Thursday, June 11, 2015

Putting the "New" in Neutrals

Nothing is more soothing than a neutral color palette, especially in today’s technologically-driven world where the senses are continually overloaded with images and information. Make your home a relaxing haven by introducing a calming design scheme centered on furniture and accent pieces in neutral tones.

The American Leather Inspiration Sectional shown
with a table from the Phillips Collection and Creative Accents rug

Neutrals go beyond beige, and with the right accents are anything but boring. Neutrals never go out of fashion and are essentially timeless, but there are several ways you can keep your neutrals on-trend while maintaining the classic calm they impart.

For the most up-to-date neutral décor, think neutral AND natural.  Introduce accent items made from or inspired by things found in nature. The Phillips Collection, for example, offers a variety of tables and accent pieces created from petrified wood and other materials. Branches, stones, and dried flowers also make excellent touches. Rugs are another great way to add visual interest and an organic feel, even while maintaining the same tones found in your furniture pieces. Creative Accents offers custom-made rugs with designs that call to mind the ripples found on a beach at low tide or the moon reflecting on still water, among other nature-themed motifs.

The American Leather Nash paired with a Creative Accents rug.
Mixing different textures in the same color is another way to create visual depth in a neutral palette. Adding accents, like pillows, in darker and lighter shades of the same hue also add dimension and help your avoid a rigidly monotone or overly stark look. You can also combine complementary neutral shades like brown and beige for a warm look or gray and white for a cooler effect.
Not only can you relax in your neutral environment, you can relax about it as well. The best thing about decorating with neutrals? It’s nearly impossible to go wrong.

Read more!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

We've Got the Blues

American Leather Luxe sofa in Flagstaff Marina leather.
Let’s just call it the ‘unofficial’ color of the year. Although it didn’t claim at top spot on color forecasters’ lists, navy is suddenly everywhere. Whether mixed with hot pink in updated nautical motifs (think anchors and stripes) or paired with burgundy shades that echo Pantone’s Color of the Year--Marsala--this classic hue has certainly made its way back into our hearts and homes, in both accents and statement pieces that become the focal point of the room.

The new Bea chair in Italian Classic Peacock
Peacock can be considered navy’s peppier cousin and is a great way to add interest and life to your décor. Peacock paired with beige or white looks both clean and fresh and alongside gray takes on an air of rich sophistication. 

Although they may be getting the most design attention, the current blues repertoire isn’t limited to navy and peacock. Periwinkle, cobalt, slate, indigo, and lapis are all on-trend hues to explore and can be found among American Leather’s array of leather and fabric choices for your custom-created furniture.  And if you just can’t commit to that peacock sectional, consider American Leather’s ottomans, benches, and even pillows—all small touches that can make a big color statement in your space.

Read more!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Where Wallpaper and Furniture Meet

If you are like many of us, after that last day spent with a steamer and scraper, you said, “never again.” But wallpaper is back in big way and the trend shows no signs of waning anytime soon. Whether you want to make a bold statement with large patterns and rich colors or introduce subtle sophistication with tone-on-tone patterns, there are more options available than ever.

Brightly colored pieces like these McCartney chairs in
Elmo Soft Strawberry Fields can provide color cues for wallpaper.

Your American Leather furniture can inspire your wallpaper selection. A brightly hued upholstered or leather piece can provide a color cue for your wall-covering; simply choose a pattern that incorporates the color somewhere in the design or let your furniture take center stage with a solid or slightly textured wallpaper as a backdrop. Neutral leather or fabric can be paired with almost any wallpaper motif and can be accessorized with pillows that pick up color, pattern, or themes of your wallpaper. If your sofa or chair has a bold pattern, that doesn’t mean your wallpaper can’t have a design as well just make sure the patterns ‘play well’ together so they don’t create visual noise in your space.

 For those who prefer matching wallpaper exactly to upholstery—another trend making a comeback—American Leather can help you accomplish that unified look in which furniture seemingly becomes part of the background rather than standing out.  If your wallpaper has a matching fabric available, we can cover your American Leather chairs or sofa in the material you provide. Simply ask your retailer about the Customer Owned Material (or COM) option.

Read more!

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:

 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:




Read more!

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.

Read more!

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.

Read more!

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.  

Read more!