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Home > Design Reviews > Love the Skin that is in

Love the Skin that is in

Get the skinny on trendy, hand-hewn leather wall and floor coverings you will not want to hide.

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Nothing like the smell of quality leather to whip you into a design frenzy. Since Wilma Flintstone first adorned her cave with raw hides, our fascination with the primal sensuality of this exotic material has seldom waned. Moving from interiors to exteriors, leather has gripped international design and fashion scenes since the beginning of time. Prompting something of a revival, two innovative European design houses are recapturing the spirit and versatility of this timeless design chameleon, taking it back inside the home to create tactile, trendsetting beauty that is more than just skin deep.

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Love_The_Skin_That_Is_In_4With over thirty years pioneering new materials for decorative wall and floor coverings, Tres Estilos’ 2009 launch of exotic leather tiles proved beyond doubt that all leather is not created equal. Handmade in Castellón, Spain by master leathersmiths, each individual masterpiece exploits the distinctive natural grains of leather, creating a second skin that is at once unique and earthy, expressive and refined. Exploding the scope of interior design options, a dynamic range of sizes, formats, colours, prints and textures result in an enduring and rich interior topography that promises only to grow more beautiful with time.

Completely waterproof thanks to its MDF backing, leather tiles require no grout and are easily installed. Low maintenance and resilient to the ravages of time, Tres Estilos’ commitment to using only natural leather from skins of animals already used for human consumption, make it a sustainable and environmentally responsible option for those wishing to touch the planet lightly. “No animals are sacrificed for our tiles,” states Esther Ortí, Export Manager for the company.

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Made in Brescia, Italy, FAP Design pushes the envelope further, creating what they call, a “culture of design [that is] a matter of feeling.” Rocking the design world with cleverly conceived, innovative and evocative coverings for walls, floors and furniture, leather is handcrafted from some of the most unusual and rare exotic skins in the world including lizard, shark and stingray imported in keeping with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES).

Ablaze with creativity, five signature collections showcase a diversity of aesthetics from the soothing, ambient ease of ‘Soft’ to the bold, irregular relief and padding of ‘Move’ with its futuristic pyramidal wall panelling. What is more, keen to expand its repertoire into the green market, FAP’s latest ECOGREEN range of recycled leather products offers customers an eco-sustainable alternative without compromising luxury or style.

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Experimenting with shape, proportion, hue and colour, including composites of tesserae placed by hand in keeping with ancient traditions, FAP boasts extreme customisation with coverings sewn, padded, embossed, laminated, varnished, hand-sponged or laser printed to customers’ specifications. Not for the faint hearted, metallic, glittered and mirrored finishes produce dramatic effects guaranteed to turn heads and inspire envy. Mounted on a light, semirigid, anti-mould backing suitable for application to almost any surface, each fine leather layer is at once luxurious and intriguing, adding tactile fascination and personality to any space.

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Whereas a leopard never changes its spots, leather’s unique ability for customisation borne of its ability to metamorphose from the traditional to the avant-garde, make it one material with multiple faces. Beguiling, warm and sensual, its limitless freedom of form and function, make it the hide that you will want to go seek.

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