Home Design: The Fusion of Leather and Wood

Considering updating elements of your home this year?  

Beau Satchelle Bespoke readers adore the beauty, durability, and versatility that leather brings to the table and how well it plays with other materials.

Although the use of leather as a decorative element is as old as time, leather designers and architects are constantly fabricating new methods to satisfy clients’sophisticated and indulgent desires.  

Now let’s add another material to your decorating scheme. Could we all agree that wood is a superb companion or supporting structure for leather?  In all its splendor, whether it be the darkest richest mahogany or the lightest natural ash, the blend with premium or exotic leather is beyond perfect.

Impress your dinner guests tidbit:  The relationship of wood and leather is intermingled even before used in the interior design process.  The wood bark of particular trees is used in tanning animal hides into leather (called tannin).

Wood And Decor

Since the beginning of time wood has been used by humans for fuel, sheltering and utilitarian uses (tools, weapons, paper, and furniture).  Wood carving is one of the oldest arts of humankind with this origin going back to prehistoric times.  

Carving originally was attached to the decoration of ritual objects and religious sculptures.

In the European Middle ages, carving was integral in works of arts for crosses, figures of saints,  altar pieces, choir stalls for cathedrals,  and other Church-related sites.

Individual artisan woodcarvers enjoyed fame and held in high esteem for creating masterpieces of storytelling panels carved for entry doors, columns, and sculptures of religious institutions.

The renaissance period experienced a shift from religious things to humanistic forms By the 18th-century wood carving became a standard within many schools curriculum which saw significant growth in the number of skilled artisans.  

Present day, woodcarvers are still employed to do repairs or produce imitations for institutions wanting to preserve their art carvings.  A great deal of wood carving is relegated to automation with finishing work done by humans. The demand for carved decoration is fading, however, woodcarving is still an art form appreciated by enthusiasts and collectors.

Leather And Decor

Leather as well is one of human’s earliest and most useful discoveries.  The prehistoric man hunted wild animals for food then made clothing, footwear, and shelter tents from those hides to mainly protect from the elements.

The ancient Greeks are credited with developing tanning formulas using certain tree barks and leaves soaked in water to preserve the leather which was considered the earliest version of vegetable tanned leathers which are widely used today.

The Romans made extensive use of leather for footwear, clothes, and military equipment (including shields, saddles, and harnesses).

Designers realized leather’s durability and comfort was the perfect material for royalty and the wealthy class’ seating for transportation and furniture.

The industrial age demanded new kinds of leathers for machinery belts and subsequently, the invention of the automobile demanded a softer lightweight supple leather for interior elements.  

As with every industry, technology has influenced the leather industry by building sophisticated processing methods which expand the aesthetics and feel of leather as well as possible applications not only in the commercial and residential furniture categories, but demand grew in high-end industries of automotive, aviation, and marine.


A few weeks ago Beau Satchelle Bespoke  was invited into a client’s newly built home with the wood chosen as the deliberate and focal element design.   The exposed wood smell was intoxicating as if they cut the lumber from the trees on their own estate.  The owners were contemplating whether to paint the interior wood or stain to maintain the natural look.  The detail committed to the design of this home was impressive, including the stunning artwork displayed within their foyer done by a local woodcarver.  

Of course, we have such an affinity for the combination of leather and wood as these two natural materials complement each other so well.  Both exude warmth and timeless elegance specifically when successfully mixing these two materials in contrasting or complementary shades. 

Both leather and wood have such a fascinating history as to their journey in lifestyle and interior design. To mix these two textures together creates such a dynamic design palette.

Here are 2 leather designing and architectural firms we feel deserve high praise for their work:

·         Spinneybeck’s  global headquarters located outside of Buffalo New York.  They design institutions in the industries of healthcare, hospitality, Marine, residential, retail, transportation  and workplace.  Their innovation processes have taken the design of panels covered in leather and made spectacular works of art especially with the quilted style adding elegance from the combination of patterns.  

·         A true genius in the architectural leather work world, a British company, Bill Amberg Studio is one of the best in the business when it comes to bespoke leather products, interiors, and furniture.   We tip our hat to their mission statement which states exploring the aesthetic and material possibilities of leather. They truly push the boundaries when it comes to interior design for high-end private residences, commercial projects, and cultural institutions around the world.

In addition, here are several of our favorite brands or designers who offer furniture and accessories incorporating leather and wood for home or office pieces.

·         Crate and Barrel   Which offers a multitude leather furniture and accessories such as the Italian made lounge chair designed by Balutto Associati with 100% mid green white Italian leather and natural finished ash wood

·         Experience the world of Ralph Lauren with the luxurious leather wrapped classic four posted Dalton Bed

·         This is certainly not your Granddad’s recliner.  The beautiful and contemporary leather and solid walnut oak recliner from ABC Home in New York, originally designed by Milo Baughman, the Tighten Up Recliner

When you work with leathercraft artisans, such as Beau Satchelle Bespoke, who is able to incorporate these two materials, it comes down to using imagination and pushing boundaries.  Because of their versatility, artisans create ways to use leather and wood for all types of design innovations. 

For clients who aren’t necessarily into the bold masculinity of a heavily decorated room of leathers and woods, accessories would offer an alternative of slight touches of leather to be woven within a room filled with other materials and textures.

When marrying premium leather and wood, there is no limit to home decor possibilities: 

·         Furniture

·         Cigar boxes 

·         Chests 

·         Games boards such as Chess

·         Picture frames

·         Valet or catchall trays

·         Wet bar accessories such as leather-covered ice bucket and leather coordinating tongs 

·         Decorative Trays

·         Wine cases for display are exceptional and premium bottles

·         Covered handrails

·         Bed headboards

·         Cut designs to emulate paintings

·         Leather finishing on work furniture used for both form and functionality (such as leather drawer handles).  -AJ

Share your thoughts in the comment section or on Twitter.

Thank you the following sites for providing source material:

Adobe Interiors.com

Heartwood Carving.com

Bush and Roots.com

Much appreciation to the photographers’ work for beautiful blog visuals

Adam Patterson – Wood Working Studio

Octavian Lordache – Wood Working tools

Zoran Borojevic – leather and wood products display

Stefen Tan – Leather chair

Watermark Designs – Kitchen décor with leather and wood

M0851 – Selection of cut leather hides

Vincent Rivaud   – Leather Headboard

Carter Yocham – Artisan

Lauren Mancke – leather chair and piano

Ralph Lauren Home– Dalton Leather Bed


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