Luxurious Leather, Reimagined

How creativity and perseverance resulted in a stunning product that satisfied an industry demand
1 Klad Booklet
Our first KLAD wall of rectangular tiles with shrunken buffalo grained leather displays a very distinctive textural element to this stunning wall.

About forty years ago when showing interior designers beautiful new leather offerings, I was asked surprisingly often, “Rick, this leather is really gorgeous. I’d love to use it creating a stunning leather wall. Do you know how we can make a leather wall with this beautiful leather?”

I remember immediately thinking to myself what a great idea, but how could we practically do this?

2 Keleenleathers Kladluxuryleatherwalltiles Scaled

A striking fireplace in Ravenous Red leather creates a strong visual impact to this feature wall in a warm cozy home.

I felt most would think of using millwork operations, but millworkers simply offered to wrap plywood panels with leather and attach them to walls with devices that had many negative elements, never providing a truly good looking, good fitting leather wall. Imagine rigid panels hung with Velcro, Z-clips, complicated track systems, etc. All of these approaches yielded panels that were poor fitting and unsightly, as well as extremely costly.

4 Klad Book Imgs 12 2e

A popular request is stitched leather tiles, adding an additional visual element to our leather tiles.

Truly, for decades I was fixated on finding a solution to this challenge as so many times I would see gorgeous leathers on our shipping tables and would think, I don’t want to ship this out; I would just love to hang it on the wall and enjoy the visual beauty of so many leathers.

5 Keleenleathers Strapd Kladwalls 2

KLAD belts shown on this barn door feature our STRAP’d belt leather as an optional component for KLAD.

I realized the key was to find the perfect substrate material allowing for reasonable price, ease of installation, and flexibility. I wanted a material that provided a perfect fit; where each tile would install truly flat to one another and could be easily razor-cut onto walls that were neither perfectly horizontal nor plumb. The highly resilient backing we developed, KLAD, delivers every element I sought in creating an ideal leather wall tile system.

6 Klad Books Imgs 4

A dramatic entry wall for a Chicago hotel lobby using metal makes for an edgy yet sophisticated wall. Credit: Whitespace Interiors

7 Klad Art Tji

A modern art horse head designed for a client’s fireplace feature wall in their Nevada horse ranch. Credit: Talie Jane Interiors

KLAD is shipped precision-cut and ready to install with “DIY” ease.  Simply roll on water-based adhesive and apply the tiles. Any of our more than 1,000 leathers (including “hair on,” shearlings, and leather belts) can become a KLAD tile surface leather, in panels up to 4’X6’. KLAD walls are not only stunning, they’re acoustical, thermal, fireproof and entirely unique.

Rick Mullen is the owner of Keleen Leathers, a family-owned genuine leather hide supplier  that has specialized in leather wall tiles and fine upholstery leather since 1976. View their profile or contact Rick at (630)590-5300.

Content for this article provided by Keleen Leathers.

Categories: Fixtures & Finishes, Native Content