How To Style And Care For Leather Furniture

How To Style And Care For Leather Furniture

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What’s not to love about a leather sofa? Versatile and durable, leather can look effortlessly elegant or comfortable and homey depending on your style. Any piece of furniture gets a luxurious twist when upholstered in leather, so if an entire sofa is too much for your taste you can opt for a plush armchair or decadent headboard.

Modern leather comes in a variety of shades: autumnal conker, deep burgundy, opulent black, rich caramel…the list is endless. If you decide on bespoke leather furniture then your options are even wider as you can opt for classic or contemporary shapes to suit your space.

Leather furniture adds depth and character to a room. A sofa can ground spacious living rooms while a strategically placed leather armchair will provide a dramatic accent. Even better, leather sofas and armchairs are easy to style with decorative cushions and throws.

But the quality we love most about leather is its ability to tell a story. Over the years, genuine leather takes on a gorgeous patina that looks lived-in and inviting. A leather sofa or chair could be in your family for decades, providing comfort and stability throughout life’s many changes and experiences.

If you’re considering leather furniture for your home, our guide will help you decide.

How To Style Luxurious Leather

1.     Chic SoHo Apartment

Emulate the style and sophistication of the city that never sleeps with a chunky, square-shaped leather sofa. Deep-filled seats and generous arms offer plenty of space to unwind while clean, geometric lines keep the shape from looking slouchy. Luscious caramel or tobacco tones will add to the effortlessly chic vibe you see in SoHo lofts or bohemian and artsy Greenwich Village. Leather sofas don’t need to be domineering — two-seaters work beautifully in small spaces, bringing depth and drama to loft conversions and studio flats.

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2.     Leather headboard

Time to think outside the box! A dramatic, padded leather headboard creates a striking feature in a master bedroom. Leather has always had an edgy reputation (think motorcycle jackets) but you can easily soften the rebellious overtone by choosing a colour other than black. A dark chocolate leather headboard against neutral walls will provide an organic, grounded atmosphere that’s conducive to a cosy night’s rest. Plus, you can tailor the details to suit your personal taste — from tufting and nail trim to a geometric or curved design. Sleek and easy to clean, a leather headboard will elevate any bedroom into a stylish and inviting space to relax in.

Here are 15 Beautiful Headboard Ideas to inspire you.

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3.    Vintage leather

Capture a bohemian, vintage vibe with a leather sofa. You don’t necessarily need to buy an old, beat-up couch to get the Greenwich Village artist look — bespoke sofas come in a variety of styles and look every bit as chic as the original. Choose a colour scheme that brings warmth to the room and style with natural fabrics like a woven throw or faux fur scatter cushions. Adding greenery in the form of potted plants will work harmoniously and help to create a creative, inspiring atmosphere.

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4.    A country classic

The Chesterfield sofa is the epitome of the country classic style. Instantly recogniseable by its oversized, rolled arms that are the same height as the sofa’s back, the Chesterfield is a design that’s been around for centuries. If you love the country classic style we suggest picking a sofa in a traditional shape to bring a timeless, authentic quality to your space. Other classic designs found in stately homes are Wingback Chairs and Stowe Knowle. Durable and enduring, a leather sofa in a classic design is an heirloom piece that never goes out of style.

Shop classic sofa shapes.

5.    Leather furniture for apartments and tiny homes

There has been a trend in recent years for ‘tiny homes’ as more people opt for minimal, hassle-free living. When it comes to living small, you need to be creative and mindful with your interiors. Maximising space is the aim of the game.

A leather ottoman is ideal for apartment or tiny home living because it saves space, can be used as storage, and doubles up as extra seating. Not to mention that an ottoman upholstered in buttery leather looks incredibly chic! In small apartments and homes clutter can quickly become overwhelming. Keeping your essentials stowed away in a beautiful blanket box or ottoman is the perfect solution.

Shop Ottomans.

6.    Back to black

If warm tones aren’t your style, you can’t go wrong with cool and contemporary black. When styled correctly, a black leather sofa can tie a room together or become an eye-catching focal point. Metallic accents like copper are a modern, stylish complement to black, especially when paired with a jewel-toned wall. Another option is to introduce contrast with feminine touches, like floral wallpaper or velvet pink scatter cushions. Whichever style you choose, know that a leather sofa doesn’t have to be styled like it belongs in a gentleman’s club!

Shop Contemporary Styles.

7.    Refined Leather Dining Chairs

Leather isn’t just for the living room. A set of barstools in cognac-coloured leather oozes sophistication and can ground a bright, airy dining room. Real leather brings decadence to dining, the final opulent touch in a room scheme that’s both luxurious and cosy.

