Insights • Inspirations • Destinations • Design

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Hermes Effect: Leather Interiors

Have you noticed how leather is quietly slipping into interiors? Over the last few years I've seen more and more leather emerging in both home accessories and interior design, including bathrooms (leather baths and leather walls), kitchens (leather handles) and bedrooms (leather headboards). Some of it is very reminiscent of Hermes' designs, other elements are evocative of Louis Vuitton's vintage collections. And yet other 'looks' are very equestrian. I love the dark leather handles that some designers are using on kitchen cabinets, which I first noticed at Margaret Porritt's (owner of Feathers' boutiques) beach house in Portsea a decade ago. I'd love to incorporate them into our house, but I'm not sure how they'd look after prolonged use? Then again, they'd probably be as beautiful as a leather handbag is after it's aged a little.

Here are a few of the luxe leather looks I've seen lately. (Sorry, little too much alliteration there.) Oh – and the image above is of the glamorous Anouska Hempel-designed Blakes Hotel in London, which has just had an amazing renovation. More details on this place later today or tomorrow.

{NB Some of these images were without credits when I found them. If you know their source, do notify me and I'll amend them.}

Leather tiles and a leather vanity in a powder room. Rich and masculine.

A hand-stitched leather bathtub. Not sure how it fares with hot water being splashed down the side, but clearly luxurious. {Via Superius and Butler}

The library and the suites of the Gild Hall Hotel in New York. I've always loved this hotel. The library bar is beautiful. Pity it's so far from anything, down there in the financial district.

The Kentucky weekender of New York fashion designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka. This house has been featured in several blogs, but it's still beautiful. Their love of all things equestrian is very much evident. {Via Elle Decor}

Via Habitually Chic. Heather loves the equestrian look. And her design eye is always spot on.

Kendall Conrad. 
(I've just realised, upon closer inspection, that these wingbacks might be fabric? But wouldn't they be beautiful if there were dark leather, against the clean white lines?)

Tina K Home. {Via Elle Decoration}

Margaret Porritt's former beach house at Portsea. {My image}

Steven Gambrel. {Via Habitually Chic}

Stuart Membery's Lodge Ottoman. {Via Stuart Membery}

JK Hotel, Italy. {Via JK}

And Ms Windsor Smith.

{Just to assure you all, these ottomans are not made from real zebra skins. They're cowhides printed to look like stripes.}


  1. I have seen leather floors too....I always wondered how practical that would be, but the designer that did it (I'm sorry, I can't remember who) claimed that it was eminently practical.....would love to see what it looked like a few years after the installation.

    I love a little bit of leather in an interior - I would love a pair of leather armchairs for our Study/ Library....but I'm too fussy about what I like. I want them battered and aged, rather than shiny and new and stiff. I remember seeing a lovely pair in a shop window in Pimlico Rd. London in an Antique shop 13 years ago. No doubt hideously expensive, but the memory has remained and nothing else has matched up yet!

    1. I wonder if it would wear well Heide? Just like a great old leather handbag. You'd probably have to protect them though. And our dogs would scratch the bejesus out of them! xx

  2. I love a little alliteration! And luxe leather.

    We have two new brown leather couches - untreated and soft so it shows the scratches. I Don't like the treated leather that's shiny and cold. I also refuse to stress about spills - I'm hoping they age beautifully - a process my boys are accelerating so I'll know in another year whether I was too hopeful!

    1. Those couches sound lovely Ann. The soft leather is the best, and it will undoubtedly become lovelier with age too. x

  3. Love these gorgeous images but I wonder whether leather handles etc. will age well? Or will they 'date' - however I adore the leather Chesterfield sofas and am very partial to old beaten up looking leather chairs. Gorgeous blues from your last post and please do show your decorated blue hues when it's ready. Likewise how fantastic were the images of libraries from the post before that? Sorry, have had a few posts to catch up on...! x

    1. We love a beaten old leather armchair too Sarah. Hope you're settling back into Wiltshire. I'm looking forward to reading all your lovely posts from England. xx

  4. All beautiful rooms! I cannot pick my favorite. The leather bathtub and the leather tiled bath seem very impractical.

    I am a great fan of the Badgley Mishka house in KY.

    Have a great day, Elizabeth

    1. Mmm, the bathtub did seem a bit high-maintenance?
      I think the BM house in KY is one of the best I've ever seen.
      Thanks for dropping by Elizabeth, lovely to hear from a new reader.

  5. Leather is so rich! I just did a post on leather in fashion..come check it out!

  6. Really loved the beautiful pictures..Liked the designs.


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