Arizona Leather Showrooms
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
16163 Lake Forest Dr. Unit A
Irvine, CA 92618
2866 El Camino Real.
Tustin, CA 92782
All pieces are custom-built in the factory in Chino.
I have to admit I was skeptical. I expected to see row upon row of leather sofas in the usual burgundies and beiges. Surely nothing I hadn’t seen before.
But instead, it was more like a museum. I discovered room arrangements–spanning from tasteful to dramatic to brow raising–with extra fine looking leather furniture, accented with unique, to say the least, accessories. A lighthouse-shaped birdcage. A lamp with a leather bag as its base. A golfing Bugs Bunny figurine. There wasn’t a run-of-the-mill, hotel art, department store piece as far as the eye could see at Arizona Leather. Not what I expected.
And, of course, Arizona Leather has tons of leather to choose from: 50 types in 400 colors. And once Irvine store manager Chris Merrill started talking about leather, he almost couldn’t stop himself. I mean, he knew everything, starting with the cow, practically.
Tanning, dying, stretching. He got excited about this stuff. And somehow, I got kind of excited about it too.
I was warned how other retailers sell highly scarred (the least valuable) leather that’s been sanded, spray-painted, embossed with man-made leather texture, then attached to particle wood with flimsy staples. And how Arizona Leather does it differently– slip-tailoring, or “glove-fit” construction. Double corners. All hardwood frames. Steel springs.
Sure, it may be mumbo-jumbo to you, but in English it means that Arizona Leather manufactures furnishings in a labor intensive manner for higher quality, according to Merrill.
You’re probably thinking all this information would confuse you. Don’t worry. By considering the room, the usage, the decor and maybe even who will be sitting on it (since each piece can be custom-built to fit your body), the sales people can use their overwhelming knowledge to guide you to a comfortable, educated decision, according to Jim Riedl, owner of Arizona Leather.
The resulting room can be as upper-crust conservative (dark brown easy chair with nail heads), Hollywood glamour (black art deco loveseat) or funkadelic contemporary (bright orange sofa with yellow trim) as you want it to be.
“We help you make your home a reflection of you,” Merrill said. “It’s not what I like, it’s what you like.”
The entire experience made me certain that I would be able to buy the exact leather piece to suit me. And the lighthouse birdcage to go with it.