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Distressed Leather Sofas

Updated on October 12, 2014

Distressed Leather Sofas -- Where to Buy 'Em, Why to Love 'Em

The distressed leather sofa has rugged good looks. Like the American cowboy, it remains handsome even when scarred. It is designed to take a beating and keep on going.

"What IS distressed leather?" you ask, "and what makes it so special, especially for home furniture?"

I'm so glad you asked! I'm about to tell you what distressed leather is, why it's great for people with kids and dogs (or just those who are careless with their bag of potato chips) and I'll even toss in a couple ideas of good places to buy a distressed leather sofa. For something so accommodating, they are remarkably difficult to find.

So What is Distressed Leather?

Distressed leather is leather that has been treated in a manner to give it a weathered, older look. This can mean minor scratches, variations in color. There are articles out on the internet about how to take a regularly finished piece of leather, whether it is a coach or a leather jacket and turn it into a distressed leather piece by roughing it up with sandpaper, drying it with a hard-dryer until you see hairline cracks. Here is a picture of some distressed leather.

I would NEVER try to create a distressed leather sofa from a regularly finished leather sofa. You are too likely to end up with an effect you don't like and now the thousands you just spent on new furniture is a giant boo-boo in your living room.

Some people feel that distressed leather, because it looks aged, works best in a room of older furniture, even antiques. But others view a distressed leather sofa as more of a country, rustic look. And still others feel that the unique quality of distressed leather means it is ideal as a centerpiece furniture among more contemporary pieces. I think a lot depends on both the nature of how the leather is distressed -- for example is it simply that the color is blotchy -- and also the other aspects of the couch -- does it have curly, older style feet? wood trim? a dark mahogony base? Each piece is going to have it's own style and so you can't say as a rule that a distressed leather sofa is only right for just one decorating style.

Why Would Anyone Choose a Couch of Distressed Leather?

Reason 1: They have a dog who jumps up on the sofa and they would like to not have to cover the sofa with a protective blanket before the dog gets up. Leather is fairly durable to begin with, but the uneven nature of distressed leather is much more forgiving of the kind of scratches that a dog or cat's nails can make when they jump on or off the sofa. And most people indicated that even dogs who "aren't allowed" on the furniture often have a moment when they jump up -- for example if their favorite toy bounces onto the sofa.

Other folks enjoy settling down for the night with man's best friend sharing the sofa with them and find distressed leather is the perfect sofa choice for letting Fido share the sofa and still have it look nice.

Reason 2: Cats who think they own the place, including the couch.

 Our cat likes to snuggle in alongside people. Our old sofa always had cat hair that stuck to it. On the rare times when I took the time to try to vacuum it clean, I failed to make it look much better. Cat hair remained partially stuck to it. But with our current leather sofa, any hair just glides right off. MUCH better!

Reason 3: Kids who are NOT a doll.

Reason 4: Men -- need I say more?

So Where to Buy a Distressed Leather Sofa

If you live in England, then visit, The Leather Sofa Shop.

If you are in the U.S., check out what furniture suppliers have listings on Amazon. See Distressed Leather Sofas on Amazon

Going to regular furniture websites, I was surprised by how hard it was to find a distressed leather sofa to purchase. First most of the online furniture stores have poor search abilities. Trying to locate "distressed leather sofa", I would find the 1283 products they sold that were made of leather OR distressed OR sofas OR sofa cleaners... you get the idea. Then when I finally did locate

Then I stumbled onto the fact, that believe it or not Ebay actually has a great selection of distressed leather sofas. You may want to narrow your selection down further to ones that are within a couple hundred miles of you, so that you can both see them before buying and also send someone with a Uhaul to go get it. But see what you think.

Decorating Ideas Beyond the Distressed Leather Sofa

I don't think there is anything to keep you from buying a new distressed leather sofa AND still benefiting from this book, because most of us might be able to afford to buy a new piece of furniture now and then, but the typical interior decorating advice contains tips that if you followed would cost thousands and thousands of dollars PER ROOM in your house.

Use What You Have Decorating: Transform Your Home in One Hour with 10 Simple Design Principles
Use What You Have Decorating: Transform Your Home in One Hour with 10 Simple Design Principles

I found the approach this author took with giving advice on interior decorating to be refreshing and highly practical. It may seem kind of funny to put on this page about distressed leather sofas, because you probably wouldn't be here if you weren't thinking of buying a new sofa. BUT this author's concept is how to redecorate with the furniture and belongings you currently have.


Other Examples of Distressed Leather

Distressed leather is not just good for sofas that get heavy use and abuse, but for other items susceptible to scuffing, scratching and getting dirty, such as...

Bellino ICON Collection The Crusader 21.5" Distressed Leather Carry On - Brown
Bellino ICON Collection The Crusader 21.5" Distressed Leather Carry On - Brown

And this distressed leather carry-on suitcase. Pretty cool looking if you ask me!

home improvement
home improvement

Beyond Distressed Leather Sofas

If you think you need to make additional changes in your home to get it both looking and functioning in a way that you like, you might want to consider the book, pictured here: Not So Big Remodeling: Tailoring Your Home for the Way You Really Live

or look at some /" target="_blank">new kitchen layout ideas

Are you considering buying one? Do you make them? Sell one? Think they are the ugliest thing around. Are you emotionally attached to your current couch? If so, why?

Come on, chime in, don't be shy!

What's Your Interest in Distressed Leather Sofas?

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    • profile image

      Bartukas 5 years ago

      Great sofas here :P

    • Bookmama2 profile image

      Bookmama2 5 years ago

      @Gypzeerose: Thanks bloomingrose! I appreciate the kind words.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      This is an excellent lens - a nice product review but very clever. And all the reasons you suggested are why we would want to get a leather couch. Pinned to my Home Decorating board.

    • JeffGilbert profile image

      JeffGilbert 5 years ago

      There's a lot of good information, but a lot of the pictures are also very cute. Nice lens!! :)

    • profile image

      chickie99 5 years ago

      i personally really like the look of distressed leather furniture

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have a 5-6 yr old sage green distressed or antiqued leather couch which Has absorbed cat oils, slobber or 'whatever'. I'm trying to save it but nothing cleans it. It's not shiny, it soaks up whatever touches it. Looks awful right now. I'm ready to try an oil based wood stain to dye it charcoal. Anybody - suggestions before I do that?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I definitely agree with your comment about the cat hair on a leather sofa. We always had cloth sofas until I saw a leather coach on sale and bought it. Wow, so much easier to keep it looking nice if you have a cat who likes to snuggle up to people on the sofa. With the leather, they "leave no trace" -- ha ha

    • Bookmama2 profile image

      Bookmama2 5 years ago

      @tiofa1981: Me too!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Old fashion look was always popular, and im sure it is always going to be. There is just something special about distressed leather.

    • profile image

      tiofa1981 5 years ago

      i love leather sofa because it is easy to clean.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      another great lens on squidoo. thank you

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      well... our regular finished leather sofa got turned into distressed one after our dog took care of it :D

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      i don't like leather furniture, every time i sit on leather sofa, my back just get wet...

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I want to buy one

    • Bookmama2 profile image

      Bookmama2 6 years ago

      @TheLeatherSofaShop: That sounds lovely. I added a link to your website up under the section, "So Where to Buy a Distressed Leather Sofa". May you be so successful that you expand to the U.S!!

    • profile image

      TheLeatherSofaShop 6 years ago

      We manufacture a range of British leather sofas in high quality premium aniline leather. We have recently introduced a new leather called cracked wax. The surface of the leather is coated in a special hot wax which cracks during upholstery and when it is used creating a wonderful distressed finish.


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