TREND WATCH: LEATHER
LEATHER LOOK – FRIEND OR FAUX?
Leather – the material of the moment. Having taken the catwalk by storm, it’s making serious waves interiors-wise that go way beyond the stain-proof dining chair. You herd it here first, folks…
From raw hide to vegan leather (and everything in-between), there really are some amazing pieces to discover. Soft and buttery, grosgrain or embossed, quilted, woven, plaited or studded – its versatility and stamina is impressive.
‘Losange’ – A beautiful, quilted leather statement wall panel from textural leather wallcovering specialists, Studioart
Whilst I’m technically vegetarian, the quality, smell and tactility of leather has always appealed to me. Whether featured on a structured handbag or a beautifully upholstered dining chair, I’m in. I do respect that this isn’t for everyone though and I’ve been amazed by the quality of faux in recent years.
Stella McCartney – the queen of vegan leather – showcased wonderful laser-cut creations at her Ready-to-Wear Fall 2020 runway show
Vegetarian Leather – formally ‘pleather’ – has really moved on since I wore my first fakie (a candy pink biker, no less) in the early ’00s. Stella McCartney has always led the way in championing quality vegan alternatives, with many brands both in the world of fashion and interiors following suit. This season, even the high street has upped the ante.
Some of my favourite leather apparel this season – Shoppable links from L-R: Frame – Leather Culottes | Gianvito Rossi – 85 Leather Knee Boots in Neutral | Jennifer Behr – Cruz Leather Headband in Tan | Valentino – Embellished Leather Gloves in Black | Bottega Veneta – The Pouch Small Gathered Leather Clutch in Camel | Chloe – Daria Medium Textured and Smooth Leather Tote in Green | Versace – Leather Mini Skirt in Black | Miu Miu – Leather Shorts in Black | Saint Laurent – Croc Effect Leather Waist Belt | Proenza Schouler – Leather Loafers in Black | Isabel Marant – Xiao Leather Shirt | Loewe – Horseshoe Leather Shoulder Bag in Tan | Versace – Embellished Leather Ankle Boots in Black
I’ve always enjoyed incorporating leather elements and accents into our design schemes at Sarah Mailer Design. My design philosophy centres around layering – building interest and depth through texture. I work this approach into my apparel too. Leather is a rich addition to any space/outfit and you really can’t go far wrong.
Fera at Claridges, London, featuring upholstery in Whistler Leather. Interior design by Oliver Laws
Researching this piece and finding examples to share was an absolute dream! My husband, under the impression I was working on something decidedly important (rather than trawling Net-a-Porter), kept me well-fed and caffeinated well into the night. My aim was to curate an edit of oh-so-chic leather/vegan leather pieces to elevate your home.
Timeless and inviting, you can’t go far wrong with a leather dining chair or carver. Perfect for family life and injecting another texture into your space. Featuring Cattelan Italia Planer Dining Table at Chaplins
LEATHER: BEYOND THE TREND
I’m slightly wary of calling out leather as a trend – of casually grouping it with Millennial Pink, rose gold or studded accessories (click to read these).
We are taught to be cautious of trends. That they are frivolous and unsustainable. That we should avoid buying into fads, especially when it comes to interior design. Whilst I agree with this to an extent (that’s another topic for another day), leather/vegan leather is certainly more evergreen than a passing craze. When I’m designing a family home, it has always been the material of choice for dining chairs and high-traffic, everyday furniture. It ticks all the boxes – wipeable, easy to maintain and ages beautifully.
The upholstered legs and elegant colour of these leather carvers make them look really chic and expensive. Featuring Cattelan Italia – Zuleika Dining Chair at Chaplins
Regardless of your opinion on trends, it’s clear that leather is the hero of the moment. With catwalk control and longevity, it has huge appeal in our homes. Understandably, what rules the runway doesn’t always the world of interiors – very few can afford to approach furniture choices with the same frivolity as their latest jacket purchase – but leather is a choice I’m always on board with. Especially when it extends to an amazing bespoke wall panel or beautiful desk.
An amazing and intricate wall panel in vegan suede by artisan upholsterer extraordinaire, Aiveen Daly
LEATHER FURNITURE: THE EDIT
Below, I’ve curated a collection of fabulous upholstered leather pieces that have recently caught my eye. I focused on long-term investment items, to cherish for years to come, rather than playful, faddy accents. Like a designer handbag, if you stick to a timeless hue (black, tan, grey, cream or navy always get my vote), then your leather furniture will look fresh for years to come. For more advice on picking the perfect piece, have a read of my investment leather sofas article here.
With this palette in mind, I hope you enjoy my edit. Click on the tiles (or logos) if you want more information or to shop;
Do any pieces catch your eye? I’m particularly enamored by mixed materials!
LEATHER ACCESSORIES: THE EDIT
Not in the market for a new sofa or leather look lounger? Nod to the trend with a chic tray or woven basket. And – if you want to invest in something really special and unique – these sculpted leather mirrors by talented artist, Marie Barthès are firmly on my lust-list.
Each composition is original, unique and deliciously hand-made. The surface manipulation techniques Barthès adopts add a sense of poetry and whimsy to each piece.
Maria Barthès – A beautiful collection of her exquisite leather mirrors
When choosing beautiful leather, or leather-look, styling pieces, keep it chic in natural hues. The tan accessories would complement a neutral or off-white, ecru and cream space, adding richness and depth whilst keeping things natural.
LEATHER LOOKS: HERE TO STAY
Fabulous ‘Continental’ chevron leather wall panels by Studioart. Interior by Grove Studio
A quality leather piece will transcend seasonal trends, making it a long-term and worthy investment. Perfectly paired with timber or stone, textile or glass, it is incredibly versatile – tough yet luxurious. Beyond the new pieces on offer, there are some wonderful leather clad antiques to source. I love vintage leather – the patina and wear only add to its history and appeal. I sense another blog topic in the making…
Do you enjoy incorporating leather in your home? Are you for or against the leather sofa and how do you like to dress it? Please feel free to leave a comment below – I always love hearing from you!
Girl signing off,
** If you’re looking for more interior ideas or inspiration, the following posts my be useful: Coffee Table Book Styling | How to Design Children’s Bedrooms | How to Choose the Perfect Paint Colour | 3 Interior Design Mistakes and How To Avoid | How to Create a Spa Bathroom
3 thoughts on “TREND WATCH: LEATHER”
Beautiful and timeless choices here. I really love that white wall panel artwork and the leather mirrors too.
Thanks for your comment Fiona. I LOVE those leather mirrors – I saw them at a trade show years ago and still think about them! That’s when you know something has made a big impact, right?! I think we will see leather used in less ‘conventional’ ways moving forward, as we all strive to make our spaces more varied and unique.
Have a lovely weekend x
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