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18 Leather Sofas That Maximize Comfort and Style

Soften your views on these couches.
Roxanne Robinson Dec 27, 2021
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Leather sofas often get a bad rap despite their lineage as a luxurious seating option. They date back to ancient Arabia and to the castles and homes of medieval Europe’s royalty and noblemen. In recent eras, leather sofas started to become popular and in demand beginning in the 1960s. Sofas fashioned after the iconic, brown club chair have remained in fashion over time.

It was the 1980s (a.k.a., “the decade of excess”) where their distinguished image began to shift. When highly designed Italian leather sofas hit the market, they became associated with a nouveau riche clientele. In some cases, they prompted the “money can’t buy class” expression. Thus, these (often overstuffed) leather sofas became part of a look that featured over-the-top mirrors, crystal chandeliers, and chrome and gold accents. Picture the homes shown in Goodfellas, Casino, or The Real Housewives of New Jersey. These generally don’t paint the best picture of this style. Thankfully, those leather sofas have gone the way of big hair and extra long nails. Today’s versions are contemporary and sleek. Nest Casa has compiled a selection demonstrating that leather sofas can be classy without a trace of gaudiness.

Pros and Cons of a Leather Sofa

Because a leather sofa is usually a significant investment, they have a higher sticker price. In general, they have a decades-long lifespan with proper care and often look better with age. (Nest Casa recommends Christophe Pourny’s leather care line to keep your leather in shape.) Unlike other materials, leather is also suitable for year-round use; certain fabrics, like velvet, tend to be too warm for winter months, while canvas looks too summery in the dead of winter.

One benefit for pet owners is that cleaning shedding fur off leather is easier than doing so on most upholstered styles. One con: Leather may not deter animal scratches. An aspect that doesn’t suit all tastes is the slippery nature of leather. Small children may love this initially until they slide right off and bump their heads on the floor or another piece of furniture. 

Editor’s Picks: The Best Types of Leather Sofas

Now that you are conditioned to the idea of a leather sofa, choosing the style that fits best is the next step. The size of the space is an essential consideration for all furniture decisions. What works and looks good in the room? Below, Nest Casa founder Sara Colombo selects styles from six key categories: sectionals, loveseats, minimalist, modern, tufted, and reclining.

Sectional Leather Sofas

The term sectional sofa immediately brings an image to mind of an expansive, L-shaped seating system, commanding a great room and begging to be plopped down on for a bout of relaxation. Certainly, sectional leather sofas are perfect in those rooms—but they can also work in a sophisticated living room. The Kelston Sectional is sleek and devoid of rounded edges that would give it a sloppy appearance. The Mario Bellini’s Camaleonda Sofa from Eternity Modern gets its moniker from how it can break apart and transform its configurations, thanks to a system of fasteners. Mid-century Italian design and a DIY approach to the end product make this sectional extremely good-looking and smart.

Loveseat Leather Sofas

The loveseat (or, settee) may be rooted in romance, but this style is an option for anyone with space challenges. (Editor’s Note: In Europe, these would still qualify as sofas, where they are more typical in size than the standard three-cushion American styles.) The Gwyneth Ivory Leather Loveseat fits neatly in many tight spaces, sitting directly on the ground. It bears a simple, unfettered, rounded back and side design. A similar style in gray suede arrives from Chairish, but it comes with Space Age legs. The Sunday Modular One-arm Loveseat  in olive green has big sink-into-oblivion cushions. The singular arm available on the single side allows for added versatility.

Minimalist Leather Sofas

Simplicity in design results in simplicity in appearance. Due to its smooth, sleek surface—especially, as compared to many upholstery fabrics—leather is perfect for this effect. The Bantam Studio Sofa represents a gentler, less manufactured, rigid modernism in this dramatic, one-arm lounger sofa. The Daniel Sofa reimagines the leather Chesterfield in this “minimalist meets maximalist” design from Ulivi Salotti. Stark white and clean, symmetrical lines give the Adelaide sofa top honors for an unfussy design.

Modern Leather Sofas

Not to be confused with minimalist leather sofas, modern leather sofas are defined by their contemporary appearance and not by one particular characteristic. The Jocelyn Leather Sofa has a softly worn-in look suited to today’s boho interior approaches. The Nube style, on the other hand, evokes a futuristic mood with its angular lines—ditto for the Swiss-made DS-580 leather sofa from De Sede that defies traditional couch design and composition.

Tufted Leather Sofas

These leather sofas are the most traditional of the category, bringing to mind the classic Chesterfield.  Altavilla’s Churchill Tuxedo Sofa is so classic that it echoes the same buttoned, debonair style of the formalwear suit. That said, the possibilities of tufting techniques extend beyond the typical button style most associated with the Chesterfield. The pleated Cicero Sofa from France and Son is just one example. If a toned-down Chesterfield is what you desire, then the Afia sofa in distressed leather fits the bill.

Reclining Leather Sofas

Nothing says sit down, kick back, and relax like a reclining chair. And on a sofa, it’s twice as nice. Lest these miracle couches get relegated to the rec room or a basement man cave, the Reva leather and Maine eco-leather styles prove that these cleverly disguised recliners can still hold court in the main sitting room of the house. These styles let the whole gang lounge, but others may prefer a more intimate lounge option. The Pipkins reclining leather loveseat checks that box with a relaxed feeling that’s perfect for two.

Roxanne Robinson
Roxanne Robinson is an award-winning Paris-based American journalist covering luxury and fashion industries with over 25 years of experience. I spent over 18 years at WWD, covering sportswear, accessories and fine jewelry. My career witnessed the shift from print media to the digital age. I gained expert knowledge of the design world, wholesale and retail markets as well as the marketing that supports them. I met endless creatives and business people who create luxury from inception to POS with the consumer. My work has appeared in Forbes.com, BoF, The Hollywood Reporter, CRFashionbook.com, The Jewelry Journal as well in-house publications and websites at Bally, Pomellato, Au Depart and Editorialist.com among others.
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