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One of the best things to come out of the brown trend is that the average consumer (especially men) have switched from buying black leather furniture to brown.

I have seen so much leather in my consultations I have come to the conclusion that the reason why most people buy leather sofas is because there are only about 5 colour choices (okay, there are a million colours in leather as well but most people don’t order custom leather furniture-they buy it off the floor).

With fabric, the colour choices are, of course endless and then you have to decide if it’s going to be a solid or a pattern? Smooth or textured? Flat or shiny?

Most people feel it’s less of a commitment to just buy a leather sofa and be done with the shopping already! And I have to confess, in the early 90’s when I was married, before my designer days, my husband and I bought a forest green leather sofa and loveseat. It’s funny, we didn’t even consider a fabric covered sofa, and looking back, I’m sure it was for the exact reason I’ve just mentioned.

Other than the practical reasons to have a leather sofa (if you have kids and pets) I would keep them in the family room, media room or in a library/den.

In the last year I have helped two bachelors decorate their place and both already had existing brown leather furniture:


This client was on a tight budget so we took one day, ‘shopped the city’ and came home with an SUV full of stuff. The only thing in this room in the morning was the sofa. The art above the sofa we found from a consignment store for $75, the area rug from Homesense for $200 as well as the chest of drawers $300.

This was a Yaletown condo that I decorated with a custom leather sofa. If you’re going to buy leather, I think it should be tufted in some way, it has a more luxurious, expensive (because it is!) feel to it:

Maria Killam Colour & Design

This classic, tufted, chesterfield sofa from Williams Sonoma Home is my all time favourite. I would have this in a cozy library in this exact colour. It’s totally timeless!

If you’re still in love with espresso brown, you can have this one from Restoration Hardware;

If you want a hit of drama and colour, this red one from Neiman Marcus is really fun!

You can always just go really high end and buy one from Ralph Lauren Home;

I think a cognac colour or a colour similar to the first chesterfield sofa (above)  is the most timeless colour for a leather sofa, just like it is in a bag or leather jacket.


If you buy one in either of these colours you will be happy with it long after the brown trend is over.

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact me.

To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

If you would like to learn to how choose the right colours for your home or for your clients, become a True Colour Expert.

Related Posts:

Happiness is. . . A Happy Wife

Which Colour Sofa should you Buy?

Should you buy a Sofa in Microsuede? Yay or Nay

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  • Amy says:

    I was wondering if you have been noticing a trend in 2012 for leather furniture? If I were to buy furniture in 2012 or 2013 would you still recommend cognac color? I am considering buying new furniture and would prefer leather, but I think I should stay away from chocolate brown. I love your blog and read it faithfully – thank you!

  • Jean says:

    My husband and I have been married for 11 years, 2 kids, 8 and 7…and he wanted a recliner (ugh!) so he bought a very deep chocolate brown wing back recliner with nail head trim (looks nice actually) with the matching (yes, I said matching!!??) huge sofa and loveseat (all very dark chocolate brown – Bernhardt). Now what?? Is there any possible way I can make this family room look like I have style and taste (because I do)! I wanted a relaxed, slip-covered Restoration Hardware down-filled sofa in Sand Linen…I want to cry as I’m typing this…can someone please suggest what pieces I should bring in to help this dilemma? Thank you!!

  • Jean says:

    Adding to my post…all 3 pieces listed above (recliner, sofa, loveseat) are all LEATHER.

  • Beth says:

    I have my eye on a two over two leather sofa butter yellow. Hope to accessorize with black , gray, and cream plaid pillows
    Too trendy of a color?? Very simple lines. Help!

  • Kai Jones says:

    After reading your article, I understand your points…but because of a life-threatening allergy to dust mites, my allergy doc told me that the only upholstered furniture I should have is leather. And no other cloth, either-no drapes, no carpet, no fabric-covered cushions. I have mostly wooden furniture (imitation Stickley style) with leather seats, a leather poof for an ottoman; when I find a piece I like, I take it to my trusty local upholstery shop to recover in leather. And I’m saving up to have them build me a custom leather sofa.

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