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Stuart, FL 34994
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910 North US Highway 1
North Palm Beach, FL 33408
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2324 N. Military Trail
W.Palm Beach, FL 33409
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999 N. Federal Hwy.
Boca Raton, FL 33432
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4711 N. State Road 7
Lauderdale Lakes, FL 33319
954-731-8830
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3740 N. Federal Hwy.
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1025 S. Federal Hwy.
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13630 Pines Blvd.
Pembroke Pines, FL 33027
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15485 Tamiami Trail N.
Naples, FL 34110
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4580 S. Cleveland Ave.
Ft. Myers, FL 33907
239-278-4401
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4200 Tamiami Trail
Port Charlotte, FL 33952
941-624-3377
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5301 Clark Road
Sarasota, FL 34233
941-923-4200
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Casselberry, FL
1024 FL-436
Casselberry, FL 32707
407-618-8000
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7760 Gate Pkwy
Jacksonville, FL 32256
904-493-2730
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4260 West New Haven Avenue
West Melbourne, FL 32904
321-872-2377
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7501 S.W. 100th Street
Pinecrest, FL 33156
305-668-8400
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Winter Garden, FL
12105 West Colonial Drive
Winter Garden, FL 34787
407-478-2237
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How to make the most out of leather furniture in your 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.

Dark Brown Leather Sectional

A rainbow of colors

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.

A natural conduit for accessories

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.

In Motion

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.

In it for the long haul

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.

Beat the heat

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.