6 of the best...tan leather sofas on the high street

11/08/2016 11:58:00 am Unknown 0 Comments

My latest interior design project, for a lovely family in East London, started with a seemingly simple task: source a great looking and comfortable tan leather sofa. I pretty much love tan leather anything (boots, chairs, handbags, cushions... l could go on) so happily threw myself into this challenge. A stylish AND comfortable sofa is such a holy grail that I thought I'd share my 6 favourite finds and hopefully save you some legwork!

Speaking of legwork, I did indeed stretch my legs prolifically on this challenge. Internet shopping is great, and I'm guilty of whiling away many an hour sourcing (or 'sitting on the sofa staring at that bloody Mac,' as my husband delicately puts it) but sometimes, nothing beats pounding the streets, sitting, squishing and stroking the genuine article. The last thing you want is to order a beautiful looking sofa online, only to realise that the leather is shiny and plasticky, or the cushions are hard as a rock. So I took myself into London for an epic Tottenham Court Road/Oxford Street/Battersea testing day.

The budget was up to £5k (nice, I know) but they wanted a good quality sofa, built to last, with great leather. There was plenty to choose from, but few that passed my oh-so-scientific 'good leather, good comfort, good style' test. Here are the 6 that did...

1. Heals Chill 4-seater sofa £3,499

This was the largest of the tan leather sofas I tried. It is listed as a 4 seater, but actually it's not much longer than a regular 3 seater at 219cm. The semi-aniline leather felt good quality and from the marketing images below looks like it would age nicely to give a more lived in feel.

2. Barker & Stonehouse Dillon sofa. £1,429.

This was the smallest of the sofas I tried, at 178cm long, but I absolutely love the Danish mid-century look and it would be great for a small space. It had a higher back than most (great for comfort) and a bench style cushion – which seems to be a growing trend and lends it a neat, clean look. The leather has a slightly distressed finish, and I really liked the feet which were wrapped in leather – a nice detail.

3. Habitat Newman sofa, £2,800.

This is a nice simple design, with a slim profile softened by extra cushions at the arms and back. The angular metal legs lend it a slightly industrial look. Another bench-seat style (definitely a thing at the moment) it was the lowest of the sofas I tried, although being only 5' 2" that's not something that worries me! The seat was fairly deep and squashy – I could imagine curling up on this for an evening on 'the bloody mac.'

4. Barker & Stonehouse Orson sofa. £1,299.

Next up is another Barker & Stonehouse number. The Orson is a very simple, unfussy sofa which would work well in pretty much any style of room. In fact it is so simple that it would certainly need a bit of styling up with a throw and cushions etc, but I found it comfortable to sit on. The leather was lovely – soft, slightly distressed, plenty of natural markings and a contemporary, matt finish. This was a little under the client's budget, but it's a real bargain, so I had to include it here.

5. West Elm, Axel sofa. £2,299

As you'd expect from West Elm, the styling on their Axel sofa is great – from the lovely flanged seam details (no, I didn't know that's what they were called either) to the bronzed legs, it oozes style. This was another 'bench seat' style with a single, long seat cushion – which gives a firm sitting position but I found very comfortable. The aniline tan leather is soft, waxy and looks and feels as though it will age beautifully.

6. BoConcept Carlton leather sofa, £5,022 in Chester leather.

Last, but definitely not least, is the BoConcept Carlton sofa. This was the most expensive on my list, but definitely up there as one of the most comfortable. It was the squishiest and slouchiest of the sofas I shortlisted, with a deeper seat that makes it good for those with longer legs (err, not me then!) It's also customisable with a choice of simple legs as below, or ski style legs as in the graphic at the top of the page (for a more retro 70s look). The arms are also wide enough to rest a drink on (not that I'd EVER do that on an expensive sofa of course...without a nice coaster in place...or a magazine...at least for the first 4 weeks of ownership...oh who am I kidding?) Cheaper leather and fabric options are available too, but to be honest I just didn't like their cheaper tan leathers! 

So there you have it. These were far from the only sofas I tried out by the way, and there were half-decent options in M&S, John Lewis, Camerich and more, but to my mind (or should that be bottom?) the 6 tan leather sofas above were the best in the budget/style/comfort range I was after. If you're in the market for a tan leather sofa, and don't want to be overwhelmed and frankly, paralysed by the range of internet choices, then you won't go far wrong with one of these.