I love leather. It has a masculine, tailored feeling and grounds everything around it when you put it into an environment.

I love leather.  It has a masculine, tailored feeling and grounds everything around it when you put it into an environment.  I like to use it in unexpected ways, not just on your typical desk chair.  On surfaces, walls, pillows, and doors, as well as couches, leather imparts a rich, sumptuous look. There are so many colors and finishes available now, such as ostrich, python, and larger etchings, there’s no end to the possible uses of leather in interior design.

Starflower Engraved Belting Leather Tiles
Genevieve Bennett – Leather laser cut tiles. Totally off the wall!

There are many great sources of beautiful, quality leather.  One of my favorites is Edelman Leather.  They have a huge variety of colors and styles of leathers, each more gorgeous than the last.

Edelman Leather’s Ostrich in Grey Slate
Shagreen City Lights in Smoke, also from Edelman.
Edelman Leather’s Rose Petal City Lights in Smoke.

I find myself drawn to leather with a lot of tooling, unexpected details, and customization.  It looks old, but is done in new ways, leading to some amazing products.  Leather gets better as it ages, like a great pair of jeans.  It can be expensive and you need to be smart about how you use it, but the results can be stunning.

Holland & Sherry Interiors, Birdseye leather rug.
Samuel and Sons Passementerie Woven Italian Leather Braid. Makes a great detail trim!
3D leather wallpaper by Genevieve Bennett.

Macassa Leather in Cote D’Ivoire from Rose Tarlow. I upholstered the interior of library bookcases in this leather. Totally luscious in an inky blue color.

One of my favorite projects involved this leather door with nailhead trim.  When I first presented the idea to the client, their reaction was “It might look too S&M!”   However, once the door was installed, they loved it.  It gave the interior an unexpected aspect and grounded the rest of the space.  They had to see it in place to fully appreciate the effect of this amazing door.

Leather door with nailhead trim.

The look of leather is so attractive, but not suited to every room in the home.  If you want this look without the upkeep or possibility of damage in an area such as the kitchen or bath, take a look at these tiles from Walker Zanger.  They look so much like leather, you have to touch them to convince yourself they are really porcelain tiles!

Matouche Design by Walker Zanger
Another example of Walker Zanger’s Martouche Design

Have you, or would you, use leather in your home?