Color Palette of the Week: Old Leather

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The used patina of an old leather suitcase gives us many shades to build a beautiful neutral color palette. Here’s how to find your color combination by “hiding” it.


Good leather is kind of like wine: it gets better as it ages. The patina of time and thousands of butts sitting in a leather chair give the material a noble age that makes it even more beautiful.

Natural leather has many shades within the tan and brown spectrums. The material gives any decor a sense of warmth, comfort, masculine strength and nobility. And a color palette based on the same material also shares these characteristics.


color palette old leather

I loved this photo right away because of the beautiful texture and the variance of color within a single piece of the material. This enabled me to build a smoky neutral/brown palette that will suit more masculine decor projects.

Using “Old Leather”

This palette works for many rooms of the home, especially the dining room, the living room and the office.

In the dining room, this palette is almost traditional. The browns and tans bring you back to the earth, to scotch and whisky, to rich wood and, of course, leather. This is the perfect palette for a masculine dining room where you get you friends to smoke some cigars and taste delicious whisky. Dark wood and leather chairs should be the focus here–the walls can be painted in the palest shade above to emphasize the contrasts.

In the living room, we get the feeling of a cozy cabin space with a roaring fire. Leather wingback chairs and dark wood moldings on the walls keep the whole effect warm and comfortable. Neutral shades are easy to match, and so there’s no worry about using clashing colors here. This living room would be wonderfully rich and smoky and smell of leather and firewood.

An office in these shades is masculine, traditional and formal. A dark wood desk will be the focus of the room, joined by plenty of bookcases and comfortable rugs. This office will quickly become a warm, comfortable retreat to get work or reading done at home. Make sure to use one of the top two colors as your base on the walls and ceiling.

Rich and noble

I love the sense of nobility and strength that comes out of this palette. It’s a beautiful set of colors for those who prefer more formal, traditional styles of decor.

What do you think? Is this just too traditional for you, or are you in love with these leather-inspired shades? Let us know in the comments!

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