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Make Your Living Room Better with Leather

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Sweater weather simply calls for leather. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. There isn’t another material that can match leather’s style, timelessness, and durability, which is why it’s a staple in so many homes. But this post is not just an ode to our favorite upholstery – it’ll also include some tips and tricks to make the most of the leather pieces in your space, and how to properly maintain your leather. We’ll even cover more unexpected ways to incorporate leather into your decor. So, for the love of leather, let’s begin!

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CHOOSE YOUR STYLE

No matter your home’s color scheme or aesthetic, there’s a leather for you. A plethora of tones and finishes exist on the market, so your choice depends on whatever vibe you’re looking for. For example, you could select a tight-back, black leather sofa for a sleek, sophisticated look. Go the route of richness and warmth with a cushion-back, camel-colored armchair in a weathered “bomber jacket” finish. You could even kick up the pizzazz with a tufted chaise in a bright shade of dyed leather, such as red or green. Regardless of which direction you go, we suggest choosing something classic that you won’t get tired of anytime soon. Some versatile shades we love are cognac, caramel, dark chocolate, tan, taupe, and gray.

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THE BEST WAY TO RECLINE

Recliners are undoubtedly comfortable, and there’s a reason why these functional pieces are so popular in leather – added polish! We also love reclining sectionals and motion sofas. They knock out the need for additional furniture and save you space. Upgrading to a power-assisted option will even allow you to relax at the touch of a button! If you’re wanting to get a reclining sofa for your living room, go to a reclining sofa shop washington to find the best one for you. They’ll have plenty of options for you to try!

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CREATE CONTRAST

If the leather is especially dark, you may find that your room feels too weighed down by your furniture. This can be remedied by creating an interesting contrast. Paint the walls a light hue and start adding accents like end tables, rugs, throw pillows, and blankets in paler colors. This gives the space an airier feel. Another solution is to not overdo matching furniture in one room. If you have a three-piece set of brown leather furniture, keep the couch in the living room and move the loveseat and chair to different rooms in the house.

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OTHER TYPES OF LEATHER PIECES

Sofas and chairs aren’t the only ways to deck out your living room with leather. Here are some other pieces to consider:

  • Leather-topped table
  • Leather ottoman
  • Leather barstools
  • Leather-trimmed mirror or picture frame
  • Leather-bound books on shelves or coffee table
  • Cowhide rug
  • Leather-woven storage basket
  • Leather throw pillows

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NOTHING LIKE THE REAL THING

You may be wondering why you should spend more on genuine leather when there are faux alternatives with a similar look. Here are some reasons why it’s worth it to invest in the real deal:

  • Every piece of leather is one of a kind with its own character.
  • Faux leather is thinner and doesn’t offer as much warmth.
  • Leather gets softer with age and starts looking even more gorgeous. Faux leather tends to peel and flake off over time.
  • Faux leather is not as substantial – it has about 1/3 of real leather’s lifespan.

And here’s a handy guide to differentiate between the two:

  • First and foremost, check the label. “Genuine leather” should be prominently stated. If you see phrases like “man-made materials,” it’s probably vinyl.
  • Get up close and personal with the leather in question. Natural leather has pores in inconsistent patterns, while faux leather will have imitation pores in perfect rows.
  • Try smelling the furniture. Real leather has a distinct smell, while fake leather will smell more like rubber, plastic, or nothing.
  • If you can see the edges, check if they’re too perfect looking or feel foamy. Genuine leather will literally look “rough around the edges.”

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UPKEEP AND CLEANING

Leather has longevity on it side. It may be a more expensive option than regular fabrics, but it’s an investment you’ll have for years to come if you take care of it. Your leather furniture should come with care instructions from the manufacturer, so it’s advisable to stick to these recommendations to keep the piece looking its best.

Don’t worry too much about messes along the way. Nothing beats the ease of wiping spills off of leather – not even tossing a slipcover in the wash. Even purchasing something like a second-hand sofa through sites like Shoppok would require you to give it a clean. Experts recommend using a cotton cloth or natural sponge with distilled water, if possible. Use light, dabbing motions to pick up the offending stain. To banish any solid debris you come across, try using your vacuum’s nozzle attachment. If the leather suffers some scratches (pets, kids… we’re looking at you!), use an aerosol colorant spray designed especially for leather. Just spray on a matching color, follow up with a sealant, and most importantly: wait for your furniture to dry before sitting on it again. Trust us, that’s a mistake you’ll only make once!

