Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Breaking the code on spring cleaning

 It’s  not as thrilling as young love or as inspiring as cherry blossoms along the Potomac, but with spring also come thoughts of a thorough house cleaning.  While some tasks are straightforward and routine, others can be confusing and downright mysterious.

One elusive mystery is those cryptic letters that are upholstery fabric cleaning codes. Chances are your American Leather® furniture made it through the winter without incident, but if you do need to do a bit of touch up for spring, we’re here to help you break the cleaning code with the below guide and tips.


When you see S think Solvent or Something other than water.
Clean only with solvent-based cleaner. Do not saturate. Do not use water. Cushion covers should not be removed and dry cleaned.

Examples include: K2R Spotlifter, Carbona and Resolve


When you see W think Water.

Clean only with water-based shampoo or upholstery cleaner. Do not over wet. Do not use solvents to spot clean. Cushion covers should not be removed and laundered.  Most water based cleaning agents are often classified as upholstery shampoo.

Examples include: Glamorene, Glory, Blue Lustre and Woolite

WS or SW:
When you see WS or SW, think open options! This means you can use your favorite cleaner, just test it first. Spot clean with solvent-based or water-based cleaning products. Do not saturate with liquid. Cushion covers should not be removed and dry cleaned.

Happily, most American Leather upholstery fabrics carry the WS or SW code. These are the most serviceable fabrics, and the best strategy is to start with water before turning to solvents.

We also have quite a few fabrics with S codes and some with W. Do not despair if that’s what you have. In most cases, careful effort – and sometimes with some professional assistance--your fabric-covered furniture can be fresh as spring again.

DC or X:

While American Leather furniture does not have these codes, you may see DC for Dry Clean Only or X, which means vacuum or light brushing only, on other upholstered pieces you may own. These both require professional attention for best results.

As a rule of thumb, the best advice is to proceed cautiously. Even with pure water or a water-based cleaner, you will want to test how your fabric responds in a small, inconspicuous area before attempting to tackle the blotch in the middle of your seat cushion.  Also, pile fabrics may require brushing to restore appearance.

To learn more about caring for leather furniture, view these tips on the American Leather website: http://americanleather.com/Coverings/Leather/Leather-Care---Cleaning.aspx

 And if your American Leather furniture is covered in the extremely resilient Ultrasuede®, be sure to visit our partner’s website for the best information on care and cleaning: http://www.ultrasuede.com/about/care.html




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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Living Large: Stylish Solutions for Small Spaces

Whether by choice or out of necessity, people are increasingly opting for smaller living spaces. Taking the form of  ‘tiny houses;’ which continue to gain in popularity; apartments, townhomes, or condos, small spaces can still be big on design.

Breckin Comfort Sleeper
One of our favorite design blogs is ApartmentTherapy and we’re huge fans (pardon the pun) of the tips for small spaces that can be found there. The Apartment Therapy team is continually on the lookout for inspiring homes that make the most of tight quarters and they are genius at sharing ideas for doing just that. Of course, we are proud that the American Leather Comfort Sleeper® earns kudos each year in the TopTen Sleeper Sofas Annual Guide, but we love all the featured projects and advice for overcoming small space challenges.

Floor space, guest sleeping accommodations and limited storage top the list of those challenges, and American Leather has solutions for all three. Our full size Breckin Comfort Sleeper sofa features a standard full sized mattress and is only 62 inches wide. Where space is truly at a premium, the Breckin twin size sleeper is a compact 47 inches and the Comfort Sleeper cot measures just 38 inches across.

Hailey Cot Comfort Sleeper
Don’t confuse compact with uncomfortable, however. Each of these Comfort Sleeper models features solid platforms that provide even support with no bars, no springs, and no sagging and they all boast a sleeping surface that is a full 80 inches in length. Because the patented sleep system extends from the back of the Comfort Sleeper, they take up less floor space than conventional sleepers, which typically have mattresses that are only 70 to 75 inches long.

Darcy Bed
Darcy Bed Open to Reveal Storage
In spaces where closets are virtually unheard of and even a dresser can be a luxury, American Leather’s storage beds are a stylish and practical option. The Beth, Darcy, and Jane beds feature hidden storage compartments under the mattress that provide storage space equivalent to a five-drawer dresser. Accessing those items stowed away underneath is easy. Spring-loaded gas pistons ensure the mattress can be lifted both effortlessly and safely.

Multi-function furniture pieces can do double—or triple—duty and can serve as design accents as well. American Leather’s Leo is a beautiful table with a solid walnut top, which slides open to reveal storage space for magazines, books, and other small items. The Uno and the Uno Round ottomans are perfect footrests that become instant side tables when the built-in tray is flipped over. The Otis features the same flexibility and storage, all with an exquisite solid walnut tray.

