Modern Leather Chairs

Written by Sarah Provost
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Modern leather chairs offer a variety of choices you might not expect if you haven't been furniture shopping lately. If you're still thinking of a leather recliner, for instance, as that hulking green "Superbowl special," think again. Today's recliner is just as likely to be made of minimal leather cushions supported by a tubular metal frame-and it may well be even more comfortable than the beast.

Many modern leather chairs take their inspiration from the design geniuses of that fertile period between the 1920s and 1960s, when Bauhaus, minimalist and Atomic Age aesthetics were predominant. The Eames lounge chair, for instance, has inspired the revolution in recliners. The Wassily chair, the Bibendum chair and other icons of the time can be found in reproductions or in new interpretations.

Leather isn't limited to recliners, of course. Modern leather chairs come in many styles. Some have sling seats stretched across metal frames while others mimic the overstuffed comfort of a Victorian wing chair, though without the excess bulk. Just about any style that you might expect to find upholstered in fabric can be had in leather today, and the range of colors is similarly expanded from the days when your choices were black, brown and dark green.

Caring for Modern Leather Chairs

The care of leather furniture has simplified at the same time as its availability has taken a leap. Charles Eames famously said that he wanted his lounge chair to be as comfortable as an old baseball mitt, and recommended the same kind of care. Constant use only makes leather better, and all you have to do to maintain it is wipe it down occasionally with a damp cloth and apply leather dressing once or twice a year.

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