Tag Archives: counter stool

Top-Grain vs. Split-Grain Leather and Leather Furniture Care

AT-4 Leather Chesterfield SetteeIn my recent customer spotlight about interior designer Charity and the new antiqued leather settee she bought from us,  I mentioned that leather sofas, chairs, stools and benches are among our top sellers.

One of the leather furniture makers that we work with is a small family business, and they gave me some great info about the different types of leather and the care of leather.Top Grain cream leather sofa

My first lesson was about the difference between top-grain and split-grain leather. Full-grain leather is the natural whole hide, but that whole hide is usually split into layers for making furniture upholstery. (Think of it like peeling two slices of bread apart!)
Both cuts of leather are true 100% leather and each one is wonderful for different purposes, looks, type of furniture and price points.

Red Leather Cloister counter stoolThe top-grain is the cut from the hair side of the leather. It is the most common type of leather used in high-end leather products as it is smooth and pliable.
The traditional top-grain leather look is shiny and smooth and soft to the touch, with natural color and texture variations.  Many of our sofas and chairs are top-grain leather.

The split-grain is from the flesh side. It is a tougher and thicker cut of leather and it is usually at a slightly lower price point. After the split is made, this layer of leather has a fuzzy suede look on both sides and it is light in color. Then it is finished to give it the look and feel of top-grain leather. Usually this includes applying color and a clear protective top coat.

Leather Furniture Care

Leather is porous and it’s made up of around 12-14% water which keeps it so luxuriously supple. But even though it is such a sturdy and timeless upholstery material, you do need to avoid things that will dry the leather out. For example, it’s best to keep it away from a heater or from direct sun right beneath a window.

Top Grain Leather sofa hand-made in USATo clean leather furniture, only use a water based leather cleaner. Before my leather lesson from the furniture makers, I didn’t know how bad the leather conditioners are that you can buy in supermarkets and chain stores. I never thought about it for leather, but it is just like all of those furniture sprays that are also bad for your furniture and create a waxy build-up.

New Madison Leather Club ChairMy leather expert said never to use regular household products to clean and care for leather. This includes products containing oils, waxes or silicones, as they dry out the leather big time! Most “conditioners” contain waxes or oils while furniture polish contains silicones. These all ruin the leather finish. Car cleaners with oils or waxes can leave residue that acts like a magnet to dirt, creating a build-up and finally cracking of the leather. Chemicals in many leather wipes also destroy the finish and dry out the hide so it peels.

Baby wipes are terrible for leather too as is dishwashing liquid as it has a high salt content and will ruin your finish. What about Saddle Soap? That should be OK, right? Wrong! The finish on beautiful leather furniture is not the same as saddle leather, so keep the saddle soap in the stable!

Top Grain Leather Sofa Antique LookAfter cleaning with a water based leather cleaner and nothing else, treat the leather furniture with a good water based leather protector. This creates a protective barrier, preventing dirt and stains from soaking into the leather.

Regularly wiping the leather with a damp cloth helps to clean dirt and body oils from the furniture in addition to helping rehydrate the leather – it’s nature’s own moisturizer! Take care of your top-grain or split-grain leather furniture and it will be look handsome and feel great for years!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Client Spotlight: French Country Stools

We were really pleased to see how beautifully a French Country stool blended into our client’s kitchen. Stephanie C. already had two French Country style stools in her kitchen in Kernersville, NC.

Carved French Country Stool The two French Country stools featured a black wash finish and Stephanie needed a third one to match. This is the new counter-height stool that Stephanie chose from our selection of French Country stools at EuroLuxHome.com. Intricate floral and foliage wood carvings across the curvy chair rail and seat apron create a stunning decorative effect. The nice cabriole legs are typical of French Country style, and this stool also boasts a hand-woven rattan or rush seat. The antiqued black washed stain adds the finishing touch!

Below is the French Country stool in Stephanie’s kitchen, along with her two existing stools. Thanks Stephanie for sending the photo. I am just drooling over that kitchen – it is gorgeous!

French Country Stool in the kitchen

French country stools at kitchen islandEvery detail from the kitchen cabinets to the handsome chandelier is exquisitely chosen. It all adds up to a wonderful example of the traditional French Country look. I like the bright touches of sunny Mediterranean color too, in the mixer on the side counter, the yellow flowers, and the large pitcher above the fridge. The pretty carved shape of the back of the French Country stools makes a very inviting silhouette.

Stephanie said “It is beautiful and a perfect match to my other two! Thanks for the great service!” You can see more detail (left) of the hand-woven rattan seats which give a nice and casual country feel. I’m guessing that Stephanie likes the black wash finish on the stools to match that elegant island counter.

French country stool carved detailThis close-up shows the intricate carving on the stool apron. This is actually the same French Country stool, but with a natural dark wood finish rather than the antiqued black washed stain. Still, you get some idea of the ornately decorative effect.

