Schedule your virtual design appointment

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We are open for virtual business

On behalf of our team at SSDS, we send compassion and
support to you, our community, and the world at large. With schools closed and cities on lock-down we are preparing for a period of uncertainty.

As we sit at home, work, and reflect, our priorities shift and we sharpen our focus on family and food. We dream of an inspiring work environment and an atmosphere of tranquility and beauty. Whether it’s a single piece of furniture to add spark to your room, re-designing a room or more we’re here to help fulfill your dreams. Our design studio and showroom remain open to serve you.

We are adhering to CDC safety guidelines and have enhanced our normal business practices providing you with virtual design appointments, tours of our showroom, electronic transactions, and contact-less product pick-up. Please contact us to find out how we can best serve you!

Wishing you continued good health,

The team at Shari Saiki Design Studio

Hide All Around: What you need to know about Leather

Traditional Leather Swatches

Traditional Leather Swatches

Leather is organic, timeless, beautiful, durable, easy to clean, and  long-lasting.

Every hide is just as unique as each individual’s fingerprints. Variations such as color, texture, and markings can occur from hide to hide and even within a single hide. Color differences, grain changes, and even scars or brand marks on a piece of furniture is also not uncommon. Depending on the type of leather, it can display these characteristics in varying amounts, which adds on to the organic beauty of leather.

More natural leathers tend to have the higher price, even though they are treated with fewer processes and chemicals (and are therefore less expensive to produce). Although these pure anilines are more susceptible to staining and fading over time, they are considered the most desirable among leather experts, hence the higher price tag. Lower grades, however, are actually the more protected and pigmented leathers, even though they can endure wear and tear better, and are actually much easier to maintain.

Hides are  much thicker than a finished upholstery leather. Before it is finished, a hide is split into layers. The layer closest to the surface is considered the “Top Grain” and includes the skin’s surface, along with all of the naturally occuring pores, wrinkles, and scars. (This is actually the strongest part of the hide).

The Split Hide, on the other hand, is everything that has been cut from the inner layer of the hide. This part of the hide tends to be used as suede and other leather products. For some manufacturers, cheaper products tend to have these splits used along the sides and backs of furniture where there is less use/wear and tear. Splits are, however, 100% leather, but, they tend to be  weaker and are usually more susceptible to tearing, stretching, and fading.

T Y P E S  O F  L E A T H E R

American Leather Tristan Sofa

American Leather Tristan Sofa

Also known as Pure/Full Aniline is the most natural type of leather. There are NO protective coating nor any treatments that alter the natural characteristics of the hide. This gives it the most luxuriously soft feel of all the leather types, yet leaves it susceptible to staining or soiling. Choose this option if you love the soft feel of leather and can appreciate the organic and varying characteristics of the hide. Light/moderate use of furniture is recommended for this option.
This type is considered fairly natural. The hides are first aniline-dyed and then coated with a slightly protective topcoat that may or may not contain some additional color. Some natural markings through the topcoat can appear and it can still stain or fade somewhat, but it is more protected than a pure aniline leather and the color is more uniform. This is the most common type of leather sold due to its quality, better usage, and price point.This is a good option for the leather lovers who like the softness and texture of leather, and have a tendency to use their furniture on a regular basis.
This type is the least natural, but also the most durable and easy to clean. Depending on the manufacturer, they may use Top Grain leather, and have it dyed all the way through the hide, but the surface is coated with a heavy protective topcoat that would then have color added to it. Pigmented leather is usually buffed/sanded to remove any imperfections in the hide and then embossed with an artificial grain. The color and texture tend to be flatter, without the deep rich tones or luxurious feel of aniline leather.The organic traits may not be available, but it is extremely durable, which makes this option  best for families with young children or pets, and for those who would have heavy use of the furniture. 
This has a suede-like appearance. Top grain leather is buffed/sanded to soften the surface. Being stronger than suede (made from split hide), it is extremely soft in texture and equates with luxuriousness. Unlike other anilines that are will soil, stain, or fade with use, this will develop an aged patina over time.This option is best for those looking to make a bold fashion statement in hand with a luxurious lifestyle, and don’t mind extra maintenance. 

