Velvet. It elicits images of luxuriously plush, lavishly tactile, and extravagantly decadent woven textiles. And for good reason: The earliest velvets were said to have been reserved for nobility.
Velvet has maintained its regal status over the centuries, however its recent surge in popularity for home interiors means the fabric that is thought to date all the way back to 809 A.D., when Kashmiri merchants traveled to Baghdad, looks fresher than ever.
Velvet is one of the predominant interior design trends for 2018, having been anointed by everyone from Huffington Post to Vogue. The former called “this plush, multi-dimensional fabric…2018’s go-to upholstery option. Though it might have once been considered old-fashioned or fussy, a new bohemian age of design has claimed it for its own,” they said.
If you’re looking to update your décor, here are four ways to explore the velvet trend.
Creating an exquisite living space today is all about an eye-popping couch, and when it comes to upholstery, perhaps nothing is as luscious as velvet. Whether revealed with deep, comfortable cushions, with decorative tufting, or with a more streamlined profile, a velvet couch—or even a sectional—will surely liven up your living space, especially when its presented in a deep, rich hue. Sure, you could stay in the neutral zone, but color is everywhere right now, and it only makes the sensual sheen of velvet that much more alluring.
“Velvet in rich jewel tones is definitely on-trend this fall, along with cashmere and other soft, luxurious fabrics, textile designer Madeline Weinrib told Vogue. Take a cue from the brand-new Gucci restaurant in Florence, Italy, The Gucci Garden, choose a deep green for your seating, and tuft away!
A velvet chair may be less of a commitment than a couch, but it still has the ability to make a significant impact on the look of the space, depending on the details. Wingbacks, barrel shapes, armchairs—they all look great covered in velvet, and armchairs, especially, carry the trend forward, said Elle Décor.
“The 2018 trend for small armchairs is a bold style: padded armchairs that are comfy and enveloping,” they said. “They have to be elegant and ultra-soft cocoons, either in seducing velvet or in casual fabric, mono or bicolor. They are the element that gives a fashionable look to your home, bringing along a feeling of warmth and domestic intimacy.”
Elle Décor love the “curvy, sexy and simple lines” of Josephine, designed by Gordon Guillaumier for Moroso. “The name comes from Josephine Baker. The Maltese designer translates her provocative but sophisticated image into design,” they said. “Stemming from the desire to differentiate from the edgy, strong and cubic lines of modern sofas, Josephine is a relaxing armchair with a feminine soul, enveloping armrests and backrests covered in elegant velvet.”
Accent pieces are the effortless way to weave the velvet trend into your home and try on the texture. Of course, a soft, cushy pillow tossed on the couch and mixed in with myriad different textures is nothing new, so why stop at just one velvet expression of silken style? To take best advantage of the velvet trend, mix and match different colors and sizes of the same fabric.
“There’s nothing like a rich texture to really add some elegance and sophistication to the overall design aesthetic of your space,” said The Pillow Collection. “While velvet has always been regarded as regal and a bit more old-school, it is coming back in a big way this year. It is “a simple way to elevate a room’s design.”
Part of what’s driving today’s velvet revolution: the stiff, stuffy velvet many of us remember from our elders’ “don’t-sit-on-that” sofas is now softer, easier to care for, and even family-friendly, depending on the type of velvet chosen. While silk velvet remains the ultimate luxury textile—one that needs to be outsourced to a professional for cleaning—velvet made from cotton, rayon, or synthetic fibers is far easier to clean and maintain and, in many cases, offers a similar appearance.
That spells good news for those who are looking for luxurious-feeling, but easy-care bedding, like this velvet coverlet from Lili Alessandra at Neiman Marcus. What looks like a fine weave is actually cotton-viscose, which means it’s machine washable.
Call it the modern version of renaissance velvets, because what exudes wealth, power, and comfort more than freshly laundered, luxury bedding you don’t have to do without for days. Now that’s noble.