The company that makes these stools specializes in high-quality Old World furniture designs created with traditional furniture techniques, like detailed carving, banded inlays and dovetail construction on drawers. So it’s not surprising that the French Country stool looks so lovely and authentic. Thanks Stephanie for sharing the photos of your to-die-for kitchen!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Best of October 2013: Victorian Restoration, Home Accessories and More!

Where did this month go? We went from harvest to Halloween in our October blog posts, starting with polka and liver nips at the Newberry Oktoberfest through to our vintage Halloween photos! Along the way we talked about some gorgeous antique furniture and home decor inspirations. Let’s revisit some of our favorite October posts.

Antique Brittany Furniture for Victorian Restoration

Our client Angela M. is restoring this beautiful 1890 Victorian house in Galveston, TX.  The white porch is adorned with mariner’s wheels details and Angela bought several pieces of French Brittany furniture from us to continue the maritime theme. See more about Angela’s Victorian restoration and the antique Brittany furniture!
Boho style Mission chandelier
With Halloween on the horizon, we took a tour of the Gothic chandeliers and other magical light fixtures in our gallery. Check out the dragons, eagles, and castles in our Gothic Chandelier post! Of course, vintage Gothic chandeliers add character and Old World atmosphere to a home all year round. They offer a dash of drama, fantasy, romance and mystery. They’re great for period-style homes, but also perfect for people who love an eclectic element in their home decor.
Stained glass in home decor accentsSpeaking of eclectic, we also looked at the many ways you can use stained glass in home decor accents.  If you think stained glass is only for church windows… think again! Of course we looked at some lovely examples of stained glass in home windows, but also explored ways to add a touch of luminous stained glass color in furniture and lighting too. And we found stained glass patterns in fabrics, wallpaper, decals, and even a shower curtain!
We also turned our client spotlight on this antique buffet we provided to the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston, MA.
Antique buffet in seminary lobby
The seminary is one of the largest evangelical seminaries in North America and a donor  generously gave funds to decorate the lobby. Mary Ann asked us to help her find an impressive antique buffet suitable for the space, and this elaborately carved Henry II Renaissance-style buffet dating to 1900 did the trick! See more about the 9-foot-tall sideboard and the new lobby decor in our antique buffet post.

Windsor counter stool in our client's California kitchenOur Windsor Counter Stool client spotlight described how Wendy in California saved money with us when she was searching for stools for her kitchen. Wendy is a very smart shopper! The Woodbridge Windsor counter stools look perfect in Wendy’s lovely kitchen and although they are hand-crafted to appear authentically antique, they offer the modern convenience of a swivel seat!
Thanks for sharing October with me. We’ve got lots more to say about home decor, antique furniture, and living it up, vintage style. Sign up here to receive our blog posts, and you can follow us on Facebook too.


Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Client Spotlight: Windsor Counter Stools

Wendy C. in California told us how she came to buy the Windsor counter stools we shipped to her recently. She is a very smart shopper! Wendy did what we keep hearing so many retailers lament about. She “showroomed” or shopped on her smartphone while browsing for Windsor counter stools in a bricks and mortar store near her home in Trabuco Canyon.

Windsor counter stool in antique style with a modern swivel seatWendy found the same brand-new, high-quality counter stool in the Windsor style by Woodbridge Furniture Company on our website, but our price was better! She gave us a call and decided she was willing to wait for us to ship a pair of stools because of the savings. Remember: we offer free shipping on all items! Wendy also liked the idea of buying directly from a “mom and pop” store on Main Street rather than from a big department store. Even though we have a virtual gallery on the web, we are indeed a family-run business here at our Main Street store in Newberry, South Carolina. Without big city overheads, we can offer antique and high-quality reproduction furniture at a small-town price. That’s why Wendy found our Woodbridge Windsor counter stool was so much cheaper. We’re glad she found us too!
Windsor counter stool in our client's kitchenHere is the pair of swivel seat Windsor counter stools in Wendy’s lovely kitchen. The stools match perfectly with her Windsor dining chairs, and they look exceptional against the dark veining in the counter top. Although the stools look authentically antique, they’ve got built-in modern convenience as the carved saddle seat turns on a heavy-duty swivel mechanism. This stool is also available as a Windsor bar height stool.

Windsor counter stool in our client's California kitchenThe curve of the counter stool works beautifully with the curve of Wendy’s kitchen counter and the wood tone blends with the cabinets. The stools also accent the curvy silhouette of the white lidded bowl and the elegant light fixtures.  Windsor style chairs and stools originated in Great Britain, as you might guess. The basic spindle back design like wheel spokes was seen by the 16th century. However, a more sophisticated version became easier to craft during the 18th century, when steam was used to create the bow-back typical of the chairs. The earliest chairs made in this way came from the small town of Windsor, in Berkshire, England. (Windsor is also quite well-known for its castle!) The name stuck.
Thanks to Wendy for letting us take a peek inside her kitchen – it’s a beauty!

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.