To the sane minded the 1980’s was a period of time that fashion didn’t just forget but actually never met- a particularly bad hair day or dodgy photograph we want to hide at the bottom of the pile. The follicle sin against mankind that was the Perm was huge- and women’s hairstyles were no better! Shoulder pads where epic, snakeskin was hissing its way onto the hangers and both Michael Jackson and Cyndi Lauper were fashion icons- dark days indeed. One quiet literally glimmering ray of hope was the popularisation of chrome and leather used together like the yin and yang of interior design. Two materials rose up out of the neon ankle boots and clock medallions to become a lasting marker of sophistication and refined taste.
You can use leather and chrome together in so many ways and know matter how they are combined the effect is always the same- effortlessly classy. The most obvious way to incorporate leather into a scheme is as a covering fabric on your settee. This is a great way of showing off such a quality material as a settee takes up a large percentage of the room and is generally the focus. Though available in various shades and colours, the best colour to set against chrome is undoubtedly black. Not only does it provide a deep background shade that will contrast well with the sheen of the metal but it also adds to the feeling of urbanity intended in such a scheme.
Never was this made more apparent than when iconic architect Le Corbusier released his all time classic settee the “Grand Confort” chairs. Still available to this day (but to great expense) these chairs are masterpieces of design and exalt the virtues of chrome and leather. Made up of an extremely inviting leather upholstered cushioned area and a chrome frame which appears to be holding in all that comfort and keeping its occupant safe, these chairs brilliantly juxtapose the softness of leather with the strength of metal and would be the ultimate accessory for lovers of this material pairing.
Of course leather is available in a variety of finishes. Another classic way of including leather in a scheme is by purchasing a beautiful hide rug. The natural pattern and individual shape of the hide will really inject some personality into a space whilst again contrasting well with any nearby chrome- a chrome legged coffee table sat on top would be the ideal. A suede roller blind is another brilliant but less obvious way to introduce leather to a room.
Chrome should be used much more as an accent to the leather rather than an equal partner. Flashes of it here and there really catch the eye and add a twinkle to proceedings. Handles, doorknobs, light switches and picture frames are great ways of spreading some twinkle without going overboard. Should you wish to use it more extensively, the kitchen splash-back, the up step on a staircase or split level room, lighting and lampshades, industrial style metallic Venetian blinds or kitchen appliances all provide perfect opportunities to include some chrome around your home- just be careful not to overdo it.