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Decorating with Leather {The New Sofa}

by | Oct 1, 2014 | Decorating Inspiration, Family Room, my house

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Decorating with Leather {The New Sofa}1 // 2 // 3 // 4

Thank you all for your funny and supportive comments on the post about my pups and all the craziness with trying to keep up with my love of white slipcovers. You are kindred spirits. As much as I love them, the time has come to say goodbye and move on to the next chapter of our life, which as you have probably guessed by now is LEATHER.

Now before anyone tells me that leather isn’t easy either, I will agree and be honest that there is NO SOFA that will remain clean — unless no one sits on it. But we do sit on ours. As do the dogs (um, obviously if you saw the pictures yesterday heheheh). The slipcovers were wonderful for cleaning (which is important to me) but once I started losing the battle with the dogs to where I had to wash the slipcovers pretty much constantly, I decided the best win-win for us is that the dogs remain a part of the family :) and the sofa is switched for something a little more pet friendly without so much work from me. After years and years with that sofa, I was ready to say I got my $400 worth :).

Decorating with Leather {The New Sofa}Jana Bek Design featured on PB Inside & Out

We actually had a leather sofa in our old house, but it was simply too big in scale for this house. It survived my son’s baby and toddlerhood, wet diapers and all sorts of unmentionable things that happen to couches with boys and dogs in a house. The thing I loved about it was even though I cried the first time something happened to it, after awhile any imperfection all became like character. I’m OK with that. And as many of you wisely pointed out, I can just wipe off whatever is on leather and it will be fine. I don’t have to haul the slipcovers up to the wash all the time and that alone makes me happy!

Decorating with Leather {The New Sofa}House Beautiful

But besides the general ease of care and letting the leather age as it will, I just happen to love the look and feel of leather. I feel like our house has been asking for leather (I know, there goes my house talking to me again.). I think it’s going to add a really great new texture and I’m excited about it!

In case you forgot about it, I have another sofa upstairs in our media/family room. It’s a super soft squishy sectional where we all flop and watch TV. I would say it is extremely dog friendly as well. It is upstairs so it doesn’t really get the same mud bath that our dogs give to the downstairs sofa since we usually catch them and wrangle them to the bathtub before they get all the way to that room. But still, that sofa has held up really well to the dogs and spills and it is super comfy for TV watching.

Decorating with Leather {The New Sofa}The Painted Hive

We had a few requirements with our new sofa. Besides wanting leather, I wanted a medium tone leather so it wouldn’t overwhelm my generally soft house colors or small space. I wanted a tight back instead of loose or squishy cushions (since the dogs would tend to perch on them or throw them to the ground). I needed one that was a smaller scale since my family room is fairly narrow, but I still wanted it to have traditional classic style and personality with a little rolled arm. I also wanted one that would ship right away.

Decorating with Leather {The New Sofa}

So, I ended up selecting the Pottery Barn Brooklyn Leather sofa in Toffee. It seemed to be the only one that really met all of our needs and I really love the style! Unfortunately when I went to place the order it said quantities are limited and it wouldn’t ship until after the first of the year, or possibly February. OH SNAP! That’s a long time. No sofa for the holidays or snuggling by the fire? Humph. But unless I find anything else in the meantime, I guess I’m gonna just have to wait.

Meanwhile, I will either just have no sofa or I might use the gray slipcover I bought at IKEA and keep the other PB sofa where it is for now. I’ll still have to wash slipcovers awhile longer in that case. However I had to throw away two of the shredded gross seat cushions to my sofa in the recent dog barfing incident, so I would have to rig up something maybe with my outdoor cushions to make it work in the meantime!

