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Just like other home improvement items, furniture is a big-and important-buy. Not only should you do your homework when purchasing furniture, but you must be aware of your budget also. Furniture should complement the style of the room. Contrary to popular belief, leather furniture is not just for the rich and famous; you can buy quality leather furniture that's both affordable and beautiful. The following tips will help you make the best decision when buying that leather sofa. Be an educated consumer-don't just take the furniture store owner's word for it! Tip #1: Know the Grade Before leather furniture is deemed a particular grade, it must meet certain standards. Full grain leather is considered the most desirable, as it's natural and extremely durable. Additionally, aniline full grain leather is not only natural, but has also been dyed all the way through. Taken from the outer surface of the hide, top grain leather is the next best thing in leather furniture. Although the most inexpensive, split grain leather may end up costing you more in the long run; it fades more easily and is particularly weaker, which makes it vulnerable to tearing. While full grain leather may cost more up front, you will save money later on because of its strength and stability. Tip #2: Know the Finish When it comes to buying leather furniture, it's important that you understand how leather is prepared and finished. Most aniline leather furniture consists of wrinkles, giving it a more natural look; no other dyes or finishes are applied to aniline leather except for aniline dye. Buyers beware: Manufacturers will sometimes put wrinkles in leather to give it a distinct and unique appearance, when it has actually undergone extensive processing. Some leather furniture is coated with protective finishes to prevent scratches, stains and fading, which can make it stiff. Tip #3: Know the Texture The texture of leather furniture depends mostly on the grade. For example, a high-end leather sofa is soft, whereas a cheaper leather sofa is much stiffer. When purchasing leather furniture, it's important to take several factors into consideration, including how much use it will receive. In other words, are you buying a leather sofa for your formal living room, or are you going to place it in your family room, where it will receive regular wear and tear? If the latter, you may want to consider purchasing higher quality leather that will last for many years to come. Tip #4: Know Your Budget Let's face it: It's easy to get 'leather-happy' when shopping for leather furniture. But, know your budget and stick to it. If you want top-notch leather, then consider leaving the leather armchair off your wish list; instead, buy a leather sofa that is of utmost quality. Less is more, even when buying leather furniture. Don't get overwhelmed-it should be an exciting purchase. Tip #5: Know About Maintenance Many people think that because it's leather, regular

maintenance is not required. Wrong! Leather furniture is low maintenance, but it still calls for care on a regular basis. Never use a polish, cream, spray or soap until you're certain it's appropriate for your leather piece of furniture; dust off your leather furniture regularly with a soft cloth or dust mop. If you're still unsure about the proper maintenance routine for your leather furniture, don't hesitate to ask a professional. Tip #6: Relax Congrats-you've just made an important purchase: leather furniture. Now it's time to sit back, kick up your feet and relax. Not only does leather furniture look sleek, but it's extremely comfortable as well. Enjoy!

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==== ==== For all your Furniture requirements in all shapes & forms, goto ==== ====

Quick Tips to Buying Leather Furniture