F U L L  G R A I N  V.S.  C O R R E C T E D  L E A T H E R

American Leather, Lisben Sectional

American Leather, Lisben Sectional

Full grain leather is a type of top grain leather with all its natural textures (a.k.a. grain) intact. The grain is created by natural hair follicles, wrinkles, stretch marks, scars, brands, tick bites, etc.

Corrected grian leathers are another type of top grain, but have been lightly buffed/sanded to remove the original texture and any imperfections. A faux grain pattern is then embossed on the surface of the hide–much like branding. This allows tanneries to turn rough hides into beautiful pigmented leathers. Since this has a man-made touch to it, corrected grain leathers will be much more consistent in texture and grain patterns.

In the end, the most important lesson about leather is that there is no one specific leather that is  better than the other—they are just different–unique, organic, and have their own sets of personalities!

American Leather Oliver Sectional

American Leather Oliver Sectional

Choosing the Right Fabric for Sofa, Sectionals, and other Upholstery

Della Robbia Sectional

Della Robbia Sectional

Are you the wine lover that spills his wine all over his white-collared shirt at parties?

Or, are you the cat that likes to dig its sharp claws into anything soft and fragile?

Perhaps, you are the dog that sheds and slobbers on anything he can get to?

Or, the young child that likes to draw pictures on the walls, or anything that looks like a canvas?

We all come across people, animals, and situations like these at some point in our lives. Especially, when on a quest for that perfect upholstery piece (i.e. sofa or sectional) to accent our living room–the sanctuary for our souls and the heart of our home…

As important as this piece may be, how can it possibly withstand the every day wear and tear that accompanies our lifestyle?

Aside from the structure and frame of a sofa, the most important part of the sofa itself is the material that’s wrapped around it.

Just like the skin on our bodies, which endures constant wear and tear throughout our lives, we must select materials that exhibit qualities that can endure along with our lifestyle.

When exploring your fabric options, it is best to know what materials make up the fabric. The following are some tips for finding the perfect skin for your favorite furniture piece.


N A T U R A L   F A B R I C S 

Natural Fabrics

COTTON– durable, easy to clean

This is a natural fiber, which provides good resistance to wear, fading and pilling, but is less resistant to soiling and wrinkling.

COTTON BLEND– sturdy, family-friendly.


For everyday use, it’s a good idea to apply a stain-resistant finish.

LINEN– stays clean, absorbs moisture

This fabric is best suited for formal living rooms or adult areas because it soils and wrinkles easily. While it won’t withstand heavy wear, linen does resist pilling and fading.

SILK– delicate, soft

This fabric is only suitable for formal areas. Must be professionally cleaned if soiled.

WOOL– water repellent, durable

Wool and wool blends offer good resistance to pilling, fading, wrinkling, and soil. Generally, wool is blended with a synthetic fiber to make it easier to clean. Blends can be spot-cleaned when necessary. Wool is warm in the summer and cool in the winter.

RAMIE– stain resistant, absorbs moisture

Ramie fibers are one of the strongest natural fibers, a great eco-friendly alternative to using synthetic fibers or non-organic fibers.. Ramie can be up to 8 times stronger than cotton and is even stronger when wet.

HEMP– wrinkles easily, durable

Hemp is processed to separate the fibers, then woven into fabric. It is linen-like in hand and appearance. Hemp provides warmth and softness of a natural textile but with super durability.

LEATHER— very forgiving, beautiful, durable, easy to clean, long-lasting

This tough material comes in many colors and finishes and develops more character and softness with age. Each hide is just as unique as your fingerprints. The color, texture, and markings vary from hide to hide and even within a single hide. It is not unusual to see color differences, grain changes, and even scars or brand marks on a piece of furniture. Different types of leather display these characteristics in varying amounts, and it’s up to you to determine what exactly you want from your leather furniture.


