Today, we're taking a look at Locus Habitat, a Singapore-based furniture designer and retailer that specialises in leather furniture—from sofas to side tables. The company's focus is on timeless, classic design using this most classic of materials. While the laborious and elaborate processes of turning an animal skin into luxurious leather makes it an expensive option for upholstery, leather upholstered furniture can last a lifetime with proper care. And just one item can be enough to transform a room and give it a serious shot of luxury.
When buying leather furniture, look out for imperfections—these are a good thing! Blemishes are a natural part of real leather. These blemishes can take the form of scars, veining, wrinkles or even insect bites. Rather than being something to disguise, these blemishes just add to leather's appeal as a natural product with a history. In some cases there are colour variations. These can occur within the same hide. These are all indications genuineness of the leather and should not be considered a flaw. It should be seen as a mark of true, high quality leather.
Locus Habitat imports all of their leather hides from the United States, because, they say, American cattle are larger and better fed and cared for than local ones. Their leathers are classified in six ways: as full grain, corrected grain, embossed grain, split, pull-up and vintage. Frames are made from solid birch. Large steel bolts are used to hold the frames together instead of staples, because, they say, steel bolts in combination with washers offer
metal on metal stability and durability. Sinuous Steel Springs (also known as No-Sag) foundations offer consistently comfortable seating.
Classic styles for a classic material always work extremely well. The classic Chesterfield shape is given a small modern twist with light grey leather; another touch of modernity is added with the very contemporary cowhide print trunk, while te leopard-print side table is playfully chic.
The company don't just focus on making classic styles—the chrome arms and base on this set is very contemporary and slick. The grain and variable colour of real leather really stand out against a more contemporary hard frame, making the seat and backrest look oh so soft and inviting.
Leather upholstered trunks manage to be both cute and masculine simultaneously. Locus Habitat makes them in a variety of styles—from cow hide prints to Union Jack prints to plain leather.
While the leather on this chair might look battered and blemished, these are characteristic of full grain leather. Full grain leather is one of the highest quality types of leather available. It's made up of two layers—a bottom layer called the split layer, and an upper layer called the top grain. The top grain layer of leather once contained the epidermis and hair follicles of the animal, which give it its naturally blemished appearance. Full grain leather has not had the top grain removed, whereas top grain—or corrected leather—has been sanded and buffed to appear smooth and blemish-free. Because full grain leather contains a layer that is removed in other types of leather, it's more durable and supple.
Mixing vintage leather into a loft-style home is a staple design trick for a reason—it looks great! Exposed brick-work, natural wood floors, and natural, distressed leather, mixed with elements of industrial design create that magic mix of contrasts between natural and man-made. And if you're worried that leather might be too cold, it can always be cosied up with some cushions or a throw.