Leather gets a new look

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 November, 2011, 12:00am


Leather is not just for handbags and shoes any more. Soft and warm, leather is a surprisingly versatile and durable material that can be used on floors, walls or ceilings.

Kitchens + Interiors founder Winston Lam Wing-heng has introduced Alphenberg leather tiles from Holland, which specialises in water buffalo leather tiles.

Lam says the product is the perfect mood-setting option to suit any venue and interior theme.

The tiles have a chameleon nature, meaning the mood and ambience they create can differ dramatically depending on how and where they are used, Lam says.

'Immerse yourself in a 1950s Mad Men fantasy with leather tiles on the walls of a study to create a truly masculine sanctuary,' he says. 'You can also use the tiles on the ceiling of a bedroom complete with low lighting to create a decadent and seductive vibe, or use them for the floor of a living room to add an urban and chic edge.'

Aside from design appeal, Alphenberg's concept is to stay true to nature. The tiles are created entirely from leather, and are available in two finishes: Tundra (matt finish) and Pampas (glossy finish), each with four distinctive shades - Tundra in clay, chocolate, grey and off-black; Pampas in straw, pitch black, tan and moro.

The tanning process and the use of natural dyes ensure minimal burden on the environment and the product itself is free of toxins.

The Tundra finish is impregnated with paraffin, creating a contrasting light/dark effect similar to suede when stroked, and is resistant to scratching; while the Pampas finish is permeated with a paraffin and oil combination, creating a shiny surface protected from marks or stains. Like all genuine leather products, both surfaces improve with age.

Small scratches, stains and general wear and tear will bring out its character and help to define a room.

Each piece is different in terms of contrast effect, texture and overall character such as visible lines.

This is all part of the product's natural charm and intriguing effect that makes you to want to reach out and touch it, Lam says.

Leather is easy to maintain and resilient to scratching, marks, stains and general wear and tear.

To keep clean, wipe wall tiles with a damp cloth and treat floor tiles with a special leather wax once a year.

Leather is a good insulator, keeping interiors cool in the summer and warm in winter.