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The Lowdown on Luxury Leather Furniture

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Leather has long been associated with chic style and luxury, from the retro leather jacket that always makes a comeback to the leather jumpsuits of heartthrob pop stars. Leather, whether real or faux, evokes specific and strong emotions.

If you love the buttery-smooth comfort of a luxury leather sofa, armchair or ottoman, you have a few key decisions to make before you can narrow down exactly what will work with your lifestyle needs. Our guide will help you venture into the world of custom leather upholstery.

Types of Leather
Aside from vegan and faux leather, there are six primary types of genuine animal hide leather. In order of highest to lowest investment, they include full grain, top grain, split grain, bonded, nubuck and bi-cast.

Full grain leather is as close to natural animal hide as you can get. Ironically, this lack of processing also makes it the most expensive and luxurious type of leather, though we should note it is quite rustic in appearance.

Top grain leather is also pure in its composition, though it receives a bit more polish and splendor, achieving the buttery composition so many of us appreciate. Conversely, split grain leather is much less of an investment than full and top grain, yet it is significantly more difficult to maintain.

Bonded leather is a combination of genuine leather and other material scraps, making it affordable while maintaining the look and smell of leather. Bonded leather is often used in big-box furniture store products. Nubuck and bi-cast leather are fragile and don’t withstand heavy or consistent use very well. Thus, we suggest avoiding these leather types.

Color Varieties
Because leather is a natural material, it can vary greatly in color, even when dyed. Popular and aesthetically pleasing color categories include taupes, tans, browns, reds, yellows, oranges, greens, blues, purples, grays, blacks and creams. With all of these color and tone options, your custom leather furniture can flow seamlessly with the rest of your space.

Please bear in mind that different types and qualities of leather will accept color dyes differently. Faux leather will have the most consistent dye lot due to its controlled production.

Accents & Accessories
Leather furniture stands out easily on its own, but it’s enhanced even further by well-curated accessories, such as studs, nails and tacks that give each piece unique character. Studs, for example, vary greatly in size, color and finish, and they can take your leather furniture into the modern or rustic categories with a mere design decision.

If you need help selecting the right type of leather, choosing the perfect color or combination of colors and curating those finishing touches, you are in the right place. We specialize in custom genuine/vegan leather furniture, and we’re here to make your home or office the most comfortable place to relax.

DESIGN TREND
Cognac leather is trending. In both high-fashion and interior design circles, cognac leather is making the rounds. This amber hue gets better with age and looks great on everything from high-end handbags to mid-century modern sofas.

DESIGN TIP
Plan long term. Custom furniture is an investment. Select materials that will stand the test of time and work with your furniture designer to ensure the style of your piece can grow with your family and adapt to various life chapters.

Written by: Kathleen Jennison 

Before becoming an interior designer, Kathleen Jennison worked as a certified public accountant for a national firm. A near-fatal car accident changed her career path and life forever. She suffered serious brain injuries, and her doctors suggested she take art classes to help with her rehabilitation. With her newfound love for design, she studied at the Art Institute in Sacramento, obtaining her bachelor’s degree in interior design. She is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers and has served as the director of marketing for the National Association of Remodelers for the Greater Sacramento area. In 2009, she started KTJ Design Company.