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Colour, Living, Sofas
Real Leather: How to Care for your Real Leather Sofa
February 2, 2018 at 11:51 am 0
Ellis 3 seater Sofa and Armchair

Ellis 3 Seater Sofa and Ellis Armchair

As any interior designer or furniture specialist will tell you, a sofa is one piece of furniture that you should really invest in. This means choosing a sofa that is built to last, that performs well over time and that can stand up to daily use in a busy home. Real Leather ticks all of these boxes, which is exactly why real leather is such a popular choice for a sofa; it is undoubtedly the most durable material available. You can’t beat it for long-term performance, durability, ease of maintenance and of course… Modern Style!   Leather Swatch

Luxe Sofa Range Swatch

 

What Makes Real Leather So Durable?

The leather we use for our range of sofas is extremely thick and falls into the Top Grain Leather category. Top Grain leather goes through a considerable process to remove any marks and blemishes on the hide to create its uniform appearance and makes it more desirable for home furnishings. Our pigmented Top Grain Leather has been dyed and treated with a protected surface. This offers great colour uniformity and maximum resistance to spills and stains, while it's thickness also increases its strength and durability. All together you end up with a high-quality leather that looks great but also is very fit for purpose. Thinner, lower quality ‘Split’ leather is commonly used in cheaper sofas but will not offer the same durability. It will wear quicker and be more susceptible to rips and tears, meaning you'll be replacing your furniture much sooner than anticipated.   Top Tip: Aniline Leather, often cited as the most premium type of leather, actually has little to no treatment to protect it. So whilst it is a premium material, it may not be the most practical for a modern sofa. This type of leather is used when people want to build a worn look, or patina, but it doesn't give a clean, uniformed look.   Ice Grey Leather Detail

Top Leather Grain Detail

 

Top Grain vs. Split Leather

Top Grain - The top layer of the hide usually the thickest layer when the hide is separated. Top grain is the highest quality, thickest part of the hide and such requires less processing resulting in a softer feel. Split Leather - This is the thinner part of the hide and as such often needs a protective synthetic top treatment. The result is a lower quality more rigid leather.  

One Leather Doesn’t Fit all...

The term ‘leather sofa’ is used very broadly, so it’s easy to forget that the leather itself comes in a whole variety of styles and, more importantly, standards. Here’s a quick breakdown of the most popular choices for a leather sofa:   Dillon 2 Seater Leather Sofa

Dillon Real Leather 2 Seater Sofa

 

High Protection Leather

  • Pigmented Leather - A top grain leather that's had dye and protection applied to the surface. As a result, this offers protection from marks and stains and evens out surface appearance. Features of Pigmented leather are great durability, very even colour and grain and a soft feel.
 
  • Bi-Cast Leather - A split leather with a thick synthetic layer placed over the leather which is embossed with a look-alike grain. The features of Bi-Cast leather are a stiff texture (more suited to contract settings), consistent grain and easy cleaning.
 

Medium Protection Leather

  • Waxed Leather - The surface of the leather is buffed, then waxed and has a smooth, very shiny appearance with almost no grain which can be wiped clean. Waxed leather will show scratches but can be re-waxed although has a stiffer feel and can be prone to cracking.
 
  • Semi-Aniline - A top grain leather that is pigment dyed and treated with a very light protective treatment. It has some of the features of aniline leather but with a harder feel and increased durability.
 

Low Protection Leather

  • Aniline Leather - A top grain leather dyed with aniline dyes but with no protective treatment applied. Features of aniline leather are that it is very soft and luxurious in feel and will show natural blemishes, scratches and scars found in the hide. Aniline leather also has variation in colour consistency.  People often see Aniline leather as the best in class but it doesn't have the protection that other leathers have.
 
  • Nubuck - a top grain leather which has been treated so the natural fibres produce a velvet-like surface. Soft to the touch it has an almost fabric-like look and feel but has no protection at all from marks or spills.
 
