DEAR DESIGNER: I moved here recently and my leather sofa has some dents and minor tears. Can you recommend a company that does leather sofa repairs? - Eugene
DEAR EUGENE: Although I haven’t had experience in leather repair, or ever needed to find a company that did, I can tell you where to look in order to find one.
First call your upholsterer; he may have someone in his resource file who can help. Also, automotive dealerships have access to good leather repair experts who travel around to fix leather seats. And finally, shoe repair shops sometimes offer the added service of leather furniture repair.
If your leather sofa is old or is a worn out and you want to get a few more years out of it, try fixing it yourself. There are leather repair kits that you can purchase. YouTube can be beneficial in walking you through the process. If you aren’t handy or aren’t interested, call in the expert.
Depending on how badly your sofa is damaged, and where the damage is, you might even consider reupholstery. If the wear is only on the cushions, consider using a coordinating chenille fabric to give your sofa a new look. If your leather sofa is modern, call in an upholsterer to reupholster the entire thing. If you paid more than $5,000 for your sofa, it is generally worth reupholstering.
DEAR DESIGNER: I am remodeling a home in Hilton Head Island and am seriously considering putting vinyl-plank wood flooring in the kitchen, living room, family room and dining room. This is not a rental home but will be our permanent home. We want it to be stunning when finished but have a dog in our future as well as grandchildren (now, not in the future) and thought this might be just the ticket for beauty as well as durability.
I do have some reservations, however, because everything I read says “We love this vinyl-plank floor we just installed in our garage” or “We can’t say enough about the vinyl-plank flooring we just installed in the room where we had vinyl flooring for over 20 years.” In other words, if I put this floor in my living room am I going to look at it and say wow this looks just like wood floors, no one will ever be able to tell the difference or am I going to say this looks like and feels like a fake product that doesn’t belong in an upscale home (unless in a garage or playroom).
I’d be very appreciative of your comments on using vinyl-plank flooring in upscale homes. Thanks so much. - Judy
DEAR JUDY: Vinyl-plank flooring is a terrific product for many applications but I wouldn’t say that the living room of an upscale home is one of them.
Many people are fooled by the first look of vinyl-plank flooring, but it doesn’t feel like wood when you are walking on it. Wood has a sound. Vinyl has a spongy feel and faint, muffled sound when you walk across it.
For reasons of grandchildren and pets, vinyl-plank flooring is a wonderful option. The best uses are in a playroom, family room or gym. For your formal areas, keep it real wood. There are many wonderful choices of wood flooring available. They are easy to care for and look spectacular. It will help the value of your home as well.
Cindy Payne is a certified interior designer with more than 25 years of experience, a member of the American Society of Interior Designers, as well as a licensed contractor. Email questions to her at deardesigner@
projectdesigninteriors.com or send them to her at Project Design Interiors, 2620 S. Maryland Parkway, Suite 189, Las Vegas, NV 89109. She can be reached online at www.projectdesigninteriors.com.