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Decorating with leather furniture

Leather furniture  is a good  investment; it is durable,  beautiful and  lends  an air of elegance and sophistication to any room or lounge.  However, it can also  be a little overwhelming  and masculine, making any room look   almost official, like a place of serious business, and we certainly do not want that look  for our homes.

Report by  Helen Devmac

Because it is hard-wearing, it is an excellent choice in a home where there are young children or  animals.  It is important to know how to get the best out of your leather furniture.

First and foremost, you want to take good care of  leather furniture after having spent   so much money :

  • Make sure that your leather furniture is not exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Vacuum under the seats and remove any crumbs and dust caught up in any nooks and crevices.
  • Wipe the chairs using a damp cloth where most of the water has almost been wrung out. Alternatively  use baby wipes to clean your leather furniture, I believe they do an excellent job.
  • Clean leather with recommended products,  and you can also always rely on our good old standby for cleaning —white vinegar!

Mix one part white vinegar with two parts linseed oil, mix well and use this mixture for cleaning your leather furniture for a real glossy and sumptuous look. And there is nothing quite as beautiful as well-cared for leather.

Decorating ideas for the lounge

There are a number of  décor options you could consider;  your theme  may indeed focus on the leather lounge suite  itself, using clear-cut lines and an almost minimalistic  design in monochromatic  colour.

This is particularly effective with   dark-coloured leather,  like black, using a  corner lounge suite that is  strategically-placed  so that as your guests walk into the room,  they cannot help but notice that dramatic piece of furniture.

Very little  else in the room should detract  from the main focus created by the leather suite. It is a bold and severe look, the beauty is in the leather and the severity of the look is emphasised by the use of just two colours, black and white, with  clean metallic  features  provided by  chrome-plated   light  fittings and  table lamps placed on glass topped chrome-plated tables.

Curtains must be light, free-flowing and white, cushions and pillows  black or white or a mixture of both. Highly-polished  hard wood floors  go well with this look  with a few scatter rugs.

An animal print rug featuring a black and white  zebra  design would be very effective. A wall-mounted plasma screen television just completes the austerity of this  palette.

This is a very dramatic and  imposing design, a no frills look  that really masculinises  the room and very suitable for a male-dominated household or bachelor pad, no room for kids here.

This look can be softened by the addition of splashes of colour, instead of a black and white rug. A multi-coloured floor rug can be used and colour accents from the rug used for cushions lamp shades etc, immediately the focus shifts from the black leather sofas to the bright rug.

If this  austerity is not for you, there is yet  another look, in which the décor of the room reduces the emphasis and focus from the leather chairs or sofas  dramatically, by dressing down the leather and creating more than one feature on which to focus, using  colour texture and pattern.

Just like we did last week,  let us choose colours we like to work and live  with see how your selection  looks  on a mood board or colour wheel.

The same rules apply, the dominant colour will be on your walls. If your lounge suite is dark, choose a lighter colour for the walls; a darker colour would go well with a lighter coloured lounge suite.

Remember too that you do not have to have solid leather. It is quite in order to   mix and  match  using  chairs  or sofas upholstered in a different fabric, just as long as you are co-ordinating  and matching your colours.

Use texture and colour in your cushions and pillows and go for dark well-polished wood for your centre table and other tables in the room.

Sculpture  and plants may also be used, dramatic plants such as a  delicious monster in a corner really go a long way in shifting the focus of attention from the leather chairs, making your pallet more welcoming and less oppressive.

Having more natural  light  in the room will also help in lightening the whole look and this may be achieved quite easily by hanging a large mirror over the mantel piece. Wood floors will complement this scheme  and floor rugs may either be dark or light-coloured, dependent on the colour of your suite. Curtains may be dramatic and geometric designs can also look great, provided the design on the curtain is in keeping with the colours in the room.

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