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 for just $3 each!
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.
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.
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.”
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.
“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.”
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.