Leather Furniture-Love it or Leave It?

Leather furniture—folks either love it or tend to dislike it.  S Interior Design spends time speaking with their clients about the pros and cons of leather seating and often will mix leather furniture with furniture upholstered in fabrics. As the guest post below states, too much leather in a space is not the way to go, rather use in moderation for the best end result.

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Great Room Design -S Interior Design-Leather Ottomans, Leather Sofa

Furnishing your home is a personal choice. Whether you’re moving into a new home or redecorating or refreshing your current one, your choice of furniture is important. Many homeowners try to find the balance between stylish and durability. Many furniture pieces on the market today have a lot of pizzazz, but may be too delicate or poorly made to last more than a few years. If you’re looking for furniture that’s beautiful, easy to care for, and will last a lifetime or two, then consider leather furniture. Leather is a wonderful, organic material that’s strong, durable, and if made right, can be a beautiful addition to any home. Many manufacturers offer a wide range of leather pieces, from sofas to leather-bound tables and you can use leather furniture to varying effects in your own home.

Decorating with Leather Furniture

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Decorating with leather furniture in your own home can be easy. Much like anything, the secret is moderation. Having one or two large pieces is usually the best way to go, otherwise, if you used leather for everything, then you may go overboard and it just will look kitschy. For most people, a leather sofa or sectional would be the main purchase, since this is also the largest and most-used piece you’ll have at home. If you pick a good, full-grain leather sofa, this can last for years and it can look good in any living room.

If you want to incorporate leather furniture in your bedroom, consider a plush leather headboard. Not only does this make your room look elegant, but if you like to read or sit up in bed, you won’t need additional pillows. A leather armchair can also bring some Old World elegance into your bedroom alcove or any room, for that matter. If you have a sitting room, office, or library, a leather armchair would look great next to the window or near the fireplace.

Don’t think you can’t use leather in the kitchen. If you have a counter or breakfast nook, why not purchase matching stools upholstered in leather? Better yet, handsome leather bar stools would look great standing next to a shiny, wet bar.

Caring For Your Leather Furniture

Leather can be quite tough and will last a long time, not to mention become even softer and more beautiful after a few years. However, you should also take measures to care for your leather pieces. For one thing, make sure you clean and dust them like you would any furniture piece. Dust them regularly to prevent dirt from accumulating on the surface and small nooks and crannies. If you or a guest spills something on the leather, mop it up right away. Although leather is water-resistant, liquids can still seep in between the seams and cause moisture to build inside. This is bad because this can cause mold and mildew to form or promote rust in the metal parts of the frame (or both). Once the inside of your furniture begins to deteriorate, there may be little you can do to save it. Once in a while, every six months or so, you should use a special leather oil or conditioner (available at many furniture shops) to keep the surface soft and supple. Apply as directed on the bottle and your leather furniture will stay shiny and new as the day you bought it.

Using leather around the home can be advantageous in many ways. Not only does leather look classy when used right, but it can last for a long time. That means you won’t have to spend for repairing the furniture or having them replaced every few years. Indeed, many happy owners of leather furniture refuse to replace their pieces because after a few years, it still looks good or even better than when they bought it.

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5 Home Office-Small Office Design Ideas

More and more of us are spending time at WORK in our home offices (or away from home).  The lines are blurred between work and play and our office spaces need to support functionality AND comfort and even a bit of fun.  The guest post below highlights 5 uniquely designed office spaces.  One is sure to hit your personal ‘sweet spot’ of what you would want your office space to look and feel like.  Of particular interest to S Interior Design is The Pod, and the Rooftop Office.

Modern and Contemporary

Office Design

If you prefer the minimal look and would like a crisp white office with a difference then add a splash of green and enjoy the twist!

All draws come with reversible fronts in a choice of colours and effects including striking lime green and traditional beech. Plus you can design your cube bookcases using the same interchangeable door fronts.

View the full range of office furniture and accessories at Viking from £49.99.

Comfy Cozy

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If you like your home comforts and prefer to feel at home in your office then this traditional office décor may suit your style. Everything about this space says “comfort” from the dim lighting to quality wooden furniture.

The office looks busy yet homely and is perfect for those homeowners put-off by minimal and new-age designs. Avoid the clinical look and opt for a more cosy office look for the winter months.

