"I love it!..but I have kids/dogs/friends that spill...how will it hold up??"
This is a conversation we have with almost all of our clients at one point during the selection process or another as most of us have concerns about how durable products will be once we bring them into our homes. It's not enough for furniture to look beautiful and feel comfortable, it has to last and continue to look amazing for many years to come (especially when the price is an investment). Your home should be able to look exactly the way you dreamed while still being functional and comfortable for daily life, these designs have more to them than just their looks! It's important that your furniture makes sense for your lifestyle and meets your particular needs, we're here to help you find the right pieces in the best materials for you.
Our brands don't make products to last 5 years and be thrown away, they design furniture to stand up to wear and in many cases are even tested and approved for use in high traffic, public spaces such as hotels and restaurants. The brands we carry believe in a philosophy based on responsibility to the environment, us as vendors and the end client and their families as well. Their products are carefully manufactured with the right materials and your health, safety and comfort in mind to last and even be handed down to the next generation of design lovers.
There is something you can do as a customer as well to ensure your furniture will be easy to care for and that is to select a material when you are placing a custom order with us which will make maintaining the beauty of your furniture as worry free as possible! Here are a few of the finishes that we most often recommend to our clients for optimal wear and durability, and of course to look and feel amazing as well!
Alcantara Microfibre: Made in Italy but available from Ligne Roset for many of their upholstered products, this material is washable, soft, breathable, and extremely durable. This fabric has been used in many applications all over the world including luxury car interiors, yachts, airlines, fashion, and of course furniture! Alcantara is also extremely resistant to light so if you plan to place your furniture near a bright window this fabric is a great choice for fade resistance. This is an ideal fabric choice for anyone with pets or small children.
Ceramic Stoneware: This finish is available for several applications such as, dining table tops, coffee and side table tops or even a thin top panel for sideboards/dressers/nightstands. This material is available from many of our brands. Ceramic stoneware is scratch resistant, impact resistant, heat resistant and non-pourous (so you don't need to worry about red wine rings). This man made material does not need to be re-sealed periodically like natural marble and has a more thin and delicate profile because it is backed with thin tempered glass for added stability.
Powder Coated Steel: This material is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use because the powder coating protects the steel from rust and corrosion. the finish is scratch and chip resistant and will not crack or peel over time.
Felted Wool: Most of our furniture manufacturers offer some variety of felted wool fabric which is rated for contract use because of it's durable, easy to clean fibres and environmental sustainability. We love felted wool for it's clean but cozy look and even more so because it is very difficult to snag or pull (perfect for avoiding damage from pet nails) and has a very high Martindale rub count.
Through dyed, semi-aniline or full grain leather: Many people lean towards leather because of the exciting notion of being able to simply wipe away spills but it is important to keep the type of leather in mind as not all are suitable for heavy use. Through dyed leather is important to look for (nearly all of the leathers offered by our brands are through dyed) because there is not a coloured coating on top of the hide that can be scratched off, the dye goes all the way through the entire hide evenly.
The other important factor to double check before selecting a leather is whether the hide is Aniline (the natural pores and natural texture are unchanged, can be scratched and stained easily. Will develop a patina in high use areas over time from natural skin oils etc) or Semi-Aniline (still soft and supple but with some protection against scratching and staining, easier to care for, more uniform coloring). Elmosoft semi-aniline leather is rated for contract use and is available from several of our manufacturers in a wide variety of shades, this is our go-to for most projects using leather.
Full grain leather is the most durable option of all which will soften and patina beautifully over time from being handled but is thicker and a bit stiffer than semi-aniline and is not able to be upholstered on some items. Full grain leather is more durable and more costly than top grain leather because it does not have the top layer buffed off to make the leather more uniform like top grain. The most durable part of the leather is just below the hair so when this top portion is buffed off to hide imperfections, some of that durability is lost. The entire grain of the hide is preserved with full grain which makes finding a high enough quality hide with minimal imperfections more rare.