Velvet has always enjoyed a certain sumptuous appeal — and it never really goes out of style. With frequent surges in popularity, velvet always seems to be rediscovered in new ways. In 2017, velvet came back in fashion in a big way, and designers expect to see that upward trend continue into 2018.
“It’s such an elegant fabric,” says Julie Knowlton, a home renovator and decorator in Athens, Georgia. “It’s soft and smooth and has a very interesting history. For a long time, it was so expensive that only royalty could afford it, and today, it still has that same rich, elegant appeal.”
Knowlton notes that as velvet has become more affordable, it has also become more versatile, and that’s part of its popularity. Today, it adds a touch of elegance to shoes, evening wear, jackets, and handbags. In the home, it opens the door to adding rich decorating touches that hint at luxury in nearly every room of the house.
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Comfort in the Cloth
From its origin as a fabric for royalty and the wealthy to its current status as a feel-good fabric, it seems that velvet has plenty of natural appeal.
“Visually and emotionally, it’s a comfort fabric, because it looks so soft,” explains Sandy Spain, an artist and stylist at SCS Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. “But it has become much more versatile through the years. Velvet used to have an air of formality, but now it can be used in any setting and with any style.” Even though society has become more casual, velvet is the perfect way to add a touch of luxury without making a room too formal.
“You can even use it in rooms with concrete and chrome to soften up the look a little bit,” Spain says. With so much versatility to offer, velvet can complement any style, from traditional to transitional to contemporary. However, she cautions that certain rooms fare better than others when it comes to the velvet touch. “You don’t want to use it in the kitchen or in a room with a lot of light or heat,” she says, “but there are plenty of other places you can use it.”
1. Dress Up a Window
Velvet drapes are the original luxe home accessory. Spain explains that thick velvet drapes originally signaled wealth and luxury. Today, they’re considerably more affordable but still have the same visual impact.
“Velvet has evolved so it’s mixed with other fabrics and lasts longer, so you don’t have to be as concerned about the everyday wear and tear,” she says. “Today, it’s good for drapes because it’s stain resistant, cleans easier, and lasts longer. So, in addition to looking good, it’s also a very good value.”
2. Rethink Your Dining Table
Although a full velvet tablecloth might overpower a dining table, you can still dress up a table with touches of velvet. Spain recommends using a velvet table runner to add elegance and impact to the table.
“Velvet is washable now, so you can use it in new ways, and that includes at the dining table,” she says. “It can be used as placemats or napkins. If you’re a social person and like to entertain, it’s an amazing way to set a beautiful table.”
3. Take a Seat
Add even more elegance to your dining table with velvet seat cushions, which look inviting and soften up a wooden dining chair while offering a warm, comfortable place to sit. Right now, their popularity is soaring, and you can find both seat cushions and velvet covers for your existing cushions.
4. Toss a Pillow
A throw pillow or two covered in velvet can add a special pop of luxury to a living room or sitting area.
“The important thing is that it fits with how you’re living,” Spain says. “I’ve seen people with pillows that are velvet on one side and cotton on the other, so they can change the mood or look of the room, depending on what they’re using the room for.”
5. Send It to Bed
Velvet bedspreads, throws, pillow shams, and accent pillows can all work together to create a rich feeling in the bedroom. Whether you want bright jewel tones for a majestic feel or deep reds and blues for a more romantic setting, velvet can transform the mood and the look of your bedroom with just a few simple additions.
“A bedroom is a great place to add velvet,” Spain says. “It immediately makes it cozy.”
When you’re looking for the right furniture to dress up with velvet, consider the affordability of gently used furniture. CORT Furniture Clearance Centers offer a premium selection of styles for every room and every taste.