  • Vintage Leather - Leather that has been double-dyed and purposefully buffed in areas to give an aged look. A feature of aged leather is that the uneven surface can be quite forgiving but it has very little ongoing protection.
  Pure White Real Leather Swatch

White Real Leather Swatch

 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Cleaning Real leather

Because leather sofas are so durable, it makes them even easier to care for. Marks and spills from food and drink are easy to remove compared to marks on a fabric sofa. However, stick to our do’s and don'ts of cleaning to make sure you keep your real leather looking its best:     DO use an absorbent cloth or sponge to wipe the affected areas as soon as the spill occurs. Lukewarm water or diluted mild detergent should do the trick! DO be sure to dry your leather furniture after cleaning with a clean, soft cloth rather than leaving your leather furniture to air dry. DO check the label before using any product to check that it’s not too drying on leather. If you’re not sure, spot test an inconspicuous area first! DO invest in a leather maintenance kit. Find one which will look after the leather before, during and after cleaning to make sure your leather furniture lasts for years to come.      BE AWARE that keeping your real leather sofa in direct sunlight can cause some fading and deterioration over time. Sunlight will have the same effect on fabrics so just give it some thought when you consider the placement. BE AWARE that brand new clothes, especially jeans, can mark upholstery. To clean marks left by clothing, use something such as a magic sponge immediately for the best results.   Luxe Leather Sofa in Heather

Luxe 3 Seater Sofa in Heather

 

Give Your Real Leather Furniture Some TLC

Real leather is strong and very durable, however, you still need to give it some TLC to keep it looking its best for longer! With this in mind…
  • Don’t drag your sofa when putting it in position, but rather lift it to manoeuvre it in your space.
  • Sofas can be very heavy, so it’s important to protect your flooring. Many sofas will come with floor protectors but make sure there’s some kind of protection on the feet, especially if you're placing the sofa on wooden or hard flooring.
  • As tempting as it may be, try not to sit on the arms of the sofa. This will not only weaken the structure of the sofa over time, but it will also pull on the upholstery.
  • When cleaning, don’t forget to get in-between all the small nooks and crannies of the sofa cushions. Vacuum regularly to keep your sofa spick and span.
  • Do not use chemical-based cleaners on real leather. Spot clean with warm, soapy water, and invest in a high-quality Leather care kit. 
  • If the cushions on your sofa can be moved, it's a good idea to rotate them regularly, giving them a good shake and plump up.
  • Give your sofa a quick but regular clean to stop marks from building up over time. Just be sure to wring out your cloth thoroughly and dry as soon as you've finished.
  • Everyone has their favourite spot, but it’s best to use your sofa evenly. This will stop some parts becoming more used and worn than others.
  Have we convinced you that a leather sofa is definitely a smart choice for your home? Be sure to let us know in the comments! :)
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Dining, Styling Tips
How to Mix and Match Your Dining Room Furniture: The Mismatched Look
April 21, 2016 at 4:20 pm 0
Mix and match dining setting At a first glance mix and match furniture may look like a totally random selection. However, it’s actually a much more considered design set up than just throwing any old pieces together. After all, you don’t want your dining space looking like your old student digs or your first flat, where non-matching furniture was more of a necessity than a lifestyle choice! When done correctly, mixing your dining chairs is a great way to create a unique look in your dining area. We’ve put together our own definitive guide to offer you style tips for pulling off a mix and match dining set. We also have tons of dining room decorating ideas, so you'll be creating this very on-trend mix and match look in no time!  

Same Colour Dining Chair, Different Design:

By keeping the colour of your dining chairs the same, you are able to keep the coordination. You're also able to have some fun with the shape, style and size of the chairs you choose.  

Mix and Match Same Design Dining Chair, Different Colour:

One of the easiest mixed dining chairs design ideas is having the same shape and style of dining chair but in a variety of complementary colours. This is because there is still consistency from the design of the chairs, but you can really get creative with which colour combinations you choose. Opt for two tones or a neutral palette for a more subtle take on this look.
Mix and match dining set: Arc Oak and White Gloss and Senn Colourful Dining Set Danetti

Mixing bold chair colours against tactile wooden and gloss surfaces is a fun take on the mix and match look. Not to mention the gorgeous look of the close up and detailing.