Otis Ottoman
While space may be limited, the options aren’t. Light paint, simple window treatments, and strategically placed mirrors can all make a small room seem more open and airy. Couple these and other proven tricks with pieces from American Leather, and even the most cramped space becomes instantly more livable.

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

American Leather Comfort Theatre® : The Best Seat in the House

It’s awards season, with the biggest night of them all coming up this weekend.  If you are like many of us, the Academy Awards ® serve not only as a evening of entertainment, but also as a “must see” list for all the movies we didn't
Comfort Theatre Dean
catch in the theater.

What better way to enjoy these Oscar®-nominated films than in your own theater room, outfitted with your custom selection from the American Leather Comfort Theatre® collection?

As versatile as Meryl Streep, our Comfort Theatre collections can be configured exactly as you need them – as a single reclining chair or in rows that are limited only by the dimensions of your room.

And each seat can be adjusted precisely for your comfort, with separate controls for the footrest and for the reclining back. And if you choose to use the whisper-quiet mechanism to recline all the way back, the headrest can be adjusted to prop your head up so you can still see the screen.

Comfort Theatre Monroe
With names like Monroe and Dean, the stars in the Comfort Theatre collection may evoke a bygone era in Hollywood, but make no mistake; these are innovative marvels of design and innovation.  Monroe is streamlined and simple, with comfort curves just where you want them. Dean brings a little more drama, with buttonless tufting that creates a sophisticated look.

As with any great performance, details matter. You will notice, in particular, how the material over the back of the chair doesn’t sag or droop in the reclining position like so many others. And when you turn the lights down low, you can use the adjustable LED lights in the stainless steel cupholder to easily locate your drink. We haven’t found a way to light your popcorn yet; but we wouldn’t be surprised if our engineers our working on it.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

A Thousand Thanks

By Bruce Birnbach, American Leather President

As we prepare to spend the holidays giving thanks with families and friends, it’s also a good time to give our thanks—on behalf of the entire American Leather team—to those responsible for making what we do possible.

For over two decades, American Leather has been crafting custom upholstered furniture three times faster than the industry average—a capability which has kept us at the forefront of our industry. We’ve also been the leader in developing innovative products that redefine the industry standard – from sofa sleepers to recliners to home theater designs.

But we’re only able to do this because of the support and committed focus we receive from our talented designers and product development teams; skillful factory workers and engineers; driven sales, marketing and business staff; loyal customers and dedicated vendors. Each and every one plays a significant role in our end product – from the initial brainstorming to final purchasing stages – and we’re thankful to have you in our corner.

Because of you, we can:

Design Differently.  By applying modern, "just-in-time” manufacturing methods to the “old line” furniture industry, we’ve been able to revitalize the way furniture is designed and delivered. Our collections consist of original designs by some of the industry’s leading international designers – many of whom have brought us award-winning designs. And we are constantly coming up with ways to provide functional, solution-based modern and long-lasting designs compatible with a variety of styles.

Innovate and Create. At American Leather, we’re about forging new roads in the industry – not retreading the same ones. With over 50% of our business being patented designs, our designers and engineers take our collections one step further. Our product development teams are renowned in the furniture business for designing innovative, proprietary products that fill unmet needs in the market, and bring unprecedented comfort to the way we sit, relax, recline and sleep.  Today our Comfort Sleeper® is in hundreds of thousands of homes and hotels worldwide, and our Comfort Recliner™ and Comfort Theatre® collections are a growing presence in home theaters and living rooms everywhere. 

Feel at Home. There’s a lot to be said for a furniture company that can create quality products and deliver them at a fast pace. And it’s even more impressive when its 450+ member workforce can be kept 100% in the U.S.  By having our headquarters in a 250,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in South Dallas, we’re able to maintain the highest quality manufacturing standards and attract a very talented team of factory workers, engineers and corporate staff alike – a reality that many overseas manufactures can’t claim. Additionally, we’re able to offer our employees all the comforts of home—such as a state-of-the-art wellness facility—as they work to make your home more comfortable, too!

Our way of doing things is what sets us apart from others in this industry, but our support—both internally and externally—is what makes it all possible. Thank you for standing by us for another year of style and success.  

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Solving decorating problems two at a time: Pairs of chairs

Chairs don’t get enough credit. In the furniture world, the sofa is the headliner attracting the most attention. We understand why: The sofa -- or the sectional -- is often the focal point, the place where the most people sit and the centerpiece of the room.

But where chairs really stand out in ways that sofas can’t match is as style accents, much like jewelry for the room. On top of their strong style statements, chairs are physically smaller, which allows people to place them in settings where sofas just won’t fit.

So, since we are soon promoting a Chairs & Pairs sale with some of our best retail partners, let’s talk a bit about how chairs are effectively employed, especially the Accent & Occasional chairs from the American Leather catalog.