So, there’s my sofa saga! I’ll update you all again on it, at least when the new sofa comes or if there is anything new to report! :)

**Update! My sofa has arrived! See it here.

Related Posts:

Practical Questions to Ask When Buying a New Sofa

The Truth About White Slipcovers (Part 1)

The Truth About White Slipcovers (Part 2 – Pet Edition) 


  1. Christi {Jealous Hands}

    I’ve had leather sofas almost all of our married life – going on 17 years. We recently replaced our original set (with more leather) – the leather was still beautiful after more than a decade of boys growing up & dogs, but the frame was beginning to wear. What can I say, we’re hard on furniture! ;-) I don’r forsee ever using anything but leather again – it’s durable, practical & lovely to look at! xo

  2. Lynda

    I love the sofa you’ve chosen! It will be worth the wait.

  3. Catherine

    I just bought a similar (and less expensive!) leather sofa from a local furniture shop. I understand not wanting to wait around… we ordered ours six weeks ago and it’s still not here! Here’s a link to the same sofa on Wayfair:–725-Tpgb-RNI1025.html

    I don’t know if it’s available on Wayfair right now, but if you like it you might want to look around on the Internet to see if someone else has it in stock.

  4. Barbara (WA)

    I’m feeling smart because I guessed leather (taking a bow now!) – and I will be so interested to see how you incorporate it into your home. The shape of the PB one is just lovely – doesn’t look too man-cavish. You never cease to inspire!

  5. Karen on Bainbridge Island

    I have some outdoor cushions that are sitting in my attic that might work as temp fillers for your sofa. They are on their way to the Rotary sale on Bainbridge Island next year. You are welcome to them.

    Leather….it will be beautiful. It will get marred and mistreated, but hey, leather can age beautifully.

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Oh, good to know! I’m gonna try my outdoor cushions and see if they will work and if not I’ll message you! Thanks!

  6. Victoria

    Have you checked Lazy Boy? We got our leather love seat from there, shipped in 2 days. Do you have an American Family Furniture? They ship but I am not sure how far. I do like the leather with the dogs, just wipe it clean. Mine does have some pen marks on it that I can’t get off otherwise I’ve had no issues with my leather sofa other than being a bit cold in the winter but I just put a throw on it. I can’t wait to see what you end up with!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      My upstairs sofa is LaZboy and we love it, but I hadn’t thought of looking to see if they might have what I need in leather! I’ll check into it, thanks for the reminder!

      • Christie

        I have an 8-year old LaZBoy leather sofa in a similar color, rolled arms, and tight back as the PB one you like.

        Leather is so classic and clean.

  7. Lauren

    I really appreciate the honest nature of this post. Sometimes it’s hard to read blogs who decorate without pets and dogs in mind, or who don’t mention the REAL things that happen when you have either. Dog puke has ruined a thing or two in my home as well :)

  8. Rachel Selleh

    It’s worth noting that when you’re shopping for a leather sofa you should be ready to spend more to get the thick leather. Otherwise you’ll get a teeny tiny leather layer over cloth and it will pe. And look awful. And be expensive. :( :(

  9. Dawn

    I had been eyeing the PB Brooklyn leather chair in the toffee color for well over a year and finally bought one a couple of months ago. I absolutely LOVE it. It is by far the favorite chair in the house. I would definitely say that it is worth the wait.

      • sarah

        i have the brooklyn chair too. hubby’s 40th bd gift. we all love it. i got mine at the outlet….do you have one near you?


    Working with a client right now that has a dark brown HUGE leather sectional. I like the small scale one that you have chosen, Did you look at Crate and Barrel they have some nice looking sofa’s and even smaller scale for apartments that won’t over power a room. Love following along with you!!! Always keeping it REAL< love that!!

  11. Jenn

    You were smart to buy a better quality sofa. I found a steal on a leather sofa and love seat but it’s only been 2 years and its started to break down. Of course I have a 9 yo, a 3 yo, 1 dog, and a 30 pound cat playing on it all the time!

    Thank you for mentioning using the outdoor cushions as a temporary repair for your couch. It’s nice to hear other people making do!

  12. Laurie

    You will love the Brooklyn sofa! My friend ordered a sofa in August that had a delivery date of late November . She received it 9/29. So there is hope!

