1000s of Items In-Stock Now. Looking for Inspiration? Browse our Latest Catalogs Here.
Blog home >
Michelle F. Solomon, Tribune Content Solutions
Once the domain for stodgy dens, leather furniture has come out of the library and into the living room. Furniture fashioned in leather has a natural beauty that is durable, comfortable, and, with its timeless design, never goes out of style.
In Florida, with its subtropical climate, it would seem that leather would not be a practical first choice — not so, said Lynn Goral, a design manager with Baer's Furniture, a collection of fine furniture stores with 16 locations
throughout the state. "Leather takes on the temperature of the room," she said, and added the advantages of the material in its variety and durability make it perfect for any living space.
Goral outlined a few ways leather furnishings are being utilized in Florida homes.
Variety is the word for today’s leather furniture, especially in color choices. Neutrals, whites or bright colors fit the relaxed vibe of a coastal hideaway, and serve as a complement to the timeless classics in
traditional colors likebrown and black.
"Leather in all colors is what's 'in' right now," said Goral. She mentioned she recently ordered an orange sectional couch
to brighten up a customer's Florida home. "It's a centerpiece that makes a statement in the room."
Fabric chairs were added to complete the living room set. "Pairing a leather sofa with fabric chairs serves to soften the look," said Helene Brown, an interior designer at Baer's Furniture. She said that a mix of different
upholsteries is another way to ensure that the leather doesn't overpower a room.
While leather chairs, ottomans and, yes, even area rugs made of leather can be part of a room’s personality, a leather couch or sectional serves as the foundation for the rest of the room. Colors can set the room’s tone:
Neutrals that go beyond beige; rich brown tones to add classic charm; bright aquamarine, lime green or red for intrigue; or a clean white that creates a blank canvas on which to build.
Select pillows, poufs and throws that bring out the natural richness and visual warmth that high-quality leather exudes. Genuine, full- or top-grain leathers are an organic palate to design around. The natural variations and
imperfections on a hide provide visual variety while still allowing for a design baseline.
"Pillows with patterns blend well against the backdrop of leather," said Goral. Choose a color tone that works with the leather itself. Whites or neutrals pop on a dark leather sofa, while bright, bold patterns add visual
interest to a more nautral-toned piece.
For a finishing touch, an area rug brings everything together. "The selection of the rug shouldn't be overlooked," advised Brown. Pick a soft color to complement dark leather,
while the opposite holds true — a darker color for lighter leathers. Bold patterns work best to bring out the vibrancy of brightly-colored leather — the fire-engine reds and the brighter blues.
Functional and comfortable, Goral said that leather motion sofas and sectionals are becoming a popular choice. Motion furniture features a built-in reclining chair — some of the larger sectionals can even have two or more.
Power-assisted motion sectionals and sofas provide instant relaxation at the push of a button. The built-in recliners are space savers, too, eliminating the need
for additional pieces of furniture.
Durability is one of leather's most desirable attributes, which makes it perfect for any room, even the most lived in areas such as a family room. Depending on care and use, “leather lasts 10 times as long as fabric," said Goral.
She does emphasize that routine cleaning and care is important to enjoy the long-term benefits of leather. It's advisable to treat each kind of leather as recommended by the manufacturer, but routine vacuuming with the brush attachment
is great for any leather.
Goral also mentioned that designers are pairing leather with fabric, such as leather being placed in high traffic areas of a piece of furniture — on the arms of a stand-alone recliner or the frame of a sofa, places where either
durability is essential or the variety paired with upholstery gives a stylish appearance.
Finally, ditch the notion that the temperature of leather furniture is too hot for Florida climates. That is a common misconception that Goral said she's often clearing up for her customers. In addition to organically
working with the room’s ambient temperature, the porous nature of leather also allows for the material to “breathe.” Synthetic materials can trap heat, leading to sticky situations in the summer.
Stylish, durable with an array of color choices, what's not to love about leather? Baer's designers are leather experts, ready to make a match.
Nothing on this page may be copied or reproduced without explicit permission.