Living it up with leather

Living it up with leather

Designs in leather finishes are a big hit. Sharmila Chand looks at what’s trending on the home front this year, when it comes to this luxurious style

Leather is said to be ageless, as it creates a rich, classy and neat ambience. With new colours and designs, leather is becoming a big hit this year with designers experimenting in just about everything - from sofas and beds, to blinds and accessories. 

“The hottest trend in leather this season is something eclectic and at the same time simple and sober, a combination that just peps up things,” says Ankur Shingal, managing partner of Ansavv.

Elegant and versatile

Leather is a material that never goes out of style, and it is extremely reliable when it comes to durability and comfort. It blends so beautifully with any kind of decor, traditional or contemporary, making it versatile.

Now, leather goods are available in a variety of shades and textures, which makes it easier to integrate into any decor concept. The material itself has such a strong visual impact that alone it can dictate and anchor a decor story.

Whatever leather furniture you select, ensure that you pick up the one that will fit the space available and go with your home decor. Experts recommend leather that has a natural finish as it is soft and reflects the inherent look and texture of leather.

It also ages well. Traditionally, leather comes in shades of antique brown, bottle green and black; but now, animal prints are a huge hit. Prints such as crocodile or snake prints, floral and geometric patterns embossed on the skins are in demand.

Ask for any colour, and you have it - whites, beiges, reds, golds, silver and metallic finishes. When you have leather furniture in darker shades such as brown and black, you can add in a bit of colour through cushions, making the overall look more inviting. If you want a change of colour, you could perhaps redo it seasonally or whenever you get bored of the look.

Smart accessories

One has always seen sofas, bean bags, ottomans, reclining armchairs and even bar stools in leather. But today, home decor doesn’t just stop there; leather furnishes have gone several leagues forward. You can find table tops in leather panels, picture frames, floor cushion covers, and more - which complement traditional as well as modern home decor.

One elegant use of leather is in covering antique books, which look striking when displayed in cabinets. Additionally, attractive lampshades, table mats, bowls and coasters made in leather, add elegance to any decor.

Stitching details on the leather are equally popular. Right from the simple thread stitch to a cobbled stitch, crisscross stitch or a simple leather lacing, such detailing is being liked by the discerning consumers. 

Using leather for your window blinds makes your room look chic. When you pair it with wood panelling, plush carpeting and modern lighting, it will lend your room an elegant and luxurious effect. Combined with other accessories such as metal studs and flower containers, it can makea powerful statement.

As in the living room, leather products look elegant in bedrooms, too. Here, you can use leather for the bed, wardrobe shuttles or even for the dresser mirrors. White leather is good for a cool look, whereas dark brown goes well with just about everything. 

Maintenance mantra

In order to retain leather’s quality and beauty, proper cleaning and maintenance is essential. So, here are some tips to help you maintain it: 

* Leather tears off easily, so keep sharp objects away. 

* Keep leather furniture away from direct sunlight and heat. Heat is bad for the oils present in leather making it look dull. 

* Clean leather items regularly with a damp cloth or vacuum cleaner to get the small dust particles out. Leaving dust on leather will result in the item losing its sheen.

* Do not use detergent or any other hard cleaning solutions to get any dirt/marks off. Use only mild leather cleaning solutions that are available in the market. 

* While cleaning, it is advisable to run the cloth either front to back or side to side, not zig zag. In case of removing the stain, remember to clean an area larger than the stain to avoid spotting.

* Blot immediately if you spill something on leather. Newspapers and sponges do the absorbing job well. Avoid rubbing, and remember that cleaning up fast will avoid staining.

* If you apply a leather conditioner on the furniture once you have cleaned it up, it is good for it to regain its natural oils. It also acts as a protective layer against dirt.

* Polishing leather regularly is a good idea to keep it looking fresh and new. With a little care such as protecting from excessive dryness that can cause it to crack, and from moisture that may cause it to swell,  your leather furniture will last long.

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