  13. Gracia @ Gracious Offering

    Your new sofa choice is lovely! I think you will love the leather…and all your guests will too. We have an old leather sofa in our rec room that we have had for 23 years…still going strong! Has survived three dogs so far. Bummer about the long wait for the sofa though…it’s so frustrating when you finally make a decision about a major piece of furniture, then you have to wait. Hang in there!

  14. Patty Day

    Great, smart choice and best of all it looks fabulous!

  15. sue

    Love it! Of course I love anything PB AND my sister – in – law works there to boot! Have you checked out their
    Microsuede line of couches? That was my sister-in – law’s suggestion as most durable, very easy to clean and look great! We have a beautiful PB sectional and after 5 years, looks new!

  16. Renee McGuire

    What about scratching with dog claws? We have a sofa with fabric cushions and leather arms and the one problem I have is scratches. I put in distressed wood floors so the scratches from their claws just blend in but the ones on the sofa seem to stand out more. I am getting ready to replace our furniture in the family room and trying to decide the best option with teen boys and 2 small pups. We must have the dogs on the couch for cuddles so keeping them off is not an option.

    • Carolyn

      We’ve had good luck with microfiber — even cat claws didn’t hurt it.

  17. Caroline

    This post was so well timed for my life! My husband LOVES his leather sofa, but we are building a new house and trying to incorporate it with my love of whites was, well, a challenge. The pictures that you used in this post gave me a whole new perspective. I guess my husband can keep the (rather comfy, if dark) couch after all : )

  18. teresa

    Happy Day!

  19. Teresa

    When we were shopping for a leather sofa several years ago we had a difficult time finding something in a medium camel color leather. Everything was very dark. Finally, we found a beautiful camel colored leather reclining sofa/loveseat from Lane. I would rate the leather quality very well and it still looks beautiful after almost three years. However, it is important to note we have no children or pets.

    I believe the Brooklyn leather sofa from PB is the same one that Miss Mustard Seed (Marian P.) bought recently as well and she gave it good reviews. My Sister in law just bought a new leather sofa from LaZboy two weeks ago but I don’t know yet how she is liking it. Good luck on your hunt!

  20. Brenda

    Oh my goodness… As I was reading yesterday’s post, I was silently saying, “please don’t trade it for leather, please don’t trade it for leather…” We have one 65lb labradoodle, as well as leather furniture in our family room. While I do like that it is wipeable, there is nothing you can do to prevent scratches. Try as we might to protect it with blankets, inevitably the doorbell will ring or a squirrel will pass by outside or a leaf will fall to the ground and he will come flying off the sofa, leaving behind the most terrible scratches…that cannot be repaired. After having the sofa for three years, we are moving it into our basement family room and replacing it… With white slip covered sofas. Oh em gee……. Gah!

  21. michele

    word of caution: you may want to have a back-up plan just in case. i’ve gotten the “backordered until … ” message from both pb and west elm, and in the end it was their way of not telling me that the item was not being restocked or re-ordered, but they didn’t want to tell me that up front. don’t be surprised if you get to december, january, you call to check on the status and find that there is no information about that sofa ever being re-stocked. just a friendly heads up. it looks great, and i really hope it turns out to be just fine albeit delayed!

  22. Natalie

    We ordered a sectional from Pottery Barn in August. We weren’t suppose to get it until the end of this month! It came 2 weeks ago! So there is hope that the wait won’t be as long as expected! Love the couch you picked. We shopped for months looking for just the right fit for our family room. I am happy with our pottery barn purchase so far! ;)

  23. Patricia

    I have been shopping for a new sofa for, oh, about a year now. I go back and forth between wanting leather and not wanting leather. That pottery barn one is beautiful! I am kind of wanting a sectional for the family room but who knows what I will end up with.

    Lovely post as usual!

  24. Linda

    I think the leather sofa you’ve chosen is lovely, but to echo what a couple of previous posters said – I would be worried about a leather sofa getting completely scratched up by dog claws. That’s what has kept me from considering leather. Our pup is very active, jumping on and off the sofa pretty frequently.