 

Same Material Dining Chair, Different Design:

This look is ideal if you have a particular material choice in mind but still want mix things up. The key to pulling off this mismatched dining setting is to stick with just one material finish but in different chair styles. We’ve opted for real leather but you can choose any material that best suits your space. It’s a good idea to stick to one colour when opting for this mismatched look. This is so that there aren't too many points of difference. All of our leather chairs come in the same palette creating plenty of potential to coordinate different designs of chair.   

Play With The Height Of Chairs and Bar Stools:

Okay, so a bar stool isn’t technically a dining chair but we had to include this mix and match dining setting. Having different heights in your dining space, such as bar stools at a breakfast bar, will help to create a nice visual balance in the space. We’ve kept elements the same such as the wire leg frame of both the Eames chairs and of the Anzio bar stools, as it is a contemporary coordinating feature that helps to tie the whole look together. If you want to have an even more coordinated look throughout your space, you might want to consider something like an Eames Style Bar Stool, as they have similar styling on the base and the seat mirrors the continuous curve of the Eames chair.
Anzio Modern Gas Lift Bar Stool Danetti

You can also mix the colours of the bar stool seats, like we've styled here with the Anzio Modern Gas Lift Bar Stools in mulberry purple, white and black £132

Mixing The Traditional With Modern:

When mixing traditional with modern pieces, less really is more. Try not to have too many different styles of chair as this can make the space look jumbled rather than styled. We’ve selected a seat similar to the Eames Dining Armchair, called the Finn Dining Armchair, as its iconic design means it will always look on trend and up to date. To add a traditional spin, we’ve chosen the tactile oak frame finish of the Scandi style Senn Oak and White Dining Chair, which also helps to add a touch a warmth. The white finish of both of the seats helps to tie the whole look together. When selecting a table for this look, we’d suggest something with glass and chrome accents, like the Tiva Small Glass Dining Table or Naro Round Glass 4 Seater Table. The transparency of the glass would let the chairs be the ‘star of the show’ while the chrome accents would give the set a truly modern edge. If you’re really inspired by this timeless look, we definitely recommend taking a look at our “How to Add a Modern Edge to a Traditional Home” blog post (after you’ve finished reading this one of course), which offers an array of style inspiration for creating this look throughout your home.    

Different Details:

Mix and match furniture can create a very impactful setting. However, there are ways around this if you’d like to have a more subtle take on this statement look but still with some level of variation. Changing just one element or detail of your chair selection keeps the coordination but breaks up the palette for a mini mixed look.

Tactile Textures:

When mixing textures, we suggest keeping the shape and style of your dining chairs as similar as you can. This is so all the style impact from this look comes from your choice of mixed of materials. Whether it’s wood with chrome or fabric and faux leather, like we’ve opted for with our Riva and Tori chairs, having a mix of textures in your dining area will create a tactile and very contemporary vibe, with the added benefit of getting to have such a range of gorgeous material finishes in your home! Both of our Tori and Riva chairs are stackable seats, so they are great space savers. This makes the chairs ideal for storing away and then getting out again when you have guests round for dinner.    

Same Style Dining Chair Different Design:

This dining room design is another subtle take on the mix and match look. By keeping the style the same but having a slightly different design of chair, you are able to mix things up just enough so there is a stylish visual impact, without the look becoming too overpowering in your dining space. A great way to do this is to place dining armchairs at the each end of the table. This not only mixes things up a bit, but it creates a really neat and uniform modern dining room. There's also two extra comfy seats at the end of the table for your favourite people. This style of chair is definitely something to consider if you want to comfortably sit around your table chatting, long after the dinner plates have been cleared away! Have we inspired you to give the mix and match look a try in your dining area? Let us know your favourite style in the comments, alongside any stylish set ups you already have in your home! :)
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