Objects of Design #364: Leather Wall Tiles

leather wall tiles by studioart for rubelli
leather wall tiles by studioart for rubelli

Earlier in the week, I ran a post on the return of Anaglypta wallpaper which proved as polarising as I expected. But then I was sent details of these leather tiles, which I’m happy to predict will not provoke such a strong reaction (well not until you see the price anyway).

So it got me thinking (cue Carrie Bradshaw style voiceover) can textured walls ever be cool?

There’s no doubt that Anaglypta, and its heavier cousin Lincrusta, have a bad reputation; conjuring up images of dank student accommodation, dodgy rented flats and fusty old apartments belonging to Miss Havisham types.

But I think it’s a question of packaging. After all, some of the patterns are unquestionably beautiful. And paint them in strong matt colours or give them a shiny metallic finish and a textured wall becomes a thing of beauty.

leather wall tiles from studioart
leather wall tiles from studioart would you like them less if they were paper?

I’m willing to bet that the thought of these leather wall tiles doesn’t send you screaming for the hills does it? Instead you’re thinking luxury, warmth, tactile. But would you like them less if they were made from paper?

Now there’s no question that most of us can’t afford a leather wall but we can enjoy the pictures, perhaps even pinning them to the fantasy house board that we all have these days.

If anyone is reading who would like details they are as follows. Made by Studioart, an Italian brand run by Nadia and Gianfranco Dalle Mese in the family tannery in the leather district of Vicenza.

The collections play on various patterns: natural and vintage looks that enhance leather’s natural characteristics and shades; sumptuous brocades, laces and interlaced designs recalling the contemporary fashion trends; or the creative geometries that give the leathers original optical effects,” said a spokesman for the brand.
I hardly dare tell you the price but it’s about €340 a tile. Yes I know, that’s why we look at the pictures. One consolation? You just stick ’em on which is about a million times easier than hanging wallpaper.
In fact, having tried to hang wallpaper with Him Outdoors on one occasion and nearly having to call in the lawyers, I would venture to say that these are definitely cheaper than divorce.

The UK stockist is Rubelli / Donghia London showroom,

Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.