QUESTION: I am shopping for a new couch and over-sized chair. I cannot decide on leather or a micro-fiber. To top if off we are going to be moving soon, do you have any tips for how to decide? We do have 2 dogs and a cat. (-Carrey, Tacoma, WA)
ANSWER: My first word of advice: Wait to purchase a sofa until you move. Many home stores are offering free delivery now, so that’ll make your move that much easier. And if you’ll be moving it yourself, waiting until you’re in the new place will save the hassle of moving these large items twice (and possibly acquiring damage in doing so).
Now…as far as micro-fiber vs leather…This is an issue that people, especially pet owners, often face. And, in my opinion, it’s a pretty straightforward solution. First, do all four-legged members of the family have an open invitation to use the furniture? If so, micro-fiber really is your best option. The surface will stand up stronger to claws, and with a wet micro-fiber cloth, wiping off fur takes a quick 60 seconds (have it Scotchgarded for extra protection). It’s also typically more affordable than leather.
However, if your heart is set on leather, the situation isn’t hopeless. Just seek out items upholstered in protected aniline leather. It’s a more expensive, but durable leather that can stand up stronger to scratches and general wear. It also develops a nice patina over time. (Click here for more info on aniline.) Just be sure to follow manufacturer care instructions to extend the piece’s life. Another tip for protecting leather from claws: Keep a throw blanket folded over the most trafficked spots (my cat used to frequent the left armrest) and you’ll have many more mark-free days.
Here are some examples of great leather and micro-fiber options. Good luck with your shopping, and let me know what you decide! (-Allie)
Micro-Fiber: Buchanan Sofa (upholstered in Grade C, Everydaysuede, a micro-fiber fabric; available in 12 colors), starting at $899 at Pottery Barn. Buchanan Armchair (upholstered in Grade C, Everydaysuede, a micro-fiber fabric; available in 12 colors), starting at $599 at Pottery Barn.