Designed by Willman Interiors.

Warm and light

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This room is bright, light and great for both desktop working and chilling in your break.

The plentiful storage space guarantees to keep your desk free from clutter and makes you want to work from home! Add quirky pieces and wall fixtures like inspiring pictures or quotes for encouragement too.

Keep bang on trend with designer pieces such as Verner Panton’s S Chair and add a touch of modern glamour to your warm interior design.

Designed by O’Hara Interiors.

The Pod

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When your home is overcrowded with your partner, room-mates, kids and pets it’s sometimes nice to get away from it all to concentrate on work.

Thankfully, the Office Pod is here to help and advertises itself as a great way to “separate your office from the home; an easy to construct shelter that provides both style and functionality”. Although quite a tight fit, you will comfortably squeeze everything you need to work from home in one compact booth.

Read the full story.

Rooftop space

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Although the English weather doesn’t usually permit it, the Royal Horticultural Society made a rooftop workplace perfect for the summer months.

Sponsored by RBS, the modern design from Patricia Fox was inspired by the abundance of underused roof space in London’s most popular business districts.

The ‘office garden’ has various sections depending on staff needs; hanging chairs for making calls and browsing the net, a “pick your own herbal tea bar” for thirsty office workers and a canopy complete with projection screen for conference calls and presentations.

Read more about Patricia’s designs here.

Televisions and Open Spaces

For some unknown reason I get a magazine called Home Theater delivered to me.  As an Interior Designer I am frequently challenged to incorporate audio-visual components into my room designs.  As I looked through the latest issue of Home Theater magazine a unique and functional option was revealed.

When you have a large open space (think loft spaces or combination living and dining spaces) that needs some visual and functional division, you can achieve that while concurrently housing your audio-visual components.  The side without the flat screen TV can be used to display books and decorative objects.  It is from Contempo Wall.  You get to customize your unit choosing from a wide range of finishes (wood tones, colors, mirrors, matte, glossy)

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Multi-Function Rooms

In October I was contacted by a potential client with a unique design request.  She is an accomplished artist; a painter of wild life, nature and domestic animals. She worked out of a room in her home that while large in dimension, was cluttered, dark and unorganized.  Not so unique you might say.  Here are the other details that earn it the UNIQUE title:

In addition to serving as an art studio, the room was used as:

  •  a home office
  •  a guest room
  • a place to do yoga
  • a place to watch TV
    AND
  • a place for her 5 cats to climb their unique indoor trees, socialize, relax and use the litter box

Here are some BEFORE pictures

Over sized roll top desk took up a lot of space

Unique cat tree climbers covered in tattered pastel carpet

Another desk surface and book case with cat boxes under neath

The design plan:
The client wanted to bring a tropical feel to the Arizona desert and create a visually clean and uncluttered space.  She loves natural, woven design elements.  The space needed to look and feel bright, open and airy while serving all of the functional needs and be cat friendly and easy to take care of.

  1. New easy to care for flooring to replace the worn Berber carpeting-18″ tile in reddish brown was laid
  2. Re-upholster the cat trees in a super durable and attractive fabric – Crypton fabric was used
  3. Provide comfortable seating and guest sleeping option in an easy to care for , pet friendly fabric-A custom air mattress sleeper sofa was designed using two fabrics; the cushions have an indoor/outdoor tropical fabric and the main sofa is covered in a commercial grade vinyl that has a rattan pattern embossed on it
  4. Storage and display for art supplies, books, magazines-a space plan was developed and all was purchased through IKEA or custom constructed.
  5. Working surfaces to create artwork-a main desk with a light box is placed by the french doors to take advantage of natural light, and a secondary surface was constructed to spec to stand at and as a dual benefit house and hide the litter boxes
  6. Area rugs to soften and define the zones-two sisal rugs (cats love sisal) were placed in the room
  7. New window coverings to filter but not block the light-natural woven shades were installed

 AFTER PICTURES

The Cat's Can Climb and look out the window

Litter Box Storage & Cat Trees

The client is thrilled with the results.  We both believe that the redesigned space will result in even more beautiful paintings being created and serve as a wonderful room to relax in with and without her 4-legged family members.