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LEATHER LOVERS UNITE

What’s your favorite way to decorate with leather? Let us know in the comments below! And if you’ve been left craving some new leather pieces for your home, be sure to check out all the beautiful options at The Great American Home Store.



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Dining Rooms Entertaining Living Rooms Room Inspiration

12 Ways to Make Your Home Irresistibly Inviting: Holiday Edition

As we move deeper into fall, the air gets chillier, the days get shorter, and we come to the sudden realization that a gauntlet of holidays will soon be upon us. Holiday parties are a part of the fun, and if you’re planning on hosting any get-togethers at your home, you may be wondering how to spruce up your space in preparation. Depending on how much lead-time you have, try following some of these tips to make your home feel more inviting.

DINING ROOM IDEAS

Your dining area will likely be the main focus for a holiday gathering. If you’ve been meaning to update the space anyway, this is a great excuse for a mini-makeover.

1) Mismatched chairs definitely aren’t a bad thing, but if you want them to look uniform, try slipcovering them for a shabby-chic vibe. (This is also a good tip if your chairs have just seen better days.) Chair covers are often available for rent at party supply shops, or for purchase at most big-box stores.

2) Large mirrors add opulence and make a space look bigger. Try to find one with a prominent frame. If you have a garage sale or flea market find that isn’t quite right, you can give it a whole new look by spray painting the frame gold or some other metallic shade that coordinates with your décor.

3) Take advantage of your chandelier! We love statement lighting over the dining room table. Update an older fixture with new lampshades or crystals.

4) Create a beautiful centerpiece using candles, fresh flowers, ornaments, or whatever you’d like. This gives your table setting a “wow” factor that your guests will notice.

5) Use ornate china as additional décor and display it on an open hutch or floating shelf. When you’re about to serve a meal, just take them down and give them a quick wash. If you’re expecting a large group, another option is to rent china, glasses, napkins, and silverware from your local party rental company. This saves you from having to purchase any new place settings just for the holidays.

6) If you want to make your home smell amazing as your guests are arriving, simmer any combination of sliced fruit, spices, and essential oils like Lemon Oil for Rouh
with purified water in a pot on the stove. For in an invigorating scent, try purified water, sliced lemons, peppermint and ylang ylang essential oils, and a few rosemary sprigs. Our favorite combination for this time of year includes purified water, sliced apples and grapefruit, orange essential oil, and some cinnamon sticks. Just remember to treat the concoction like a burning candle in that it shouldn’t be left completely unattended.

LIVING ROOM IDEAS

The living room is where your guests will convene after a meal to socialize, so it never hurts to take this space to the next level when you’re expecting company.

7) Festive throw pillows are relatively inexpensive and will instantly make your seating look tailored to the season. Pillows can also correct sofas that are too deep (and serve as floor seating in a pinch).

8) Your guests will likely gather in the living room with drinks they’ll need to set down, so make sure to put small end tables next to any seating that’s out of reach from the coffee table. If you don’t have any, check out these options at The Great American Home Store.

9) Rearrange your furniture with an open floor space in mind if you have to make room for a crowd. Also take this opportunity to declutter – gather up papers, books and magazines, etc. into storage containers.

10) Enhance the ambiance! Light a fire in the fireplace if you have one, and put some background music on to fill out any lulls in conversation (about 25% lower volume than normal speaking voices).

GENERAL TIPS:

11) You likely won’t have time to give each guest a tour, so labeling the key rooms of your house can be extremely helpful. Purchase some blackboard signs and chalk from your local craft store and get creative! For example, prop a large one on your entry table that says “Welcome.” Then use smaller chalkboards with holes in the top for hanging (try using burlap rope or fabric ribbon) and label the doors to the coat closet and bathrooms.

12) A good rule of thumb for pre-party cleaning is to start from your entryway and follow the path that your guests are most likely to go (into the living room, through the kitchen, the bathrooms, etc.) But don’t stress too much at the last minute! Try to get the important things done in advance so you can relax and enjoy your guests when the time comes.

While we don’t have a tip to help you survive family drama, endless cooking, or any of the other glorious trials that go hand-in-hand with the holidays, we CAN wish you the best of luck and remind you that you’ll make it through. You’ll probably have a great time while you’re at it!