Decorating with Leather Furniture

How to Decorate with Leather

If the word “leather” fills your head with images of motorcycles and black-and-chrome bachelor pads, think again. Today’s leather is a favorite of fashionistas and interior designers alike. Equally suited to classic or contemporary settings, decorating with leather furniture has proven itself to be truly timeless. And it’s easy to see why. Hard-wearing yet buttery-soft, durable yet luxurious, leather is a chic, stylish material that stands up to even the most active lifestyles. If you want to add some of leather’s luxe touch to your home, here are some ideas to keep in mind.

How to Decorate with Leather

Texture Mix

Too much leather can result in a look that’s cold or stark, so be sure your space incorporates a pleasing balance of textures. Play off leather’s smooth, sleek surface with a plush knit throw, striped pillows, or burlap curtain panels. Pair your favorite leather armchair with a linen sofa and a tufted wool rug. Or add interest to your dining room with a combination of leather side chairs and slip-covered armchairs. This satisfying tactile blend will create a space that’s inviting to both the hand and eye.

Incorporate leather with a small tufted ottoman

Color & Finish

While neutral leathers are a popular, classic choice, your options aren’t limited to shades of black, brown and white. Leather furnishings are available in every color of the rainbow, and in an amazing array of finishes, too. Make a splash with a Moroccan pouf in a bold yellow or hot pink, add instant character with a sofa covered in distressed leather, or embrace the exotic with embossed hides that mimic ostrich or crocodile. Want something more low-key but equally distinctive? The subtle shimmer of metallic leather is an easy and on-trend way to add a spark of glamour to any space.

Decorating with leather

Embellished Accents

Leather’s lustrous finish makes it an ideal surface for added embellishments. Think of an armchair with nailhead trim, an ottoman or Chesterfield sofa with all-over tufting, a headboard with exposed stitching, or a leather-topped desk with gold tooling. These little touches elevate leather furniture from something functional into something fashionable, something ordinary into something truly exceptional.

Decorating with leather

Unexpected Places

We all know how great leather looks covering a sofa or headboard, but it can be a real showstopper when used in more unconventional ways. Leather makes an unexpected yet eye-catching choice for area rugs and floor tiles, decorative accessories like boxes and pillows, and even lamp shades and chandeliers. Or how about using leather as a wall covering? It makes a dramatic statement, helps to dampen sound, and can be visually quiet or bold depending on the color and finish used.

These seemingly endless options for decorating with leather furniture. Find more decorating inspiration by browsing our Pinterest Boards!

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply


    August 27, 2013

    On 15% Luxe Leather email front page: where can I purchase that comforter on the bed? Has orange in it. Please let me know–I really like the comforter!! Thanks!

    • Reply


      August 27, 2013

      Deb: This stunning duvet is one of our Ballard Custom Duvets seen here: Simply select Timur Orange and … voila’ … you have a beautiful bed too!!