Chic and time­less, leather fur­ni­ture can add vi­brance to your home decor

Leather is suit­able for In­dian weather con­di­tions, pro­vided it is pro­tected from di­rect sun­light and hu­mid­ity

HT Estates - - HTESTATES - Ritu Ghai

Think­ing of in­tro­duc­ing some leather to your liv­ing space? First, you need to make sure the ma­te­rial is real as the gen­uine­ness of leather will de­ter­mine the true value of your in­vest­ment. How­ever, one can­not dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween leather and syn­thetic ma­te­rial by sim­ply its feel.

“Gen­uine leather is sim­i­lar to cot­ton. It is a nat­u­ral fab­ric which breathes. The ma­te­rial should not be con­fused with faux or leather-like leather which is just a syn­thetic ver­sion of leather. Within the gen­uine leather cat­e­gory, there are var­i­ous grades of leather de­pend­ing on how the ma­te­rial has been treated. The most nat­u­ral form of leather feels like real skin which is light and flex­i­ble,” says Ved Up­pal, a busi­ness man­age­ment con­sul­tant in retail in North Amer­ica and the Caribbean.

Leather i s ver­sa­tile and suit­able for In­dian weather con­di­tions, pro­vided i t i s pro­tected from di­rect sun­light and ex­ces­sive hu­mid­ity. Also, it does not har­bour dust mites and other al­ler­gens. But just be­cause it’s durable, doesn’t mean it is also in­vin­ci­ble. Shar­ing a few tips on how to main­tain leather fur­ni­ture, Harsheen Arora, co-founder of The V Re­nais­sance Brand, says, “Reg­u­lar clean­ing with a dry soft muslin cloth or a soft towel is the eas­i­est way. Home­own­ers should be dili­gent about quickly clean­ing up any spills. In case of stains, ap­ply some leather shampoo (eas­ily avail­able at a con­ve­nience store) by first putting it on a clean cloth and then lath­er­ing it onto the stain. To add more shine, rub leather cream or pol­ish­ing fat. If un­avail­able, ap­ply face cream for ten min­utes.”

Leather fur­ni­ture comes in a va­ri­ety of styles such as re­cliner, din­ing chairs, wing chairs and sofa-cum-beds. “It is dif­fi­cult but pos­si­ble to find a leather sofa set in the range of ₹ 1 lakh, though it might not be of the finest qual­ity,” says Up­pal.

Leather is also avail­able in var­i­ous pat­terns, colours, tex­tures, metal­lic and em­bossed fin­ishes. “Its smell and the fin­ish of the fur­ni­ture make all the dif­fer­ence. While fake leather will have a past­ing on the back, gen­uine leather is skin,” says Pu­nam Kalra of I’m Cen­tre of Ap­plied Arts. Adding state­ment pieces such as a ch­ester, ot­toman, ac­cent chairs and a large up­hol­stered ta­ble can give a stylish look to the liv­ing space. “Leather breathes and has a much longer life. How­ever, it is quite ex­pen­sive and, if kept in closed rooms, it has a ten­dency to emit a cer­tain smell which dis­ap­pears over a pe­riod of time,” says Kalra. With proper main­te­nance, leather fur­ni­ture looks bet­ter each year. “It looks chic and time­less at the same time. Leather be­comes bet­ter with use as it ages gracefully. Since leather is a hardy ma­te­rial un­like fab­ric or leatherette, it does not tear. It has elas­tic­ity that lets it ab­sorb even rough and heavy us­age. Also, leather main­te­nance kits are eas­ily avail­able to keep the leather nour­ished,” says Man­jeet Bhullar of Arte­form De­signs.

Colours like rich tans, white and off white can give a play­ful and con­tem­po­rary spin to your leather col­lec­tion. “Black is time­less clas­sic and we also de­velop ex­ten­sive ranges of metal­lic shades which com­ple­ment rich in­te­ri­ors,” he says.

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