Timothy Tush is owner and head designer at Expressions Furniture & Interior Design in Raleigh and member of The N&O Design Team. He writes:
Leather can be used in traditional and contemporary rooms. The color alone may convey your design message: navy and dark green are traditional; cinnamon and honey, contemporary. Ultimately, the style of the piece will convey the traditional or contemporary message, but color is an important aspect of that feeling.
Leather should most times be used in limited amounts. Whether you use a sofa or a simple ottoman, leather can spice up your room's design.
A leather sofa or a pair of leather club chairs can make an important statement. These solid pieces allow you to mix in complementary fabric patterns on other upholstery, throw pillows or rugs. Some new styles of leather furniture have a slipcovered look for a fresh, casual approach that is contemporary but still familiar to most Southerners.
Some of the new leather colors, such as soft blues and acid greens, can be perfect accents. Trimming with nailheads, mohair or twisted leather braids can create a beautiful, personal piece of furniture. Finally, consider combining leather with fabrics on a sofa or chair, such as dining chairs with leather seats and backs but fabric on the outside back. This adds interest, detail and personality to design.