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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Monday, November 11, 2013

5 more reasons you'll love Ultrasuede

The Malibu sectional in  a chocolate Ultrasuede with a Pink Ribbon chair in the foreground.  With 97 colors, Ultrasuede lets you go radical or keep it on the down low.

American Leather has been offering Ultrasuede by Toray for more than a decade. It was the first fabric we added to our line because of its unique combination of luxury and performance. Simply put, it’s got a great hand and it tailors beautifully. But the beauty of Ultrasuede, which just feels better than any microfiber, is more than skin deep. Here are five reasons why:

You can’t kill it: Ultrasuede carries a 10-year warranty, but that’s the minimum life expectancy. It does not wear out. Period. Our mother has an Ultrasuede pants suit from the 1970s in her closet, and it looks great, even if the lapels are a bit wide. We could bore you with the overwhelming scientific data about double-rubs in fabric-testing labs, but the point is that it stands up to use as well or better than any other upholstery cover, which makes Ultrasuede a great value.

More colors than the rainbow: We use Ultrasuede HP, formerly Ultrasuede Ambience. There are 97 colors in the line. From earth tones like Pebble and Maple Wood to brilliant eye-grabbers like Pink Ribbon and Robin’s Egg, Ultrasuede has the colors that make beautiful rooms.

Unlike the rainbow, these colors don’t fade: Besides being soft, supple and sensuous to the touch, Ultrasuede is also resistant to stains and discoloration. It's even machine-washable or dry-cleanable. The color-fast properties of Ultrasuede make it suitable for demanding use in office furniture and even automobiles.

It’s pet friendly: Nothing will protect furniture 100 percent from aggressive claws or gnaws. But Ultrasuede is better than most. It resists scratching, there are no threads to pull or fray, and it won’t absorb stray hairs. In the event of pet “accidents,” Ultrasuede also resists staining and odor absorption. Most still-wet stains will come up with some gentle patting with a paper towel.  For dried stains, start with gentle brushing, and if that doesn’t work, try wiping the stained area from the outside in with a well-wrung cloth dampened in lukewarm water.

It’s environmentally friendly: American Leather takes pride in being a responsible manufacturer, minimizing the resources we use, recycling wherever possible and leaving the smallest possible impact on the environment. Toray, makers of Ultrasuede, share our values, and Ultrasuede is almost entirely a recycled product, purely reconstituted from such post-industrial material as scrap polyester film. And Toray’s production process reduces both energy consumption and CO2 emission by as much as 80 percent compared with conventional recycling.

Bonus reason: It goes great with leather. For subtle yet sophisticated looks, Ultrasuede
can be matched up with leather beautifully, creating a sumptuous monochromatic look or an appealing contrast. Many of American Leather's sofas can be two-toned, with leather on the frame and Ultrasuede seat and back cushions. Your choice! 

 
Menlo Park chairs in two colors of Ultrasuede. Yummy!



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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Some of you might find this weird, but sometimes while watching a movie or TV show I find myself paying more attention to the furniture than the characters. Beautiful, charismatic Ryan Gosling can be on the screen but all I can think is “OH MY GOODNESS THAT IS OUR MALIBU SOFA IN THE BACKGROUND!!” (See photo evidence for proof). 


I guess that’s what happens when you work in our industry. Everywhere we go, whether it’s a friend’s house or a restaurant, we take note of the décor and layout of each room. It’s a gift really, because what you surround yourself with is an expression of where you’ve been and who you are.

The only problem with falling in love with a room on screen is not knowing where to find the furniture. Set designers are great at scouring through hundreds of options to find the perfect piece, so why not take a note from them and recreate your favorite room scenes found in the movies? This will be our first installment of movie room inspirations, and for this first round we are focusing on the very stylish and mod influence of the 1960s.

Down With Love

Set in 1962 New York City, the film definitely shows off the flair and colorful appeal of this the era. Here’s a great shot of the apartment set up for the main character, Barbara Novak (Renee Zellweger).


Want to bring the spirit of the 60s in your home? Check out our Menlo Park sectional. This is just ONE configuration, the options are endless! In the image below, the piece is covered in Ultrasuede Hot Pink which helps give it that cool, groovy vibe!  


Mad Men

I don’t think this show needs an intro, I think we all know why we watch it…


Just kidding, there’s a lot more to the show than just the ever-so-cool Don Draper. Set in 1960s Manhattan, Mad Men’s set decorators bring the ‘60s to life with every episode. This show has so many great room settings we couldn’t pick just one inspiration.

The first is the Draper formal living room before Betty’s redecoration in Season 3.


How cool is that sofa?! The clean lines, interesting shape, and colorful pattern make it the perfect piece to play off of throughout the room. Want something similar in your home? Check out one of our newest additions – the Oliver. Here it is covered in classic Bison White leather, with an updated design and added comfort of down seats.


Next we move into a Mad Men office. Again the mid-century modern look of the 1960s comes through with the low, clean lines of both the upholstery and the coffee table. Not to mention the vertical wood panel walls, lamp shades and interesting artwork. 


Want to bring a bit of that charm into your office or home? Easy! Here’s our Parker sofa in Haven Pesto leather, and the Tristan chair in Haze Oyster fabric. The Parker shares the clean lines and tufted look of the Mad Men office all while keeping you comfortable with the plush foam seats. Tristan has some of the same great angles of the Mad Men office chairs, but with a little modern flare of the wood base and metal legs. 


From the office to Don Draper’s new apartment, the classic ‘60s style carries through. A person can only dream of having an apartment as spacious and beautiful as Don’s in NYC. Even Don knew the best way to fill the space was with a big, open sectional. Some people might think of sectionals as a bulky addition to small rooms, but as you can see in the picture below there are several types of sofas that can keep the small scale with the benefits of extra seating.


The low profile look seen here can be recreated with our Quincy sectional in Phoebe Café. The Quincy is perfect for a nice, upright sit and totally fits into the mid-century modern inspired look. And bonus for the short people – the seat depth is only 21”!

 
If you want to check out any of these or one of our over 4 million options (no joke!) then head on over to www.americanleather.com and browse through our catalog. Don’t forget to use our dealer locator to find a retailer close to you. 


-Laleh Kadjar, Marketing Coordinator & TV addict.

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Square pegs, round holes – We have them both


Uno ottomans, now available round as well as square, continue to be among our most functional and versatile pieces.



Whether you employ them as TV-dinner trays or overflow seating, the Uno makes life easy, rolling smartly into position on casters and always looks good doing it.

We’ve been making these adorable little scamps for the past decade, and they continue to be crowd pleasers, especially since last year when we added the cylindrical version to go with the long-running cube.


 

A seat, a table, a stylish way to store your extra stuff…The beauty is that you can have it any way you like, and the top is an upholstered cushion or, flip it over, and it’s a tray table.

This assumption could be a shot in the dark, but we strongly suspect that the hidden storage under the lid is frequently a quick-and-easy catch-all for table clutter just before the guests arrive – at least, it is in our house.

We have seen that Uno’s work really well in pairs, and more than a few times, people have put four squares together to create a large and extremely versatile cocktail table. For measurements and more information, go here.

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