This vignette created by our friends at 24e in Savannah, Ga., shows how a pair of chairs creates an intimate seating area perfect for conversation or, with the window nearby, reading. The Cole chairs shown here have a clean, appealing, modern design, and they are also quite comfortable.

A sofa would be so wrong here because it would block the beautiful piano and probably hinder access to the French doors. Instead, the Cantoni designer who created this gorgeous setting employed four swivel Feliz chairs around an ottoman and a leopard-pattern rug. With the swivel feature, which American Leather offers as an option as many of its chairs, attention turns easily to the piano. Notice, too, how the shape of the Feliz chairs is similar to the taller bowl on the piano. Nice touch!

From the Robert Legere Design Center in Asbury Park, N.J., another sumptuous example of the Cole chair being put to great use. With the round table over the round shag rug, this is a fun setting that just calls out for people to sit down and enjoy each other. Beautiful!

In this wonderful display created by Isidro Dunbar Modern Interiors in Destin, Fla., the sweeping curve of the Alyssa swivel chairs make the strongest style statement while the stainless steel base serves as a design link between the Rex bench in the foreground and the Savino sofa.

As we said, chairs deserve more credit. For more ideas on how chairs can make a style statement, check out our assortment here. Or use the Dealer Locator at the top of our web page to find the American Leather retailer nearest you.

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

American Leather in the news: Monarch

We never get tired of seeing our products featured in beautiful homes or prestigious publications. So, we were doubly pleased to see a sumptuous Monarch sectional featured in a recent slideshow by The New York Times in its Great Homes and Destinations series.

The featured home in the Jan. 15 feature on “What You Get for … $900,000” was a midcentury modern ranch-style home in Portland, Ore., and the Monarch configuration showed up in the first interior photo of the slideshow.

Monarch is one of the more unique designs in our catalog. The arms and the back of each piece have an overhang that allows a bench – or benches -- to slide snugly underneath, creating additional seating. It’s all very informal and fun, especially with the abundance of pillows that are included with each Monarch seating piece.

Here’s one of our photos of the Monarch, showing how the arms overhang – allowing the benches to slide underneath:

Lounging in style, like a Monarch.

In The Times feature, every inch of the 1951 house, surrounded by towering pine trees, is lovely and appealing, but we were so pleased to see how the three-piece Monarch sectional was set up as the focal piece of the simple yet elegant living room. The sectional is covered in rich velvety fabric in a dark mustard color, set off nicely in both contrast and color by the linen pillows. Here is a link to the slideshow featuring the Monarch: http://tiny.cc/9buiax

Several accent chairs in our collection would be right at home in any room of this house, like the Aaron and Cole.

The Aaron has a beautiful sculpted walnut base with a retro feel. The Aaron and Cole chairs are going to included in our Chairs and Pairs promotion starting February 7. Please contact your retailers for more details.

A fine complement to the Monarch, Aaron keeps the midcentury vibe going.

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

3 more reasons to love leather

The leather on this Danford sectional is inviting you to sit down and relax!

It shouldn’t come as too big a surprise to learn that we think leather is great for covering furniture. It is, after all, part of our name.

Leather has been such a big part of what American Leather has been doing these past 23 years that we occasionally find ourselves assuming that everybody already knows what makes leather such an excellent choice in home furnishings. But we still find ourselves explaining the advantages of leather: It’s a combination of things, actually, ranging from esthetic appeal to enduring value, but here are some of our faves.

There’s a reason Rod Stewart wore those pants: We’re just going to put it out there: Leather has sex appeal. Something about leather makes most of us want to touch it, see how it feels. It’s appealing to the eye like few other natural materials, and it draws us in. We usually recommend that shoppers fondle our leather so that they select the one that looks and feels best.

Leather wears in; it doesn’t wear out:  It lasts four times longer than most upholstery fabrics, and while a fabric sofa will never look better than the day it is delivered, leather gets better looking all the time. As we use our leather sofas and chairs, an attractive patina develops, and the leather seems to develop more character.  Few things in this world look more inviting than a well-used and loved leather chair.

Good leather breathes: It’s cool to the touch in the summer and warm in the winter. American Leather uses only top-grain and full top-grain leathers. Without getting too technical, we’ll say that these are top quality, and like all good leathers, they “breathe.” What that means is that natural oils and moisture moving back and forth in the leather – transpiration -- which keeps the material soft and supple. Your skin won’t stick to it, and it will adjust quickly to temperature changes because it breathes.

We could go on and on about why we are proud to make beautiful, comfortable furniture covered in leather, but we’re going to get back to filling our Christmas orders so that everybody gets what they want when Santa arrives with his delivery truck.

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