Leather: Like It or Leave It?

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Sep 16, 2010 | 9 Comments | Category: Furniture

I have always had a slight aversion to leather.  I take that back- I have an aversion to pairing leather with leather with leather (*see below photo*).  I’ve seen more than enough houses where a dark brown leather sofa is paired with a dark brown leather chair paired with a dark brown leather recliner paired with a dark brown leather ottoman (maybe I’m exaggerating- but you get the idea!) and that look is just not for me.  I like to mix things up a bit more!  I rarely specify leather for clients (or for myself).  I find leather to be very cold and uninviting and never the material that I want to curl up on a sofa with.


Of course leather has its good qualities…

1) It is flexible.  It can go more modern (paired with metallic legs/arms) or more traditional (paired with antique brass nailheads)

2) It’s very practical and durable.  In the instances where you have kids or pets, a leather sofa might be a good idea.   I’m not in either situation (yet) so I think I’m going to try to hold on to my white skirted sofa for as long as possible!

3) It’s smooth, soft, and clean looking.  There is no fuss with leather (unlike a slipcover) and it never looks disheveled.

4) It’s season friendly.  It warms in the winter and cools off in the summer.

There are some exceptions to my leather rule and here they are below.   A conglomeration of stylish leather pieces at every price point that make even the most leather-apprehensive person, take a good second look.

Z Gallerie Shield Dining Chair

Eames Lounge Chair

Anthropologie- Atelier Chesterfield

1st Dibs- Barcelona Chair

Arteriors- Calvin Top Grain Polished Nickel Barstool

Jonathon Adler- Preston End Table

Four Hands- Dixon Dining Chair- Wasabi

Pier 1- Faux Leather- Bal Harbour Dining Chair

Design Within Each- Eames Aluminum Executive Chair

Jayson Home and Garden- Sienna Chair

Restoration Hardware- Devon Leather Chair

Would you do leather furniture in a heartbeat or are you a die hard fabric fanatic like myself?

Of course you’ve seen the black and white- maps, botanicals, and architectural drawings pop up everywhere in rooms these days.  You can’t hardly open up a magazine without seeing a series of them somewhere within its pages.

But how about the black and white nudes?  I keep seeing these sketchy pieces of art everywhere lately and although I usually shy away from something like this, I actually found myself purchasing a pair for a client, from the Robert Allen showroom the other day.

{John Richards- at Robert Allen}

What I loved about these is that they weren’t incredibly detailed and didn’t get too up close and personal with any body parts :).  They were  just very simple and sophisticated.  They were exactly the kind of series that I had envisioned to set on top of this busy “nude” geometric wallpaper by Osborne and Little in a small dining area.

And as luck would have it, the figure sketches ended up working out perfectly for the room!  The repetition of the wallpaper’s neutrals within the art and bit of black to act as a punctuation mark, made a nice graphic statement on the wall, without screaming for attention. I always say, every room needs a touch of black!

Now that I’m no longer looking for these figure sketches, I keep coming across them everywhere!  Are these the new “botanicals”?

Ashley Goforth used one on her client’s gallery wall.

{Via Decorpad}

Z Gallerie- Spa Day 3

William Sonoma Home- “Anna In Repose”

Horchow- “Nude” Paintings

Soicher Marin- Nude Sepia Drawings after Fragonard

1st Dibs- Etherial Figure Drawing

Paragon- Nudes

What are your thoughts on the nude figure drawings?  Love ’em for interiors or leave ’em for anatomy class?

Suzanne Kasler’s furniture line for Hickory Chair is nothing short of stunning.  I’m always drooling over her French inspired pieces and daydreaming about one day adding a piece of her collection to my own living room.

Well, that day isn’t going to be anytime soon unfortunately, so you can imagine my surprise when I came across her Tuxedo Chest at Hickory Chair and almost fell over when I saw how closely it looked to the vintage 1950’s chest that I just bought at Lula B’s Antique Mall in Dallas.

Of course the first person I emailed was my boyfriend (who definitely didn’t share my level of excitement) to tell him that there was our entry chest’s twin (well, its three paneled, more expensive twin) sitting at Hickory Chair for about $7,000 more than what I paid.

I swear, you really never know what you will find at these great vintage shops on Riverfront!

{Suzanne’s Tuxedo Chest}

{Lula B’s vintage chest}

Of course nothing compares to Suzanne’s furniture (and I can’t say I’m any less obsessed with her collection), but after taking the former laminated countertop credenza from Lula B’s and transforming it with a marble top, it looks like a whole new piece of furniture!  I call it my “Suzanne inspired piece”.  Now if only Lula’s would get a quatrefoil shaped chair in the Alexandra’s likeness, I’d be on a roll!

Be sure to visit Lula B’s Antique Mall for other amazing deals and steals!

1010 Riverfront Boulevard

Dallas, TX 75207

I can’t wait to start watching The Nate Berkus show this fall, premiering next Monday, September 13th on NBC.

It is going to be filmed in NYC, so Nate had to relocate there from the Windy City.  The word on the street is that he moved into a rented two bedroom, 1700 square foot apartment in the Chelsea neighborhood.

I was perusing through Us Weekly the other day (my end of the week ritual) and there was Nate’s new apartment featured in an article.  I love when Us Weekly derails a little to the interiors side!  You don’t see it enough in gossip mags!

The article proves Nate’s not afraid to mix high and low either.  The designer’s Pottery Barn jute rug (that he takes with him from home to home) is among more pricey items such as a gold leaf hand sculpture by artist Pedro Friedeberg.

For an official tour of Nate’s new abode, click HERE to watch the video that was featured on Us Weekly’s website (and I have to say that their sneak peek is MUCH better than my poorly scanned photos from their magazine!)

I’ve never been a big fan of the painted accent wall and oddly enough, that’s usually the number one question that I get asked at an initial consultation…”What are your thoughts on doing an accent wall in here”?

In most instances, I choose to stay away from the painted accent wall.  It reminds me of a bad home decorating show where they paint a random wall a god-awful color, just so they can say they did something “creative”.  Another reason I have nightmares about accent walls is that I myself painted an accent wall in every apartment I lived in, in college- yikes!

In my personal opinion, I would ONLY recommend doing a painted accent wall if it makes sense in your room and if you have a focal point that is screaming to be highlighted (like a fireplace wall, the backs of bookcases, a ceiling, wall nook, etc).  Make sure you stay far far away from doing an accent wall on a random side wall!  There is nothing worse than an accent wall that makes absolutely no sense!

However, painted walls aren’t the only accent walls out there.  I actually LOVE a fabulous wallpapered accent wall.  The key to one of these is to have the side walls’ paint color relate in some way to the wallpaper and always choose the wall that is more of a focal point in the room.

{Elle Decor}

Not to mention, you can use that more expensive wallpaper that you’ve always coveted since you only need one wall’s worth of paper!

{Nicky Hilton’s LA home- via Alkemie}

{via Little Green Notebook}

{via Design Strategies}

{Domino Mag}

{Megan’s dining room of Beach Bungalow 8}

{via Apartment Therapy}



We did a wallpaper accent wall in the guest room of one of my client’s houses and it did wonders for that small, bland room!

Also, keep in mind that when using a wallpaper with a metallic color in it (like the one below), it’s a bit more difficult to select paint (for the corresponding side walls) for it than it would be off a normal matte wallpaper (since metallics have a sheen and are always changing on us!).  Patience is key here with these glam papers!

{EJ Interiors}

I’m getting ready to do another single wallpapered wall for a client’s dining room and I can’t wait to see the impact the pattern has on the space!