Over the past few years, flannel and wool have cornered the market when it comes to favorite fall fabrics. But this season, as we cozy up our spaces, there’s a classic fabric making a comeback—leather is becoming a home decor favorite, especially in the fall and winter season.
We turned to the experts to ask why leather is a great material to decorate across your entire home and how to best incorporate more leather into our homes.
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Incorporate it Into Your Color Scheme
Stephanie Lindsey, principal designer of Etch Design Group, explains why leather works so well to not only complement cozy fall decor, but add a sense of year-round warmth.
“Incorporating leather into your space is a great way to introduce your home to a warm color palette,” she says. “The undertones of leather play nicely with the oranges, greens, yellows, and reds of the fall and help to create a balanced look.”Continue to 2 of 8 below.
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Mix in Other Fabrics
One of the best things about leather is that it can be layered in and mixed with most other fabrics. In fact, it’s practically a requirement. As Jessica Nelson, also of Etch Design Group, explains, “Smooth materials mixed with highly textured materials does the trick. Using natural materials with leather creates comfort, is inviting, and creates a warm color palette.”
“Cotton, velvet, linen—these are all beautiful choices to mix with leather,” Ginger Curtis of Urbanology Designs agrees.
Lindsey also notes that it’s not just about adding texture—it’s about mixing in patterns, too. “We love mixing leather with patterns and textures," she says. "Something neutral with a thicker weave and a soft hand always plays nicely with leather. Throw in a patterned accent pillow for some pop, and you've got a great layered look to accent your home decor.”Continue to 3 of 8 below.
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Look for Leather Vintage Finds
As Delyse and Jon Berry, founders and CEOs of Upstate Down, point out, leather isn’t anything new. This means there are some great vintage finds in this finish.
“There is no doubt that the density and texture of leather create a grounding feeling for fall and winter," they explain. "Adding vintage leather pieces into rooms that are even light and airy can add dimension—especially in the cooler time of year,” they explain.
“One of our favorite things about leather is the soft, worn-in feel,” Katie Labourdette-Martinez and Olivia Wahler of Hearth Homes Interiors agree. “This can come from breaking in your own piece over time, or sourcing something vintage. There's nothing quite like a well-worn leather accent chair for cozying up with your morning coffee or a good book."Continue to 4 of 8 below.
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It Even Works on Walls
While your first inclination might be to think of sofas and armchairs, designer Grey Joyner notes that it’s time to think beyond seating.
“Leather wall coverings are a fun and unexpected way to use the material in a design plan,” she tells us. “It adds a ton of texture that you don’t see in most homes.”
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Use it in High-Traffic Areas
“I tend to incorporate leather into areas of the home that are used more often, as it’s an easily wipeable and cleanable material,” Joyner says. “I love using leather in a kitchen on chairs or bench seating.”
Lizzie McGraw, owner of Tumbleweed & Dandelion and author of the upcoming book Creative Style, agrees. “Leather is famous for its durability and wear. We love to offer kid-friendly distressed leather goods, and soft leather ottomans are a perfect way to accent any room.”Continue to 6 of 8 below.
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Add Excitement to Small Details
If you’re not ready to work leather into a room in a big way, then leather accessories are perfect—and perfectly on-trend.
“One way to use leather accents is by using leather accessories–you don't want to go overboard, but generally, rooms without any accessories are cold and uninviting,” Nelson says. “There's a lovely balance when throw pillows, a blanket, plants, some leather decorative accessories, and books all sing together to provide a sense of completeness in a space."
“I appreciate details like leather-wrapped pulls or a leather paneled door or cabinetry,” Joyner adds.
Lindsey also tells us that leather works just as well in small doses. “Leather accent pillows, benches, or poufs are great ways to incorporate another material without committing to leather upholstery.”Continue to 7 of 8 below.
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Note the Tone and Texture
When it comes to choosing leather for a room, there are two main factors to consider: tone and texture. And if you’re looking for a piece that will transition between seasons, this is particularly important.
“We usually stay in the light to medium range, as a leather sofa in this color range transitions really nicely between the winter and summer months,” Labourdette-Martinez and Wahler share.
Curtis notes her favorite at the moment are caramel, cognac, rust, and butter tones. But as a rule of thumb, she says to avoid leather tones that are overly orange, as these can tend to clay in a lot of environments.
“You always want to pick a color that best compliments the rest of the space,” Berry adds. “I love classic camel and black but have also enjoyed working with blush.”Continue to 8 of 8 below.
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Use it Across Aesthetics
If you’re worried that leather might not fit the tone of your room, Curtis tells us not to fear. “It can be dressed up or down and be incorporated into almost any style,” she says.