  25. Adrienne Hedlund

    I love #4, it looks like it’s made out of home-made brownies…mmm getting hungry for brownies just thinking about it :)

  26. Holly S

    We bought that same sofa (darker color though) in May of this year after buying it for over half off at the Pottery Barn Outlet. I love the look of it, but it is not near as comfy as our PB Comfort Grand sofa with slipcover. The seat depth isn’t as deep which I think you mentioned that you were actually looking for a smaller sofa. I do have to say though it does get scratched easily. We don’t have big pets, but even our gerbils little claws left some scratches. The kids are not allowed to play with the gerbils on that sofa now. Hopefully the lighter color you choose will not show scratches as much as the darker leather we have. We also have distressed leather chairs that have quite a few scratches, but it actually looks fine and doesn’t detract from them. From a distance, you don’t even notice the scratches. Can’t wait to see it in your

  27. Kristine @ The Painted Hive

    Yay! I honestly don’t know what I’d do without our leather sofas.
    I noticed lots of comments mentioning scratches being an issue. I guess it depends on the look you like along with the type of leather you have, though to me one of the main appeals of leather is the way it naturally distresses over time. I think a few scratches only add to its evolutionary charm. That said, I can totally sympathise with the initial tear-provoking uncertainty those first few ‘imperfections’ can cause!
    I find it easy to completely erase any of the more obvious scratches (like dragged doggy nails and perfectly formed smiley faces etched in by a three year old fingernail!) by buffing our natural waxed leather sofas. They come up beautifully.

  28. Ms Maggie

    We have leather sofas (down- filled) at both houses, even at the beach. My son says that cows want to run when they see me but they have worn well and feel good in the PNW in all weather.

    I have both Wine colored (city) as well as Carmel/Toffee (beach!). Be careful of what is in back pockets!

  29. Robyn

    Have you checked Hancock and Moore? We have a leather recliner from them that is amazing! The quality is superior and the leather is thick and it’s made in the USA! Best wishes with your new sofa I hope Jack loves it!

  30. Linda Wilgus

    I love the leather sofa you picked! The shape of the arm rests and the legs is fantastic. I love the look of your old sofa too, but I cannot sing the praises of a leather sofa enough. We’ve had two leather sofas in our living room for about 5 years now and they have been through a lot: 3 intercontinental moves (UK to US and back again), the dog sleeping on them nearly every day, doubling as a sofa bed for when the children were sick, having guests sleep on them when we had more than the guest bedroom could take, and amazingly, they are still in good shape. Super easy to care for and clean, and they weren’t even expensive either (they’re from Ikea.. shhh :-) When they finally are ready to bite the proverbial dust we’ll definitely get another set of leather sofas again.

  31. Nancy

    I love my leather sofa. I was fortunate enough to procure a Natuzzi leather sofa with transitional styling in CREAM. I love that it gives me the feel of light colored slipcovered furniture…but it’s leather. I haven’t dreamt of slipcovers since I got it. I bet your leather sofa is going to look wonderful. :-)

  32. Linda

    I have just purchased my first leather sofa and I’m over the moon……. We have had fabric for so long I knew it was time as well. We have two small dogs and I was continually steam cleaning the two sofas.
    I went with the small rolled arms and the chocolate leather. Very supple. Then I accented with a cream chair and went over the top with the pattern. Blue Herons!!!
    Can’t wait to see your room update….still working on mine….a few more purchases….

  33. Jennie

    6mo ago we sold our leather sectional for two linen colored sofas. Like you I have two dogs that I try and keep off the furniture. I didn’t not spend a lot on sofas and figured I’d have them cleaned as needed. So far so good. I do love leather tho. Wears like iron! Hope your sofa gets there soon.

  34. SM

    Did you finally end up buying the Pottery Barn Brooklyn leather sofa. We are looking at buying it and would like to know if you are happy with your purchase. Thanks

  35. christie Ruple

    Looking at pic with gray/ white rug. Do you know where it came from?

  36. Sandy

    I have been looking for spool chest end tables. Just saw your end table next to the leather sofa and it is so cute! Did you purchase it or were you lucky enough to find a great antique?


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