Ask The TBBs: White Leather sofa in a Farmhouse style setting?


“We bought a new house in Stittsville and will be moving in at the end of the month.  For our living room (which is a living and dining room open concept) I’d really like to have more of a farmhouse/rustic/traditional feel as that’s what appeals to me most–however, have some modern touches. So basically my question is this:

 I want to buy a white/off white couch and love seat and up until now have thought I’d be going the route of some kind of fabric.  Tonight, we  found some white leather couches as Dufresne that are quite nice–not overly modern (like structube or mobilia), mostly traditional…maybe transitional would be better to describe them.  Anyway, I am wondering if you think that white leather couches would look good combined with rustic touches like a wood coffee table, side or nesting tables and a harvest dining table that we’re having made. (since it’s open concept, I want to make sure all the pieces flow together)  I also plan to have two accent chairs, probably in fabric and with some pattern to complement the room.  

 The reason I ask is that because of all my hours spent on sites like pinterest and houzz, looking for inspiration, I have yet to come across a rustic/farmhouse style with leather couches.  I have seen brown leather couches used effectively in rustic rooms, but I want something bright and airy in the room.  Walls will be on the lighter side as well–cream/beige/off white

 So yeah, wondering if you think leather couches and rustic can work because normally I only see leather couches paired with glass tables, sleek black etc…and that’s not the feel I want for the room or should I stick with fabric?  The fabric option definitely lends itself to a cozier feel but I do really like this leather ones too”.

 Thanks! Amy


Hi Amy, well this is a loaded question ; )

The reason why you are most likely having trouble finding that type of design picture is because using a white leather sofa in that style of a home is fairly uncommon. Generally speaking, when using white sofas in this style of design, it is usually white slip covered sofas. Slipcovered sofas have a comfort factor to them, and the covers are easily taken off and laundered when they get dirty….very important when using white sofas, especially if you have children or animals.

Photo from

Photo from Cote De Texas

White leather sofas, on the other hand, are most often seen in a modern or contemporary space as they have a sleekness to them and fit well with that style. Now, that’s not to say you can not choose a white leather sofa for your space if you have your heart set on it, but here are a few things to consider when making your choices.

  • White leather will stain and become dirty looking over time.  The leather may age and develop fine lines over time, and these will show up more on a white leather sofa.
  • When looking for a white sofa for country decor, make sure it at least suits the style of the home. Look for more traditional styles with nailhead trim or rounded arms, and make sure it has more of a puffy, formed cushion for the “comfort” factor.

  • If you decide on the leather sofa, I would ONLY purchase the sofa in leather, and then add fabric armchairs rather than a matching leather loveseat. This will help break up the visual coldness of the white sofa, and add another texture to the room.

Sonya : I hope this helps you with your choices Amy and Happy Decorating!!







Mary Anne says“Sonya covered it pretty thoroughly, but I would just add that you definitely need to include a few other more transitional pieces in your room so that the white leather is not the only non-rustic piece. I personally like an eclectic room with a mix of antique and contemporary, there just can’t be only one thing in one style or it won’t work.”


Lisa says: “Sonya and Mary Anne have given you some great advice, I would just add that if you do go with a white leather couch, that you add some warmth and texture to it with cozy throws and soft throw pillows. This will help make it feel a little more rustic.”


Maureen says: “YES to your original question Amy…You can most definitely introduce the white leather into the the more rustic decor you intend to use. But, I agree with all of the above TBB suggestions mentioned. Please send us a photo of your completed room. We would love to see it.”


Donna says: “Great question Amy! If your leather sofas are traditional or transitional in style adding more rustic elements in textures like wood and fabrics will integrate the white leather nicely.  As Maureen says, we would love to see the finished product!  Good luck!”


Nicole says:  “Smart advice from the ladies Amy.  I like it when people don’t follow the rules.  Mix it up a little and have fun, after all it’s your signature space. And like Lisa, I find a room feels more balanced when there are a mix of textures, which is where you can bring in more of that rustic element.  Good luck with your room!”





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Laurie @ Vin'yet Etc. - September 18, 2013 - 5:19 pm

Awesome post! I love how everyone has chimed in with great advice. Style is very subjective and should reflect your personality, some of the staged homes are just that, staged. Your real life home should always reflect you and your family, if you love the white leather, go for it and yes make it fit with rustic textures, colours and warmth. The rule breakers are sometimes the trend setters… hope there is a follow up picture of the living room, I’m curious.

Amy - September 18, 2013 - 8:57 pm

Thanks ladies for your thoughts!

You’ve echoed a lot of what I think about leather in a farmhouse style. The couches I have considered in leather are definitely not overly modern and look more transitional ad traditional. They are also off white, not white white, so warmer.

Truthfully, I do have my heart set on fabric over leather for this space but have been having a hard time finding what I want. There’s no rush, I plan to keep looking but was curious to see what others thought. I would definitely have fabric chairs if I went leather couch and of course have some
Other modem touches. I don’t want all country bumpkin!

As for slip cover couches– I do love them and that was my first thought for the room– however, aside from ikea (which IMO look kinda crappy and cheap) and pottery barn (which are gorgeous but a challenge to get here!) I don’t know who else sells them?? Any ideas??

Thanks again, will for sure share a pic once the room is all done! Might not be for a while… Haha!

Sonya - September 18, 2013 - 9:28 pm

Amy if you love the Pottery Barn slipcover Sofa just call one of the Toronto stores , order it from them and they will deliver from Toronto… Not the States :)

Terri - September 19, 2013 - 9:52 pm

I loved this

Deanna T. (@MapleLeafMommy) - September 20, 2013 - 1:57 pm

Sensible stuff. I have small children, so the idea of white anything frightens me. White leather doesn’t really mesh with rustic in my mind, but your answer to her letter makes it work.

MaryAnne - September 20, 2013 - 2:51 pm

We can make anything work Deanna LOL!

Inspire Me Heather - September 22, 2013 - 7:55 am

I definitely think that leather couches and rustic can work together and if I do come across any inspiration photos I’ll pass them along. Great post and I hope you do a follow up!

Lisa - September 23, 2013 - 3:09 pm

Thanks Heather.

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