While leather sofas and small children really is a practical solution, your life of harmony begins with the selection process. Like dogs and cats, some types of leather are more compatible with children than others.CSL’s range of leather sofas is an excellent place to start. Not only do they have a massive range from which to choose, they even have an app that you can download to see how a particular sofa looks in your living room.
Your best choice is a fully coloured, heavily finished, top grain leather. The term, ‘top grain’ does not imply ‘top price range’; it refers simply to leathers in which the outer layers have been left intact, in contrast to split leathers, like suede. Split leathers are best left until the children are old enough to leave home but not yet old enough to produce children of their own.
Top grain leather is recommended by people who have led happy lives with children and leather sofas. It is more resistant to scratches and tears than fabric or other types. Other veterans of the leather-and-children brigade recommend avoiding light-coloured leather for the obvious reason that it will show stains and marks that much more quickly. Personally, I prefer to see, sooner rather than later, how grubby things are so that I can get right in there with the cleaning materials.
Another little-known tip for a selecting a hard-wearing sofa is to ask for leather that has been treated with organic materials like bark as opposed to traditional chemicals. This is called vegetable tanning. Not only is it greener, but it is firmer and more full-bodied than traditionally tanned leather.
Suitable items from CSL’s range of leather sofas might include the ‘Primo’. Its twin-needle stitching detail, chevron back cushions and soft fitted arm pads scream comfort and durability. It comes in a range of leathers and a lifetime guarantee. Unlike my normal shopping pattern of behaviour, it is not the most expensive model on the shop floor.
The ‘Wave’ is an eye-catching number in cheeky red, white and blue. Make up your own combination of five units to make up a corner group from a choice of red, blue and stripe/mix of combination leather and fabric. Ideal for a family or kids’ room, I would be somewhat wary of its durability. There is no lifetime guarantee and in the description, the words, ‘luxurious stripe fabric and sumptuous leather’ do not cry out ‘sturdy and long-wearing’.
Once you get your sofa home, there are some things you can do to preserve its useful and attractive life. Keeping only non-colour-fast writing and colouring materials in the house is a sensible precaution. Have the leather professionally conditioned twice a year to prepare it for extreme seasonal weather. This way, leather sofas and small children really can be an entirely practical solution!Written by Oliver Bray has been interested in interior design and furnishing since first refurbishing his house a decade ago. Evangelising how our environment affects our performance, he now researches and writes about the latest trends in fashion, technology and interior design to help you transform your life.