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8.    An Opulent Home Office

Let’s be honest, computer chairs are not things of beauty. If you’ve given your home office a makeover you might feel loath to return that ugly desk chair back to its usual spot. Fortunately, bespoke leather furniture offers all the comfort and back support of a regular desk chair while looking a hundred times more stylish. Whether you opt for chic black, forest green, or an earthy tan, it’s time to give your newly styled home office the centerpiece it deserves. If you can’t decide which style to pick, we wrote a blog all about the perfect, bespoke desk chair.

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9.    Luxuriant Leather Accent Chair

A leather accent chair can provide an eye-catching contrast to the rest of your living room. If your sofa is velvet or linen, for example, up the contrast with an armchair upholstered in cool leather and clean lines. The key is to be intentional with opposing textures and tones like a neutral sofa paired with a brightly vibrant chair. Use accent chairs to draw focus to a particular area of the room, like a bookcase or corner nook, which will help the eye ‘flow’ around a room and notice beautiful details.

Shop Leather Armchairs.

10. Decadent Sectional Sofa

An oversized sofa in opulent leather is the ultimate luxury. It’s also the perfect choice for bigger families as leather is an incredibly hard wearing material. It’s also easy to wipe clean, so you don’t need to worry about children or pets accidentally damaging your new leather sofa. Most traditional leather sofas are dark in colour, which can feel overwhelming. Lighten things up with cream cushions in touchably soft cotton or a snowy-white throw. We recommend placing your sectional leather sofa away from the walls to create a cosy ‘zone’ in the heart of your living room. Cosy film nights become extra indulgent when you have ample room to repose!

Shop Leather Sectional Sofas.

Caring For Your Leather Furniture

Real leather requires proper care to ensure it looks its best. Luckily, it’s very easy to keep leather looking luxurious. A regular spot clean is often all that’s needed, plus modern leather is less likely to sag or rip, meaning you can enjoy your leather sofa for many years to come.

Our handy guide below will help you take proper care of your leather furniture.

How To Care For Leather Furniture

There are three simple steps to caring for leather furniture:

  1. Hoovering
  2. Wiping with a microfibre cloth
  3. Treating with a leather conditioner


Start by hoovering your sofa to remove any dust or hair. You’ll get the best results by using the brush attachment. Lightly run the attachment across the surface of your leather sofa and angle the brush into the corners where crumbs or dust might have gathered. If your sofa rests against a wall don’t forget to pull the sofa out and hoover the back. It’s also a good idea to remove the seat cushions if possible to clean the undersides.

Using a microfibre cloth

Thankfully, leather is non-porous and much easier to clean than other sofa types. For this step you need to be aware of what type of leather you’re cleaning. There are two types and both react to water differently.

  • Unprotected leather. Sometimes called ‘unfinished’ leather, unprotected leather feels ultra soft and buttery. The natural texture of the leather is more visible because the material hasn’t been treated. It’s the highest quality leather, however, it’s also more prone to scratches and stains and doesn’t tolerate water as easily, so you must treat it gently.
  • Protected leather. As the name suggests, protected leather has been treated with a top coat to make it more durable. This type of leather is easy to clean and holds up to hard use. The downside is that protected or ‘pigmented’ leather isn’t as soft to the touch.

Always check the label or with the manufacturer to know which leather type you’re cleaning. If it’s unprotected leather simply wipe down with a microfibre cloth to remove dust and dirt. For protected leather create a solution of three parts water and one part mild washing-up liquid. Wipe the surface with a lightly damp microfibre towel, being careful not to get the leather too wet. Finally, dry your sofa with a different dry towel.

Protecting with a leather conditioner

This final step will only need to be taken once every 6-12 months. Just like our own skin needs looking after, leather is a natural material that benefits from moisturising. Without regular conditioning the fibres in the leather will loosen and crack. When purchasing a leather conditioner check the ingredients and avoid conditioners that contain wax or silicones. Leather protectants can also help repel liquid, therefore can be applied when spills and stains occur. Ensure your sofa stays soft and sleek by applying a leather conditioner once or twice per year.

The above steps can be applied to all leather furniture.

The lifespan of a leather sofa

There’s no reason why leather furniture can’t last decades with good care. Protected leather is a hardy material that can withstand a lot of use, making it perfect for families or those who entertain guests regularly. Even unprotected leather will last many years with the correct care.

One of the most beautiful aspects of leather is that it ages over time, taking on a glorious patina that tells the story of its use.

Leather furniture at The Original Chair Company

We hope our article has inspired you to consider leather furniture for your home! The Original Chair Company are bespoke furniture specialists. Our range of sofas, chairs, footstools, and headboards are made in the UK to high artisanal standards and come in any colour orfabric you wish — including leather.

If you have a particular design or colour in mind we’d love to hear from you. You can also browse our full catalogue of classic shaped sofas and chairs online.

Can’t decide between leather or velvet? Our Ultimate Guide To Buying A Velvet Sofa will help you choose!

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