Modern Looks for Leather Sofas

By Kate Riley October 25, 2016

This morning, cup of coffee in hand, I disappeared down a rabbit hole of inspiration in search of images of leather sofas styled in modern ways. I got asked the question by a friend in spin class about her leather sofa, how she could make it feel less frumpy and more contemporary. I thought I’d tackle the topic today on her behalf.

Like a great leather jacket, a leather sofa is always a classic choice. However, leather sofas carry a lot of visual weight and can dominate a space screaming “I’m the boss” if not balanced by thoughtful accessories and a variety of textiles. The key is to limit the use of leather in a space to the sofa alone, then to layer the room with different metallic fixtures, wood tones, textural accents and interesting fabrics. Despite their visual bulk, the images below illustrate that there are many ways to accessorize around a leather sofa to keep a space looking fresh.

Here are a few of my takeaways:  1. Add a cozy textile like a sheepskin rug or a lambswool pillow to contrast the coolness of the hide.  2. Surround the sofa with metallic and/or wood tones with your coffee or accent tables.  3. Place a mod floor lamp next to the sofa to add interest and illuminate in the evening.  4. Patterned pillows go a long way, consider mudcloth or shibori patterns to capture the bohemian vibe.  5. Layer an interesting rug underneath.  6. Place a basket filled with blankets next to one side.  7. Draw the eye away by hanging interesting artwork above.  8. Soften the space with beautiful window treatments and accent chairs upholstered in different fabrics.




kristina crestin design


new darlings





sources unknown


room & board



urban outfitters


sugar & cloth


house tweaking


inside out magazine


Personally, I’m drawn to the streamlined or tailored versions that aren’t too puffy, but I admit, lounging on a worn leather sofa with fuller cushions is so relaxing it’s hard to get up! Below are nine great looking favorites if you’re in the market for a leather sofa of your own.



From top left: axel sofa / larkin in cigar / dale caramel loveseat / braden sofatrevor leather / tufted hanoversven charme / echo oxford / beatnik sofa




  1. I love the masculine vibe a leather couch can add to a room. If my husband didn’t already have a leather recliner I would love one of the couches you’ve featured.

  2. Wow! Thanks. Couldn’t have come at a better time. Just moved into a grey and white modern space with my brown leather sofa and started feeling like it was not have the right feel, but lots of great pics of brown leather in grey and white rooms :)

  3. I appreciate the way you have shown leather sofas at their best, with pillows and throws that pick up on the browns and add texture. Leather sofas are beautiful if embraced for what they are, and if enhanced by accessories that show them off nicely.

  4. Don’t have a leather anything but this is a great post. Melissa Michaels at The Inspired Room does a similar inspirational job with her caramel leather sofa. She even gets some “character” help from their doodles. That Kristina Cristen Design room really grabs me.

  5. Interested in the rug that is in the actual pin on Pinterest…. where can i find this???

  6. These are great examples of classic leather sofas. Too often I see the kind with the pillow arms which, in my opinion, don’t stand up to the test of time.

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