How to Style Velvets Multiple Ways


Brunette woman closing green velvet curtains hanging on a rod in a bedroom with woven roman shades next to a tan striped chair

Velvet is such an incredibly versatile material, in that it shines in both more contemporary spaces as well as traditional rooms. “For me, velvet is a statement,” comments Anais Chaumien, the founder of Design by Anais, “It’s a fabric you don’t forget.” We asked Chamien and other interior designers to share their favorite ways to use velvet fabric in each of these instances, and below they offer a series of creative suggestions. Keep in mind that if you’re considering designing your own velvet curtains or pillows or are taking on a larger reupholstery project, you can easily order swatches of Pepper’s velvet fabrics.


Styling Velvets for a Contemporary Look

Mix in a Variety of Prints

When working on a family room project for clients whose style leans transitional/modern, designer Liza Nicole Angelucci, the founder of Liza Nicole Interiors paired two blue-gray velvet sofas with a slew of other materials, including linen drapery, a chocolate leather ottoman, and pillows with a cheetah-esque pattern in burnt orange. “I think repeating the tone of the velvet elsewhere and utilizing prints such as animal and geometrics can bring a relevant and modern vibe to velvet applications,” she says. 

Bright white living room with white couch and brown velvet pillows styled with white custom curtains hanging on a rod in front of a window 

Try Jewel Tones

To make your modern space appear extra sleek, consider working with darker velvet hues.  “Velvet looks really good in almost any color but I love to use deep jewel tones to evoke a luxe vibe,” says Melissa Fields, founder and CEO of Shades of Gray Design Studio. “Rich plums, emeralds, or sapphire-esque blues are all gorgeous colors that can be used to modernize your space!” Give wooden furniture some zest with these tones, too. “I love using saturated solids on classic, mid-century pieces such as dining chair,” says Alicia Hassen, principal designer at Brooklinteriors.   

Small dog sitting on a green velvet chair next to a coral velvet custom pillow

Or Go Monochromatic

You can also achieve a contemporary look by opting for a more monochromatic scheme “to create something that is rich texturally but clean visually,” says Lauren Miles, the founder of Lauren Miles Interior Design. “Think fine linen, nubby wools, and boucle—combined with natural wood tones and metal accents—with the sleek sophistication of velvet.” Chaumien also likes the look of velvet and boucle. “I just finished a project where I used a beautiful velvet lumbar pillow on a boucle bed, looks great, and adds a ton of character,” she says. She agrees that you don’t need to go big with color in order for velvet to shine. “Thanks to its interesting texture, it’s the perfect fabric to use in a neutral space when you want to add interest without adding color or pattern.” 

White curtains hanging in a sage green living room styled with a green geometric patterned chair and green velvet pillows


Styling Velvets for a Traditional Look

Pair Velvet with Toile or Plaid

When working with velvets in more traditional spaces, Angelucci likes to pair velvets with toile and plaid. In her own office, she has chosen to style a cream-based plaid loveseat with green velvet accent pillows.  

Toile bed in a brown painted room with brown velvet pillows and chartreuse botanical custom pillows and white curtains hanging on the windows 

Add Fringe

“If you want to lean more traditional you can accent the velvet with a brush fringe detail or tassels along the bottom of a chair or sofa,” Miles says. Note that you can add trim to pillows and curtains, too—Pepper offers a variety of styles from which to choose. Hassen agrees that trim is a winning solution, noting, “In the bedroom, I love a luxe velvet drape with an embroidered trim.” 

Pink velvet curtains with fringe hanging on a glass door next to strawberry cut paper collage artwork and wooden chair with strawberry and botanical custom pillow

Use Velvet to Add an Element of Surprise

If you’re working with a classic space that doesn’t incorporate much color, you can use velvet to make a purposeful statement. In a recent project, Sarah West, the founder of Sarah West & Associates, designed a bedroom with antique wood ceilings and soft rose-colored vintage marble tables and sourced a pink velvet settee to sit at the foot of the bed. “The combination of the pop of color and the texture of the velvet made the bedroom feel serene with a pop of unexpected,” she reflects.