’s invested in not one, but two sets of linen slipcovers for her breakfast nook and all the sofas throughout her home. “That was not cheap, having two sets,” she admits. “But I would say splurging on having that second set of slipcovers was major and a game-changer.” Alba adds that the current covers do get plenty of “wear and tear” and she keeps “stain remover on standby” at all times, which makes having backups on hand even more of a must for her family’s lifestyle. Obviously, they’re way easier to clean and maintain than the couches themselves, too. 

Slipcovers also play well into her overall home aesthetic — a point she noted in her Architectural Digest house tour from 2019. Working with the firm Clements Design to decorate her Los Angeles home, Alba explained that she wanted to balance kid-friendly designs with a French-inspired, natural look — hence, incorporating slipcovers. “There’s a chic way to do slipcovers, and Clements has figured out how to do that … because you never know with three kids,” she laughs in the video.

Luckily, over the past few years, more brands have rolled out modern, comfortable slipcover styles that don’t look — or feel — like relics of the past. They’re also perfect if you want a low-lift change-up to your living room scheme. Slipcovers can run on the pricier side, but they do cost significantly less than reupholstering or buying a brand-new couch, whether you get one set or multiple.

I rounded up a few pretty picks below, if you’re interested in getting behind this celebrity-approved shopping idea to protect and preserve your own sofa(s). Or, you can always get creative and simply DIY a “throw cover” out of leftover fabric or a big blanket!

1 / 5

Sixpenny exclusively carries chic, minimalist slipcovered pieces in a handful of linen and velvet varieties. They do sell individual sofa covers designed specifically for their furniture lines, but you may find dimensions similar enough to fit a modular sofa of your own. Shop by shape and furniture size: sectional, corner, U-shaped, or L-shaped.

2 / 5
Magic Linen

For a looser look, opt for this customizable linen topper, available in 20 colors or patterns and nine different sizes. If you’re on the fence, Magic Linen offers free samples and a handy measuring guide on their site.

3 / 5

This charming ruffled slipcover feels straight out of a Nancy Meyers movie set. Using built-in ties, the machine-washable accent fits furniture 74 to 96 inches wide, 30 to 40 inches high, and 32 to 42 inches deep.

4 / 5

If you own an IKEA sofa, check out Bemz, which makes affordable slipcovers specifically tailored to some of the brand’s most popular collections (including sleeper sofas). Choose your desired fit, skirt length, and fabric — from colorful corduroy designed by Apartment Therapy’s CEO, Maxwell Ryan, to retro floral or plaid prints.

5 / 5
Pottery Barn

Count on Pottery Barn for both slipcovered sofas and replacement slipcovers available à la carte. Here, you can re-buy pieces in the same fabric, or experiment with one of their 95 total made-to-order options for a fresh new-couch feel.