M A N – M A D E   F A B R I C S

Man-made fabric: Micro Suede Swatches

Man-made fabric: Micro Suede Swatches

ACETATE AND TRIACETATE– imitation silk, tends to wear

Acetate resists mildew, pilling and shrinking. On the other hand, it offers only fair resistance to soil and wrinkle and fade in the sun. Not a good choice for furniture you will use everyday.

ACRYLIC– resists wear, lightweight

Developed as imitation wool, acrylic resists wrinkling, soiling and fading. Low-quality acrylic may tend to pill excessively in high-wear situations. Better-quality acrylics are manufactured to resist pilling. (Sunbrella is a good example of acrylic durability.)

MICROFIBER– durable, easy to clean

Microfiber fabric is lightweight, highly absorbent and does not stain or wrinkle easily. Microfiber fabrics that are electrostatically charged can pick up small particles, such as dust, without the use of cleaning solvents, and leave no lint behind.

NYLON– soil resistant, durable

Rarely used alone, nylon is usually blended with other fibers to make it one of the strongest upholstery fabrics. Nylon is very resilient; in a blend, it helps eliminate the crushing of napped fabrics such as velvet.

It does tend to fade and pill.

OLEFIN– durable, fashionable

Use olefin if your furniture is likely to receive heavy wear. The fibers have low moisture absorption, but they can wick moisture and dry quickly. Olefin is abrasion, stain, sunlight and chemical resistant.

RAYON– durable, wrinkles easily

Developed as an imitation silk, linen or cotton. Rayon is the oldest manufactured fiber. Rayon is made from wood pulp, which is passed through spinnerettes to form filaments. Recent advances have made high-quality rayon very practical for upholstery.

VINYL– easy to care for, less expensive than leather

Vinyl is a practical choice for busy family rooms and children’s furniture.


W H A T  I S  F A B R I C  G R A D E ?

Grade A and B mixed

Grade A and B mixed

You may have to decide on a fabric grade when choosing your upholstery. Fabric grades range from “A,” which is on the less expensive end, to “F” on the slightly pricier side. Some companies will also go by a numbering system, with “8” at a lower cost, and 30″ at a higher cost.  Depending on the manufacturer, the grade of the fabric can vary. Supply and demand, intricacy of the weave, fiber content, construction and performance are all variables. But, it’s important to note that the grade alone is NOT an indication of quality or durability. As a matter of fact, it’s just an indicator of how expensive the fabric was to make. The trick is to read the details on the fabric card attached to the swatch, making your decision accordingly.

shopping is Fun!


Bryan with Rene from FOUR HANDS


Shari and Bryan are once again on the ultimate buying trip! Equipped with the all-seeing eyes and the hunger for quality furniture and accessories, they shall be bringing home to Honolulu unique pieces from some of our most beloved vendors: Four Hands, Nathan Anthony, Global Views, Studio A, and many others.

Below is a gallery with sneak peeks on new items, along with all the fun of this shopping trip!











677 Ala Moana Blvd Suite #108
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

Tel: 808.536.4044 (Design Studio)
Tel: 808.536.6374 (Mesh Retail)

Hours Of Operation

Mon. to Sat. 10am-6pm

Due to the conditions of COVID-19 we are currently open for virtual business. Please schedule your consultation & virtual tour.


Bryan Dean Kitashima
Vice President/C.O.O.

p: 808.536.4044 ext. 4

Viva K. Dizor
Showroom Manager

p: 808.536.6374


Shari Saiki Kitashima
President/Principal Designer

p: 808.536.4044 ext. 1


Kris Saiki

p: 808.536.4044 ext. 5

© Mesh by Shari Saiki 2020 | All Rights Reserved | 677 ALA MOANA BLVD SUITE 108, HONOLULU, HI 96813

© Mesh by Shari Saiki 2020 | All Rights Reserved | 677 ALA MOANA BLVD SUITE 108, HONOLULU, HI 96813

© Mesh by Shari Saiki 2020 | All Rights Reserved