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A new use for a classic material

Leather floor adds warmth and sophistication to Wilsonville study


by: JOSH KULLA - The leather floor of the study in this Wilsonville home adds a warmth and sophistication to the room.Everyone can appreciate the sophistication of a leather chair or sofa, but what about a leather floor? Imagine the warmth and softness of leather furniture. Now bring that to the floor, or even a wall.

That’s just what Tina Barclay of Barclay Interior Design Group did to one Wilsonville home. When she designed the shingle-style home as part of the 2005 Street of Dreams, she chose leather for the floor of the study.

According to Barclay, people are often surprised to hear you can use leather as a flooring. But then she asks, “What are the bottom of your shoes made out of?”

The leather floor is made out of tiles from CC Leathers Inc. that are cowhide backed with a matting to make them sturdy. Barclay said the tiles need to be laid by a specialist as they need careful installation and are finished with a leather polish over the seams that acts like a grout.

“They are luxurious and very different,” Barclay said.

Just like tiles and wood floors, there is an endless possibility of combinations and designs. From checker patterns to inlays, the options are infinite.

In the Wilsonville home, the floor features dark brown 12-by-12-inch tiles called Scottobosco and has an inlay edging of a caramel color tile called Tegola that is 2-by-8 inches. Venice Genoa Tile and Stone installed the floor of the traditional study.

Over time, the leather will start to patina and take on a shine. And, according to Barclay, the dents, dimples and scoffs that will appear just add character to the floor.

Softer on the feet than wood flooring, the leather floor adds a warmth and charm to the study.

“I just wanted it to look and feel like an old library,” Barclay said. “I just wanted very, very traditional. ... It has a sophisticated men’s lounge feel.”

Care of the floor is simple, just sweep it. Like wood flooring, the leather tiles will expand and contract through the changes of seasons, but is minimal. And if needed, it can be polished just like a pair of leather shoes.

Barclay has also used leather to cover walls to add warmth and richness to rooms. “Anything you can do with fabric you can do with leather,” she said.

For more information about Barclay Interior Design Group, call 503-635-1278 or visit barclayinteriors.com.



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