Leather furniture - Yea or Nay?

I thought I’d search around the SDMB to see if there was much in the way of commentary. It turns out that searching on “leather sofa” winds up finding some rather interesting threads :smiley: (none of which provide opinions of the furniture itself).

So anyway - if you’ve got a leather sofa and love it, why? If you’ve got one and hate it, why? Has it held up well? any maintenance issues? Advantages? disadvantages? What would you do differently if you were buying one now?

We have kids. We do not have pets who would be able to damage it (just a few guinea pigs, who would not have access to it).

I’ve always thought that leather furniture is tacky in the extreme. It always makes me think of Larry from Three’s Company. I’ve always put it in the same category as a Corvette or Thomas Kincaid print-- a nuevo riche “status symbol.”

It feels horrible on skin (a person wearing shorts can find themselves sticking to it on a hot day.) You have to be careful of it, and I don’t feel a couch is something that should require caution while using.

I really like the look of fine leather furniture. Something that is more traditional and more likely to be found in a gentleman’s club rather than that amorphous scandinavian/moder style. It has to have some strong architechtural bones and lots of rivets and a kind of warm and burnished look. Like a worn saddle might.

Having said that… I like to look at it, even sit on it from time to time and sip a fine brandy but I would not have it in my house as the core pieces. It’s cold in the winter and hot in the summer. Not very pleasant on bare skin no matter what the weather.

I like a few small accent pieces though.

I’m interested in replies too. I don’t think leather furniture has to look tacky. I associate the tackiness more with the old naugahyde stuff.

My real question is: will leather furniture hold up if the dog (55 lbs) sleeps on it??

I have a leather sofa, and hate it.
In hot weather you stick to it, in cold it’s like sitting on a block of ice.

And if you try and cover it with a blanket the damn things slides right off.

Well, I’m going to go ahead and chime in saying leather furniture looks tacky and feels worse. It’s meant for a room you don’t use, one you use only for company or something. A parlor.

Now where are these threads you mention? No links!

Questions of taste and tackiness aside…

Leather furniture is great for pets. It doesn’t absorb fluids like more porous fabrics, and moist solids wipe off much easier.

We have a leather recliner (no handle, thankyouverymuch) that is saddle-colored. It isn’t shiny. Very warm and rustic looking. We have cats who have scratched it, but the furniture store dude told us to rub cream furniture polish (Weimans) into it and it will remove those surface scratches.

Not cheesy looking at all. In fact, we get compliments on it all the time. It’s very comfy, too.

A leather couch is the way to go. It doesn’t get dusty and it’s really comfy. I disagree with the people who say you stick to it, I’ve never had that problem.

Leather is your friend. If I had enough money now, I’d go get one.

We got a used leather couch a few years ago and it is in our family room where it gets tons of use. We have a shepherd mix dog, about 45 pounds who jumps on it and sleeps on it. It does get scratches on it, but if I took better care of it I think it would look fine. I use those wipes that are made for leather car interiors to clean it. It does have one small tear in it from where her claw poked through (and a big hole that I have now patched in the front, but that was from her puppy days. She doesn’t chew furniture anymore.) It is really easy to keep clean of dog hair and spills.

We also have a one year old who is starting to climb all over it. Pros are it is easy to clean. Liquid spills don’t hurt it a bit, crumbs and such brush right off. Cons are it is hot in summer and cold in winter, but we have air conditioning so not a big deal for us. It is holding up better than our regular chair in the same room, and we had that one scotchguarded. I have friends who have two cats and a toddler and they recently switched to all leather furniture, they swear by it. I think it looks great and now you can get leather furniture in almost as many styles and colors as regular furniture so if you don’t like one kind there are more to choose from.

I always liked the look of leather, but I always hated the stick 'n peel in the summer, and the freezing cold in the winter. After we bought our new house my wife bought a leather couch and loveseat for the family room, and I have to say that it is pretty nice. Like Metacom said it is easy to keep clean with kids and pets, and I haven’t been sticking to the seat at all this summer. It does get a little cool in the winter, but that’s nothing a blanket can’t fix.

As a housewarming gift, my parents bought me a black leather sectional couch. Well, they were going to buy me furniture, and my tastes leaned towards the sectional.

I looooooves it.

I’m worried about it getting punctured, but it looks so nice in the living room…

I’ve had a brown leather couch since 2001. I like it. It is comfortable to sit on and it is good for napping. Yes, leather may get sticky in the summer if you don’t have AC, but I have AC so that is a non-issue for me.

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=178014&highlight=leather+sofa (which was a bit of a surprise but one of the funnier threads I’ve ever read). :smiley:

Some of the sofas I looked at the other day looked really nice. Some looked tacky. I think a lot depends on the color (bright purple? Fun to look at but, um, no. Burgundy? That I could love with) or the style (some looked very modern. Like, 1950s diner or 1970s acid trip). They were comfy but I think they’d look dated in a few years). And with something that’s this much of an investment - and is intended to last like this - it had better be a color/style we won’t regret in 5 years.

LIVE with.

I guess I’m gonna have some 'splainin to do when Papa Zappa reads this!!

Hopefully I am not too late.

Leather sofas can be tacky, but regular sofas can be pretty tacky too (Oh the things people will put in their homes!). We have the world’s most comfortable leather chair-it’s all plus and nice and…I need to leave work so I can nap in the chair. We also have a big, comfy, leather couch. Both are a light, creamy-tan color.

The furniture is VERY easy to clean. At one point I was babysitting and the brat got ahold of a ball point pen and decorated the lovely furniture. I freaked out and called the leather store. They told me to break out the toothbrush and toothpaste- without much work the pen totally came off.

I have a 180 lb great dane and a 50 lb chow- both love the furniture. The leather puts up with their big, fuzzy butts very well.

Leather sofas (and auto upholstery) all the way.

Never have a problem with tacky appearances or stickiness; makes me wonder where some of y’all live. :wink:

I have both a leather sofa and loveseat. I haven’t had any problems with them at all and I own a black lab. I receive numerous compliments on the furniture.

I don’t stick to my furniture during the summer and haven’t really experienced the feeling that it was cold in the winter.

I think durability has a lot to do with the type of leather you pick. If you go with a smooth, shiny type you’re going to notice scratches. The same goes for the smooth, but buff look. I can’t remember the type of leather they call what mine is, but I got both the sofa and loveseat from the La-Z-Boy Gallery. The texture is very slightly sorta “pebbly”, but not very noticably so. I want to call it Action leather or something like that, but the name really does escape me at the moment.

They are a dream to take care of, and about every three months I use a leather cleaner and conditioner on them. I dust them about once a week, just because they’re located in the great room with the TV.

Just remembered, it’s called “Performance Leather”. Okay, carry on, sorry.

We love our leather sofa and chair. It really depends on what leather you pick out. We went all out and got an upgraded softer leather that really feels much better than any fabric sofa I’ve ever had. Never stuck to it, and we live in the valley in S. Cal. It gets plenty warm here, like today, for instance…

We’ve gotten compliments at every party on the furniture, because not only is it modern looking, it is also very comfortable. Of course we spent alot of time looking for it, and spent quite a bit more money than I imagined a sofa should cost. But it is well worth it. I would recommend going to a place that builds the sofa to order. And as others have stated, the cleanup is a breeze, and cloth sofas really gross me out with all the dust, dirt and grime that gets absorbed (much like carpet). You can’t go wrong with a leather sofa and wood floors!